Looking for Myself, Making Progress

It’s that time again. Tomorrow, after I do this awful statistics exam (which is more like an essay test because my professor doesn’t really do numbers but that’s another story), I head home. I’m so excited, I can’t even tell you! Heading home is the best feeling in the world. I love Philly and all of the benefits of living in the city but at the end of the day I always miss the open spaces of Wyoming.

I remember the first time I came home freshman year. It was a strange feeling, like being a puzzle piece that no longer fits quite right. I loved being home, but I could tell that things were different. I was different. I’d had new experiences and done all sorts of things and coming home was still like being wrapped in a big hug, I noticed that home “me” and school “me” weren’t exactly the same thing anymore.

This sense of some sort of internal split became greater throughout freshman year, as I began to see myself change and grow in exciting ways. I developed new interests, met new people, and learned how to sleep in on Sunday mornings like a normal teenager instead of getting up weirdly early.

People always romanticize “finding yourself,” as if it’s this thing you choose to do when you go on a solo backpacking trip across Europe and come back a whole different person who is wise and worldly. I was suddenly in the middle of it, sans the backpacking. I didn’t feel the romance, just a lot of confusion. Being in college meant making most decisions myself. How was I supposed to do that?

Going home freshman summer was even more confusing. I felt like I didn’t match the “me” of home but I didn’t feel like I’d quite assimilated to Penn yet. I felt like I was hanging in the balance between two different Taylors who hadn’t yet been introduced to one another.

Now that I’m at the end of sophomore year, I think I’m finally starting to see it all come together. Have I found myself yet? No way. It’s still one big game of hide and go seek, but I’ve got some clues. I feel like these last two years have been full of growth, and I’ve began to reconcile the two halves of myself that I believed existed.

My new favorite word has become “authenticity.” Whenever I feel like I’m being pulled in one direction or another, I try to step back and consider if it seems “authentic.” Does it seem like something I want to do? Is it in line with other decisions I’ve made? It’s not a perfect system, but it gives me some way of deciding on who Taylor is until I figure it out (spoiler alert: she probably really likes food, or at least she better).

As I head home for sophomore summer, I’m excited to head home more Taylor than ever. The “real me” is probably not hiding under a ginormous stack of pancakes that Dad will inevitably make me for breakfast, but I’ll look anyways.

Here are some of my favorite quotes about authenticity:

When is a time in your life where you felt like you were two different people? Did you find yourself? How did you do it?

Xoxo, Taylor

8 thoughts on “Looking for Myself, Making Progress

  1. Love this! I totally agree with people romanticizing “finding yourself,” as hard as it sounds, it needs to be ornate. You can’t plan to find yourself… or else the idea would be a lot easier!


  2. I think that “finding yourself” is a never-ending journey. Every exploratory experience, through classes, social activities, people that you know, etc. all serve some purpose in terms of “finding yourself.”

    This includes even the difficult times.

    I was a little confused by the last part of your post–your favorite quotes seemed to be written in Magic Marker.

    “Here are some of my favorite quotes about authenticity:

    When is a time in your life where you felt like you were two different people? Did you find yourself? How did you do it?”


    • I agree. I don’t think I ever will “find myself,” and if I did life would be awful boring!

      As for the quotes, I embedded Pins from Pinterest…perhaps if your browser was weird or you were reading on a mobile device, they didn’t show up. Thank you for letting me know! It was my first time using Pinterest directly in a post and I wasn’t sure how it would work on different platforms.


      • Thanks. It may have been that I haven’t used Pinterest, and the embed was thus blocked by my script blocker. Even though I realize it’s a reputable site.


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