I did the whole buy a 1 way ticket somewhere

I did the whole buy a 1 way ticket somewhere

It's been a year and here's my story...

Sam Kim
Sam Kim
300
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I left college and bought a 1 way ticket after sitting in my apartment and asking a random person on my facebook chat where a good place to go would be. I was told Tucson. I bought the ticket 10 minutes later and booked a flight set for a week from that day. in the 7 days, I told no one but started saying my goodbyes. It was a strange moment in life. I knew i was leaving but no one else did. However, I did crack and tell a few souls. I'm only human. But i didn't tell my parents. I just fucking left. I stayed in Tucson for exactly two weeks. I arrived on a sunday and left on a sunday. The first week was what i thought the best week of my life was. The second was what i thought the worst.


i stayed at an airbnb the first week. It was a hostel set up at a bankruptcy lawyer's house. He was very intelligent but he was strange as well. He would display high levels of aptitude but then say something insanely biased or ignorant. It was weird to experience let alone explain through writing. But the man saw something in me and favored me right off the bat. He hired me as his assistant and essentially paid me to just handle his social media. I was 23. In 2017. Social Media. 20 dollars an hour.


A couple days into the first week was Valentine's Day. On that day, I pushed myself to go out; to do something. I got a Lyft (Lyft is better than Uber in my opinion) and went to where I figured would be the most electric part of Tucson. The downtown area. I was only there for two weeks so that's as detailed as it is going to get. I walked around for awhile and observed the activity around me. I was actually used to it being in Iowa City for 5 years so I just blended in as a by stander. The whole me being on my own in a different state was setting in but in a way that made this moment in my life exciting. I walked past this alley and saw this interesting looking bar. R Bar. That name itself had an aesthetic so I wandered in.


it was very dimly lit with red laserish streaks across the walls. They were neon but not entirely. There was a definite glow. immediately, I noticed an older man in the middle of the dance floor slowly dancing to the beat with a cowboy hat on. It was interestingly compelling. I analyzed the layout of the bar and noticed they had an upstairs. Why would I not check out the upstairs? There's a grandpa cowboy dancing on the first floor, what could be in store for me on the next? Pivotal factors to my story. That's what was up there.


The upstairs was empty aside from a guy and a girl on a date on the right side and a single girl on the left. the middle area was the walk way and the second level had less lights but candles sat on top of the tables. i sat at a table not really near either of the two groups. I scrolled through my phone and realized that the girl to my left was doing the same. I felt on top of the world so of course, without hesitation, walked over to her and told her I was new to the town and I wanted to know where to go. I asked if i could sit and she faced me and then told me to sit. we conversed and she was laughing. they sounded and felt real. so it allowed me to become comfortable talking. that may have helped her as well because she loosened up and actually talked to me.


As she's telling me about what to do and what she would recommend, two more girls come from the stairs holding drinks and sit at the table I'm at. instantly asking who I was. What powerful women. I repeat myself and one of them becomes very intrigued by me. I notice this because she keeps asking me questions. some personal and curious to say the least. in this moment, Im just living and not realistically thinking more than a minute ahead. This was a bit surreal. I actually get to a point where I have all three of them laughing and I'm just telling them stories of my life. It was cool to feel that accomplishment of making people laugh. Eventually we end up outside to have a cigarette and the one who asked me about my ever living existence, approaches me and asks if i want to come over and stay the night. Not in a sexual way, her roommate who was a dude was also with us. He showed up when we all got outside. He was... interesting as well to say the least. I thought everyone in the group was going so agreed pretty quickly. I mean they didn't kidnap me or anything but looking back at this moment, I should have been more thoughtful with my decisions with strangers.

We all go to her place and I find out there are two more guys that live with her that attend University of Arizona. We all kind of get a long. We potentially smoked weed and I passed out. I woke up the next day to the sunlight of Arizona beaming on my face. I could feel dried sweat across my skin. It's noon and the girl that let me stay over comes into the living room where i slept. She looked like she was up for a bit. She then says some shit that rocked my world.

She offered me to live with them for 100 dollars a month.

Of course I fucking agreed.



to be continued.

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A Love Letter To The Girl Who Cares Too Much About Everyone But Herself

You, the girl with a heart full of love and no place big enough to store it all.

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Our generation is so caught up in this notion that it's "cool" not to care about anything or anyone. I know you've tried to do just that.

I'm sure there was a brief moment where you genuinely believed you were capable of not caring, especially since you convinced everyone around you that you didn't. But that just isn't true, is it? Don't be ashamed of this, don't let anyone ridicule you for having emotions.

After everything life has put you through, you have still remained soft.

This is what makes you, you. This is what makes you beautiful. You care so deeply and love so boldly and it is incredible, never let the world take this from you.

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

You are the girl who will give and give and give until you have absolutely nothing left. Some may see this as a weakness, an inconvenience, the perfect excuse to walk all over you. I know you try to make sense of it all, why someone you cared so much about would treat you the way they did.

You'll make excuses for them, rationalize it and turn it all around on yourself.

You'll tell yourself that maybe just maybe they will change even though you know deep down they won't. You gave them everything you had and it still feels as if they took it all and ran. When this happens, remind yourself that you are not a reflection of those who cannot love you. The way that people treat you does not define who you are. Tell yourself this every day, over and over until it sticks. Remind yourself that you are gold, darling, and sometimes they will prefer silver and that is OK.

