A train ride to visit my aunt in Ohio seemed promising. A train ride anywhere would have been better than my listless state, staring at the ceiling and clinging to my comforter. I made deals with myself nightly that tomorrow would be different, but each day I woke up so same. It seems like I’m depressed every summer in July. Last summer I felt as though I lost myself partying and caring about superficial things that never seemed to interest me before. Shortly after, I moved to New York and felt the city breathe life back into me. That’s when I realized that travel is my savior. I honestly believe that the only way I’ll ever defeat depression for good is to be in a constant state of motion.
Trains are one of my favorite ways to travel, second only to planes. I like the way you get a glimpse of the small towns as you pass by. I wished that we could stop, get off, and explore what each of them had to offer. Instead, I imagined what it’d be like. What type of goods and culture I’d find there. My aunt lives in Dayton, Ohio. Not the most exciting place in the world, but I desperately needed to see something different if I was ever going to feel like myself again. I tried visiting with friends, but what I craved was solitude and self-exploration. Not the kind I got from hiding in my bedroom.
When we arrived at my aunt’s apartment building, I spotted two bikes in the lobby. I think she saw the way my eyes lit up and she told me that she can get the key from the office if I wanted to go for a ride. I went to bed that night looking forward to my cruise through this unfamiliar place. Finally, my nightly promise to myself would not be broken.
I decided to take photos of what I saw that day, and the colors lifted my spirits one by one. I saw mostly blues. I was feeling blue, but those hues made me see my shade in a new light. Many smiling faces met mine and I wish I could’ve told them what that meant to me. The sun was shining and the air was clean. It smelled like hope and perseverance. I parked the bike in it’s spot and went back upstairs to my aunt’s apartment where I was all alone. I played Sza’s Ctrl album and danced it out. I cried a little and felt inspired to get up and battle my demons one by one.
The summer hit me with several curve balls, but now I see them as blessings. Blessed are those who struggle after all. Instead of seeing my problems as piled on me, I began to realize they were burdens lifted. I’m lighter, wiser, and freer than I’ve ever been. The taste is more sweet than bitter for sure.