To The Girl Who Has Lost Herself

To The Girl Who Has Lost Herself

You can be a work in progress and a masterpiece, all at once.

It's not the way it used to be, is it?

You're not the way you used to be.

Lately, you've started to realize that you don't feel like yourself. You don't laugh quite as loudly. Your smile doesn't reach your eyes as effortlessly. You walk with a shade more of self-awareness, talk with a little less personality. And if someone were to ask you for three adjectives to describe you, the words you'd choose would describe the you of one, two, or three years ago, but not now.

You look at old photographs and wonder where that girl went. The one who everyone expected the best from. The one who was charming and intelligent and full of energy. Lately, you've found that you've let yourself go.

Lately, you've found that while you were in the wash of life, you let it wash over you. Consume you. Dissolve you.

You used to be a light. A light that, at some indiscernible, irreversible moment amidst the chaos of life, burned out. And now that you're just a shadow of who you used to be, it's hard to fight that pervasive ache of disappointment that hovers over you like a ghost, haunting the aftermath of every choice you make and noting, "The old you wouldn't do that."

It's hard to not feel utterly confused about how you ended up here. It's hard to not be ashamed of how you lost control of yourself, let yourself slip through your fingers.

But here's the thing that we're so quick to forget:

It's okay.

It's okay to not be able to fit your entire being into three adjectives. It's okay to not be a finished product. It's okay to love the person you once were—put-together, powerful, seemingly-perfect—and find yourself back at square one. You were bound to change. You are bound to keep changing.

You were never meant to stay in the same place, like the same music, love the same people, have the same goals, believe the same things. Be the same person. You were never meant to be stagnant. This world will not cease to spin on its axis. The cells in your body will not cease to regenerate. And you, too, will not cease to fall apart and fall back into place and grow and go on. You were never meant to be a fixed point in a transient constellation because you are ever-changing.

So don't be shattered or scared by the moments of your day where you don't recognize yourself. Maybe you'll never be who you once were. But that just means you're in the process of becoming someone stronger and brighter and more complex. You are simply building a better version of yourself. And that's okay. You're okay.

You can be a work in progress and a masterpiece, all at once.

I leave you with the understanding that it is normal to lose yourself every now and then, with the faith that you'll find yourself again, and with this:

"For a star to be born

there is one thing that

must happen: a gaseous

nebula must collapse.

So collapse.


This is not your


This is your birth.”

- n.t

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How My Learning Disability Shaped Me

"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." — Thomas Edison

In Pre-K, I had trouble understanding directions the first time they were given; in first grade, I had trouble reading and memorizing vocabulary words, but I did not know there was a problem until second grade when my teacher told me I was stupid. Not long after that, my Pediatrician diagnosed me with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and gave me my first prescription of Focalin. Although there was an immediate, drastic improvement in my grades, I could not help but feel ashamed of my learning disability. I cried whenever one of my parents mentioned my medication usually screaming, “I’m not sick, why do I need medication?” My parents chose not to have me classified and not to tell the school system about my ADD, which I am now very grateful for due to the fact that while on my medication, I never required extra time on tests, but when I was young, all the secrecy just made me feel more ashamed. I hated the fact that I was different and inferior to the rest of the kids my age; I hid my disability from everyone until the fourth grade, and even then, I only told my best friend.

My freshman year of high school was when I finally stopped being ashamed of myself; I worked harder than I ever had before and realized that not only was I not stupid, I was capable of being above average. I was no longer afraid to tell people about my ADD, and I finally believed in myself. Four years later, I graduated high school with a 3.89 GPA and was accepted into The College of New Jersey, a school I love but never thought I could get into.

Even though I have come a long way since I was first diagnosed, more times than not, I find myself constantly overthinking, feeling ashamed when I have to ask a peer or professor to explain a concept to me again and underestimating my ability to accomplish the goals I set for my future. Trying to focus is still a daily struggle, and testing standardized or otherwise still gives me anxiety. I am sure deep down it irritates my friends when it takes me forever to add up my points in Crowns, that is when I don’t have one of them add it for me, or when I have to ask a million questions while trying to learn a new card game. But that’s just who I am and I would not change it for anything.

Eleven years and three different stimulants later, I went from a scared, hopeless little girl to a strong, independent woman, and I owe a lot of my growth to my diagnosis. Having to work harder than most to accomplish my goals taught me never to take anything for granted, to be patient toward others, and to never stop fighting for what I want and believe in. My ADD does not define or limit my intelligence; it simply forces me to find an alternate way to tap into it. No matter how large an obstacle seems, if I set my mind to it, I can achieve anything.

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3 Ways To Stay Calm In The Midst Of A Storm

Learning how to deal.

Sometimes the pressure of school, work, and even a social life can weigh you down. Passing classes, making deadlines, and dealing with people can be very emotionally taxing, causing unnecessary problems in our lives. Not all problems can disappear completely, but you can change the way you respond to them.

Navigating your feelings, emotions, and expectations, will facilitate reaching your goals more efficiently and relieve some of the negativity that we inevitably face. Here are a few steps to building better coping practices and keeping your mind right despite what’s going on around you.

Step 1: Change your expectations

Many of us may set unrealistic expectations when it comes to our results. While it is very necessary to dream big in order to get great results, you must keep in mind the level of time and work you are willing and able to give. If the toll of a task is too much for you to handle, consider revising your expectations to fit the level of effort you are exercising.

Maybe you underestimate yourself and need to heighten your expectations to meet the level of work you are putting in. On the other hand, you may need to lower your expectations to meet your work effort. Either way, be cautious of how expectations influence your emotional response.

Step 2: Work in the best way for you

While we are often given standardized and formulaic ways of working and executing tasks, these may not be the best methods for you. Your unique experiences, creativity, and ideas are distinctly tethered to who you are as a person. It is important to do things in a way that makes you feel your best and utilizes your talents at full capacity.

As you change your methods to fit your style of work, the work itself will become easier and less energy consuming. By changing the way you approach problems to fit what works best for you, you will be more easily able to achieve your goals.

Step 3: Keep your self-interest at heart

This step is the most essential in practicing self-care and preserving your emotional integrity. While going through your daily routine, it may be easy to forget how important your mental health is. It is very necessary to give yourself proper downtime and relaxation, allowing you to recuperate from work and responsibility.

Taking time for a long nap, a good book, or even a Netflix night is important for giving yourself the love you need and deserve. Whatever you choose to do, pick something that truly makes you happy and provides you relief.

In incorporating these steps into your daily life, the change is dependent on how you choose to reinforce them. While it may be difficult at first, it is important to persist and continue on your journey. Self-care and improvement is not an overnight process, so don’t expect it to be. Just know that with proper time and practice, you can create a better life for yourself and stay calm in the midst of any storm.

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