Keep On Keeping On

Patricia here. It’s been a while since I wrote for this blog because life is crazy. I remember starting this blog when I was at one of the lowest points of my life. I figured that if I couldn’t help myself, I would try to help others and thus, this blog was born. I’ve always had a bit of a savior complex and I don’t see that going away anytime soon.

The first month (and a half) of sophomore year is in the books and I am honestly in disbelief at how blessed I have been in such a short amount of time. If you told me a year ago that I would be the happiest I have ever been in the fall of 2018, I would have laughed at you and then proceeded to go home and cry because of how miserable I was.

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Freshman year of college was honestly one of the worst years of my life and there’s no sugar coating that. I tried to mask my depression through colorful Instagram posts. I drowned myself in schoolwork to make spotless grades so that “at least one thing would go right” in my life. Trying to balance the yearning for my hometown friends while attempting to make new ones left me in a constant state of anxiety and confusion. It was not fun. When I would come home and get asked about how college was, I forced myself to plaster a flashy smile with fake eye crinkles as I spoke about how much I loved it when in reality I just wanted to be home all the time and away from Austin.

Obviously there were many flaws about my approach towards this whole college thing but as a whole, I believe I was destined to be miserable that first year of college because it has made me into who I am today. Nothing builds character like struggle and I believe that I needed that struggle in order to appreciate what I do have in the present. I’ve given up on the illusion that life needs to be perfect all the time because it never will be and setting high expectations will always leave you disappointed.

I remember coming into 2018 with the mentality that nothing significant would happen this year. That the misery I left 2017 with would follow me into this calendar year, but while there have been some MAJOR lows this year, it has been my favorite. And I would have never gotten to where I am now if I had given up. A year ago, the first month of college seemed like a never ending depression spell, but a year later…my first month of sophomore year flew by and the amount of joy I have felt in each day is unreal.

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Last year I always preached that “where you are right now is where you are meant to be,” but I did not believe it myself. I constantly wanted the year to speed up so I could go home and be in the comfort of familiarity, but this school year I have truly learned what that saying means. Where I am right now is where I am meant to be and my heart is fully content with where I am in the present moment. Crazy.

I underestimated my ability to heal within a year. I spent a lot of time believing that my world was going to be dark forever because when you are in the midst of struggle, it never seems like it will end. But it does. So if you are looking for a sign to keep going, as cheesy as it is, take this as your sign. If you’re struggling, know that I was in your shoes exactly a year ago today. I would wake up, go to bed and repeat until one day I started to feel like myself again.

In order to get to the best days of your life, sometimes you have to push through the worst ones. And sometimes those worst days persist for months, even years. But that’s life. And life would be plain boring if it was smooth sailing all the time. So keep on keeping on. The light at the end of the tunnel is worth every struggle.

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With Love,

Patricia Valderrama

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