We all know that girl, the one who is driven and passionate about everything she does. The one who seems to have it all together, the one everyone loves, the one who is good at everything. The one who is, simply put, PERFECT. I’ve been that girl to many people, yet I never saw myself as her. You spend years working to create this persona that you want to be. Someone who is both envied and respected.
Yet after everything, you feel like an imposter. You spend years carving out this version of yourself, chipping away at imperfections, sculpting the edges to perfection. Yet under it all, you feel like you’re the same imperfect, broken girl you feel like on your worst days. You take up extracurriculars that you don’t end up putting your whole heart or even half a heart into. You take up a tough but respected career path that your parents and friends are amazed by. You chase after puzzle pieces to add to the puzzle that is your life to make it look more beautiful to others.
Yet you feel empty inside as soon as you stop chasing puzzle pieces to fill the void with. You find you’ve been too busy to think or feel. The validation, praise, envy, and amazement from others approving of your life becomes your distorted meaning of happiness.
Unfortunately, what matters most in the end is how you see yourself. Before you know it, you’ve stopped caring about every activity you take up and even yourself. You stop taking an interest in everyone and everything. You’ve stopped repeating the motions day in and day out, just trying to find some genuine feeling or motivation instead of the numbness that fills the silence of empty days. Your past becomes a refuge from your present as you seek for the girl that truly was the person you make yourself out to be—the curious, wonder-filled, happy girl that once was.
Some days you find a quick fix and thrust yourself into overdrive, plunging into a new strictly organized routine or a new adventure or a new activity or even a new person, only to find yourself in the same empty hell a month later. The cycle repeats until you realize there is no quick fix.
The only way out is to sit with the emptiness, to confront it every day, maybe for months on end. To fill your emptiness with things you will put your whole heart into. Or simply find a reason to put your heart into what you already do. Your reason may be to do it out of love for someone, perhaps yourself, or even out of love for God. Or it may be out of a genuine curiosity to learn and experience new things, or perhaps simply out of the desire to restore some of the ever-deteriorating world’s faith in humanity.
Whatever that reason may be or whatever you choose to fill your emptiness with, just be sure to put your whole heart into it. No matter how beautiful your puzzle looks to others, your opinion on it is the only one that truly matters in the end.