There is a moment. It happens on some unremarkable day as you are going through the routines of your daily life as you know it. A subtle but growing consciousness enters your thoughts. It is the realisation that I am not the same person I was last year. Not even close. It built up, gradually, but happened without warning. You had noticed that the way you felt about things was starting to change, you were becoming more empathetic, more aware of the bigger picture. You now see that your parents as not only that but people, individuals with strengths and weaknesses. One evening, I found myself mulling over the argument I had with my boss and felt secretly pleased that I had stood my ground because my old self would have been too intimidated by any figure of authority. The acceptance of the mind, opinions and self-image are things most people struggle with for the majority of their lives, but to make peace with yourself is a private revolution. What else is changing? That, in a way, even though you are still young, you are starting to enjoy things that you swore you never would. Things you wouldn’t have comprehended a few years before today. Staying in started to become more appealing to me than going out. I understand now that this is not because I am anti-social, but that there is something wonderful, and much needed, in enjoying solitude. Going out is - was - exciting and we often understand ourselves to be social beings. However, as you navigate your twenties, you too may realise that one cannot and does not need to be a social butterfly, it is exhausting even trying to keep up with that many people. Social meet-ups are now reserved for people who bring out only the best in me, stimulating conversations and settings are in, going out with people just to show the world that I have a social life is out. You may also realise that the changed you does not recognise singers from the Top 40 anymore, but the quiet happiness of finding new artists that you relate to is second to none, particularly stumbling across songs that can transport you to a much-loved memory. Vintage clothes suddenly become much more special. Decorating your home replaces therapy. Junk food is replaced by well-planned meals. Well, sometimes. You realise it’s okay to give up a book after four chapters, it’s okay not to like every classic. You now know what you like and don’t like. You know where you’re going but accept your history. You begin to let things go and realise there are more important things than staying angry at people that will never understand you. You know how to handle yourself, and other people’s opinions of you much better than the just-turned 20 year old you did. You accept the reality of your feelings, whether its jealousy, anger or sadness. I'm starting to think perhaps I wasn't meant to stay friends with that person forever, instead I appreciate the time we had, and respect the old friendship for what it was: a learning curve. You begin to understand what actually matters to you and what you can brush off. You find that being a woman is a wonderful, complex, and sensual thing, contrary to what society has taught you. You are valid in your own right, regardless of status, religion, or sexual orientation. You accept your past mistakes, and revel in the fact that you are heading towards a more authentic path, a more authentic you, one that embraces her feelings, is sure of her intentions and, most importantly, vows to always live in the present. The views that you had have held have changed. You do not need to apologise. You remember the younger you and how you wished to change your face, hair, and body - that nothing looked right, but these days you are starting to think that maybe it’s time to celebrate yourself. After all, you only have one face and one body for life, so I say, revel in your physical attributes. Nurture it all. Isn’t changing and growing and blooming a wonderful, wonderful thing? You are going to be replaced. You will replace you. Who knows what other future selves are waiting to take your place? There are people you haven’t met yet, waiting to become the main character of your life. There are situations that will test you but help you grow, places you are yet to see, bitter truths that you are yet to have to swallow, happiness, triumphs. There is so, so much, there is so much more to come.