It’s hard to believe now, but about eight years ago, I realized that I was a self-centered person. I did so after I had a conversation with a friend. The conversation that she and I had was about my family and me complaining about having to share my grandmother with the rest of the family (her other grand kids, because I’m clearly her favorite lol). After I had been rambling on about thirty minutes without her saying anything and just listening to me, she interrupted me and said, “You know how selfish and self-centered you sound, right? You say you’re not, but you are. Maybe you haven’t realized it yet. You’re complaining about your family, but you’re wrong in this situation, not them.” No one had ever challenged me or disagreed with me like that before until then. She was calling me out. I was so stunned by her words that I shut up and didn’t say anything else to her about the situation that day. Later, I asked other friends and family members about what my friend had said to me, and what they thought about her words. They confirmed that I was spoiled, selfish, and self-centered. Upon this realization and hearing Michael Jackson’s song “Man In The Mirror” for the first time, I decided to become a better person, to change my pessimistic attitude on life, to be more optimistic, and to try and put myself in others’ shoes (see things from their perspectives more). The journey wasn’t easy and didn’t happen overnight, but I eventually became a better person (one that my friends and family members were proud to call one of their own). I also faced my demons emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically as I started to work on breaking generational curses in my family. As a result of my friend’s candor so many years ago, I became kinder, gentler, bolder, fiercer, more adventurous, and a better person. I write all of these things because I would never want anyone of you to put me on a pedestal or to think that I’m perfect and have been my entire life. I’m not, and I’ll never pretend to be. All of my growth, knowledge, and wisdom were gained from years of working on improving myself inside and out once it was brought to my attention that I could be a better person. I make mistakes, fail at things, have flaws, and need to be corrected sometimes too. It’s okay though, because life is a learning process. In conclusion, never think that you know everything, that others don’t have anything to teach you, and that you already know everything there is to know about life. You’d be surprised what others can teach you about yourself if they have the courage to speak up or stand up to you, and you have the courage to listen and make improvements to yourself and your life! (P. S. Below is a picture of me during that time in my life).