My birthday is actually April 28, 2016. I mean, I’ve been on this earth for 24 years, but my life didn’t actually begin until two years ago. Up until two years ago, I was “going through the motions”. I was accepting whatever was given to me and “living” a life with no meaning. Now, this may come as a surprise considering the fact that my life has been very privileged. I have a wonderful family, I started traveling when I was 8 years old, I played almost every sport, and have met tons of people throughout my lifetime. My parents did a wonderful job of raising me. As a child, my parents got me involved in the community, encouraged me to meet to new people, and allowed me to explore the creative parts of my personality. However, I think the struggle of transitioning to adulthood can make us jaded. I had my first dose of reality during my sophomore year of college when I lost my full volleyball scholarship for…pretty much no reason. Not only did I suffer an identity crisis but I gave up on myself. It was the beginning of my “dark days” as I like to call it. I stopped thinking about my future, I stopped exercising, I ate like crap and self-medicated just to get through the day. I sold myself short in every aspect of my life because I truly believed that volleyball was the ONLY thing I was good at and if I couldn’t succeed at that then I couldn’t succeed at anything, so what was the point of even trying? I never considered myself super smart, I made average grades throughout high school, and immersing my life in volleyball made me forget that I was actually very creative and could sing AND dance! I accepted crappy treatment from my “friends” at the time and my emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend. I allowed life to happen to me for three years until one day I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize myself. Who is this person I’ve allowed myself to become? I stared at myself for about five minutes and decided that the person I was looking at was NOT the person my parents raised me to be.
I broke up with my ex two weeks after my epiphany, graduated from college two weeks later and moved into my apartment BY MYSELF a month after that. I needed to be alone. I had to figure out who I was without the presence of other people. My initial goal was to just lose some weight and have a place to myself. I had gained 20 pounds over those two years and the little confidence I had left was SHOT. I started working out everyday and the weight I lost was replaced by a boost in my self-esteem. That year, I completed my first year of graduate school, made new friends, fell in love with makeup and skincare and began to focus my energy into the things and people I loved. As time went on, I finally became my top priority. I began therapy, I started thinking about my future and the things I wanted for myself and I started becoming the woman I wanted to be.
The old Zoe couldn’t have dreamt up the person I am today. Today, I’m a scholar. I’m entering my last year of grad school with a 3.92 GPA, I participated in a competitive summer fellowship reserved for only the best graduate students in the UT school system, I’m a scholarship recipient, and I have BIG plans for my future career. I’m surrounded by amazing, genuine people who only want the best for me and I finally have people in my life that reciprocate the love and effort I bestow onto them. I am the best I have ever been physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The growth never ends but I’m finally happy. I say all of this to say that it’s never too late to re-invent yourself. It’s never too late to create your version of happiness. Do I fall back into old habits at times? Absolutely! But the beautiful thing about the freedom of choice is that it doesn’t have to stay that way. It’s your life. It’s your choice. Choose wisely.
The Life Therapist