As the end of the year quickly approaches, I’m finding myself doing an awful lot of reflection over the last year. I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve made much, if any progress, on any of the New Year’s Resolutions I had set for myself. Surprisingly though, I’m not too worried about it. I have my whole entire life ahead of me and I’ve realized that it’s totally possible that I may have set some unrealistic goals for myself. I’m not saying that I don’t ever want to accomplish these things, I just know that with everything going on in my life right now, they just need to be long term goals, not something to be accomplished in a year. I did post a blog a while back about wanting to have the time of my life this year and take all the opportunities that I can, and I do think that I’ve held to true to that. I have had so many great experiences this year, and they’ll only continue in the next couple months. I know that I’m going to have to buckle down and start getting things in order to tackle my educational and career goals at the beginning of 2017, so I’m definitely taking advantage of the “freedom” that I have right now.
The middle/end of this year has also had me reflecting plenty on what it is that makes me happy. And while I could list plenty of things that get my endorphins flowing, I noticed that I never once thought of myself as being a source of happiness, for myself. That’s something that I’ve always thought to be important but I never really noticed that it holds true for me. It’s not that I don’t take care of myself, or appreciate what my body can do, or like the way I look, it’s more so that I’m always looking for validation from others. And I honestly don’t think its really a bad thing if attention from a specific person makes you feel good about yourself, that’s completely normal. But when you start to show less and less respect for yourself in order to get that attention from someone else, that’s when it becomes a problem.
I’ll admit that I did have my “teen rebellion” phase right after high school where I was strictly living life for the feeling and not making some of my best decisions. I also didn’t care what anyone thought of me, or what I was doing, or how I lived my life. Thankfully that was pretty short lived and although I did make some better public decisions, I still wasn’t respecting myself the way I really should have been. It took a couple of “wake up” moments where I realized that I was sharing some of the most intimate parts of myself, both mentally and physically, with people who could honestly care less about them, or me for that matter. They didn’t care if I was okay, or what I was doing, or how I was feeling if I wasn’t with them, and sometimes even if I was with them. I’m not saying I should have been their first priority, however I should have at least gotten a little bit of respect. I was continually putting myself in a position to be used and for some reason I was totally okay with that. I don’t know what clicked in my brain that I started feeling uncomfortable with what myself and others were doing to me, but I’m glad that it finally did.
I decided about a month ago that I was going to focus on myself and spend my energy doing what it takes to get me to a place that I loved myself without validation from someone else. After a few incidents of putting my willpower to the test and practicing saying no, I realized how much better I felt about myself with a little respect. And the further I got into loving myself, the more I realized how much good I was doing for myself, both physically and mentally. I eat better, I sleep better, and most of the time, I have a more positive outlook on life. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from attempting to change the way I love myself, it’s that it’s honestly not easy. Most of my “adult” life I’ve only felt good about myself if someone was interested in me, so to try and get out of that mindset proved to be difficult. I had to learn that it was okay to love myself and feel good about myself, even if I was the only one. I had to learn that just because someone wasn’t interested in me, or dropped me out of no where for no real reason, didn’t mean that I did something wrong or that I was any less of a person. And if anything, those types of situations are the ones that should make me love myself so much more. And of course I’ve met people that I wanted to like me so bad, that I was almost willing to go to the distance to prove to them that I could be what they needed, that I was the one they wanted. But I don’t want to spend my time convincing someone to love me. I just figured out how to love myself and that took plenty of convincing on its own. I don’t want to lose all that I’ve gained because people came into my life that didn’t automatically see my worth, or at least find it valuable to them. One day someone is going to come into my life that will compliment me in a way that no one else has. And I how can I expect them to love me if I haven’t fully learned to love myself?
So as I had decided previously, I’m back to doing me and loving every minute of it.