Growth / by Shaun Ventulan

From an outsider perspective, life seems great. Traveling across Europe, an impromptu trip to Japan, music festival, fitness ideals, exploring the wilderness, indulging what La Jolla has to offer, and good food - 2016 looks stellar. I mean, how could I complain?

Despite my adventures, 2016 has been by far, the most difficult year. I started off my year with high levels of anxiety. Every waking moment felt like I had to battle Goliath. Academics, a mundane job, internships, and the angst about graduating was a concoction of chronic stress. Mentally, I was defeated. I was exhausted. I was overweight. I lost all feelings of joy, which was never really me. I lost friends, a friend succumbed to his battle with depression, lost a loved one, and the list goes on. Life felt really hard. Everything felt like a cascade of anguish. 

Strength. These tribulations have helped me grow. In contrast to my state months ago, I am far better off now. I've come far. I'm slowly acclimating. I'm now content with life and what it has to offer. I have genuine friends, built relationships, and started to live more in the present. Life is getting better. I feel lucky, and I also feel loved.