I chose to change

An image capturing how I felt during the summer of 2019, hiding behind a fake smile. Photo by Joana Cainglet.

Every little detail matters. I have been told multiple times by my best friend that we are our own worst critics. I believe that. I am not a perfectionist, but I nitpick every flaw that I see in the mirror, every imperfection on content I create and I highlight every mistake I make that day. Well, I used to. 

In the summer of 2019, I was at the lowest point of my life. I was unknowingly battling depression. I didn’t want to leave my room, and I spent the whole day just sleeping my feelings away. I just couldn’t imagine what my future held, and I didn’t want to at all.

In August, the day of my 19th birthday, I lost control of my emotions in front of my family. I let out everything that was building up inside me and completely broke down. I kept repeating to my mom, “there’s something wrong with me.” I hated myself. I hated the way I felt, but I didn’t want anyone to pity me. I was always known for being “too happy,” and I didn’t want anyone to think of me otherwise. Because of that, I never completely shared the pain and sorrow I was going through. However, I knew I never wanted to feel that way again. From that day on, I slowly changed the way I looked at things.

The first bouquet of yellow roses to symbolize a happy and more vibrant color. Photo by Joana Cainglet.

Many people, like my mom, told me that they make their bed every day to help them feel more productive. It is one easy thing to check off the list every morning. I took that thought process, and I used it for something else. Every week, I buy a bouquet of flowers. Growing up, flowers represented a way of celebration. Whether it was for graduation, for friends after a performance or for my parents’ anniversary, a bouquet of flowers meant that day was special, and it highlighted the individual’s hard work.

I buy flowers every week for myself. I decided that every day of my life is worth celebrating, every moment is special and though I may not see it yet, my hard work will pay off in the future. It gives me hope, positivity and happiness. It also shows me that I can congratulate myself without anyone else’s approval.

With this one simple tool, I began to see myself in a positive light. I began every day with a little more optimism, knowing that a couple months ago I could barely get out of bed. Every task completed was a small step away from who I was. Eventually, I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I wake up thankful for being able to live another day in my life, and I now know to never take it for granted. 

At the end of the day, I am who I am meant to be. I may not be able to change the past, but now, I figured out that I can learn from it. There may be days where I don’t feel the most confident, but those days help me find the positives in the smallest details. I wake up seeing those flowers, and I’m reminded that I am enough.