Do you ever look back on your life and think about all the things that have changed? The people you were surrounded by, your environment, your passions, and your dreams. I look back and think about all of these things have changed within the past few months. Looking back, I was an 18 year old boy filled with rage and a façade of happiness. I was not happy; I was so insecure, and I would let every single comment get to me.

A time period existed a few months ago where I lost the majority of the people I was close to. I was so negative that I truly believe it pushed the people I cared about away. Months later, after constant periods of reflection, I do not blame them. I believe I just had so many bad, traumatizing things to happen and consequently, I acted out in rage and had a mask I wore to hide the pain I was in. I told people I would change, promised them change, and eventually I brought the change. The people who cared about me knew something was happening to me, and I kept quiet about the things going on in my head. I spent what felt like infinities in my head, convincing myself I was fine, and telling myself that people didn’t know what they were talking about. I will admit it: I was selfish, I was a bad person, I was genuinely not a good person to be around. The most important thing I ever did was reflecting and evoking a genuine change in myself.

After left alone, I realized I was going to work on myself first before I decided to make amends with the people I had hurt. After all, you can tell people you have changed, but until you have actually changed, those words are meaningless: words spoke into the abyss. I worked on my insecurities, my anger, until I became rational, confident, and cliffed the mountain of self-doubt I had always wanted to conquer. I realize now that there is no point in feeling bad about your personal appearance. Life is far too short to worry about such things.

The old me is something that was exceptionally flawed, and people go through cycles of change all throughout life. I apologized to people I had hurt, sincerely, and threw myself into my work to prove to people how much I was a different person. Some relationships were mended, some were not. While it is not a good feeling, I completely understand and I know that I did my part, and whether people believe it or not, is their mind. I gained new friends, threw my worries to the wind and stepped out of my comfort zone and challenged myself to be an easier person to talk to and get rid of my doubts.

I am finally out of high school, about to start college, I am 18 years old, and I feel beyond grateful to have finally reached the point where I am proud of myself. I have a new environment, a place I can call home, with people I love and know they love me. My love and admiration for writing and art has grown exponentially and I want to set an example for people to be inspired by, and the best that could ever happen is that my words maybe break someone who dealt with the same things. Even if it is one person, that still means change.

These are the moments that need to be written, the moments where your self-growth astounds yourself; These are the moments that matter. I feel so full of life, full of love, and I am ready for life. We all have life, where nothing is promised. Follow your dreams, pursue your passions, and be the best version of yourself to others, and most of all, to yourself.

I hope everyone reaches their journey, with whatever it may be.