person raising hands

“There is an innocence in admiration: it occurs in one who has not yet realized that they might one day be admired.”

–Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche


The Good Taste of Admiration

Fiction Based on a True Story

by Melissa Camacho

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character, or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.

It began when I was a child–that inner feeling of not being loved. My youth was all
about negativity. I was constantly reminded of my failures, my downfalls, my pet
peeves, and infamously, my weirdness, as mentioned by my peers. I was always
figuring what to do to be liked, but I was always struggling to find myself.

My identity was lost. Who was I? Was it about them or about me? These emotions will
always remain like candid photos, but throughout the years I realized I fought for that
girl who was lost. I reinvented her.

If I felt everyone was against her, what was I going to do? Feel guilty about myself for
their pleasure and because they felt their identity was far greater? I had to go on the
journey to learn about my motives and what I had to offer. Years had gone by and
though there were bumps on the road, I made many marks and those marks made me
see my real identity.

As I learned, others spotted me. They learned from me and felt inspired. Since then
inspiration kept growing into admiration as I never thought I would see this special

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