Puberty/Glow UP

NSFW language included in this post. More than usual.
In an effort to find the most derpy photo of myself for the puberty/glow up challenge I realized there was something I needed to say.
My growing up years, like most everyone else’s, were at turns fun, infuriating, joyful, difficult and overall awkward as hell. I had it pretty good, but in hindsight there were a lot of things I was working out internally at the time. Puberty for me in particular meant a few life changing things. 
First on the list: hormones, which in my case cause mental and physical health concerns. Dealing with anxiety and an (at the time) un-diagnosed panic disorder as a 12 year old was not easy. Definitely thought it was normal until I got to college and was asked, “How do you survive with that going on in your head all the time??” Second: I was living with an emotionally/verbally manipulative (abusive?) person which caused me to internalize and minimize some unsavory things that I am now working on in therapy.
Long story short: Didn’t realize it was abnormal at the time, looking back it super sucked and makes me wonder how I made it. Well, there is an easy answer for that question. I had (and still have) some super rad friends.
Most of us have grown apart at this point, which is okay. We are still friends on social media and you better believe I’m cyber-stalking their asses and making sure to post for life events. **note for the FBI agent reading this post, I’m not actually stalking them it’s a figure of speech leave me alone**
To you people: I’m proud as fuck of the people you’ve all become and the dreams you’re pursuing and the accomplishments you’ve already made. Knowing you is a privilege I hope to keep for a good long while. Keep it up, and if you ever feel like you haven’t done enough of what you wanted to, send me a message and I’ll set you straight.
Listen, I know it’s cheesy or cliche or something to do a friend appreciation post. Whatever the lingo is nowadays. God I feel old. Anyway, that’s not what this is. This is a celebration of who we’ve become, and a thank you for dealing with me at what was indisputably my worst self, and loving me anyway. What could I call it except love? You all helped me find what I believed, even if it was different from your own thoughts. You helped shape my critical thinking, my articulation of ideas, my moral reasoning and even my identity as a human. Sexual identity is debatable since I was a repressed Catholic school girl coming to terms with being queer subconsciously, but that too. I firmly believe that each and every one of you left a print on my soul that made it the beautiful shape it is today.
And to the people in my life now, I don’t know what I’d do without you. You’re part of me know, we’re growing together right now and I am truly happy and excited for this present with you. My friends, we are a living breathing present that is constantly sounding off each other birthing new facets of identity into being. Isn’t that fucking cool??? We are making each other up as we go. I love it. This creative process that is life never stops, good or bad. We’re always “glowing up” so to speak, and that’s important.
I think that’s the point of this whole challenge tbh. To look at where you’ve been, appreciate it for what it was, and look at where you are now with pride. There’s an implied future to it as well, sort of a, “If this is where I’ve been–and it’s been dope–can  you imagine where I’m going to be 10 years from now?” And I, for one, am excited for that future.
Sorry not sorry for all the beautiful photos of everyone. Here’s some particularly great ones of me to make up for it:

AND FINALLY: the glow up:

glow up 2

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