In the Shadow of the Acropolis
by Simonne Celestine

"The door itself looked so solid and threatening, especially with the thick steel bars running across it. Gazing at it, I became aware of how it represented the division between the life I had known up until this moment and the lack of freedom that was slowly creeping into the very core of my being."

Being imprisoned is enough to break down even the strongest individual’s will, but imagine suffering through this ordeal knowing that you are completely innocent? Such was the fate of Julia, an Australian woman who left her home in 1974 with adventure in her heart and plans of seeing the world in her mind. She could never have known the dark turn her life would take, nor did she see the coming despondence and despair that would take control over her entire existence for a year.

As soon as she boarded the Europe-bound ship, she knew that a life on the seas was the one for her. She immediately secured employment with a Caribbean cruise line, and had the pleasure of traveling the world, experiencing new cultures, and learning new languages. She was thoroughly enjoying her life, and even met an attractive young man that she married within only a few months of courtship. But it would all come crashing down in a very painful way. Julia would be taken to Korydallos Prison on one very unsuspecting morning and would learn hard truths about herself that completely changed the way she viewed her life. During her imprisonment, she was taught lessons in humility, patience, pain, and developed a sense of innovation that she had never known.

She jumps around in her storytelling frequently, which perfectly encapsulates the mind of someone who has been wrongfully imprisoned and is grappling with the complete loss of freedom. Julia’s story, as narrated by Celestine, serves as a lesson to never take life’s simple pleasures for granted and to never judge another person. Without the full story of someone’s life, it can never be truly known what their circumstances may be, or what a lack of options might force them to do. This true story serves as an inspiration for all to continuously express gratitude, refrain from judgment, and live life to the fullest. .

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