“I suppose I should let the cat out of the bag, being that I leave in about 2 1/2 weeks…., I will be teaching English in Beijing, China for an entire year at a learning center. I will miss so many of you dearly, you really don’t actually know. I just started crying a bit just writing this. This past year has been one of growth and development as I climbed from the pits of clinical depression. It made me isolated and people thought I cut ties. I hope I can see as many of you before I go, so definitely let me know if you’re around New Orleans!”
That was the post I finally made public not too long ago, and it was flooded with warm wishes and sincerity. For such a long time I believed not a soul cared whether I was around or not. This became very isolating and I couldn’t help but stay inside day in and day out. I was living in one of the most exciting cities, filled with sunshine and beaches. That city was Los Angeles, but it wasn’t quite the City of Angels. Rather it came to be, for me at the time, a city of Devils disguising themselves in angelic and heavenly glows. I was alone. I had a few friends I could hang with but we were all so busy with work/school/artistic endeavors we hardly found the time. There was no family. Fast forward to this morning as I sip my coffee under the roof of my best friend since I was 5 years old’s house. We used to sit there blowing snot bubbles during kindergarten nap time and laughing uncontrollably for hours. I haven’t had more gratitude towards the people and things in my life since I lived in New Orleans so many years ago (my family evacuated a couple days before Hurricane Katrina and drove to the Boston area where we stayed with family).
I haven’t lived with my brother, two sisters and parents since 2010, a year before my high school graduation. Since then I’ve gone off to college for 4 years, worked countless jobs and traveled around Europe twice. The travels around Europe, however, was what strengthened bonds with people I hold dear to my heart. Whenever we had the chance to skype or talk on WhatsApp my heart was filled to the brim with joy.There were also times I didn’t even have two euro coins to scratch together. But I never let that impede my journey.
For such a long time I let my depression rule my thinking, preventing myself from having the tiniest ounces of happiness. The first time I headed off to Europe, sure, I admit it was a runaway/escape of sorts. I backpacked, worked odd-jobs, hitch hiked and train hopped across 7 different countries and learned to speak French fluently. For this I can’t help but feel grateful toward. My parents were in full support the entire time. And even though they could not support me financially, the emotional and spiritual support was incomparable to monetary need.My gratitude by far goes toward the support and love one receives when being truly open and honest to their dear friends and family.
About the Author: Xave Guidry has been known as a ramblin’, gamblin’, travelin’ man with a penchant for adventure, fueled by an unwavering wanderlust. He has studied Sociology and Occupational Science at the University of Southern California, where he reinvigorated his creative spirit. Since moving to Los Angeles and finally back to New Orleans, he has regained his love for playing music, writing poetry, and snapping the world around him with a film SLR camera. Xave will begin a new adventure to the Far East, as he sets out on a Chinese/Asian adventure for an entire calendar year.