When did everything change? When did you become someone I’m no longer proud of? What happened? Was it days or weeks or months or years that passed as everything and everyone went unnoticed? When did you rewrite your future to include indifference and useless sulking? What happened to the strong, independent woman of the world you used to declare valuable and worthy of great things, who didn’t let the constant reminders of just how lonely she felt most days consume her? When did you let everything change for someone else, for attention, for mere validation? Was it worth it to get to this place, to receive that shallow acceptance that never actually had plans to last? Was it worth it to get nowhere all? Where did that girl go, the one that didn’t smile by force, but because she knew no other way to live besides constantly expressing gratitude? When did anger consume you whole? When did you learn to hate with conviction, and love became something not to live but remember only as a possibility that never actually had a chance? When did you become ambitionless, unmotivated, and easily persuaded by words and faces of people with perspectives just as limited as your own, masked as sound advisers offering wisdom that you scribbled in tiny leather-bound notebooks as TRUTH because, after all, they know you better than you do, don’t they? Where did those conversations get you but further hating that which defines you, further questioning that which is most valuable? When did all that was beautiful get crumpled up in bad drafts of stories tossed away? When did you stop painting the world in brilliant hues, in optimism and opportunism and realism that managed to find balance amidst chaos?