Over the last couple of years, I have changed a lot as a person, and I have made many mistakes. Not only have I hurt people, but I have also hurt myself with my choices to please others. While I would never want to make those same mistakes again, I understand how important it was for me to make them. They helped me learn, grow, and navigate my life differently because of them.
As a younger teen in middle school, I spent so much of my time and effort pleasing others and molding myself into what they wanted me to be. This habit, in turn, shifted me into someone I no longer recognized. I wound up hurting many of my friends and saying hurtful things I believed would be taken as “funny”... It wasn’t... I would find out years later that my words had caused deep-rooted issues within those individuals. I only began to change as soon as I lost the people I believed mattered most at that point in my life.
I began to reflect, journal, and approach the friends who had decided to stick around in my life and ask if they had noticed these behaviors in me. Almost everyone in my life had said “yes.” After years of mulling over my mistakes and ultimately taking steps to change my view of life, my relationship with myself, and my friends, I began to approach those I had hurt to apologize and take responsibility for my actions. It was important to me that I understood everyone would not accept my apology, as I understood that my actions had hurt many people. However, it allowed me to make amends with many who had given me the chance to prove I had changed.
Accountability can be one of the most challenging things because it requires self-awareness that can only be achieved when the damage is already done. But, never believe it is too late to amend your actions and try your best to repair what you have done; it is better to try (and possibly fail) than to never try at all.