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I’ve been in Italy now for a few weeks. And I don’t feel very liberated. I’ve made friends, I am learning new cultures, I am starting to be a better cook, and I’m seeing more of the world than I have before. The beautiful beaches, amazing hiking trails, and shocking historical landmarks

So why am I still trapped back at home surrounded by a life I no longer desire, surrounded by those who did me wrong? I keep getting constant reminders that I came here not only to clear my mind from suffering, dirty air but to challenge this string around my waist.

Each time I look at someone who I find attractive, or a possible end of the string, I panic and I am consumed with a new worry: worth. That just might be what is causing me to not feel liberated. When I talk with someone new, someone who might hold the end of my string, my brain floods my conscience with questions of worth.

Am I worthy of love? Am I worthy of being treated the way I should be? Does someone like me deserve a happy ending? Is there someone out there who will actually love me for who I am, flaws and all? Am I ever going to be able to acquire self-worth? Can I look in the mirror and smile at the person I am? 

I don’t know these answers and above all, that scares me too much. I have people in my life who know me, who believe in me, who have the highest level of confidence in me. Now all I need is to take those beliefs, grab them in my hands, and hug them to my heart. I need to absorb those beautiful compliments and them to heart. But it never happens.

My constant companion, fear is always reminding me, forcing me, weakening me, pushing me farther into that dark hole. That all to familiar and friendly dark room where I question everything. All those nice words are pushed back down and are not absorbed into the place they belong to be. In place of positivity, is a pile of negativity that is sucked into the vortex of my mind and swirl around in there; constantly telling me the things I know, but can’t seem to move on from.

Stuck in my room, no one opens the door, no one helps me, and I know no one ever will. Because this isn’t a fairytale or a romantic movie where the love interest saves the other. If I have realized anything during my time here in a new country, is that only I can save me. But I don’t have that strength to stand up and fight for myself. No amount of working out can get me that strength either. Too bad, that would have been easy, but life doesn’t give me the easy way, I’ve learned enough of that lesson with this red string.

I need to learn so much more about myself in this short time I have away from my reality beach at home. Even if I don’t find the end of my string, maybe I will at least acquire some confidence at the end of this.

Christy Bogan

Stonehill '23

Hey, I'm Christy and I am an English major at Stonehill College. I am from Fall River, Massachusetts. I love to read science fiction books and write short stories.
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