Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: Gain Something New, Lose Something Old.

I feel like I’m always gaining something. Whether I’m gaining new friendships, newfound interests, new styles, or anything that I haven’t had in my life before; something is always changing. I used to call them my chapters, the parts of my life that I grow into and then grow out of when I don’t fit or belong in it anymore. I’ve realized that chapters are crucial to growth in life, and a lot of the things that I don’t fit in or belong in anymore is just a sign that I am always changing and developing for the sole purpose for myself. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt any less, or it doesn’t make me feel like chapters are just a apart of life, but just something that I disguise my unwillingness to keep things in my life.

Hi, my name is Liz, and I’ve realized that while I gain new things in life, I lose the old things that come with it.

One of the things I’ve gained was this WLS journey and have been able to lose 54 pounds within the last three months. I’ve gained new insight on myself, I’ve gained a confidence in style that I haven’t had in a long time, and I’ve gained a new perspective– a new lifestyle really– since having surgery back in July. I could feel those changes, and I felt them early on in this journey. Like I’ve mentioned before, I pretty much had to learn my hunger and body cues all over again and change the way I eat and drink. I had to literally press the restart button and learn things through trial and error.

But more than just my body began to change; it was also the people around me. I rekindled friendships these last couple of months that I thought I’d never have again, to state the obvious one. I’ve became a apart of two big online communities within the matter of a year and a half and made so many new online friends in the process. Of course, some of them lasted longer than others, but for the most part, I was not the same person even entering 2021 in, let alone at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

But, I realized while i was gaining new experiences and relationships in my life, I started to realize that the ones I had previously were beginning to look non-existent. For context, some of the people who I considered to be some of my closest friends didn’t even check on me before or after my surgery, which again I’m not crying over, but it started to put more perspective on these said relationships in my life and showed me where I clearly stood as a person in other people’s lives.

I realized that the further away I stepped from the person I was, the more distance I created with the people who were once friends with the old me; the old Liz. The Liz that didn’t collect photocards and albums of kpop boys and girls and have posters of said kpop groups on my wall. The Liz that didn’t really have friends, or hobbies, let alone a place where I could geek out about the things that were now interesting to me. The Liz where I began to grow out of clothes faster than I was actually growing!

I realized this narrative was a familiar one, especially those who got into kpop later on in their lives like me. A friend of mine in the community has expressed how the friends they had before kpop ghosted them or left them completely once they started to grew interest in kpop, and wanted to start building a collection of their favorite kpop groups and such. I didn’t understand how someone who you used to fuck with so heavy could ultimately just ghost you or drop you completely because of a contrasting interest that had absolutely nothing to do with them. But I do, because I’ve experienced it first-hand; I’ve seen just how much contrasting interests I began to have from the other people in my life, and perhaps even though I’ve gained a new interest in something like kpop, I put too much faith on the fact that perhaps maybe I was able to still keep those in my life and indulge in something that made me happy.

But I guess not.

And then there’s just this constant thought of maybe I’m drastically changing and not being the person these people know me as, but then I sit back and think who the fuck cares? Like, who cares if my interests change? If the “aesthetic” is different? Who cares if my priorities as a person shifted into a direction they once weren’t? Who cares if I can’t relate to everything like I used to. Like I said, I am constantly changing; we all are, but one thing that shouldn’t change is the way you treat people within those changes. Friendships, or any type of relationships are meant to be long-term. Relationships are meant to morph and grow with you, not be tossed once they have no relevance for you anymore.

But, not everyone thinks like me and some people just ghost to ghost or just never keeps in touch, no matter how many times you’ve tried to.

I truly do wonder if things will keep changing like this as I go down further into my journey. Will I soon realize that the people in my life don’t like me not being the fat friend anymore? Will I soon realize that my diet restrictions and unwillingness to do normal things like drink be a reason why no one wants to hang out with me? I know, it’s ridiculous, but I can’t help but wonder what are some of the things to come, and if they will be positive things or negative things.

At the end of the day, we as people just tend to gain and lose things all in one lifetime. It’s great if we can keep what we hold onto dearly while still gaining things from life experiences, but it’s rare to have that outcome happen unfortunately. We, as people, can only hope that the things that come into our lives, the things we gain, make us even happier than the things that we lost in our past. We gain things because in that exact moment, it’s what you want and what you can relate to and share and have in common and such. We lose things for plenty of other reasons, and I know it’s okay if I lose things during this process as I end my 20’s in a few years.

As long as you don’t lose yourself a long the way, I say that’s a win in my book.

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