“I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it.” ~Taylor Swift
Life is full of complications. One of the biggest complications you find yourself in is with love. As you get older, you begin to search for a love story like those that you’ve seen in fairytales and movies. You spend your youth searching for that boy that will come and sweep you off your feet. However, what those fairytales and movies don’t tell you is how easily it is to lose yourself for a boy.
It never happens all at once, it takes time, which is why you never realize it’s happening. You lose yourself for those boys because you try to become the girl they want. You assume that if you don’t become the girl they wanted, than they will see right through you. It’s like you become a nameless face to them. Truth is, it is okay if you lose yourself for a boy. We all do it for different reasons and it’s a learning experience. If you are someone who had lost the person you once were, don’t feel guilty about it. What’s important is that you need to remember that no matter how far you stray from yourself, you can always find yourself again if you need or want to.
Boys don’t realize how much they can affect you. They don’t know just how much you will change your ways for them. They don’t notice how you will rearrange your schedule just for them. You will go through changes just to catch their eye even if you once swore you’d never change for a boy, you somehow end up changing. The closer you get to him, the further away you stray from the girl you use to be. One day, you will find yourself looking into the mirror wondering what happened to the girl you were five years ago. You wonder why you stopped doing certain things that you love. You wonder just how one boy had this much affect on you. You try to think of how this happened but you can’t figure it out because it happened so slowly and you were so focused on trying to get his attention, you didn’t notice yourself changing.
Maybe the boy that changed you wasn’t even someone you tried getting. Maybe it was the boy you already had, but he was the one that broke your heart so much that it shattered. Maybe within those shattered pieces, the girl you used to be is in there, but is now just a mosaic artwork of all what you use to be. You want to pick up those broken pieces and put them back together, but that’s hard to do when you keep cutting yourself with the sharp edges. So instead, you changed your ways to become a new person and forget about the past and the girl you left behind.
Maybe you lost yourself on the day that you did try to get some boy to notice you. You always acknowledged his presence and saw him as this fascinating person that you just wanted. However, for some reason he just couldn’t see you in the same light. So, you changed your hair or your style. You started to wear more make-up even though you never once did before. You switched your old t-shirts for new girly-like tops that show a little cleavage. You began watching the movies he likes just so you could strike up a conversation. You download and listen to his favorite music even though you dislike the genre. You replace all of your favorite things with his just to get his head to turn.
Maybe he finally noticed and you felt happy about it, but as time moves along you realize you’re not as happy because you’re missing your old self. You think about trying to find her, but you freeze because deep down you’re afraid if you got her back than you would lose him. As humans, having the boy you admire seems more important than finding the old you. So, you tough it out and go another round of changing yourself to the point where you are so far gone, you have no idea which way to begin to look for her.
So how do you begin to find her? Although it may be hard, you need to stop and take a long look in the mirror and ask yourself “is he worth all of this?” Is it better to have someone who loves, adores, and appreciates the person you are or the person you’re not? You may feel that the old you is too far away to bring back. You need to know that it is never too late to find your old self.
The best way to find yourself again is to visit home. Go back to the place that first made you who you are as a person. Visit old friends or family members. Let them share stories of your past with you. Take time to reflect on those memories and remember all of the things you used to love before you met him. Next, look at your closet. Look at the clothes that you used to wear before they got swapped out for new ones that would catch his eye. Do you really like your new style? If you think that maybe it is time to change your style, do it for yourself, not for him.
Think of the activities you used to do before you met him. Give yourself some time and go spend the day by yourself doing those activities. Take a drive around the town you grew up in. Roll the windows down and let your hair blow freely in the wind. Let the sun kiss your cheek and suck in the feeling of a brand-new day. Sing along to all of the songs you sang in middle school before you even knew what heartbreak was or what it felt like. Drive to all your favorite spots around town. Go to those places that hold the dearest memories. Like the ice cream shop you would sit at for hours with friends gossiping about prom. Go to the park that you first broke your arm at. Visit your old high or grade school. Go back to the place where you had your first ever kiss. Visit all of the places that had first made you the person you were.
After awhile, you will begin to find her again and have her back. You’ll begin to feel your radiant smile and your loud laughter return. Soon you will feel the bliss and the light that you had lost and missed. Just because you got yourself does not mean you need to completely let go of the girl you became. You most certainly can keep parts of her that you liked.
Lastly, think about the boy that first changed you. If you feel more at peace with your old self and want to her around, it may benefit you more to let him go. It’s not going to be easy, saying good bye is never a walk in the park. Sometimes it is better to leave behind the ones that are toxic to you then to keep them around. You may lose him, but you will have your old self and somehow that will be enough. Your light will return and shine brighter than ever before. One day, you will find the one that will love you for all that you are and never change you.
The girl who once lost herself.