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.
Lana Cho
Lana Cho
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views

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.

Crumble.

This is not your

destruction.


This is your birth.”

- n.t

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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I Don't Have To Wear Makeup To Be Beautiful

You don't have to, either.

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For about as long as modern makeup/cosmetics/skincare brands have been around, the notion that women have to use any of these cosmetic products to be considered "beautiful" has also been around.

(If you've read my earlier article about red lipstick giving me my confidence back, you would know that I absolutely adore certain skincare/makeup products.)

However, I personally don't believe that I need to wear any kind of makeup to be considered "beautiful." And you don't, either.

I think that we, as a society, have seriously overvalued aesthetic beauty and undervalued the beauty that comes from being a decent, honest, genuine, and kind person. I believe that while makeup has an incredible and transformation-giving effect on women, (and men too, just for the record), that none of us honestly should depend on x, y, and z products to make us feel that we are beautiful, or that our self worth and sense of self should be tied up in how many likes a selfie of us in a full face of makeup get.

And quite frankly, there is so much to love about our makeup free, naturally glowing skin that so many of us hide, simply because society would love to tell us that we're not beautiful, or pretty, or worth very much at all if we don't use [insert new trendy skincare product here].

Well, excuse my French, but I'm calling bull.

It's not okay for any of us to think of ourselves as less than, simply because we're not following those crazy and crappy societal trends. In a culture where "Instagram perfect" pictures are the ideal that every woman, or man, is expected to look up to, I'd say it's pretty revolutionary to dare to bare a fresh-faced look.

No one has to ever feel the need to compulsively put on makeup to be considered "beautiful."

Because, in all reality, makeup can't measure the kind of person you are.

Makeup/skincare products can't measure your kindness, your generosity, your bravery in the face of adversity, or any other kickass quality that you might have. Makeup can't do that; only what's inside of you, if brought out for the world to see, can do that. And yes, I'm well aware of how cliché and "junior high preachy" that sounds.

So, I hope this article will possibly spark some introspective thoughts on what beauty means to you. I hope you start to think about the fact that who you are as a person is not defined by how "attractive" or "beautiful" someone else might tell you you are.

You define who you are as a person, nobody else has that power.

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