Oh JoyOh Joy

what changed you?

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Recently, Bob and I were out to dinner with friends and he said that having a daughter was the best thing that could have happened to him because his mindset changed about what it's like to be a girl has changed now that he has to raise one.

It made me think about the notable moments in my life, and the events that really changed me. I can honestly say that three things impacted my life and forever changed the person I was into who I am now...

#1 Taking karate as a kid. I started taking karate when I was 12 years old and studied martial arts for eight years. I was a shy kid, and karate brought me out of my shell. It really gave me the self-confidence I needed during those awkward tween and teen years. Karate was my life and my passion, so much so that I eventually became an instructor and worked my way up to a second-degree black belt.

#2 Losing a dear friend. One of my best friends passed away in our early 20s. It was a heartbreak unlike anything I had ever felt before. I cried every day for many months and found myself in a hole of sadness unlike anything I had ever experienced. But what came out of it was a reminder that life is short, and that I needed to stop putting off things that really mattered. It made me feel ready to finally marry my boyfriend of 10 years, it made me ready to start my own business, and it made me appreciate those I love even more.

#3 Becoming a parent. Okay, so this is probably an obvious one. Everyone says that becoming a parent changes you. But for me it was about more than the extra responsibility or the joy that a child can bring you. Having a baby made me stop stressing about the small things. I spent my teen and adult years obsessing over not having a flat stomach or that my boobs were too small; now I can't remember the last time I even thought twice about that or stared at myself in the mirror, judging the person I saw in its reflection. Sure, I am still sensitive to the judgement of others and still care about what people think (I wish I didn't), but the judgement I used to place on myself has somehow disappeared like a puff of smoke. And that feels so great.

What are the events or moments that changed you?

{Photo by Bonnie Tsang}

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