There was nothing different about that day, nothing at all. I woke up as sleepy as any other day, dealt with misbehaving kids at work like always, and sat at home to write in an common cold afternoon in the middle of winter. I was writing an article about the story of How I Became a Feminist. It dragged me back to moments of personal struggle and, even though I didn’t quite understand it yet, growth.
By the time I made the decision of pulling myself together, I was feeling like I had wasted several relevant years of my life, the time when I should be building the foundations of “my empire” or whatever powerful person I should be becoming. Theoretically I knew I was young and had hopefully many decades of life ahead of me, but being surrounded in college by 19 year old seniors and entrepreneurs who knew exactly what they wanted and weren’t going to sleep until they had it, I felt that by not doing the same, and not being even close to it, I wouldn’t become anything for myself.
In the article I went chronologically, starting from my childhood and explaining all the events that led to me becoming the person that I am today. By the end of it, I stated that simple things that I took care of myself, and that can seem little to most people, “helped [greatly] to shape the person that I am today”. If I’m being completely honest, I chose to say that because it seemed like the right thing to say, but as I typed those words I realized the powerful truth they held.
In that moment I understood that the person I’ve become is strong, funny, confident, and smart. She isn’t afraid anymore of saying what she thinks and beliefs in, and is willing to fight for them. She doesn’t hide behind a shield of false safety (Mostly), and she isn’t afraid of making mistakes, because she’s learned that they are the proof of the fact that she is trying and not simply giving up.
I wish I had the words to describe exactly how empowering that feeling is, to be proud of yourself and how far you’ve come. I might have found what I’m passionate about a little later than a lot of people, but I have the satisfaction that even in those foggy times, I knew myself enough to not settle for things that didn’t feel right. I might not have been sure of a lot of things, and I mean a lot, but I did know with every fiber of my being that choosing something I didn’t absolutely love just for the sake of finishing college in a time frame that was considered acceptable, wasn’t worth my happiness and becoming a bitter and grumpy adult.