i'm not the only one

Since I have so much free time on my hands because of unemployment I  decided last week I would go through and organize all my photos,  documents, music and back up everything since I know it has been WAY too  long since the last time I did that. I got everything where I wanted it  and have stuff set up for some ideas I want to put up on here. If only I  had known what was to come of this project. It's amazing how pictures  and the past can make you reevaluate everything you are in comparison to  everything you were.

Going through years worth of pictures on my  computer made me want to look through photo albums and packages of  developed film. I just sat here reminiscing on what once was. Don't get  me wrong, I am happier than ever with where I am  and where I am going.  It's who I was, who I am, and who I want to be that is causing me  troubles. I feel like I am the only person out there lost inside myself.  So while I was going through pictures I had the TV on in the background  playing TLC's "What Not to Wear". I am a sucker for Stacy London's  style when I am in a modern, contemporary mood. In any case, the woman  featured on that episode had recently gotten sober and lost about 30  pounds from changing her lifestyle. She had heavily partied, going out  to the bar every evening after work, which was causing problems with her  family. She took control of her life for her daughter and her husband  and in it lost herself. She had gone from a social butterfly with lots  of friends around her to a responsible women and mother who didn't go  out anymore. She had no idea how to be a social person and a full-time  mom. Stacy and Clinton told her that she was mourning the girl she was,  the girl who wasn't around anymore. I'm sure she isn't the only one in  the world who went through that. Then I realized, I was one of those  other people in the world going through it.

At that moment a  little switch inside my head clicked. "That sounds freakishly familiar -  minus the mom part." I feel like my whole life has been spent going  through a roller coaster motion. Not only has my weight done this but  when I really think about it, so has my confidence. Hearing stories from  my Dad about me as a child is so strange. I was a quirky, talkative,  center of attention, "look at that adorable little girl" kind of child.  Really? I've met myself and that sounds nothing like me. haha. Around  3rd grade when we moved across town and changed schools I got extremely  shy and made some friends but nothing that really stuck. I was a  generally happy kid and with my family I was always bubbly and  talkative. My personality truly is bubbly and outgoing but at that point  I tucked it away and only let it out around people I knew very well. I  was like this until my senior year of high school. I got my first job as  a sales associate at a local tanning salon which kicked my ass for the  first month. Me, the "speaks when spoken to girl" was supposed to be  bubbly and outgoing to perfect strangers and then try to sell them  stuff... HA! I was always the quietest of the companies associates,  without a doubt, but in my eyes I was on top of my confidence world. I  had my first cell phone, friends, social outings every weekend, a job  making my own money and not a care in the world. Then I quit to work at  as bank teller. Big mistake. Selling tanning packages and lotion is  NOTHING like dealing with people's money and then trying to sell them  banking products, credit cards and things they don't want or need.  Everyday became a struggle. Getting out of bed was so difficult and I  ended up gaining close to 40 lbs. I was lucky enough to quit that job  and take a six month hiatus and lose a lot of the weight. When I began  working again in 2009 I lost the rest of the weight and made a handful  of new friends. I excelled at my job really well and my confidence was  back up again. Looking back, I never quite made it back up to the top of  my world. I did this again in 2010 and this time I never got close to  where I was in 2009. Personally, 2010 was a success as far as my  relationship went but the rest of my life was going to hell in a hand  basket and here we are today. Now that you're caught up (I know that was  a book so if you are still reading, thank you!)... I realized, I am  still mourning that girl I lost after high school. I have always been 13  going on 30, literally. Not in a Jennifer Garner kind of way but in a I  had to grow up at a very young age kind of way. I am happy and have a  great life but I'm not who I want to be, I miss who I was.

Figuring  out that your shitty attitude is all because you miss being a  17-year-old version of yourself kind of stings. There are so many things  about that girl I didn't like. No offense 17-year-old Hannah but you  were stupid. haha. Wise beyond your years but 21-year-old Hannah thinks  you were dumb about some stuff.  I know that finding a version of the  current Hannah and the past Hannah that I can love will take me some  time. Until then I will go on loving the little things about myself like  I love the little things about life.

The things I write  are not to dwell on the past. I reach conclusions and like to say I'll  change or improve and somewhere along the way I forget them. I want to  keep being the best possible version of myself and I think this is a  good place to start moving forward. No matter how down I feel I just  keep telling myself, "I'm not the only one."

xoxo hannah