This is What it Feels like to Be Free

Photography by: Megan Welker

Dress: Free People, old // Booties: Urban Outfitters, old. Similar here and here

Three years ago, I was depressed, anxious, and hid in my room all day. 

I had no friends, but rather, a city that had chewed me up, spit me out, and stomped all over me.  A city full of people that hated me for things I did not do.  A city that I felt incredibly trapped in, and had no desire to explore.  As an Aries (aka a natural-born adventurer), this was off-character. But astrology aside, it just felt wrong. In my heart, in my soul, in my gut, and in my mind.  

But that was three years ago.  And today, three years later, it's like my whole world has been turned on its axis.  I've been flipped upside down, spun around several times, thrown down, and picked back up. Kind of like the scene in SpongeBob where he teaches Patrick how to blow bubbles, and does all sorts of convoluted spins. In case you haven't seen that episode, here's a gif:

It's hilarious, and never fails to make me bust out laughing.   But regardless, that's what it feels like, if you compared my life three years ago to my life now.  

I talked on Instagram recently about vulnerability, and mentioned how vulnerability was one of my biggest fears, back when I was living in Sacramento.  I walked on eggshells around everyone, every day, spent nearly all of my free time alone, and was incredibly depressed and anxiety ridden.  The tiniest little thing could set me off.  I was, in one sense, a basket case.  Or, to put it more simply: I was completely unhappy.  I was trapped within my own mind, and trapped within a city that had nothing to offer me.  

And then, nearly two years ago now (which is kind of insane to me): I broke free. 

I left. I packed up my things, said bye to nobody, and never went back.  And to be honest, it's been the best decision of my life.

A lot of people hate the Bay Area, but to me, it was the greatest sanctuary, and provided me with endless opportunity for growth and reinvention.  I was able to start anew, heal my old wounds, and become the truest, most honest, and most vulnerable version of myself.  I made friends- the kind of friends I dreamed of having back in Sacramento.  I started my blog, which was one of my biggest dreams.  I fell in love with new cities (Oakland, Berkeley) and gained a renewed love for another one (San Francisco).  I started college studying a major that I love, and began to chase all of my wildest dreams. Long gone are the days spent locked away in my room- now, I'm rarely at home, and spend as much time outside as I can.  Whether it's running around the city or walking barefoot through the woods, I have become true to my Aries self and seek adventure in any and all forms. I am no longer depressed, and my anxiety had simmered down tremendously.  

I am happy, I am free. And I am home. 

If I can do it, you can, too.