As I reflect on the past year, it is safe to say that I have grown as a student, a sister, a friend and as a person. I have had some of the most incredible souls come into my life and I have had some of the most toxic make their way out. With a year that came with new beginnings, it also came with a significant end. It was the end of a two-year (give or take some weeks) relationship with someone who I thought could handle what I brought to the table. Turns out, I was wrong and turns out, people change and there is no warning and they usually do not care if it hurts you.
However, after spending weeks digging myself out of a hole that he left me in, I learned that a woman is truly unstoppable after she realizes she deserves better. I dyed my hair, I started eating healthier, I began working out everyday and in the midst of this loss, I gained a best friend I never saw coming. As I made these changes in my life, I knew that deep down there was the person I wanted to be, the person I was proud of; however, after two years of trying to make someone else love me, I had stopped loving myself. Heartbreak is an easy fix, but learning self acceptance after abandoning your own well-being for so long? That is a process that does not promise you a reward.
When I think about it, I could have settled. I could have fought for love and maybe I would have been happy with a normal, comfortable relationship, but that is not what I want. I want something passionate, something that will light a fire inside my soul and make my heart race. But for me? For me, that something is not love. That something is traveling, creating, writing and discovering. It’s being passionate about something not only worth dying for, but something worth living for. And despite all the love stories in the world, there will never be a list, a poem or a book that can tell me that another person holds my happiness. There are oceans that go to depths that are impossible to reach, there are galaxies that we cannot pinpoint and there is beauty in this world that is yearning to be discovered. We need people to encourage, support and challenge us, but we do not need other people to validate us.
So I don’t know much, and I can’t give a lot of advice, but if I had to say a few things I’ve learned during this process of bettering myself, it’s that you have to enjoy life while you’re living it because you never know which moments will be the ones that you’ll remember. You should cry when you need to and you should drive a little too fast with the music a little too loud until you can breathe again. You should stand in front of a full size mirror and admire your body. Admire the scars from back when you didn’t think things would get better, and then appreciate the fact that things got better. Spend a day alone and go to a coffee shop, but leave your phone in the car. Sit down and sip on a skinny vanilla latte with a foam flower ornamenting the top. Because at some point you have to let it all go, start over and spread love until you are able to love yourself again.
As I sit here and read this through, this is for the people who ever been told that they are too hard to love, as I was. But let me tell you, not everyone will know how to love you, and that is okay, because some minds are too small for someone so vast.
This is for the people who are told to “just love yourself”, or to “stop being self-conscious” because you wake up and you fight the same demons that left you so tired as the night before, and that is bravery and I am proud of you.
This is a letter to myself: a letter of closure, a letter of understanding and a letter of truth. I hope it helps someone as much as it helped me writing it.
Here’s to 2017 ——–