Finding a Mind of Happiness 

These last few years have been the hardest for me. Between taking care of family, trying to figure out life and all of the misfortunes that happen along the way, I got lost. Lost doesn’t quite fit what I was feeling. I felt broken, alone, misunderstood and a lot more.

It all started a little over two years ago. I was in my sophomore year of college, in a relationship I thought would last, and just living life seemingly with a care. That suddenly changed. It seemed like a regular morning, I was home getting ready for my first class of the morning. I sat on the side of my bed lacing up my shoes ready to head to the bus stop. Down stairs I could hear a crash and then my Grammy calling for me. I raced down the stairs frightened to what I might find. It was my mom laying on the hallway floor. I became scared, we called for an ambulance. It was the longest day I’ve ever experienced but everything was such a blur. I remember getting to the hospital. I remember the doctors telling me she was sick. I remember knowing my world was going to change.
Over the next couple of months school became a second thought, family was always my first. My grades started to slip, my relationship was on the back burner but I was happy. Happy that my family was okay. As sophomore year ended I made the decision to take a year off. During that summer my mom started to get better, I was enjoying myself again and thinking about life. I wish that summer could have lasted forever.

I thought my year off would be a year of wonders, happiness and accomplishing all of my ridiculously naive goals. Well, it started off that way. I found myself writing more and more each day and in my spare time finding the time to work on my sketches. I was basically living with my girlfriend at the time and everything seemed to be going great. But then winter of 2014 happened.

During that winter my eldest sister needed someone to watch my precious nephews because their daycare was being renovated. Once she asked I could say no, it was only to be for a few weeks. The daycare took longer than expected and I still babysit to this day. During the week before Christmas that year, she took a few days off. I was so relieved for that break. That weekend I wanted to have as much fun as possible. That didn’t happen, it turned out to be the worst weekend of my life to date.

The plan for that weekend was to go out to a party with my girlfriend at the time and her roommate. I remember everything that happened before the party. We started of the day with brunch at a local cafe, then we had a movie marathon along with takeout, then we took hours to get ready. I was a pretty regular drinker at the time and my tolerance was pretty high. There was something about that night though. We get to the party and everything was great. the music was booming, all my friends were there, I was just having the best time. After a few drinks I started to feel sick, the drink mix that night was strong. I never felt that way before. Everything became very hazy. A little while after I remember leaving for the night. Me, the girlfriend and her roommate all got a taxi home. That’s all the I remember.

The next morning I woke up in her bed and found myself to be really sore. I went to roll out of bed but was met with the face of her roommate. I immediately started to panic. She comes into the room to try to calm me down and she kept insisting that nothing had happened. I knew something had, I had a feeling that something had I just couldn’t prove it. I kept telling myself that it was my fault, that I shouldn’t have gotten as drunk as I did. That weekend changed me forever.

Over the next year I found myself distancing myself from the world. My best friends hadn’t heard from me, my family only saw me a couple hours a week, and everything I loved seemed to be too much for me to attempt to do. But, this year I was determined to take back control of my life. I started sketching and writing again. The thought of family time didn’t make me nervous or nauseous. I allowed myself to open up to someone again. I thought I was happy, I thought I was doing great and making progress within. Unfortunately last week happened.

I hadn’t seen her since that weekend, I cut all ties, but something made her reach out to me. She apologized for what had happened and said she didn’t understand what the big deal was back then. She then went on to tell me how happy she is now and about what she is doing with her life. I thanked her for confirming what I already knew during these years and I hung up. I cried. I cried for hours. How could someone admit to something so awful and then feel the need to tell you all the good things happening in their life? How cold she be so happy? I struggled a lot last week. It was hard for me to stomach food, the thought of going into public made me nervous, and work seemed like the hardest task I ever had.

As I was talking to a good of mine she said “I know you don’t feel like the person you used to be. Some of that is being aware, some is from past experiences, but mainly you have to find that light inside of you again. For you. I still see it shining bright as always. That will bring you happiness. It’s easier to lose sight of than to keep so you have to hold on tight to it when you find it.”

And I guess that’s what I’m trying to do. I know writing, art and traveling make me happy, now I just need to find myself bringing these things back in my life. I know it has been awhile but it’ll be interesting to see where it goes. I hope I can become that everlasting mind of happiness that I always thought myself to be.

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