Woah.. that was fast. I feel like there was a time between March and April because the two months couldn’t be more different. In March, I was in a completely different headspace. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then feel free to catch up What I’ve Learned From: March. My priorities in March differ from my priorities this month but in my life, they both were built upon each other.
In the past month, 3 really important things have happened.
- I’ve learned to take care of myself in such a way where I take ownership of what I do and who I choose to do it with. I am aware of the areas that I am limited in as well but choose not to let that stop me.
- Professionally, things have been positive to say the very least.
- I’ve strengthed important relationships that will carry with me in the next chapter of my life and I couldn’t be more thankful for them.
It’s crazy to me how a perspective change can relieve so much pressure. I was in a place of preset expectations by what I thought other people wanted to be but now I’m unapologetically me. It’s liberating. It wasn’t easy and definitely not overnight but as my therapist, Ernest, says: love is a set of reinforcing behaviors. I have been practicing active self-love and that has translated into other areas of my life. I’ve shed any thought that I need to be something because someone else chooses not to accept me. That has propelled me to be stronger in the next chapter of my life: moving to Charlotte. This move is coming a lot faster than I thought. I leave the comfort of almost 4 years in a few days to start a completely different set of challenges, opportunities, and relationships.
I was really tested this month. Tested in how much I can be aware of how I react in response to what someone may think. For example, there was a day where I felt so beautiful in my skin. I’m a little tan now, mustard yellow is having its moment, and when you have an eating disorder feeling comfortable in clothes that are a few sizes too big is rare. When I had a day of that I was met with some comments by someone who had every intention to break me down. It was so trivial and normally, I would let it get to me. But instead, I chose to still feel beautiful. We choose how we let other people affect us. Don’t give someone else the power to change how you think you are because they’re too blind to see it.
The difference between this month and last was that I struggled with taking the ownership of things I was doing to myself and others. I am limited in a lot of ways in what I am capable of doing but that doesn’t make me a bad person. It’s not good or bad it just is. Just because I choose to eat certain foods and stick to a strict diet doesn’t mean I can’t eat or I hate food. In fact, I love food but I refuse to force myself to an uncomfortable point where I feel awful about myself. Will I eat a cheeseburger tomorrow? No, but whatever I am eating is a lot better than what I chose to eat in the past. I’m just limiting myself to a place where I can feel comfortable with doing something that was such a challenge for me. For me, that’s growth. I was able to be aware of what I am doing and not doing. Taking onus of it and choosing to practice that with my own food has been a big factor in my overall health. I feel better at fueling my body, which means I feel better about myself because I am taking care of myself. I will be open about my journey through this because I think even if you don’t have an eating disorder you can gain something from this.
Another major difference is that I am really accepting what I am doing as being something of value. What I mean is that I see how much value I have and what I can bring to a situation. Professionally, I am able to see the fruits of my labor more directly. But personally, the relationships that I have been growing are more deliberate and intentional. I do what I need to do to take care of myself and as a result, I can be more present and active in those relationships. Everything about where I am right now is different than what I am used to because I wasn’t taking care of myself. I wasn’t doing what I needed to do to feel like myself. Apart of that goes back to feeling like who I was wasn’t enough. When it was and it is. Now, I just don’t settle for what someone else thinks I should/shouldn’t be. I’m me now instead of trying to be someone that needed to be wanted. As long as I love myself, can take care of myself, and accept myself that’s enough for me. If someone can’t accept that or embrace it, I don’t let it bother me. We all have choices.
Everything you are searching for in your life whether that be love, being wanted, being heard, anything at all starts with you. No one or nothing can offer you that other than you. If you can’t provide that basic love for yourself no one else will know how to. Maybe this sounds super cliche but to me, it’s so important because I looked at so many external outlets for my own happiness, security, and stability when really I had it all within me. I didn’t need anyone else to provide that because I am able to do it myself. That doesn’t mean I don’t need someone else to offer me joy. They do but I know that I can take care of myself. Ernest calls it self-regulation: put the oxygen mask on yourself first then try to help someone else put theirs on. I am now able to self-regulate better. I’m not perfect. It’s been a process but again, reinforcing behaviors.
This was revealed to me when I was beginning to rebrand my blog. If you haven’t noticed my logo is different. In the past, I didn’t have one to begin with. I thought I needed a team or a branding expert to help me but one day, I sat down and spent a few hours working on it. It was a challenge to explain what I was and what I liked to someone else. I knew the type of look I wanted to go for. I wanted it to reflect me: refined, beautiful, and millennial. I created it myself and it was so empowering. I’m pretty sure I cried because I thought I needed someone else. Not to say I won’t ever ask for help because I know there is a lot I don’t know and I am okay with that. I got feedback and I made sure it made sense but for something like branding it has to reflect you. AND NO ONE KNOWS YOU BETTER THAN YOU. I was able to translate that and even helped someone else with their branding. I honestly love to brand and make stuff. I was able to be creative. It felt really good knowing that I did something for myself that helped me grow. Thank you to everyone who has reached out and offered the feedback.
Also: YA GIRL IS MOVING TO CHARLOTTE THIS WEEK. WHAT. WHO LET THAT HAPPEN? Oh yeah, ME!
Moving falls at a very interesting time and maybe I’ll address it from the things I’ll learn in May but for now, it’s a very important time. I’ve taken the time to sit with it all and for the first time in awhile, the future doesn’t intimidate me. There are so many wonderful and challenging things that are on the other side of fear (@willsmith paraphrasing your quote). I usually get super anxious about moving but I am so grounded in myself that I know regardless of the trials and tribulations, I will find a way to be okay with myself. Knowing that I get to share this next chapter of my life with someone who is also going through it is comforting. I’m very lucky to be where I am right now and I am soaking up every ounce of it because I know what it feels like to not accept what I’m doing and who I am. Now that I do, I feel called to grow in my own light. I’m excited to embrace the newness and the difference of May.
More to come…stay tuned. – T.