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        I turn 26 in 25 days. This past year could most definitely be summarized as my “quarter life crisis”, starting from April 2018- January/February of this year.

        25 was full of more sadness and trauma than I ever expected. My life turned upside down in the matter of one day and it never got back to the place it was after that (and now I am SO thankful for that). During last spring/summer it was hard for me to go even an hour without breaking down. Sometimes making it even 5 minutes was a success. I lost my appetite (and still have aversions to random foods from that time in my life that I have yet to buy/cook since). I bounced around to the homes of various friends, some who I no longer talk to, but will be eternally grateful for having my back at the hardest point in my life.

        I feared my own home. I literally dreaded walking through the front door because of the inevitable heavy emotions and PTSD that would arise when I was to step foot inside. The details of this are still too personal to open up about publicly, but I will most definitely write about them in a book someday (I already started!)

        In that time I tried as hard as I could to live as much of a normal and happy life as I could. I forced myself off the couch when I didnt have the energy to get up. I made myself cook even when eating was the last thing that I wanted to do. But, I never stopped trying. I still went to the gym. I still spent time with friends. I still laughed and smiled and worked on my business. I had quite a bit of happy moments in that time of my life, but there was definitely a dark shadow that I felt present behind it at all times. It is a hard feeling to explain..but I can only explain it now because I am finally 100% out of it (as of the last month).

        Each month since the summer I have incrementally improved on an emotional level. In the fall I’d say I was 50% back to normal, by winter 60%, the beginning of this year 75%, and now I FINALLY FEEL LIKE 100%. And the best part? There is no one thing my happiness depends on. My happiness is due to a million little things– but it mostly lies in gratitude. It lies in realizing how many beautiful magical things are in my life and focusing on that rather than the things I have “lost”.

        The biggest change that impacted my happiness recently was by far moving into a new home. I needed an environmental change more than anything, and ever since the day I moved those boxes into my new home… I have gotten myself back, piece by piece. And having my best friend Cristina (I’m not happy being nice to you right now but you deserve some credit..) And my classroom. Work is my second home and safe place, and the most consistent thing in my life for the last 3 years. Its been a serious miracle day in and day out as I moved through my “stuff”.

        But, in that time before feeling totally happy and at peace in my mind and life again, I can honestly admit I became a person that I am in some ways not too proud of. But, being vulnerable does that to people, right? I let people get away with things that the emotionally stable version of me would never even consider allowed. I had a couple emotional breakdowns as a result of said vulnerability that could have been avoided, but I really believe everything that happens to me is the BEST possible thing that could happen to me, so I’m okay with even my most embarrassing moments.

        The number one being the time in August I quite literally considered moving to Israel. HAHA. HAHA. HA.

        I’m telling you, I temporarily became a person that the normal version of me would laugh at and would 100% call a dumbass, but it makes for a funny story.

        The things I went through were all blessings in disguise, and I seriously wouldn’t trade any of that because I am happier now than I was even BEFORE my life got shaken up.

        And now, Im sitting in my kitchen after a walk around a city that I dreamed of living in since I was 16. I am happier with myself and my life more so than I may have ever been..and this is ONLY because I have:

        1. gone through the hard life shit..emotional breakdown after emotional breakdown
        2. refused to give up on myself (aka I never stopped working on my happiness)

        My friend and I often joke with reference to Drake “started from October now we here” (a time when we both were in such a bad place that we actually had an insane amount of fun joking about how “shitty” our lives were and it is by far one of my favorite times in my life, ever). But, realistically, I started from LAST APRIL NOW IM HERE. It is fucking amazing how much you can grow in a short amount of time. My quarter life crisis was REAL AF. But it has resulted in the most massive breakthrough that has left me more content with life than ever before.

        But, I can’t give all credit to myself here. I am grateful for every single person who helped me get to this point. If you ever brought even one smile, hug, laugh, connection, or real conversation to my life in this last year, THANK YOU. I appreciate you, and the book I am going to write is dedicated in part to you.

        Whatever season you are in right now, remember that it is temporary. But..it is only temporary if you make the conscious CHOICE to walk yourself out of it. No matter how dark it seems. Even when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, look harder. I know what its like to feel so lost that you dont even know what you want or who you are anymore. But, I am living proof that you can rise from the ashes of whatever was burned around you and become something stronger and greater because of it.

        I came across this quote a couple nights ago and immediately happy cried because it felt so relevant (but replace it with “To Myself, 1 year ago or anytime in 2018)”

        And if you really want to boost your mood listen to the new Tswift song “ME!”, cause I’ve been jamming it since last Friday morning and I can’t not sing and dance and smile whenever I play it (which is arguably too often)