By Virginia Rodriguez

There are countable moments that are happily memorable for me.

I had to think for a long time to write about just one happy memory. I knew I had multiple special moments in my life, but sometimes it's very difficult to focus on the good things; I often feel overwhelmed by anxiety and fear. I try my best to keep my mind and heart on the things and moments that make me truly happy. But there was a time when I felt really depressed and anxious. I couldn't enjoy time with my family and friends, I couldn't feel fully happy, not because something sad was happening but because I just didn't feel like myself. I concluded that spending some time alone would make me listen to my inner voice.

One day, on a Saturday afternoon, I decided to go for a ride. I took my bike, my cell phone, and my earbuds, and I said that I was going to think on the way to where I was going. It was a very hot and sunny day. I was wearing a sweatshirt, leggings, and my old sneakers and my hair was in a ponytail, pretty casual.

I decided to buy a chocolate milkshake from a cafe that I really enjoy visiting and drink it at a park nearby. I was there, alone, with the sound of the music. I was listening to Conan Gray’s song "Comfort Crowd." The music talks about having company to cry with about the problems you might have; at that moment I was my own comfort crowd. I felt truly happy. I realized that I hadn’t felt comfortable with myself before. I thought that I needed people to be around me to feel happy. But at that moment, I couldn't ask for anything else. I felt enough, with all the children playing and the birds that I could hear even with the music I was listening to.

After that day I started thinking more about what I am passionate about and what brings me joy. I really enjoy painting and cooking, so anytime I feel a little low, I start cooking some of my favorite meals, like pasta or cheese bread, so the emotions will just go away. I started to change the focus and the path of my life, with just a simple milkshake and time alone. You have to want the change to be successful and live a better life.

I think this is a very personal and memorable moment in my life. It is the beginning of who I am now. I'm still working on it.

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. “ — Maya Angelou

Virginia Rodriguez was 16 years old when she wrote this article. She is from Coronel Oviedo, Paraguay, and enjoys writing, reading, cooking, and painting.

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