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I Am Still Learning, Walking, and Living.

I am Karla Villalobos.

I come from Venezuela and currently living in Denmark, I am 28 years old
now, married to a wonderful man (the motor of my life) and with a life blessed with friends and
hopefully a good future ahead. My life, in general, is a pretty standard one, I was born and
raised in a good marriage, with two siblings older than me, I am the youngest. My parents
always took me through “the right path”, I finished all my educational levels, I graduated and
found a job, I had a car, friends, and a good life. Behind all of that, there was a person that
always had to please her parents because she wanted to be accepted in her family, there was a
woman that had to fit the beauty standards because her mother said so, there was an “industrial
engineer” by profession, but was just another attempt to please my parents, because everyone
in the family were also engineers, and found out later that her passion was other. I had a large
history of unfaithfulness with all my partners which caused me to feel insecure and that
everything was bad because of me, also leading to thinking that all I deserved was to be alone
for the rest of my life.

Taking that background into consideration, it all bloomed when my husband and I moved to
Denmark 4 years ago, I began suffering from a very mild form of anxiety, suddenly everything I
knew was gone, my family was far away and now I had to face the world in a cold place without
even my native language, but it was something that had to be done in order to have a better life
(my country is falling apart and the only way to help our families is making money on another
currency and moving away was the only way of having our own life as a young couple).

My anxiety got worse and worse over these years. I have always seen anxiety as a very
frightened lady who is afraid of being alone, afraid that her husband is going to leave her, afraid
of getting lost when traveling to new places and super afraid of death and unknown things like
the universe. It’s been “evolving” though the time, and unfortunately, the frightened lady has
grown and bit bigger and stronger, the way anxiety manifests itself in my life is by making all my
biggest fears come true, something like “Oh, you can’t breathe, well there you go, now you will
feel you actually can’t” “Oh, are you afraid that you will be so scared to leave the house, well
there you go! All the things outside your house are actually really scary” and well you can
imagine the rest. It’s been HELL, sometimes, it goes from an existential crisis where I am just in
a hole of a meaningless life and confusion about existence itself, then it goes back to emotional,
then back to existential and it goes, just non-stop, is like one fills in for the other whenever one
takes a break, teamwork you know. There is always an open conversation in my head, where it
overthinks things a million times a minute, and questions everything that it sees and makes the
worst conclusion out of every situation.

But let’s get to a happy part again, despite all of the really horrible moments, and REALLY
suicidal thoughts through these 4 years, I am still going, and no, I don’t have a magic solution,
an amazing coping technique or a super medication that gets me through the day, I am learning
every single second of every day, there is a voice, a sense, a feeling (I know, difficult to find a
good feeling among all of this mess) that tells me and makes me keep going, and yes, is a very
soft, low and fragile voice that needs a bit of strength to grow louder and bigger. If I have to
share a “secret”, something that does work for me somehow is saying to myself “Yes, it’s a bad
day, I know it feels that it will be like this forever, but let’s have a good night sleep and
tomorrow, it might be better, tomorrow we will have more reasons to stay alive, tomorrow we will
learn something new”. That’s what literally keeps me going every day.

I don’t know how the future is, I don’t know if tomorrow I will discover my life’s purpose, or if this
will suddenly change forever for the best! I know my past, I know that I can “predict” moments of
my future based on previous moments, but hey! We are assuming a bunch of things by doing
that! And we can change the outcomes, little by little, even if it’s just scrolling all day through our
favorite app. Slow and steady wins the race, let’s keep going guys, don’t stop, yes, a lot of
people need you in this world, but I believe more in that you need to keep going for you, life has
a million amazing things to be discovered, and by the end, you will be happy you stuck around
because, among all the suffering, the glimpses of joy is what matters, and there will be more
and more, bigger and longer, let’s stick around and see them together.

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