The other day, I had a rushed morning. I checked email, chugged my lemon water, hurried in the shower, dropped Teddy off at the groomers, and ran to a meeting. Honestly, it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for me, but it didn’t allow much time to think. It was just go.
The meeting was going really well and as I was sharing a bit of the background of The College Prepster, I realized just how much I had changed over the years. To be completely honest, I do not recognize myself. If I were to go back and tell my 15-almost-16 year old self where I would be in ten years, I don’t think my younger self would have believed me. Nope!!!
Growing up, I always dealt with anxiety. I had great friends, but I never would do something that I didn’t feel 100% comfortable doing. I never went to the movies on Friday nights in middle school. I didn’t go to any parties. I went to homecomings and proms, but didn’t dance. Even little things like telling a waiter what I wanted to order was hard! The list goes on and on.

This was the first week of college, I was very excited to be starting a new chapter, but I had no idea how much personal struggling I was about to go through that semester!

I never would have believed that I was going to meetings with strangers basically every day. I would have never believed that I was voluntarily throwing myself down a mountain on skis or sinking in a pool learning how to scuba dive. I wouldn’t have believed that I was in a great relationship. I would never believe that my formerly terrified of dogs self would end up with a dog of her own.
As excited as I am to know how far I’ve come and knowing that there’s still room to grow, it does make me sometimes look back and wonder if my life would have been different had I been this “new” me from the very beginning.
But then I remember that the new me has been me all along and that everything I’ve gone through, overcome, faced is all part of the journey. It’s all part of my story. The good, the bad, the ugly. 
And actually, it’s mostly the bad and ugly that really forced me to grow and change. (Yes, I know this is cliche!!! It just is so true, I can’t not say it.) That time I fainted before my college interview? That time I failed my first ever college exam? That time I dropped out of a class and squeaked by another with a D? That time I found myself on the floor of the bathroom crying at work? That time I had to decide between my job and my passion?
Those moments led me to where I am today, in a powerful, the-dots-all-connect way
So instead of feeling sad about thinking what I might have missed growing up because of my anxiety, I just own my story and know it’s just as much a part of who I am as having green eyes is. It’s just me.
I don’t think about all these changes frequently, but sometimes it hits me. Like when I’m sitting across from a near stranger, completely comfortable, talking openly about my life and my business and thinking to myself, “Wow, I can do this. I am doing this.”
This is not to say that I don’t still have things to work on. I’ve been having the worst time trying to fall asleep every night lately. There are times when I feel sick to my stomach and frozen with fear and self-doubt. But I get through it. Somehow, someway, I get through whatever it is.

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Vienna Rose

I love this! I'm 15 right now, and anxious about my future. This post almost serves as a letter from my future self, because all my present worries are your anxieties from 10 years ago. College is soon on the horizon, and it's definitely stressing me out. This has inspired me to be unafraid and pursue my dreams. Thank you for such a relevant and inspiring post, I really appreciate it. ­čÖé

Audrey Lin

I've only just finished my first year of college, and already it's been the most transformative experience in my life. I used to be totally dependent on my parents because they were always around. This past year I've surprised myself with how I've been able to deal with multiple situations, and I'm so excited for my next three years. Thinking about the years after that is a little more nerve-wracking; we'll cross that bridge when we get there haha -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

Lindsey Saxby

This is such a fantastic post! Sharing this side is so brave and shows how much confidence you have and how much you've grown from when you were 15. It's really inspiring. Thanks for sharing. I think a lot of us can relate to this.

Lindsey | Finding Balance in Life

Fairy Princess Jord

I've loved reading bits and pieces of your story over the year. I think your courage sharing your moments of weakness have been amazingly encouraging for so many girls struggling with anxiety or self doubt out there. You're an example of overcoming anxiety but still admitting that it is a constant effort. For me that message is inspiring!

Janae Stanfield

I love this post Carly! I've gone through quite a change these past few years, and it's weird looking back and seeing how much you can grow as a person. I used to be the shyest girl around, but just this past semester I studied abroad in London! Thank you for being so real and transparent with you readers! If you ever have time, check out my blog! I used it mainly while I studied abroad, but I'm starting to post more about my life now.

Mia M

carly, this blog post truly touched my heart. i have been reading your blog for as long as i can remember & you have become apart of my day to day life, i don't know what i would do without you & your blog. you are an inspiration, & now hearing your story of overcoming obstacles shows how relatable you really can be! ­čÖé

3 Peanuts

I am so glad to hear how you have grown so much and that you have the insight to recognize it. That is what life is about. I am old enough to be your Mom and I am growing as a person each day by making mistakes. I was just talking to Will, my 18 year old son about this today.


You can't hope for nothing bad to ever happen (it will!) but you pray for the wisdom and the courage to handle it. It's quite wise of you to recognize that.

Courtney Lovell

I feel the same about myself. Who I was 5 years ago is definitely not who I am today. I've grown and changed so much as a person. I'm not sure I would have pictured my life being this great.

I love reading your blog and seeing how you've grown as a person and how your blog has grown with you. Thanks for such a great post today!

Shirley L

You've just described my entire life. Down to the no dancing school dances, anxiety, staying within comfort zone, failing college classes, deciding between job and passion… New me! Everything! Great post and thanks for being so honest.