This summer has truly been one for the books, but in the least expected way possible. I’ve never been this single my entire life, not even in my “closeted” days. And being the hopeless romantic I am, many would think that my body is READY for Mrs. Right to come along as soon as possible!
This summer has been the start of me falling head over heels in love…
“Wait, did she just say in love with HERSELF?
Is that even safe?
Is she sane?” –you may ask
To answer your questions: yes, yes, and probably not… But that’s neither here nor there. ANWAYS! When I say that I’m falling in love with myself, I truly mean that I’m falling in love with MYSELF.
I’ve realized that I’m not my hair or my sexual orientation or my gender or my ethnicity or my GPA or my major or how much makeup I have on. Instead, you can find me in the words that I speak, or in the laughs that I create, or in the smiles I share. You can find me in the hand I hold out, or in the experiences I take part in, or in the lives that touch me.
But this revelation didn’t just happen overnight. It came in stages, and although I know that I’ll be going through even more stages throughout the rest of my journey in this body of mine, here’s what I’ve got thus far:
- You deserve better.
I’ve been ran through by the Mandingos that is my first year of university, my romantic experiences with the ladies, and just life in general. In efforts to be as concise (and not bitter sounding) as possible, here’s what I’ve got to say about this stage: my 17-year academic plan that I created on a PowerPoint has been ripped to shreds and I’m now starting from scratch, giving me room to breathe and truly figure out what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ve also decided to take a break on love. Well, maybe not “love” in general, but at least when it comes to looking for it. I’ll meet my Princess Charming when I’m supposed to, so I’m done entertaining girls just to help the time pass. I’m really learning how to be with myself. Both “work” and “love” are something to be enjoyed, not stressed out about. Experience. Escape. Explore!
- Become more present.
I’m learning to focus on the process instead of the end result, to do things that I know my future self would be thankful for and that my past self would be proud of, to enjoy this moment because this moment is my life. My most recent story to go along with this stage is when I decided to get the big chop!
Initially, I planned it so that I had to have it on a certain date at a certain time because it had to stand for a new start, the immaculate beginning. In essence, I was trying to find the perfect moment instead of creating the perfect moment. Once I realized that I was doing this, I quickly changed to the soonest possible moment. Now that might not seem like much, but to me that was a huge step in what I believe to be the right direction! …because even while I was getting this big chop, I was thinking about what my caption was going to say when I took a selfie of this liberation! But when I was finished, it took me 3 days until I posted a picture on social media. Why? Because, I was simply falling in love with myself tis all. #BePresent
- Allow yourself to be whole.
The common perception of being “cool” is to seem unphased, to be mysterious, and to present yourself with no flaws whatsoever. In contrast, those who know me personally seem to always describe me as the exact opposite—extreme, messy, extra, and most certainly an open-book. When I fail, which is quite often, everyone knows because I’ve already spoke of my goal prior to it. And when I feel any emotion, I feel it so deeply that there’s no way for me to contain it to just myself. And it’s easy for me to go from euphoric to manic-depressed in .4 seconds with no warning. And I’ve been known, also quite often, to overwhelm everyone around me multiple times in just one sitting.
Being an open-book like myself is basically the definition of vulnerability; but I’ve realized that the problem isn’t being an open book. The problem is how I was looking at it. I thought that being vulnerable was a sign of weakness instead of a sign of courage. Sure, putting myself out there causes so much pain and fear and all of the emotions that are looked down upon as miserable because they are, in fact, miserable. But why not embrace it? I don’t necessarily believe that embracing it makes the taste of joy any sweeter, but I do believe that embracing it makes you more human. And at the end of the day, that’s all I want to be (besides a unicorn, of course).
After participating in these 3 stages, I’ve recognized that you truly can’t show compassion to others until you first show compassion to yourself. And since human connection is what I thrive off of, you know that I had to hope on this Self Love train! So I hope you begin to show yourself a little more lovin’ so that you can eventually share yourself to the rest of the world as well! We need more people exactly like you. WERK IT!