A few weeks ago, I had a breakdown. I passed my seven-month mark of unemployment and I could no longer focus on the idea that change was around the corner. While I am completely aware that millions of people are in my current situation, knowing this did not bring me a sense of peace or comfort. I felt that I had accomplished so much through my college career that I could not understand why, at the very least, I was not getting interviews. I started to rethink and regret everything.
I gave in to the belief that my major was useless. I started to overanalyze job descriptions, convincing myself I did not have a skill set beyond knowing “how to talk.” I especially beat myself up for participating in the internship program this summer in London at the expense of a potential full-time job opportunity with a company I love. But something changed–I had an epiphany.

As I do on a daily (if not hourly) basis, I really started to dig at the root of my unhappiness. Unemployment, of course, was my main source, but I was also unhappy because I felt that a dark cloud had been hovering over me for most of those seven months. It was, in part, an environmental thing which made me feel that there was no point in feeling like I had control over the outcomes in my life. This past week, however, I found a surprising outlet.

My friend, Ilse, invited me to go camping with her as a mental escape for both of us. If I would have been asked this even a week ago, I would have immediately said no. I hate bugs and I certainly do not enjoy the idea of being out in the wilderness with only the bare necessities. Without overanalyzing for the first time in my life, I said yes. Seeing as we were both on the same page about not wanting the “full experience,” we found a place to accommodate our needs (a.k.a. bathrooms and showers) and journeyed to Lockhart, TX to camp out for a couple of days at Lockhart State Park.
DSC03808DSC03805Though I expected this may happen, when I arrived, I completely lost reception. At first, I was a little freaked out because I know my parents are worriers, but Ilse had some reception and I could always drive into the city in the event of an emergency. Not long afterwards, I settled into the idea of being disconnected for a couple of days. Though I curbed the habit of checking social media endlessly a while back, I loved being unavailable to people in my life–the complete opposite of my general nature. It sounds a little selfish, but sometimes, we have to do this for ourselves.
DSC03802DSC03804DSC03815Disconnecting allowed me to get in touch with my surroundings, read a great book, and strengthen my relationship with Ilse as well as myself. I actually felt a tinge of sadness when I realized that soon I would return home and I had no excuse for not responding to people. That quickly subsided when the bugs attacked the morning of our departure. It was definitely time to go. When I got home, I realized that this trip symbolized the end of a chapter in my life. It was finally time to move forward.
DSC03807DSC03810I like to think that this period of my life was about finding out what was really important to me and how I could play a role in making the change in my life. I have been very fortunate for the things in my life and, as I declared to the universe, I knew a change would come eventually. I am about to embark on a new journey that I cannot wait to share with you guys soon. Until then…

xx, AE

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