To The Girl I Once Was,

I find myself wandering off in thought too often nowadays. As college is coming to an end in a year, I think back to my younger years when I was just a little girl.

So many things have happened since then. So much growth has occurred. And so many failures as well.

If you're thinking this as well, it is completely normal.

I remember being soft-spoken and shy in public. I remember not wanting to be first in line. I remember sharing my snack with my friends. I remember playing on the playground like it was the Olympics. I remember playing Club Penguin on the computer. I remember writing on the driveway with chalk for hours. I remember getting 100% on a spelling test and running home so excited to show my parents. I remember getting our first puppy. I remember riding a bike for the first time.

What I don't remember was the pain I felt. The stress I had. The failures I made. And the successes I held high. I was too young, I was just a little girl growing up not knowing what was to come. Just living in the moment, smiling in the wind.

Teen years hit. Changes started occurring. Things started happening.

Heartbreak. Mistakes. Friendships. Relationships. It was the start of the woman I am becoming.

I remember being in middle school, wondering why life was taking a spiral suddenly. Why were weird things occurring so frequently? Guess what, that's life, so I was told.

I remember wondering why I didn't make the final cut for this one dance. I remember wondering why I didn't get all A's in Science. I remember wondering who my future husband was going to be, Zac Efron or Justin Bieber. I remember looking in clothing stores at the mannequins wanting to dress up like them one day. I remember thinking about the future and it seeming like I would never grow old.

Now, let's fast forward,

to The Woman I am Becoming...

I am here. I am strong. I speak up for myself. I hold my head high. I smile. I laugh. I cry. I love.

When I was just a little girl, I wasn't finding out who I am. I wasn't exploring the world with new experiences each and every day. I was home cuddling my mom and watching movies and shopping. I was just a little girl, smiling in the wind.

Time passed by and I started becoming older. I started growing up in all different ways. Boys, parties, heartbreaks, mistakes, exams, finals, internships, it all was piling up. Year after year, month after month, I was becoming an adult more and more each day.

Sitting here with one year left of college, I am now accepting the woman I am becoming and thanking the little girl I once was. She taught me that life was so perfect and amazing until she realized that finding yourself in life is what makes you a better version of that little girl as a woman.

And that girl was me.

Thank you.