It started out harmless enough. It was nothing. You brushed it off because you never thought it could turn into something so big and all consuming. You told yourself that you could handle it, that you were bigger and stronger than this. You’d never met a situation that you couldn’t talk out, fix, or handle with little effort. You’d learned to manage everything that gave you problems. Maybe it took a little work but you got there. Anything that had the potential to be a problem, you’d squashed before it got too big. So why should this be any different?

Because this was something you couldn’t completely control. Something that was unpredictable. Before you know it, it's out of your hands and it's not so easily fixable. You're slipping and you aren't in a hurry to stop because it's exciting and you never want it to end. You tell yourself that you can fix it whenever you want. And before you know it, you're drowning in it.

This happened to me this semester, in a couple aspects of my life. I'm someone who likes to have everything settled, handled, and resolved. I was always really good at it, and in someways I still am. I like to think that I possess good judgement, especially of the people I choose to surround myself with. I'm careful with the people I trust, the friends I have. I'm especially careful about the men I date, due to past experiences. As a result of this I only have a couple guy friends who I trust. I've also always been a loyal person, I try to be that for my friends, family, and anyone else who I feel is worthy of that loyalty. And once I've given it, it's hard to take back. Once I'm set on something, it's hard to dissuade me. Because taking back that trust means admitting I was wrong and that I need to make an adjustment. I've seldom had to do that.

But this year has been an exception. I lost my cool, my chill, and a bit of my self respect. And for someone as self aware as me, that is the most embarrassing thing I've ever had to admit. I got swept up, tossed around, and may or may not have lost my grip.

But let's be blunt for a second here. Fact. This year I found myself somewhat "involved" with someone that I thought would be good for me. That was not the case. Unfortunately, it took a couple months for me to realize that. What I thought was genuine care for me, was actually something else entirely. It was a game, and I was lying to myself about that. I kept on thinking that if I gave it time and space, went slow, that we'd figure it out. But I wound up having to pull myself out of the situation entirely to spare myself any more pain.

And I had nothing to show for it except mild embarrassment and hurt feelings.

The scary part about new factors in your life is that they can be foreign and unpredictable. I found myself in a lot of new and unfamiliar situations this year. As someone who's still young and growing, I'm having to deal with managing those factors and I've found that I need to work on my judgement.

What's important, is that I know that. That I accept that this is something I need to work on. I've been faced with the recognition that I can't simply "handle" everything. Not everything is easy, I struggle with things that some don't. I've learned that self-assurance can be dangerous and self-awareness is underrated. When I feel that resolve wavering, i remind myself of these three things

1. You really are stronger than that which you face.

2. Regardless of how down on yourself you may feel, remember that you are only human.

3. You learned. You've accepted this. But all is not bleak because you've gained that knowledge.