Change is inevitable; everyone knows that. Every second of the day, we are changing, growing. The thought of change is scary sometimes. When someone tells you that you’ve changed, you immediately think, “Have I changed in a good way or a bad way?” My entire life, I’d been so afraid of change. I wanted to stay the little angel that my parents saw me as. I wanted to always be there to take care of my friends. I didn’t want to focus on changing myself, so I focused on everyone else.
Change finally caught up to me this past year. As soon as I stopped trying to fight it, I began noticing differences in myself and in my life almost instantly. For me, changing meant really growing and maturing as an individual. Here are some of the things I finally learned by allowing myself to change:
1. My parents grew up in a completely different time period as I am growing up in.
Don’t get me wrong; my parents come first in my life. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with them in any way, and I couldn’t be more thankful for them. But my parents raised me the way they were brought up. I tried so hard to live under their own personal judgments, but somewhere along the road, I realized that my opinions aren’t always going to be the same as theirs. Instead of hiding what I really felt, I’ve learned to embrace my own opinions as an adult. I was finally able to accept that my happiness is up to me, not them.
2. There are genuinely mean people in this world.
I’ve always tried to find the good in people, as long as I can remember. I’ve gone out of my way to try to help people that didn’t deserve my help. I’ve put so many people before me, rather than focusing on myself first. It took me a long time to realize that some people are just toxic, and it’s completely okay for me to cut them out of my life.
3. I don’t need to have my life completely figured out.
I hate not knowing what is happening in my life. I have an obsessive need to be in control at all times. I’m finally becoming okay with not knowing what’s going on in my life sometimes. Life is really a surprise, and it’s much more fun that way.
4. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes.
I’m the definition of the “mom friend.” I feel the need to take care of my friends 24/7, even if I need to be focusing on myself. Now I am finally accepting that I am allowed to say no to them every once in a while. I don’t need to get out of my bed at 1 a.m. on a school night to help someone with their laundry, and I am not obligated to help someone write a paper for their class, rather than do my own work.
5. My happiness is up to me.
Everyone is always going to have something negative to say no matter what, so I’d rather be happy and have people talk badly about me, than miserable and have people talk badly about me. My happiness is up to me, and me only. If I want something, I need to go out and get it, not wait for it to come to me. I’m not a damsel in distress; I’m a kickass queen who does what makes her happy.
6. Taking risks can be fun.
If there is anything I was more afraid of than change, it had to be taking risks. I’ve always been deeply afraid of taking a risk and getting hurt. It took a lot of time, but I finally came to terms with the fact that I’d never know if I didn’t take a risk. And you know what? My last huge risk has ended up making me happier than ever.
While change can be slightly terrifying, something good usually comes out of it. Whether you begin to take risks or finally put yourself first in your life, you will really realize how much better you become as a person. It’s scary to shed your old ways, but trust me, your life will become much better when you finally embrace who you truly are.