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With the end of 2019, we’re not only ending a hell ride that has been this year but a whole decade. And oh boy, what a decade that was.

As this was my first decade as a functional person let me rewind a little.

I started off this decade as a fresh 13 years old so freaking angry at the world. Turns out I was right.

Spend my teenage years the usual way. Fighting with everyone willing to do so. Drinking a lot. Partying a lot. Making memories.

All of that with a hint of rebellion against whatever bothered me at the moment. Wearing all black and listening to heavy metal music. You know, the usual emo phase. I went through phase after phase shaping me to the final version of myself that I currently am.

Most of my teenage photos look the same. Long dark or red fringe, punk-rock band merch all over, pale anemic face with dark circles under my eyes after crying myself to sleep. Years later they labeled my coping mechanism as depression and I was set on a way to my true self.

I tried my best to enjoy my teenage years.

Forcing myself to be one of the cool kids. Living more. Partying harder. Longing for something.

Hating myself for not enjoying my privileged self as I should have. I had it all and yet I was unhappy. How dare I feel this way when there are plenty who would trade place with me in a heartbeat. Ungrateful little prat.

I was not allowed to be mentally ill. I had no reason to be. Sadly my dysfunctional brain somehow forgot that we’re missing some sad background story that would explain our depression. The lack of understanding and the general mental health stigma prolonged my suffering and crapped all over the best years of my life.

More on the worst moments of the decade for me are HERE, HERE or HERE.

My decade was deeply affected by my illness. I could be angry at my depression for dulling my teenage experiences but that’s not gonna change anything. It is what it is.

What definitely needs to change in the next decade is how we view mental illness and people affected by it. We need a general awareness of what’s actually going on with mental illness. Awareness of the symptoms so the kids uncontrollably shaking, hyperventilating, unexpectedly bursting into tears who can’t feel their arms or legs, stress vomiting before every new experience don’t think that this is what being alive feels like. My heart is beating so loud I can’t hear anything else and my whole body is sweating, that means I’m having fun right?

Always evolving. Always adapting.

I moved for school when I was 15 and I haven’t been fully back since. Living in Kosice at all-girls dormitory was the greatest time ever even though I sort of hated every minute of it. It was never so sweet to break the rules than when we had so many rules to break.

I made some strong friendships for a lifetime and some for a short while. We gave each other our best and the worst.

I’ll cherish my wild students years forever.

I moved to the university to a different state when I was 19. That was when my long-time oppressed feelings caught up on me and I actually feared I would not make it to the end of a decade. I am petty, I am revengeful and I want justice but I would not wish what I went through on my worst enemy.

This decade was so much.

The last of my carefree teenage years. Deciding my life career. Moving away from the comfort of the parent’s home. Heartbreak after heartbreak. Becoming a pharmacist assistant. Seeking for dreams. Pursuing dreams. Traveling the world. Setting myself on a path of becoming a pharmacist only to realize that’s not what I want. Realizing a lot of stuff. Dropping out of university and moving to Prague where heartbreak followed. More on that in my When I moved to Prague… Becoming more self-sufficient than I ever imagined I would need to be. Living in Prague on my own. Loving my job helping people in pharmacy. Writing. Creating. Traveling. And most importantly being centered and at peace with myself.

The only thing I never thought I needed.

You can be seeking for IT everywhere, in everyone or everything and suddenly one day you’ll wake up and realize you got it, you’re cool with it now, everything is right.

Natalie at the beginning of the decade definitely did not expect to end it the way she is. To be fair she did not expect anything at all. Looking 10 years into the future was not something I did and now, starting the new decade I don’t dare to imagine what the next 10 years will be like. It doesn’t feel real at all. I’ll take whatever and make the best of it.

I’m just at that cheesy state of mind where you trust God/Universe/Yourself so completely you just know everything is going to be just as it should be.

If I get to choose one favorite moment of the decade it’s gonna be summer 2016. Precisely my trip to New York and watching the sunset over the city from the Top of the rock deck. That moment was the best of the decade and I’ve been traveling all over, witnessing the sights like never before, but that moment was the moment of the decade. More on that in my Favourite place in the world- Top of the Rock.

My travels are summed up at my Travel page and I’m unbelievably grateful for every one of them. Having traveled most of Europe is truly a blessing and most of my favorite moments occurred in foreign countries. Paris on repeat, Germany, Britain, Poland, Netherlands, Hungary, Austria, Italy over and over again,  all of the eastern European states or America.

Exploring the world and changing my looks over and over again. In 10 years I changed looks at least 10 times. More on that in my New Hair, Who Dis?

The life-changing moment was the day I set up RENEGADE7X. It’s been a hell of a ride and I still can’t believe this is happening. I’m writing my heart out and there are thousands of people all around the world actually reading what I have to say.

I have never felt so seen as when I’m behind the screen.

I am overwhelmed by everything I become for the last 10 years and I am so grateful for every happy memory I made this decade just like every shitty one. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking by me. You made my decade better.

What a decade it was…

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6 Comments

  1. December 30, 2019 / 7:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I pray it gives people comfort to know things can get better when we deal with mental health issues. I am happy for you.

    I have depression/anxiety due to autoimmune problems. I appreciate when others are willing to share and hope it helps lessen stigma.

  2. December 30, 2019 / 10:16 pm

    Enjoy the ride it never ends just shade changes !

  3. December 30, 2019 / 11:41 pm

    You can be proud of yourself to have come to where you are now! I am sure that your story will give others courage that they can also make it through! All the best for the new year, dear Natalia! 🙂

  4. Treesa
    December 31, 2019 / 12:31 am

    The journey was not at all simple. But those pathways paved made it look like…
    I guess…
    Enjoyed!!!

  5. January 15, 2020 / 12:02 am

    The last decade was rough for me. But 2020 begins the decade of the Echo. You’ll see, you’ll all see!

    ECHO ECHO

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