The Girl I Used to Be

A Late-Night Reflection on the Past and the Present

Martha Lueck
6 min readAug 31


I’m going to get totally real right now. This is unfiltered, unedited content. This time of the year…sucks. And no, it has nothing to do with breakups (a common theme for my rants). But no. This has to do with the new school year and my longing for the past.

I miss the girl that I used to be.

At this time nearly…um…14 years ago (WOW!), I had just started school at Northern Illinois University. As a child with learning disabilities, all of the IQ tests and assessments from specialists showed that, statistically, I “wouldn’t make it” in college. So the moment I got accepted into college, I was overjoyed!

Looking back, college wasn’t easy. It was grueling at times! The anxiety was exhausting and embarrassing, especially after finishing tests and assuming that I failed all of them. My obsession with perfect grades made me feel like I was losing my mind. I felt myself annoying everyone around me, including my friends.

And yet, I still felt accepted for who I was. Eventually, it became easier for me to have a social life while studying and writing for the college newspaper. Even though my time writing for the paper only lasted for one semester during sophomore year, it was amazing! I learned how to manage my time better and improve my communication skills. And making friends with other writers (most of whom I thought were so much better than me) inspired me to keep learning and growing.

Back then, the motivation to grow academically, personally, and professionally came naturally to me. But now, when so many people are going back to school with the same mindset as mine from over a decade ago, it has me wondering…

What happened to that girl who could dream of writing motivational columns/articles for a living? Or maybe even becoming a press photographer or an American Sign Language interpreter? Where did she go?

Okay…I’m writing this at 3 a.m….on my day off. In my sleepy state, I’ll tell you what I think happened. Adult expectations, and a huge wakeup call. For one thing, writing isn’t easy. It’s emotionally draining at times. And unless you can afford to do it “full-time”, it won’t pay the bills.



Martha Lueck

Published author | Freelance blogger for | Passionate about mental health and Jesus |