So, back in the day (think some high school and some college - some meaning it depended on the day), I was a brat. I wasn't nice to my friends, I wasn't nice to strangers, I wasn't nice to my family, and I wasn't very nice to myself.
I know it sounds weird, but I literally woke up one day about 3 years ago and thought, "why am I so mean?" I decided that day that I didn't want to be that way anymore, so I worked pretty hard to change it. The reasons to why I was that way slowly started to show; I was incredibly insecure. When someone had something good happen to them, all I could think about was why it didn't happen to me - being happy for them was simply not an option. Complimenting pretty girls was out of the question; it was much easier to call them nasty names. The ease with which I cursed 'the other woman' in multiple situations was astounding considering the direct fault of the man.
Then I got pregnant and the only thing I could think about was what kind of example I want to be to my son and how I could raise him to be a kind, honest, loving man. Kids learn by example and are a product of their homes, so I needed to do some more shaping up before he arrived.
It has taken a while, but my heart has honestly changed. Though I am human and still say some mean things, I am able to recognize when something I say isn't productive or kind. Though I've exchanged hurtful words with people, I've learned to remove myself from the situation even when it's a pretty tough move. I still have to tame the occasional potty mouth before my son picks up on any more words ('boobs' is the most recent...), but I'm workin' on it.
I learned some profound life lessons during this time; I learned that it makes me feel good to make others feel good and I learned that behind a mean and nasty person probably lies a soul that's a little bit lost. It's amazing what sharing kindness can do to people. It's incredible how much more productive a compliment can be than an insult.
It's never too late to be a better person.
In the words of the brilliant Led Zeppelin,
"Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on."