My reset came in waves. The first wave was change.

2016 seemed like a promising year. That is, until I was presented with an earth-shattering existential crisis. I struggled finding purpose and meaning in what I was doing and why I was doing it; something I later realized a lot of people go through. I could tell my parents hated their jobs and my biggest fear was being trapped in a cycle of passively moving through the motions. That’s exactly what my life began to feel like. 

What really bothered me were the “one size fits all” life template everyone expected me to follow. In order to end at D you needed to follow steps A B C, and if you didn’t do that, in that order, then you’re just setting up for failure.

Going into your 20s is like being in this weird limbo where you’re becoming an adult but you still don’t quite feel there yet. Everyone expects you to know exactly what you want to do and some even try to push their dreams onto mine. I’m first generation, so the pressure to make something great of myself is the average person’s idea of success times 10.

It reached a point where I wanted to escape to some desolate location. Anything to free myself of expectations, insincerity and all things corrupt. I felt it was the only way to do what I wanted without other people fogging my decisions.

That, in addition to other things happening at the time, led me to lose trust in a lot of people. I considered everyone around me ingenuine posers. I decided to cut some people off because I needed to focus on my growth. I wanted time for self-reflection to become someone I could be proud of.

The next wave was growth.

I had a new mindset. I began piecing together the direction I envisioned for my future. I was doing better in school and I kept my circle very small. It felt really good. 

But I still had an itch for more. I craved adventure. To travel somewhere and take that plunge into the unknown. I needed to see what else was out there, finding myself along the way.

Naturally, there were unexpected hurdles, including the passing of my father. I dealt with it the same way anyone else in my family would have — by going to work the next day. I was able to save up $3,000 for a trip to Costa Rica. I needed this trip and I knew it would be worth it. And it was. 

I officially love the person I have grown to become and the woman I see myself growing into. Once you start doing things for yourself, the rest just falls into place.