One of the things I hate is that if you aren’t bipolar, OCD, autistic, ect, it’s considered perfectly acceptable to be all “ha ha I look autistic” “feeling a little bipolar today”, but if you actually do have a mental disorder, then god forbid you talk about it, you attention-seeking over-dramatizing romanticizing monster.
I’m so tired of people telling me German is an “ugly, angry” language. When my German teacher tells us jokes it’s the sweetest, happiest language in the world. When I teach my father the word for daughter he smiles, repeating “Tochter” to himself until he gets it right, and in that moment German sounds like pride. There’s nothing angry or ugly about a language that never says goodbye, only “until we meet again.”
The first solo adventure I went on was in 2009 when I was 19 years old. I had gone through a lot of upheaval in my life before getting to that point, having finally come to terms with the depression and anxiety that had been plaguing me over the previous years. Before leaving on my very impromptu trip, all my remaining belongings that I had not sold were put in a storage locker, I had withdrawn from the University who only months before had admitted me, and I quit the minimum wage job that I had begrudgingly been working. In return, I bought a plane ticket and a backpack.
But this wasn’t going to be the regular sight-seeing, gap year adventure that many young adults decide upon after finishing high school or college. I needed something bigger, something important. This needed to be an awakening of sorts, a new chapter in my life that righted the ship and got me in the direction I needed to be going.
The technology I ended up bringing with me was very minimal. However, it wasn’t an entirely conscious choice to do so. Even though this was only five years ago, technology wasn’t as portable as it is now. Apple was only on their 3rd version of the iPhone, the iPad was years away from being made, e-readers were still a luxury, and my laptop weighted as much as all my other gear combined.
When I landed on the other side of Canada I had a flip-style cell phone and a basic point-and-shoot digital camera. That was it.
And as it turned out, that the best thing that could have happened to me.