One moment. A Single choice. A sole action can alter the course of your life forever. Everyone has defining moments in their life, the metaphorical fork in the road, the decision to go left or right. Whether we realize it or not, while we live day by day, each choice shapes our life. Sometimes those moments are glaringly clear. You leave a job, end a relationship, move to a new city, etc. What about those ones that you never expected to change everything? The instant choice that alters your life permanently. One moment can be powerful enough to change the course of your life forever.
What many of us fail to realize is not all defining moments are huge and explosive. They aren’t always clearly spelled out and in our face. Sometimes our moments happen unknowingly. By just living, deciding, and taking action we are constructing our lives. We are taking an active role in how our life plays out. As I look back I see clear moments that made me who I am today.
These occurrences begin in childhood. I can remember very specific moments that changed the course of my life. One very clear memory is when I was in sixth grade going into seventh. To welcome the soon to be seventh graders the school would hold a dance. During this time I was confronted by a girl that was one of my supposed “best friends” for the last two years. This girl made everyone feel so special when they were her best friend. The issue was, every week she would have a different best friend and pit other girls against the person she chose as an outsider for that time.
I gained a lot of unneeded insecurities in those years and lost my trust toward “friends”. During our confrontation I was the enemy of the week. She walked up to me during the dance and yelled “Do you have a problem with me!?” I was shocked at her aggression and was embarrassed by the circle of people around her. With just as much attitude as hers I replied back “Yea, I do!” she angrily asks “Why!?” I had several thoughts in that moment: Why is she acting like this, why can’t we just dance, this isn’t a friend, and so on. All that came out was “ because you’re evil!” I then quickly walked away and tried to enjoy the rest of my night.
I’d like to note I am aware my behavior was just as negative as hers. I would NEVER want my children to behave this way. That is a definite regret from that memory. I could of held myself up to a better standard. I learned a lot about myself and how that made me feel acting that way.
What I didn’t comprehend was a lot happened from that moment. One, she was shocked and at the time I took it as her not caring. What really happened is she got hurt and started to cry. I heard (later) she called her Dad to pick her up. Two, we didn’t talk again till we were juniors in high school. Even then we were never truly friends again. We acted like we didn’t even know each other and still do.
One moment, one single action changed who my friends were forever. There was a group of us that would hang out and I removed myself from all of them except one or two. As an adult I don’t talk to any of them, I only interact with them through social media very distantly. Although I “lost” friendships it forced me to gain new ones.
Entering into a new school and faze of my life I met a lot of new people. That one moment made it possible for me to be open to new friends. I was cautious to who I trusted and became close too. The friends I made in that time had to be accepting of who I was without conditions as I would be to them. I have many of those friends till this day. Two of my very best friends, that I consider family, I met that year.
Sometimes a defining moment starts off feeling overwhelming and impossible. I remember questioning myself a lot. In that “friendship” I never felt good about myself. I thought negatively about who I was and tried to do what that friend wanted instead of being myself. I never felt good enough. I learned so much about what a friend was not suppose to be and what I was willing to deal with. Although, I wish I would’ve handled myself better, I do believe the outcome benefited me in the long run.
One moment can be powerful enough to change the course of your life forever. Looking back to see how you got to where you are can provide such valuable insight. I always thought of that memory as a simple moment in my life but it was clearly a defining moment. As an adult woman with three kids I can use my experience to guide my children about friendship and loving themselves.