As I pack my bags and finalize the last-minute details of my move to Thailand, I can’t help, but think about how agonizing the last six months have been. I say that out of honesty and not for pity.

If you’ve followed my journey, you know that I began quarantining in a small Madrid apartment by myself for two months. I was in a 35 square meter place without the ability to go outside for even a walk. I had no idea if I had my job still as I was told each week I’d have to wait to see if I would remain employed.

This pandemic threatened my job that would begin in July after my contract in Spain concluded. I found myself sinking into a deep dark depression, and in complete fear. Not knowing how I’d support myself in the present moment and future consumed my every thought. Sadly, so many other people found themselves in the same predicament or worse around the world.

I wish I could say that was the biggest challenge. If you keep reading, you’ll see the repeated challenges. What a year!

Three months after the pandemic lock-down, I struggled to get back to the US. My residency in Spain had expired, and it seemed almost impossible to get into Thailand from there. I knew I’d have to scrounge up the money to find a way home. I’d likely have to wait out the pandemic.

Five flight cancellations and a ton of pending credit card charges, I made it back to the US, but not without complications.

A few days before landing, I found out both my parents had COVID. Being picked up by two positive COVID patients, and living with them scared me. I knew I’d likely be fine due to my age/health, but I didn’t want pass it to anyone.

I spent the first 15 days quarantining in their home. Throughout the last 3 months in the US, I’ve barely left the house except to go to the supermarket. I don’t want to risk getting the virus.

Within those first two weeks of being back in the US, an immediate family member was diagnosed with cancer. Also, they lost their child. A week later my grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away.

I found myself so angry at everything around me and at an all-time low. I was so fatigued. The loss of wages and other expenses, inability to be eligible benefits in the US, loss of loved ones, fear of being stuck living with my parents, no idea what was next, and the political unrest in the US had me cursing the year.

Did I mention Hurricane Isaias? We went four days without electricity and water. Not the end of the world, and could be worse. I am a big count your blessings and keep it moving person, but I must be real these last six months have been the hardest.

One day I hope to find the lesson in all that has happened. I know it is making me a stronger person, and I will value the simplest things like going to the grocery store without fear, and a mask or going back to the gym will be incredible.

To write this blog post all peachy would be a complete lie. I aim to create a space for blogs that motivate, inspire, and empower people through educational content and sharing my journey. However, I must keep it authentic.

As they say, “The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.”