There are a few pivotal moments in my life. Spoiler alert: they were all seemingly insignificant moments at the time. We agonize about big events in our lives, but it blows me away how often it’s the little moments that make the most difference.

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One of those moments I think about a lot was when I was in high school. I was in the passenger seat of my dad’s car having a conversation about my future career as a doctor. My dad said something along the lines of “I’m so proud of you. But I want you to know it’s okay if you change your mind. We’ll still be proud of you. No one will care if you decided you didn’t want to be a doctor.”

It was as if a huge weight had finally been lifted off my shoulders. This moment opened up a whole new world. Suddenly, anything was possible. It’s an idea I’ve talked about before on the blog. The idea that just because you’ve told someone about a dream, doesn’t mean you have to follow through with it even when it’s no longer what you want.

I had spent so long chained to this idea that I would be a doctor. And man did it make me feel good. Everyone sounded so impressed. It is a title that comes with a lot of honor and prestige. But there was something holding me back. I felt as if I wasn’t being my most authentic self.

That’s when I realized the only place I could truly do that was in my writing.

From an early age, society ingrains in you that your identity is tied to your profession. We ask little kids “what do you want to be when you grow up?” What we should really be asking is “who do you want to be when you grow up?” And even then — can we just let kids be kids?

It is a lesson that I have had to remind myself of over and over again: your worth is not measured in what you do for a living. It is not measured in how much money you make or how many colleges you got into. It is not tied to your score on the SAT or the ACT. But we are a society dictated by numbers. Numbers make sense to us. They are logical. We can analyze numbers and statistics, and we instinctively know that bigger is better. Plus, along the way, someone told us that progress could be shown quantitatively, so we believed them.

Remember when I said it was the little moments that mattered? It seems counterintuitive. These are the moments that can’t be quantitatively measured — despite what the cast of Rent may have told you.

The best part about these moments is that at the time you have no idea they are happening. It’s not until later in life that you can go back and pinpoint moments that took your life down a completely different course.

These moments set your dreams free. They made you who you are today. It’s important to reflect on these crucial moments in your journey. That’s what life is all about. I read a great quote the other day that said, “Happiness is not a destination.” Those words hold so much power. Stop telling yourself that you will be happy “when…”

Let your dreams change.

Love who you love.

Be who you are.

Love who you are.

Happiness is a feeling. It’s the feeling that you get when your baby sister tells you that you’re her best friend. It’s the feeling you get when you hear your best friend’s voice after a really long day. It’s the feeling you get when you stop worrying about the future and start looking forward to it.

Acknowledge the little things and the little moments that bring you happiness every day.

It sounds cheesy, but embrace today. It might feel like any other day. But it just may be the one that changes your life.

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