Yup. Who would’ve thought.
Listen, I have by no means perfected this whole idea around self-love. I’m the first person to be critical of myself, to dislike things about my body, hair or even personality. But I have started making a more conscientious effort to focus on loving who I am regardless of my journey through grief, or coping with anxiety.
My journey to self-love started a few years back. Life around me was moving way too fast. I was making questionable decisions on who I was giving my heart to, I was drinking, smoking, and frankly just not caring.
Classic early 20-something.
Then I moved to Berlin. I was DEFINITELY still enjoying my nights out, the travels, the exploration and lost souls I was meeting that filled my everyday adventures in this new city. But I wasn’t happy – I was getting there…but something was still missing – some days whatever it was, was punching me in the chest. I did everything else under the sun to avoid having a minute to think and breathe for myself.
My heart was a mess at that point. I felt useless, unwanted and unloved – not just by boys, but by friends, by every person I met. There are certain people I spoke with every day while being abroad who can attest to me having breakdowns on FaceTime.
There were a lot of days where I felt like a fraud – “Who are you fooling, you’re not good enough to be studying in Berlin, to be living abroad, seeing the world unfold around you.”
Ask me why I felt like this and you won’t get an answer. I simply don’t know. There are no concrete examples, it was just how I felt.
Something changed though. I think stepping out of my comfort zone while battling my own little heartaches pushed me to my limits. But it also taught me so much.
I made it through. I was able to successfully live abroad, study and explore with people from every corner of the world. Each of us with our own disaster stories and all of us just looking for a little bit of inner peace.
Now I can’t tell you exactly what I did to change because I personally don’t think there was a step by step plan. But I know for certain that I began to focus on my own needs…my own hopes. I spent more time doing things that genuinely brought me joy and satisfaction – and I saved my nights out for a little release of toxicity. I grew up around music and dance my entire life. Being able to just let loose for a moment, makes all the difference. Of course, now, I’ve found other things that release the same toxins but don’t keep me out until 4 am in heels that definitely aren’t helping my weak ankles.
I’m telling you… something changed that summer when I came home to visit my family. By the time I was going back to Berlin in the fall, I was a better person. Not amazing – but better.
I felt strong – in who I was. I knew I had kinks to work out, anxiety to battle, but I also knew that I was (and continue to be) powerful. In my beliefs, in my knowledge, in my ability to handle what life throws my way.
By the time I met my husband. Psychologically, I was in the best shape of my life. I knew what I wanted, what I deserved and what not to settle for. This was me. Take it or leave it.
That is why I believe that I met my husband at the right moment. If I had met him just a few months earlier, I don’t know if we would’ve started things up – he probably wouldn’t have even seen the real me when we first met.
Since then – I’ve been on a high – self-love wise. The moment I start going against my own intuitions my life turns upside down and I fall hard.
Please, I’m begging you – this is your gentle reminder – take care of yourself.
Take those five minutes of gratitude or reflection a day to better understand what it is you’re incessantly searching for.
I’m still learning and adapting. Coming home was never easy. And then…well everything else happened, and here I am again.
Note to self: Please don’t give up – you’ve made it through so much. Don’t forget that nobody can pull you out of a rut until you DECIDE it’s time to fight.
Fight the funk and be a little selfish – spoil your soul.
Check out some of my favourite “Go To” reads in my Self-Love Shop that have helped me fight anxiety, grief while building self-confidence! Help me build my library by recommending your own go to reads!
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