The Journey

Dear World. Yes, I am a SENIOR in college. NO, I do not know what I want to do with my life.

I think I’ve realized over the course of my college career that I am undoubtedly a wallflower. I am an emotional introvert who hates on my emotions and tries to avoid discussing anything relevant. And when you get to be twenty years old, this type of behavior is no longer considered charming. Everyone wants to talk seriously with you about your future and your goals and what’s coming up next for you.

I don’t know what’s next for me. I don’t even know what I want to wear today. Or how I’m going to get through soccer practice later.

I’m really good at having structure and taking direction. Tell me what to do. Tell me what you want done. I will do it. I will do it extremely well and I’ll definitely exceed your expectations.

It’s not that I’m not talented or intelligent or capable. In fact, I am all of those things. I’m good at talking to people. I’m good at analyzing. I’m a good writer. Or at least I used to think I was.

Until I lost passion for the life going on around me.

Talent is nothing without work. Intelligence is useless without motivation. And capability is wasted without direction.

Hence, my problem.

My name is Aisha, and I’m completely lost and confused.

I just had an amazing semester abroad in Madrid, Spain. I call Spain the land of happiness. I felt incandescently happy in Spain. I woke up every morning with an appetite for life. The happiness was effortless. I was confident and completely at peace with myself. It was the first time since my parents’ almost-divorce that I felt so content with myself.

But I don’t know how to get that feeling back.

Ever since I came back from Spain, I reverted back to my old self. The confused girl with low self-esteem and eating issues and an endless pit of disillusionment. But this time around, I’m worse.

This summer was probably the worst few months of my entire life.

I lost interest in everything that used to excite me. I wasn’t extremely sad or angry or anything. That would have been okay. Better even. Those are emotions. I literally experienced nothingness. I was numb. I came back to the authority within my parents’ house after living on my own in Europe for four months. I was surrounded by the constant negativity, stress and criticism once again. This environment was the reason I sought escape. The familial treatment that pushed me to study abroad.

And yet, in Spain, I forgot about that part of my life.

That’s the thing about your past. It always catches up with you.

The only difference now is that I have the trace of that happiness in my memory. It was sweet and delicious and guilt-free.

And I want it back.

I made the courageous decision to seek out help to become healthier mentally, physically and emotionally. I refuse to let myself stoop so low again. I know how unhappy I am, merely because I know how happy I can be. Spain taught me that. Spain helped me realize that I have the potential to be at peace with myself. I don’t have to struggle with eating disorders and constant guilt and personal confusion. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Adversity brings triumph.

I don’t know what I want. I only know what I don’t want.

But I don’t think I’m alone. I know I’m not the only twenty year-old who is lost and confused and trying to find a place in this world.

From here on out, I am committing myself to this blog. I am going to record my journey to becoming healthy. In every aspect. I don’t want to be miserable anymore.

I believe all of my issues stem from a strong and powerful self-hatred. I’ve known this for a while. I am disappointed with myself. I lack self worth. I let my parents’ opinion of me dictate my personal views. A number on a scale has immeasurable power over my moods. And I seek comfort in food.

Yet, I’ve never done anything about it until now.

Here’s to setting goals…. And finally giving myself the tools to achieve them.

I’m seeing a therapist. SO for an hour every week, I’m forced to do the one thing I dread… Discuss my feelings. Respond to questions. Explain myself. I can’t just say “I don’t know” to gloss over heavy subjects. Because that’s what therapy is all about. I have to dive head first into my soul, past the solid stonewalls of evasion, and into the deep pit of memories I’ve worked so hard to bury. Because these are where the answers lie. The reasons for my personality traits and self-perception issues.

Until then, I must compartmentalize. And try and avoid this pan of freshly baked brownies my best friend just made.

I must not eat my feelings.

The journey to a healthier me begins today. Right now.

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