Recently, I had an opportunity that changed me. This opportunity took away the Chelsea I have always been and replaced her with a Chelsea I was largely unfamiliar with. In some ways these changes were positive. I gained skills and knowledge I hadn't formerly possessed. At times I felt fulfilled, and happy, and proud. However, more commonly I felt stressed out, and incompetent, and incredibly sad.
My stellar family was with me every minute of the way. When something neat happened to me, I would call my mom to brag on myself a little. Likewise, when I was having a bad day or had rude things said about me I always knew I could call my mother. A few weeks ago, after such an occasion, my mom said that she came across my Kindergarten picture and was reminded of the little girl I once was.
To say I was a confident child would be an understatement. I was a girl who thought that she was hot stuff. I was sassy, and vibrant, and had a "it's not me, it's you" attitude. While these qualities would be incredibly annoying for a twenty two year old to completely embrace, my mom encouraged me to remember baby Chelsea and to not entirely forsake those childish characteristics.
It's kind of interesting to go back and think about the person you inherently are. When you are a child, your interaction with the "real world" is so limited. You have very few opportunities to be molded by anyone other than those who love you unconditionally. Our talents are praised and while our shortcomings are acknowledged, every piece of criticism is backed by good intentions. Interestingly enough, it is under these formative years that we grow and develop more than in any other stage of life. While I don't yearn to go back to this time in my life, I am beginning to see that there are pieces of my childhood that I don't want to forget. I don't want to "grow up" so much that I lose the best parts of me.
A few days ago I made a big life change. A scary one. To be super honest with you, this change has been incredibly hard. But, at the same time, I am starting to know myself again. I am starting to see that I have more worth than I was reviewed as having. I am starting to see pieces of me that had been resting for a little too long. While I have certainly shed my share of tears, in the past few days I've laughed more than I've laughed in months. I've smiled more. I've been more positive and kind.
I don't want to be a girl who wishes she were different, or focuses on what is wrong. I want to be happy. And you know what? I'm going to be.
On that note . . . welcome back, Chels.