In the course of a year I lost one of my closest friends, grew apart from many others involuntarily dropped out of college and moved back in with my parents, had a nightmare rooming experience, and moved 2 other times within the same year. I don’t know what else to say besides it was kind of a shitty year.

About a year ago I traveled to Iceland with friends and family. It was the first time I had been overseas and it greatly changed my perspective on life. It showed me that there is a lot more out there than the city or town you live in. We all know this as we are able to connect with people overseas or in different countries all of the time through social media. But, it is a different experience being there and seeing all the sights and actually meeting people who have their own lives just like you do. I think that social media dehumanizes people in a way that makes us forget that each one of us is a person with a different family, hometown, culture, and unique set of experiences.

Iceland, friends, and family

Traveling is really important to me because it always helps me to look at things from a birds eye view instead of a view centralized on one bad or difficult thing that may be going on in my lives. This trip was really helpful after I went through my first rough patch because it reminded me that I wasn’t the only person in the world that may be having a hard time. It reminded me that although we go through hard times, it isn’t the end of the world and that there is a whole lot more of the world out there for us to see and experience despite our circumstances. We are often so focused on what is going on in our lives and our little bubble that we forget about the bigger picture. As someone with a chronic illness re-framing your perspective is especially important because there are a lot of times you physically don’t have control over your circumstances or your own body and health. So let me start again.

In the course of a year I traveled overseas for the first time, got a job that I really enjoyed, built new friendships and grew closer in others, found happiness living with my family (although it is difficult sometimes), transferred to a new university that I love, found a home in writing, and began the search for my purpose in life. Although it was not easy or comfortable, I feel like everything worked out the way it was supposed to and has helped me to become a stronger person because of it.

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