You can call me Sandra, although that's not my real name. I come from an Eastern European (but not Balkan) country. I've always been spiritual, but my recent psychiatric diagnosis made me overthink what I believed to be true, somewhere deep in me. History has always been my passion and I've always been drawn to various periods and locations, although my passions used to be short-lived. Until one day. I was 14 years old and I saw some vintage war footage on youtube. For some unknown to me reason I immediately (and correctly) recognised the city as Sarajevo. The first thing I did was calling my friend, a then aspiring historian of the Balkan peninsula. I asked her to "tell me everything she knows". We talked for three hours, but I never told her the real reason. I just said that I felt fascinated, under her influence. For a long period of time I thought that perhaps I did something horrible in my past life. Maybe I was a soldier there, during Bosnian war, and all my psychiatric issues were some form of a punishment for killing people. Except, this idea was deeply flawed. I had a dream shortly after that, about me dying young, and then seeing my grave in Sarajevo years later. In that dream, I hid the fact that I was "already dead" from my parents, as I didn't want to upset them. I never actually visited Sarajevo (although I hope too, in better times). I visited Belgrade, a couple of years ago, and this was another event that made me question my sanity. A girl I used to be there with (one from my school, from my country) spiritually "opened" me. She showed me that the "weird colour association" thing I've always experienced was just me seeing auras. Apparently I recognised her aura in the same way her experienced psychic friend did. And we talked about how those two days we were spending in Belgrade just felt surreal. I felt like I saw this city before, and I found strange comfort in seeing it rebuilt and prosperous. Even though my navigational skills are poor, I effortlessly navigated through the streets of the historical centre. In only one day, I picked up enough words to communicate basic needs in shops. My weirdest historical passion though, and the one thing that seems to put all those experiences together, was Young Bosnia. I always tried to distance myself from history, but this bunch of young, idealistic schoolboys always moved my heart in unspeakable manners. From my earliest attempts at studying world history, those events were the only thing I could remember. I can't stand the very thought of everything they've been through. The solitary cells, the chains, their bodies being eaten by disease. For what? After all, how are they different from all those young revolutionaries we praise here, in Eastern Europe? In what else, but the way history remembers them? I feel strange guilt and desire to change the history. I felt relieved upon learning that Vaso Čubrilović and Cvjetko Popović survived prison. Those aren't feelings similar to just normal human compassion, or patriotism (although, as I stated, I am not Serbian, nor Bosnian, nor even from the Balkans). It feels... deeper. More personal. Projecting my own issues onto things that could feel impersonal is indeed a thing that I would do as a teenager. But every single time I did it, I was fully aware it's just another phase. Or hyperfixation, as some people would say. This is something that never really left me. I've always felt special fondness for Gavrilo Princip. The very man who fired two deadly shots. This 19-year old army reject, always wearing clothes too large for him. The fierce and idealistic one whose fate breaks my heart. I watched a couple of historical films on him and the whole organisation, and for some reason I sometimes felt when the characterisation of either of the men was on spot, or a bit off. How could I even judge this, I thought to myself? I've never been through any hypnosis session and honestly I am so stressed that my attempts at meditation and self journey into my soul always fail. I have this never ending feeling of wasting my youth, all my opportunities. I have fears of death, of disease, of suffocation that sometimes keep me up at night. Fear of death is a natural thing, but I used to have those even years before I learnt what it means. My whole youth was marked by my emotional issues no one could find explanation for. One psychologist who never knew me before said that I speak like a person who's been deeply hurt. Except, my life was good and fulfilling in external matters. Only my own mind and soul are messing with me. It could be one of my misguided projections. An effect of my health issues. Or, perhaps it's what I thought of some time ago, this very idea that creeped into my mind, but I deemed it ridiculous... I used to be Danilo Ilić.