How Universal helped me overcome depression.

A few days ago I shared a little about my childhood; this time I will write a little more about myself and I want to say that, although I have not published anything in the last weeks, I have responded directly to the letters I received and as promised I will write a little more about my life in some of my publications for the people who have requested it.

Living is beautiful, especially when we learn to enjoy everything we do and experience growth after having suffered, because at some point in our lives we are all involved in a series of unfavorable events caused by our own decisions or the decisions of those around us.

In the years of 2008 and 2009 I was facing serious emotional problems and living in a terrible economic situation without a stable job. Not to mention, all the legal expenses caused by my newly finalized divorce seriously affected my financial freedom. At that time, I also began to face my life as a single father with three beautiful daughters that God has allowed me to raise and keep by my side. I worked some hours in different farms around the cities of Ocoee and Winter Garden with which I could pay for the basic services- rent, electricity, water, food, etc.) necessary to maintain the house where I still live. By staying alone with my daughters, I had the wonderful opportunity to share with them all their school, social and religious activities. But as a result of not working as much to spend time with them, my income became so scarce that I could not take them on vacations frequently, nor could I satisfy all the needs inherent to the age at which they were- 5, 8 and 11 years respectively. In that moment, I decided to do what many people considered was the most absurd thing that could occur to me in, perhaps, my greatest moment of need. Buying annual Universal Studios passes for both parks, Island of Adventure and Universal Studios. At that time there was no down payment when acquiring the passes. You only paid for the first month that, which at the time, were approximately 12.50 for each pass. I still remember how my hand was shaking when I put the money from the first payment in the purchase window. For a moment I doubted if I was doing the right thing; buying passes implied having a minimum of $ 60 available monthly to pay for them. But, the excitement, the joy in my heart and warm feeling in my whole body told me that I was doing the right thing. When I signed the purchase contract, I accepted the automatic renewal of the passes every year. After finishing the entire process, I turned around and the first thing I saw was the bright eyes, filled to the brim with happiness, of my daughters; broad smiles on their faces, reflecting total joy. The three girls ran towards me, as they were waiting anxiously to enter the parks. When they embraced me and thanked me, my eyes filled with tears and at that precise moment I realized that I was making the most important investment in our lives; I was investing in our happiness and emotional stability. I make piñatas to help me bring in extra income, so I thought: – “60 dollars extra I have to make each month, only implying that I have to disclose a few extra hours each day to be able to complete that amount, but the happiness of my daughters is worth  it. ” Since that day our weekends were full of fun, strong emotions, spontaneous, cheerful laughs and fictional characters that came alive to transport us to magical worlds taken right from television screens. We felt the fear of being attacked by sharks, we learned to enjoy the music and perfectly harmonized lyrics in the voices of a Werewolf, Frankenstein, Dracula and Beetlejuice. We enjoyed the trip through Jurassic Park, the naughty tranquility of Cat in the Hat, the spooky journey to the forbidden world of Poseidon, the incredible special effects of the Terminator and currently all the magic of Harry Potter. I cannot mention all the attractions the parks have, but I can tell you that we know every corner of each of them. Since then, we have left all our sorrows and forgotten our problems. Switching them in for memories of total fun, personal and family satisfaction. The first years that we went to Universal Studios, I always brought food and bottles of water because I did not have money to buy anything in there and despite that we always arrived at 09:00 am and we stayed until the parks closed. Thus, we returned home after midnight; Now after more than 10 years of uninterrupted attendance at the parks, things have changed because I no longer carry a backpack full of food, nor an extra bag full of sweets and snacks, because we can buy in there. A space that has not changed and will never change as the one place that brings excitement into our hearts and the joy of being able to enjoy every time we attend. And not because of tradition but because we are happy in Universal Orlando parks.

Every time I go to the parks and pass through the security, my eyes shine and every step I take, I feel that my body is full of strength to forget the past and live the present as a person free of problems and bad memories since the environment of the park has the power to erase the sad images in my mind and makes me feel alive. Able to enjoy everything that this different world offers. A world where all the people receive me with kindness. A world where I can feel like a tourist in a country that I have lived in for fourteen years. A world that despite being a fantasy, awakens my reality as a professional and makes my aspirations grow every day. A world where nobody disturbs my happiness. An ideal world where everyone is laughing, and nobody wants to commit any wrong. And the incredible thing is that, just as it was more than ten years ago when my daughters and I went to Universal for the first time, when we returned home and talked about everything that we enjoyed; we are still looking forward to the next free weekend to be able to return. And although I suffered a lot in the past because of the scarce income I had, I never stopped paying for the annual passes. The parks helped me to overcome the melancholic feelings that attacked me because of problems I was facing, and I can affirm that the magical world of Universal gave me the strength to overcome them, saving my life from being one of sadness and despair. Finally, Universal gave me the joy of sharing a wonderful life with my daughters.

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