This post is so incredibly personal right now relative to how I’m currently feeling, but it’s something I feel is important to openly discuss and share…
Put yourself first.
Those three words are easier said than done. We all go through a phase where we sometimes lose ourselves. It’s okay when that happens. It’s honestly all a learning experience. I’ve had my share of debbie-downers, but I’ve grown to become mentally stronger to be immune to all of that. How did I do that? Well, I learned to fall in love with myself first. So what inspired me to do that and why am I encouraging it? Well…
For starters, your health will improve.
I’m talking about a full 360. Physically and mentally, I felt stronger and more empowered to do things. I became somewhat of a gym rat and trained 4-5 times a week, I became more conscious of my eating habits, and I encouraged new reads every month. I began journaling and just became more conscious inside-out.
Your soul will LOVE you.
No longer am I “suffering” from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out; it’s REAL, I know!) and no longer do I feel the need to continuously check every social media account to see who’s doing what. No longer do I settle for mediocrity or “on-the-surface” relationships and no longer do I refrain myself from expressing my thoughts. This profound transparency has guided me in my transition from community college to a four-year university, from graduation on to the working world, from coerced socializing into genuine networks, and from fruitless associations to forever companions.
Oh and your mindset will flourish.
Although building your autonomy is a process, it is during this rudimentary process where you learn what is worth settling for. I remember mini-me in high school and early college, I welcomed toxic relationships with open arms and thought that was what was deemed reasonable. Several podcasts, self-development books, crying sessions, and some margaritas later, I finally gained the strength to walk away from all things toxic and decided when enough was enough for me.
And of course, your relationships will strengthen.
I’m not saying that now I don’t face much of a heartbreak (because you know, relationships are really a gamble!), but what I’m saying is – once I built autonomy, I now know what I want and what I know I deserve. It’s funny how I used to have a “checklist,” but after some confidence boost, I discarded that list – not as a compromise – but to be flexible with my options. While it’s important to have an open mind, it’s worthy to note that you can’t expect everyone to be like you. I made that mistake one too many times, and I’ve learned that it only paves the way to heartache in the long run… so accept people for who they are 100% – flaws and all.
I am stronger; I say stronger because looking back, I see how far I’ve come. Yes, I was that girl with not much of an identity. I mindlessly took various Biology/Chemistry classes in hopes that someday, I’d fall in love with the idea of medical school. I went on dates with people I didn’t care much to even know. I socialized with people who weren’t mentally stimulating or contributing to my growth. I was merely a being – having other people define ME and then just settling for that identity.
And now? I’m different. I’ve spawned to become somebody whose autonomy, although still not entrenched, is evolving with each passing day. Experiences, rooting from career to love, continue to shape me as we speak, and even though these experiences were always evident in the past, one thing is different – I am now comfortable with the idea of change.
So while this post may come off as selfish, I believe being “selfish” is the way to go. After all, self-love is the most reliable and trusted type of love; everything else WILL follow suit. So go out there, treat yourself, and just do you. It’s worth it (and fun!) – I promise.