It's weird to think about the person I was a year or two ago. I remember in middle school I used to preach that people don't change and those who did were "fake." But as I reflect on my own personal growth, I realize that the younger me could not have been further from the truth. Change does not have to be a bad thing.
In the past year, I have found myself saying "yes" a lot more and spending more time figuring out what it is that I want. I have stopped shooting down ideas I thought to be impossible and started realizing that only I can make my dreams happen. I am growing and I am changing every day. And it is far from being a bad thing. With every day that passes I am learning something new about myself and about those around me.
I said a year ago that I was choosing to be happy, but sometime within the past 12 months, I stopped having to choose. It turns out that telling yourself that only you can make yourself happy every single day, makes you realize it's actually true. I stopped worrying about what other people were thinking, and I started doing what I wanted to do.
I found that the more I put myself first, the happier I was. I realized just exactly how often I was letting other people walk all over me and decided that enough was enough. People will treat you exactly how you let them. If you allow other people to take control of your life and your decisions, they will.
I started ignoring my mind telling me that I always needed to have a plan, that I always needed to know what my next step would be. And I realized that a structured plan that mapped out the rest of my life was not even close to what I needed most. I needed to let go and actually enjoy being young. There is a fine line between being prepared and over-planning. You're doing yourself an injustice when you don't allow yourself to enjoy the moment and all of the wonderful people surrounding you.
Life is not perfect, not even close, and no amount of planning will make your life problem free. It took me a long time to figure out that not everything is under my control. Bad things will inevitably happen to me and everyone else. Life isn't going to be fair and there are days when it feels like the world and everyone in it are against me.
These moments are the ones that remind me how much I have grown from the girl I was a year ago. Instead of getting upset and throwing myself a pity party, I do the best with what I have and I move on. Just move on. Sometimes things just suck, and that's okay. Sometimes I still forget that it's okay to show emotion and be vulnerable, but it's all about where I go from here.
Life is filled with ups and downs and changes speed in an instant. I feel like a lot of the time we brush off the cliches because we don't believe there is any way they can be true, yet I keep finding the truth in them. I'm nowhere near perfect, neither are you, and neither are the people that we watch with envy.
We've gotten really good at only showing the good parts of our life, living in fear of others finding out that people just might find out that we don't have our shit together. There's nothing wrong with being vulnerable, and there is nothing wrong with changing. Anyone can slap on a smile and act like everything is fine, but not everyone is brave enough to let people know what they think, how they feel, and what they want.
The person I want to be is not afraid to let people in. She is confident. She is intelligent. She is happy.