“Defining Moments: Change – This one comes to us from writer, Mayra Y. Rocha. Read more of her work on her personal blog, Avenida M.
As humans, we are constantly changing. We change fashion, hair styles, friendships, relationships, schools, jobs, and living arrangements. We grow up and change from child to adult. Change can be difficult or terrifying but it can also be the best thing that can happen to you.
My biggest moment of change, up to this date, was when I celebrated my 30th birthday. It was the pinnacle of my life where I had to break up with my 20s. I had to say goodbye to the all-nighters, the three-day weekend non-stop parties, the college student and post grad lifestyle, and the unplanned and reckless events in my life.
Change happened almost automatically. It was as if a light switch was turned on in my brain and the past 10 years of my life flashed before my eyes. I felt like I was finally seeing the world for the first time as an adult. And in that purest moment of realization, I asked myself: “What am I doing with my life?” The soft veil that had blanketed my view during my 20s had been lifted. No longer could I be reckless or careless with my actions and decisions. No longer could I associate myself with toxic people and relationships. I needed to get back to what was important and focus on my goals, my family, my passions, and most importantly myself.
When I turned 30, I realized I needed to keep my close circle of friends to a minimum and any toxic people that I thought were worthy of my friendship had to get deleted from my life permanently. I also realized that my close friends, along with my family, were all that I needed. I didn’t require the attention of toxic people to hang out with every weekend and feel wanted. I had to let go of that “fear” of not wanting to be left out and having to hear about what I missed the next day. It was like social torture for me during my 20s. But all of that is non-essential and eventually it gets boring. I realized that I had funneled all of my energy in the wrong direction and in the wrong people. I wasted time doing nothing meaningful or important that would benefit my goals or further my future plans. Instead it caused road blocks and derailed my ambitions. It suppressed my passion to write, to plan my dream trip to Peru and visit Machu Picchu, and most importantly it suppressed my passion to have the confidence in myself that I could do these things on my own.
Thankfully, I realized what was happening and saw how I was changing before it became too late. Once I turned 30, I decided that I would change for the better and focus on myself, my goals, and my passion. I would delete the toxic people out of my life, and surround myself with family and close, loyal friends who have my best interests at heart. I would take the time to strengthen my creative muscle no matter how hard or discouraged I may feel at times. I decided to not give up on my future plans and take the bumpy back road that seems more frightening than the easy freeway. I would prepare for those bumps along the way and know how to handle them because I had transformed into an adult, and I had learned from my past mistakes.
I may not know what the future has in store for me, but I do know that I am in charge of my life and I will not let anyone or mainstream society dictate what I need to do. This is a new chapter where I truly know myself. I know the person that I want to become, and the person I will always strive to be from here on out. I will remain true to myself and not let toxic influences derail my plans or hold me back from doing what I want to do. After all, each day is a new adventure, and I’m up for any challenge life may throw in my way.