This semester was one of the hardest I have ever experienced. Maybe it was because of the short semester, maybe it was because I was a first time apartment tenant, maybe it was because I was neglecting my mental health. Whatever the cause, I felt it. I felt it so deep down that I dreaded getting out of bed every morning. I hated getting emails or texts of encouragement from my peers, because I had nothing to be happy about. I felt the weight of every passing day. It wasn't until one day that I looked up at the projector in my Counseling Theories class that I realized it. I had lost my passion.

Does that mean I want to stop being a psychology major? No. Does that mean I wanted to quit writing for the Odyssey? No. But what it did mean was that every time I sat down at my computer to let my thoughts flow, I felt nothing. Many days, I would sit and stare at my computer screen and ask myself, "What changed?" What happened to that young adult that was so excited when she got her acceptance letter to USM? Where was that girl that loved going to her job every day and seeing the youth she works with? What happened to the girl that loved to listen to her favorite songs and scream the lyrics? Where is she?

That person that had so much passion and zeal for life was me, and someday, it will be me again, but not today. Not right now. I remember so vividly the fire that burned so brightly within me. I remember fearlessly and excitedly chasing my dreams. But now, now all I feel is the cold hollow left in my chest. I hope that one day, I forget this pain. The feelings I have right now are only temporary, but in this moment, it feels like relief will never come. I hope to once again find the activities that I enjoy doing and the people I love to associate myself with. I hope to become the hero I always needed.

I remember going with my best friend to a protest a few years ago. I remember standing there in the sun with my poster held high, screaming my lungs out. Now, I doubt I could even find the energy to stand up for myself, let alone anyone else. I feel like I have let down everyone, but mostly I have let down myself. I let the passion I had die, and I did not realize it until it was too late. I had a therapist tell me once, "You cannot pour water out of an empty well." Maybe I had become empty, and as a result, had nothing left for myself. Maybe I had poured myself into all my activities that I began to run dry. Maybe in trying to help others find themselves, I had lost myself.

For now, I will take this time from school to rediscover who I am. I want to remember the things that brought me joy as well as the things that brought me pain. I hope to one day be a person I can be proud of; the girl who can be her own hero.