How losing friends helped me be myself

A girl’s journey beyond the status quo, peer pressure, and social outings

Annie Ngu
3 min readMar 29, 2016


Embracing Nature (California; October 2015)

In the past 11 months, I’ve managed to turn my life around. We’re talking like 180 degrees.

I’ve quit smoking cigarettes, alcohol, coffee, and irrelevant social callings. I became a daughter to my parents again, a girlfriend, an illustrator/designer, and a novice entrepreneur.

With leagues to go, I’m back on track. I started by surrounding myself with the right people, approaching problems with the right attitude, and allowing myself to accept reality. However, accepting reality is not a notion to stop acting your biggest dreams but to create a possibility of that reality. Your success should be like a vibration; a resonation of energy that motivates the people you stand by and vice versa. With that being said, everybody deals with their inner demons differently.

A few years ago, I was in a harrowing mind-space as a insecure, naïve, and awkward adolescent. So, naturally I started to befriend people that were beyond my social group to prove I was “cool”. My parents were very frustrated with my new attitude but I thought my thirst for life was finally quenched. I became so obsessed with my image that I let my insecurities get the best of me: depression, self-doubt, and the fear of being lonely. Similar to Chemical X, from PowerPuff Girls, it was really the booze that made me feel immortal. So, life-of-the-party-Annie was my 3-year alias.

As soon as I let bygones be bygones, embracing who I am came naturally. It certainly took a while, but like most everything, it does gets easier. I think just somewhere along the way when I lost myself, I lost the memories of who I loved and had loved me. So, I just assumed everyone loved me for me. Turns out, that’s not true.

Now, I should have treated my body like a temple but I can’t escape from my own skin. Therefore, I altered my diet so to lessen the negative impacts (hence “losing friends”). My method of eliminating toxins ingested implied that I’d have to eject friends that were a hindrance. They appeared at the right time; but now is the time to move forward. Thus far, the deprivation of social-go-lucky friends reset my perspective and priorities.

Since my sudden-world-altering epiphany, I started reading a substantial amount of self-help books to figure out the bits and pieces I’ve missed slash build upon the knowledge reaped from experience. For instance, while “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo is technically a book about tidying up your home, it can really open your mind to create the life you envision. Kondo states that “people cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking.” And I feel like that sums up how I came about my transition.

In retrospect, I’m glad I caught sunrises; felt sick at heart; fell in lust and infatuation; connected with such a strong society; but most importantly, had fun. Every good, bad, and/or ugly experience fabricated the person I am today, for which I am truly grateful.

To finally be completely vulnerable is truly is breathtaking — and humane.

Follow me on Instagram documenting my journey of mindfulness, mini-adventures, and artwork.



Annie Ngu

Product Designer, ADPList Mentor. Check out my co-authored book, #WomenLetsRise