Especially after my last therapy session,

I thought a lot about the past and future as I begin my ten day countdown to my return to the school that I withdrew from last spring. I stopped doing that, since I can’t think about it forever. Looking behind me and way ahead gives me lessons learned and a rough map, but it doesn’t prepare me obstacles and victories that are waiting ahead.

Going back to school should feel like a new start, but it is actually going into a dark and dangerous cave with nothing but a generic guidebook and a small flashlight than a hike. Hiking trails are often exploratory, safe, and mapped, and cave escapes are not. I have to journey through the dark towards graduating with my class, accomplishing all my academic goals, and being admitted to med school or grad school. I will run into professors that underestimate me, people I really don’t want to see again, and, of course, my recurrent depression, and I have to stop blaming myself for it. With the all the uncertainties and dead ends I will encounter, I need luck, reason, and resilience more than a plan and a makeover as I take risks to survive and sacrifice items I can’t carry anymore. In other words, I anticipate letting things go to know what I can gain.

Forget reaching the top of a mountain and enjoying a glorious view, all I want is to survive the darkness and appreciate everything that the sun shines on at ground level. I don’t care about the prestige of the schools on the East Coast or even going somewhere warmer like Texas anymore, because all I am aiming for right now is to come home to my family in Southern California, all grown up and ready to build the rest of my life here. 


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