We've all been told "you need to find yourself" or "take the time to figure yourself out." That's a whole lot easier said than done, and that's a huge leap of personal faith in yourself.
So, here's to the girls "trying to find herself." Just a little advice from the girl who has been in your shoes, and, sometimes is still wearing them.
1. Stop and breathe
You are about to begin a journey that is both rewarding and terrifying. You must first realize there are some things you can change and some things you can't. The hardest/best thing you will discover is that your "flaws" aren't flaws at all. They are merely sprinkles to the cupcake of "you."
YOU. HAVE. TO. LOVE. YOURSELF.
It doesn't feel like it, but you are so wonderfully handcrafted. Please don't try and change those unique pieces of yourself. Grow in strength and confidence without sacrificing what makes you beautiful.
2. You may not "fit" anymore and that's OK
While you walk this road, you will realize that you are slowly losing people, and you may realize your circle is shrinking. That's OK, I promise. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. You may realize you're no longer in "the group" or that you don't have a huge friend group. Part of growing is realizing your needs change, and that means your need for certain kinds of friendships. You need to realize that you need a relaxed and healthy mind and soul. You may not get that with your certain circle. Never forget, a few shiny diamonds are much better than a huge tub of plastic stones.
3. Become selfish
I won't lie to you. This is by far the hardest part. You MUST realize you will only reach your true state of peace when you live for you. You must realize, in this life you have one person to please, and that's you. Could you imagine living an entire life pleasing your parents and doing what is their idea for you? Or living to fit into the mold society has set? I can tell you — it's exhausting and unfair. Convince yourself that unless you're living, how you wanted, with who you want, where you want, and doing what you want, you will never live your best life. When you get to accept that your life is YOUR life, it's then that your happiness will radiate. I promise the people who love you and truly care for you, only want that and they will be not only happy for you but proud of you, too.
4. If you're still finding yourself...
I'd be lying if I said I'm not still doing this. So, keep going. These things I've said are NOT easy to do. You may struggle for months, and that's OK because "a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor." Keep pushing until you've reached peace, until you've reached acceptance of who you are, and until you become brave enough to live YOUR life. Do it on your own time, because if you rush the process it won't be true and you'll be in an awful cycle.
5. When you get there, be proud of yourself
Be proud. Be unapologetically proud that you have chosen to be who you are. Be proud that you've found "your people." Be proud that you were brave. And be proud that you can now help others get there.
I will say from experience, you may never even realize you're doing this. One day you may just wake up and realize your thoughts are different, your mind is different, and you realize you are stronger. You realize you have been living different. If you're anything like me when you realize these things, you'll be overwhelmed with pride and emotion. Because you'll realize you're on the way to living the life you have always wanted. Live this chapter the best you can and prepare for the next chapter that you may need to change for because of course, it's going to happen again.