Everyone always says that your 20's are going to be the best years of your life. What they don't tell you is how many mistakes you will encounter or how you will deal with your mistakes. Let me tell you; encountering your mistakes, accepting them, and moving on from your mistakes are probably one of the hardest things you will ever do.
I won't go too much into detail about what my life-changing mistake was but I'll tell you now; it was the absolute hardest situation I had to deal with (and I've dealt with a lot of difficult situations in my life). My mistake was simple as this: I was not honest with my family, I was not honest with my own best friend, or honest with the people around me, but more importantly I was not honest with MYSELF.
I am a huge family person. I have always loved my family and no matter what all I ever wanted was to make my family proud; even if my actions did not reciprocate what I really felt. I thought that putting up this facade of what my parents thought would make them proud and keeping up this act would make everything better. I would come home every day and tell them what they wanted to hear to be proud of me. I kept up with this facade to a point where even I believed I was happy. I even believed that everything would be okay in the end. Surprise surprise; everything was NOT okay.
The facade blew up in my face and nothing was the same but worst of all; my family was broken for months. The saying "Sometimes you have to fall before you fly" well if that was the case imagine a high cliff like Splash Mountain ride at Disney high and I was falling. It honestly felt like I was never going to land. I was so broken and had no idea what to do or how to go about my life anymore. It was to a point where I just felt empty inside and close to a point where I wanted to harm myself to feel something and to stop crying. My best friend who was still by my side regardless of the facade I had put up had emailed me this when I felt like all hope was lost "In the end it will be okay, if it is not okay then it is not the end" and I was finishing up "Me After You" (which by the way is a great book but I'll post about that another time) and I read "you don't have to let that one thing be the thing that defines you".
After reading that line I decided to take life into my own hands. I have been given a new start. A chance to do everything my way and not worry about what would make my parents happy but what would make ME happy. I decided that I was not going to let the past define who I was. I was not going to let it define my future. After sitting down and figuring out what God had wanted me to do, I prayed and I prayed hard until one day it all hit me like a whirlwind. I volunteered for VBS, I finally said yes to becoming a Core Member for my church youth group, I said yes to going back to school for nursing (maybe even a minor in business), and I said yes to taking my life into my own hands and studying what I am passionate about.
Now, don't get me wrong; I still want nothing more than my family to be happy and to be accepted by my parents. But, how am I suppose to accept that my family will be happy and proud of me if I am not happy or proud of myself when I have been given a chance to start a new chapter in my life? How am I suppose to believe that this second chance is a chance for me to change if I don't believe that I am worth something more than my mistake?
It is okay to want your family to be happy and be proud of you; as long as you are happy and proud of yourself first. It is okay to make mistakes in life; as long as you don't let them define who you are. In the end, it will all be okay, if it is not okay then it will not be the end.