This is my first article on this website, so let me introduce myself and give you a bit of backstory.

My name is Tania Duarte and I'm a 22 year old from Barcelona, Spain. I graduated from university last July with a degree in English and a special mention in Literature and Culture. I did my final dissertation on the absent witch Sycorax from William Shakespeare's The Tempest, something that was very challenging for me at the time, but also incredibly rewarding. If you keep reading my articles, you will see I have been incredibly passionate about witchcraft and the supernatural in general since I was a little girl, so that's mainly what attracted me to it. Magic and women's studies, which I'm also very interested in.

If I'm honest with you, I didn't think I was going to be able to finish my dissertation last year, let alone my degree. A few months before I had to take my final exams, I started experiencing heavy symptoms of anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which I am definitely not ashamed to admit. After trying and failing at overcoming it all on my own, I told my family last May and we went to see a doctor. She put me on pills and I started doing theraphy, which I was discharged of in September. I struggled more than I ever thought myself capable of, but I am proud to say that I passed everything with flying colors, my dissertation included, and built a new version of myself that I actually liked.

The day before I was discharged from therapy, I met a boy. For a while, it was all rainbows and butterflies and promises that will never come true, but then it all went wrong in a minute. The thing is that he'd been with me since the very first day I started feeling more or less alright again. He was part of my recovery, and without him, I felt like I didn't know how to function. I felt like I was taking thirty steps behind. The only thing I could think about was that if this had happened to me last year, if somebody had hurt like that my very fragile self last year, I don't know how I would've been able to cope. I'd been completely shattered. And still, in a few weeks, he was able to dismantle what it had taken me so damn long to build.

In all honesty, and pardon my language, soon enough I started feeling like crap. To quote that Taylor Swift song, "and I might be okay, but I'm not fine at all." I knew I was strong enough to rise from the ashes, I just didn't know how to do it. I was supposed to finally get off my pills in February and I still haven't been able to do it, simply because my anxiety came back and it affected me physically, to the point that I was afraid to take the subway or even just leave the house. I'd somehow lost my balance so I felt like I was going to fall on my face. I just felt, again, like I was going to go insane.

I was unemployed back then and it was at that time in my life, two and a half months ago, that I realized that I couldn't stay at home any longer. I was going to lose my freaking mind if I did. Then one day, I found the most time consuming job I'd come across. Picture me, the beauty junkie, English grad, literature nerd... at a go-karting facility. It is very unlike me, or unlike the part of me that I'd ever known, but I'm enjoying it quite a lot, actually. It keeps me active, forces me to meet new people every day and barely gives me any room to think. And when it does, I'm too tired to do it, so I call that success.

That, folks, is how I ended up working at a go-karting facility. While I was escaping from myself and the mess somebody else had gotten me into, I found myself again and, with it, the happiness that I'd been missing for a while. And I could not be more grateful.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading it and I hope you come back for more of my articles. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and my own blog.

Until next time,



Published by Tania Duarte