I used to have this undeniable energy that radiated into every room I walked into. I turned heads. I made friends. I laughed at myself and beamed, confident in every single ability I had. I rarely doubted myself, and if I did, I was able to shut down the doubt and prove myself wrong.
I worked hard. I worked under extreme stress. I pushed myself to make sure the job was done and it was done perfectly. I was untouchable. I was on fire.
Then slowly, the passion that was like gasoline ran out. The embers, a telltale sign that I had been there, burnt out. I couldn't bring myself to pour passion into my life or to make it known that I, Kayleigh, was there.
Tears fell from clouds of anger, depression, anxiety, and grief. My vibrant colors dimmed before they were completely extinguished. All that was left was a drained, empty version of myself.
I let myself wallow in my now burnt out fire pit. Instead of grabbing the kindling to rebuild, I sat and thought. I thought of all the times I set goals that were way too hard to attain. I thought of every single time I worked until I was exhausted, physically sick, and emotionally drained. All of this to prove a point. All to say "I told you so," to someone who probably didn't care about my efforts as much as I did.
I sat and I thought about the boys who I let break my heart because they were so stupid and so immature. I thought of all the times I had broken my own heart believing boys and believing things from people who just genuinely didn't care. I thought of the times I let friends break my heart when they used me to their advantage, but left me in the dust when they reached their destination.
I sat and I thought about all the destruction I caused as a fire. Yes, I was so passionate and so creative, but I was a force to be reckoned with. I didn't stop until I got what I wanted. I was nasty to myself. I had horrible habits but I wanted to be skinny. I wanted to have the best grades. Eating and sleeping didn't matter. I was nasty to others. If they didn't like what I had to say, I argued until they couldn't take it and left because it was my way or the highway.
I sat and thought about the people I left behind, intentionally or accidentally. I missed the friends and the times we shared when I was carefree and full of love.
I sat and I realized, if I was to build myself up again, I didn't want to build another fire. I was King Midas, but everything I touched turned to ash, not to gold. I wanted to plant a seed and I wanted to care for myself and take help from others so I could grow.
I planted my seed. It's still tiny, but it's growing into a tall and beautiful sunflower. I have my weak roots where I slipped up and my strong and sturdy roots from when I did what was right. The two of them, regardless of their significance, keep me standing.
I have leaves to show off. Whether it be my talents, my knowledge, or the mistakes I made that I can now grow from. The larger the leaf, the more meaningful the memory or the lesson.
I have these bright and beautiful yellow petals. They're bold, they're attractive and they radiate an energy like no other.
The clouds still come, not every day is perfect. The rain still comes, the emotions are still there, but rather than dwelling and sitting and thinking, I work through it. Clouds and rain aren't a one hour or a one day thing. Sometimes they are. Sometimes it's intermittent. Sometimes it's a week. I weather the storm with my strong roots and I wait for the sun to come so my sunflower can continue to grow.