Back when I was in middle school I reached a conclusion about life, I didn't fully grasp it at that point but as I have gotten older I have begun to understand it more.
Growing up I went to a school that was very "clique'ish." When my family moved there, I was in the 6th grade, and I was very "late to the party" if that makes any sense. Now I am not saying I was unable to make friends, but in order to make friends without changing myself a little and kind of adapting to my environment.
But when I hit the 8th grade I decided I just wasn't incredibly happy having one life with family and a different life with my friends at school. When I sat back and looked at things I was much happier with my home life. SOOO I began to make small changes. I stopped listening to the music everyone at school listened to and went back to my "old country ways." And as time went on I stopped caring as much about what the style was and what everyone else was wearing.
Then I went to a vocational school. This took me away from the environment of my old high school and took me to a place where people my age were more focused on their careers and goals for their lives. This school environment also put me into a smaller class and around the same people for 75% of my day. It was here that I found my best friends and my now husband. I truly was finding out who I truly was and had never been happier. I figured out that no one but myself could decide what my life was going to be and that was a very empowering feeling.
I became very involved in clubs and even headed a few myself. I had never been more comfortable in my own skin. It had finally hit me that it didn't matter what anyone else but myself thought about what I was doing or what I liked at the moment. Now I am not saying I had this completely down but I was getting better.
However once I got into college I was about 90% there with this realization. I had really reached a point to where the only opinion that mattered were my own and Chris'.
It was not until I started my new job at the hospital that I hit this 100%. And this is hard to explain, I had always felt very confident in my nursing skills. But a few months in I realized I wasn't asking for help as much and you could practically send any patient my way and I could give the best care, and I wasn't out of my mind afraid.
It was at this point that I noticed the change in my life outside of work too. It suddenly didn't matter that others didn't agree with my decisions or some of the things I do. All that mattered was that at the end of the day my life was the way I wanted it to be.
I have always had a hard time putting this realization into words until I came across Ashton Kutcher's speech from the Teen Choice Awards 2013. It was so beautifully articulated and it really was empowering.
Now if you made it to the end of this post and any of it made sense I really encourage you to go watch this video, it really changed my opinion on Ashton Kutcher and I believe made him a more positive role model.