I know you feel guilty when you have to say no to something, I know you feel like you are letting everyone you love down when you do. Listen to me, it is not your responsibility to tend to everyone else's feelings all the time. By all means, treat their feelings with care, but remember it is not the end of the world when you cannot help them right away.

Remember that it is OK to say no.

You don't have to take care of everyone else all the time. Sometimes it's OK to say no to lunch with your friends and just stay home in bed to watch Netflix when you need a minute for yourself. I know sometimes this is much easier said than done because you are worried about letting other people down, but please give it a try.

With all of this, please remember that you matter. Do not be afraid to take a step back and focus on yourself. You owe yourself the same kind of love and patience and kindness and everything that you have given everyone else. It is OK to think about and put yourself first. Do not feel guilty for taking care of yourself. You are so incredibly loved even when it doesn't feel like it, please always remember that. You cannot fill others up when your own cup is empty. Take care of yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Charcoal Alley

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If Hashbrowns Were Heroin, I'd Be Dead

I hit rock bottom with binge-eating on a Tuesday morning before class. I am proof that it can happen anywhere and any time.

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I loved hashbrowns.

My Mom used to make them by cutting up chunks of potatoes and frying them to a crisp in a pot. I never really went crazy on them but they were always my favorite part of a homemade breakfast. Eggs were always a little too soft to be my favorite.

When mornings were really busy before elementary school we would go through the McDonald's drive through and order hash browns and egg McMuffins. Eventually, I started not wanting the sandwich. I just wanted hash browns. I could eat 2, 4, 5? I was only 7? 8?

Hot, salty, soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. I remember why I loved them.

I also remember holding the bag in my lap until we got to before-school care and seeing that the oil from the food had leaked out onto the bag, and onto my pants, and hoping it would dry. I didn't care. I still couldn't wait.

I managed to stay away for a long time after learning that these kinds of fried foods are just plain bad for you. Like cancer-causing, heart attack-causing bad. Not "bad" like I would be a bad person for eating them, although eventually, I felt that way too.

When my commute to school became over an hour, and I had 8 a.m. classes, I struggled. I struggled with the change, the demands of full-time school and work, and the growing compulsion to eat that came with it. I wonder if when you read this you will realize that this was only a year ago, and that I am still trying to heal from this. I wonder if you will be surprised that even though I am nutrition student, and I've lost a lot of weight, and I've created a life of love and intention, that I found myself in the McDonald's drive-through.

The first time I was starving. It was 7:30 a.m and I hadn't had a lot of dinner the night before. I was stressed, and sad. I was dieting on Whole 30. I felt the intensity of my own shortcomings. I told myself, "Just this one time." If it hadn't been a decision, it would have been an accident.

I wasn't a regular. I just went occasionally. I lied to myself a lot about how often I found myself showing up for hash browns.

I would tell myself the entire drive to school that I would NOT stop. I would go straight to school and find something healthy at the grocery store later. I could manage my hunger for the morning until after class. I stopped. I swear sometimes that my steering wheel turned of its own accord. To this day, I can't really explain it.

McDonald's enters their orders of hash brown in a very tricky way. One "order" of hash browns is two hash browns. The first time I realized that there were four hash browns in my bag, I thought it was an accident. I looked at my receipt and realized I had gotten what I paid for, and wondered why I wasn't even paying attention to what I was paying for. I decided I didn't care. I ate them.

Another time after that, I decided to see what I could get away with. I ordered three hash browns. I wanted to see if I would get three or six. It was like a mental game. I wasn't ordering six hash browns, if I got six it would be a mistake. I had a problem. I was disappointed when I received three. The next time, I ordered four.

That day, I received 8 hash browns. I remembered feeling like if I stretched myself any further across my schedule, I would just rip. I would fray. Shred. My seams would come undone and I would just float away. I think that day it finally happened.

I wasn't there.

I wasn't there when I ate them. It must have taken me all the way from the time I received them, until after I parked on campus, maybe 15 minutes to eat them all. I can't remember. It wasn't me.

I was the one watching the wrappers pile up.

I was the one watching the grease stain spread on the brown bag.

I was the one who was late to class. I was the one screaming to stop and get my ass out of the car.

I was the one who woke up in my car an hour later, ready for class, with a neat plastic bag of trash that included a hidden and tiny crumpled McDonald's bag.

I felt sick. Dangerously ill. I had a headache, a stomachache, a soul-ache. I felt low. Lower than any other time.

I felt like an absolute failure. Every mean thing anyone ever said about me, every mean thing I ever thought about myself, it was all true. I had made it true.

I was alone, ashamed, and sick.

If hash browns were heroin, I'd be dead.

Binge-eating wasn't a big part of my history, but it created a landmark in my life that I will not soon forget.

I think it's important to say that this event was not about the food. It happened because I was not emotionally well. I was not talking about my feelings. I was lonely. I was feeling sad. I was dieting. I was trying to control every aspect of my life to keep it from hurting me. I was hanging on so tightly to everything else, that I ended up losing control and hurting myself.

I was ignoring my mental health and it demanded my attention through disordered eating.

If you take anything from this story, please be reminded that your mental health comes first.

Get help with the heavy stuff. Get help, period.

You can chat with someone from the National Eating Disorder Association online to ask for help.

You can text NEDA to 741741 for help in a crisis.

You can call NEDA at (800)-931-2237.

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