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So this semester, as many of you know, has been good for me in so many ways. Spending less time on academics and in meetings, and more time with children and in nature. Getting to run practically everyday and read really good books. Seeing rainbows, parakeets, tarantulas, monkeys, and morphos on the most average of walks. Rediscovering what it means to live with a family, and creating new friendships. My time in Costa Rica has been great.

But I feel like, when I say that, I am not telling the full truth. I have always felt the need to try to keep this space upbeat and positive (there is so much negativity on the internet), but, in truth, the way that I come across on this blog is not always how I feel.

Remember how I wrote that post about realizing how strong I was back in March?

Or that other post a few days ago about choosing how I react to life events?

Or that article I wrote in my college’s Christian discourse journal about loving yourself?

I want to believe each of those messages so much. That I am stronger than I think I am, that I can react gracefully when life gets tough, and that, through everything, I can never stop loving myself.

But I’m a hypocrite. And none of that is completely true.

I still find myself often thinking I’m worthless. That I don’t deserve to be loved.

I still find myself having panic attacks, mostly about my family and going home. 

I still find myself not loving myself.

I still get the blues.

I still break down some nights and cry.

I still wonder why I am here.

I still sometimes wish I wasn’t.

And none of that is new. I’ve experienced all of that before. But I thought I owed it to you, as readers, to know all that going on, and not just the good bits and pieces. To be authentic, rather than superficial. To show my true self, for all that it is, rather than be putting on some kind of charade. After all, we’re all human, right? And we’re all broken? As great as positive messages are, they are only that, positive messages, and at the end of the day we’re still the same broken people we were when we were born into this world. We’re still going to screw up, think bad things about ourselves (and others), and not handle life as gracefully as we could. I’m not going to pretend anything different than that.