I recently came across an article with a particularly interesting phrase: “You haven’t lived if you’ve just relived the same year 75 times” (I’m paraphrasing). It caught my attention because I had come to the decision, at the beginning of my 26th year, to live my life to the fullest and make my dreams a reality (however crazy they might be).

Kimmy SchmidtSource: Cosmopolitain

I feel like a character in a movie who learns that she has only one year left to live; or the girl who realizes her life is dull because she forces herself to do things that she doesn’t like doing. In both instances, the girls quit their job and embarked on an adventure. They followed their dreams. They didn’t care what others might think of them. Those girls fully embraced their passions and desires. I’m one of those girls now.

I’m in my mid-20s and will soon be close to my 30s. What did the beginning of my twenties look like? Well, I mostly spent my time studying in a field I wasn’t sure I’d end up liking but I did it because I thought life meant school, work, family, and retirement. I also struggled with anorexia. After overcoming my eating disorder, for the most part, I was diagnosed as being depressed… Yay. I spent two years sleeping and crying and my mind was filled with bleak thoughts.

DépressionSource: Jean-François O’kane, photographer

I don’t want to be melodramatic but the fact is that for three or four years, I didn’t have much of a life. Yes, I travelled, I had friends and I graduated but I was always left with a bitter taste in my mouth. There was always a grey cloud looming over my head and days when I didn’t feel like living.

Now that I’m more “stable”, I’ve decided to start living. I seldom say no and I try my luck. Examples? I spent three weeks in Sri Lanka, on a whim, with my best friend. I signed up with an agency and did some modeling from time to time (dream of becoming an actress: half-check). I stopped writing for my master’s degree because I realized that I wasn’t fascinated with my chosen field of study. I started posing for photographers for the sheer fun of it (I’m gradually learning to accept my body just the way it is). I modeled in a fashion show for a Quebec designer (dream of becoming a model: check). I started writing freelance for Le Cahier and did an internship there twice a week.

Portrait femmeSource: Instagram

In short, my year is almost over but I have no intention of slowing down. Yes, I sometimes wonder why I’m doing all this. Yes, I sometimes hit a brick wall or have anxiety attacks. But, I have no regrets! I’m having so much fun and I’m getting to know myself better.

I can now say, “Hi, my name is Camille. I love writing, modelling, and meeting new people, and I’m thinking of going back to school at the age of 27! “. Granted, that’s a somewhat childish description because I’m so much more than the person I described. And yet, I would not have been able to say even that much, eight months ago. I still stumble from time to time but I know that I’ll bounce back up.

Source: Instagram

Follow your dreams! And if you sometimes feel lost, don’t worry, give yourself some time, have faith in yourself… you will find your way. There are brighter days ahead and only good things will come your way.

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Camille Paul

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