Finding the beauty in change

As the winter winds redden my cheeks and my short-sleeved shirts get thrown to the back of the closet again, I come to a realization. It’s been an entire year. An entire year since I had the most life-changing few months of my adolescence. An entire year since my heart got broken, and I had to mend it back together all by myself. An entire year since I learned how to be truly independent. An entire year since I began to strengthen my relationships with people who I hope to know for a lifetime. An entire year since I found myself. 

Now, the winds of change have begun to pick up again. For many, the winter months are times of melancholy, boredom, and anxiety, and I wouldn’t disagree. Yet, for me, they are also characterized by a series of life-altering moments and epiphanies, and this year is no different.

Despite the growth I’ve had in the past year, my life is far from perfect. I rely too much on the validation of others. I find myself holding on to people and things that want to be set free. I can’t seem to force myself to stand up for what I believe in, so I choose to stay quiet in order to convince everyone to like me. I still struggle with the social, academic, societal, and familial pressures that most teens are all too familiar with. 

Yet, the last few weeks, I’ve been making strides. I can feel myself letting go of things that are holding me back and holding on tight to everything that I’ve learned to hold dear. My constant anxiety over everyone I love leaving has begun to reach a ceasefire. This is especially significant because a few weeks ago, I was also at the lowest point I’ve been at in a while. 

Recently, I’ve been crippled by this all encompassing loneliness that I hadn’t felt for almost a year. The people that have blessed me with their companionship, who had fed me with the love needed for a healthy life, seemed to be slipping out of my grasp. I was scared of change. If I’m being honest with myself, I am still scared of change. 

While I was laying in my room, probably crying into my pillow, I was too busy thinking of what I was losing to think about what I’ve gained. In the past few months, I’ve found hobbies through reading, writing, working out, and meditation. I’ve found independence by going places all alone. I’ve found friendships that crept on me, giving me the love that I thought I lacked. I had lost, but I had also grown. 

Now, my heart is a little less heavy. As I rid myself of everything weighing me down, I found room on my shoulders for something even better. I was able to lift a heavier burden, one that allowed me to keep following the pathway towards self-actualization and carry on in the trek to find myself.