The lost girl

A narrative about a girl feeling lost in the direction of her dreams.

I have changed…and not for the better. I don’t know who I am anymore. They told me graduate school is suppose to be hard, to test your strengths and show you more weaknesses. But what they don’t tell you is about the hardships you’ll face outside of the classroom.

One year ago (before starting graduate school) I was me. I was the me I always set out to be. I had a vision and goals and knew exactly the person that I was meant to be. I believed in myself, I was smart, I was kind, and I was outgoing. I was proud of the person I became out of my college experience (which shaped me as well). I was a lover, I never judged a soul, and I would give you the sweater off my back. I volunteered for every mentor program I heard about because I knew if I could spread my love to others they would be happier. I still see my mentees today and they still thank me for being that for them. I had a purpose and I knew my purpose. Most of all, I loved my purpose. I solved problems and made people laugh. I was passionate, I had passions for that matter, and I was curious. So curious. I was driven and was dying to start my graduate program, just waiting on pins and needles for the first day when I could prove my knowledge and strength. Prove that I was worthy of the journey. I had a fire within me. That is the girl I am in love with, the girl I always think back to. The girl I wish I still was.

I miss the girl who makes the sun shine on the darkest days. I miss the girl who has not a bad thought float through her mind. I miss the girl who felt like she could conquer the world in a day. I miss the girl who had love exploding from her heart open to everyone in her reach. I miss the girl who was excited to live each day to the fullest and who had no complaints. What was complaining? There was no reason for complaining. I miss the girl who thought the world of everyone and gave every single person she came in contact a smile, token of appreciation, or just a bit of sparkle. She would volunteer, take chances, try new things, go out of her way to meet new people. I miss the girl who gave no f***s, but never swore. I miss the girl who cared enough about how people thought of her to take time to take care of herself. She is the girl of my dreams and she is the girl I miss so dearly.

I can tell you the moment she turned cold, dark, numb, and depressed. The fire blew out and her veins turned cold. Resentment, hatred, sadness, and distrust surged through her. She was no longer herself. She no longer stood out. She no longer glowed.

Graduate school is sucking the ‘me’ out of myself. It shows me how little I know, how incapable I am, and how little the education system cares about me and my goals. I am alone, in a dark place crying to my support system that cannot relate, nor understand the pain I am going through.

Every day I cry. I do not cry because the work is difficult. I can do the work. It is the fact that the process, environment, and lack of guidance I have to go through are unbearable. I cry because I can feel myself losing myself.

I went to counseling and cried and cried, I went to professors, and cried.

I am still sitting here trying to make sense out of my situation. I feel insane. What happily educated person continually puts themself in a situation that makes them unhappy? I still cannot answer that question for you.

The more insane thing is, I keep going. I keep moving forward hoping the pain will let up, hoping the crying will end, hoping there will be a sunny day. No such luck.

Graduate school is not for everyone. I thought it was for me, but instead of learning and becoming a better person through it, I have only lost friends, lost my partner, and am driving my support system away.

Why? Why? Why?

Why did I put myself through this? Now at my halfway point I sit here alone. Miserable. I feel lost. I do not know how my experience in the program will help me in life. I do not see what I have learned. I do not know where I am going. I do not know my purpose. I have no goals, I have no passions, and I have no drive. I do not want to be in this town. I do not want to be around people. I do not want to take these classes. I do not want to live this pain anymore.I am disappointed in myself for becoming who I am today. I know my worth. I know I am smart. I know I can do things. But I also know, that I am unhappy. I know that I have been unhappy since this program began.

I do not know what this means, and I do not know what to do. All I know is that I cannot continue to live like this for out of the fear of losing myself completely.

Every day I push myself to hold back tears, put on a happy face and get through this for my family. But that is not a healthy way to live. I am faking it and not being true to myself and it kills me to know this.

I am the most important piece of my life and not listening to myself, my needs, my happy spaces has driven me to this hurt. I know I can finish, but what for? I was hoping to learn, grow, find myself, and become a better person through this experience, but I have only found the opposite.

There will be a happy end to this story. That girl, who once lived, she’s still inside me. I have hope that I can find her again someday, somewhere.