On Loving Myself
Since it is the week of Valentine’s Day and I have never particularly cared for the holiday, but I think love is an important topic to cover so here we are!
Something that most people know about me is that I am incredibly empathetic. To a fault. People have definitely taken advantage of that good-natured side in me and left me unsure about myself. So when people do me wrong over and over again I am the one thinking there is something wrong with ME and that I am at fault for the things happening. And you know what to an extent, there was something wrong with me and that was that I didn’t believe in myself.
If you would have told me a year ago I would be starting a platform for civic engagement, and would be writing a blog and had plans to go even BIGGER than this? Had plans to make my dreams, even the most far-fetched ones come true? I would have told you no fucking way. Partially because I had this attitude about wanting to be ~mysterious because that’s cool and everyone loves the girl who posts only flattering pictures of herself. Partially because my confidence in myself, my love for myself, my self-worth was at an all time low. At this time last year I had just gotten out of an off and on four year relationship with my best friend from high school. It ended incredibly poorly and left me feeling so stupid and naive and just flat out lied too. And it’s because I was lied too. The plan that I had for the holidays quickly changed and I can say that I was definitely lost for about the first month of it. I also started a new job because the family I nanny for had their second baby and was taking the spring semester off. Literally my life was completely different in the matter of weeks. It was rough and I remember waking up crying because I would be having the worst nightmares about far fetched things manifesting from all my stress and feelings. But I started to pick myself back up. I went out and bought myself a few rings that I thought were beautiful to wear everyday. Nice ones, sterling silver only with rocks and gems set into them. I did a ton of reading in my spare time, but most importantly I spent SO much time by myself and with my friends doing things I had been wanting to for forever. I would go to the mountains and hammock and read. I would paint whenever I felt inclined to do so, I was going to the gym again, I was driving a lot and taking my kayak out by myself. I would go to coffee shops to sit for just hours and hours.
It wasn’t easy at all. I fell in and out of depressive episodes, I was working a LOT, I was dating but it was so casual it’s not even funny. I knew that if I didn’t just put myself back out there shortly after my relationship ended I would never do it. I was realizing how much I needed to be my own person for myself. And I wasn’t about to let anyone stand in my way of that. I am someone who always puts others before themselves and I finally realized how destructive that was after that relationship. I did a hell of a lot of boring self care. Stopping my destructive tendencies (and even a year later I am still struggling to do so), stop hanging around people that would bring me down, stay in and sleep even though my friends were begging me to go out, do the things that no one wants to do but you know they are the right thing to do. I grew so much into myself after that relationship ended and my roomie, Mallory told me how much more FUN I was and she was absolutely right.
I am still working on the self-love component of my life. It still is hard and difficult and it's not easy everyday. I saw a quote the other day that said “Loving yourself is work when you have been treating yourself like shit for most of your life. It takes a lot of humility to show yourself compassion” (this was some girl on Twitter, IF YOU SEE THIS I AM SORRY FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO FIND YOUR HANDLE AND I LOVE YOU). It’s so true though. It takes a lot of admitting my own faults to help me love myself. I am of both the dark and the light and those feelings need to be honored. No one wants to face the worst parts of themselves though and work on fixing them. We never want to admit imperfection even though we all know it isn’t possible to be perfect.
I still do a lot of finding myself but I am so so so so lucky to have a wonderful boyfriend who is so supportive of me and every thing I want to do. I started dating Alec when I was not looking for a boyfriend at all. I told him this plainly and he was okay with it. But something automatically just clicked for us. I felt like myself when we were together and I was becoming so much more confident. Alec actually encouraged me to get a personal coach to help me along with my confidence and wanting to love myself more.
And all I can say about love is, when you know you know. This is my second real relationship but I know that Alec is the person I am supposed to be with and I knew it from the minute I met him. And if you have to question it, go. You deserve better.
I have a complete different understanding of how I love myself, my needs as a human being (like eating and sleeping, who knew those were important), and the way I take care of myself. I have realized I cannot be so self destructive and be upset with the consequences. I couldn't eat the things that made me sick and wonder why I was so sick all the time. I couldn't be upset for exhausting myself when that was all I did. I am in charge of my body and mind. I am in charge of how they both feel (to an extent). I can't keep pouring from a cup that was empty and I finally realized that in order to love the people in my life I really needed to be at my best self.
My relationship with myself grows more and more everyday. It is deeply rooting itself in my soul, establishing a home, and changing the ecosystem. I still have such a long way to go but I am getting there and trying so hard to love all the moments in between. I have the most supportive partner who I know will always have my back and I have myself and I need to start looking out for myself and establishing myself in our universe.