Self Love In Bleak Times

January is Self-Love Month, and I’ll be honest and say it’s been sort of a struggle to be positive all the time. I think, as I mentioned in New Year’s Resolutions that people tend to beat themselves up as if they want their resolutions right away. I haven’t been consistent with my walking 2,000 steps every day, but when you need to rest, you need to rest! Besides, who really is positive all the time? January is a time, not a “free trial month” but to make a plan.

The thing about this elusive “self love” (and shout out to my aunt who came up with this idea for a post!) is, why do people put so much pressure on themselves? I’ll admit from personal experience that I strived to be that perfect student in high school, and I got a rude awakening in my first semester of college that really no one can be perfect. With that pressure, aside from OCD, came arrogance and many hours of crying thinking that I wasn’t good enough, even though I was doing just fine. You know what the scary part is? I’m realizing all this as a write this. Self-awareness is something I also need to work on, and I admit that wholeheartedly. Ding, ding, ding! Another thing about self-love! You’ll learn to embrace imperfection.

I wish I could shake my eighteen-year-old self and tell her, “you’re going to be a much more confident young woman, and you’re going to excel beyond words. It may not be at an Ivy League school, you may not be in science, but you will end up getting into your two grad schools of choice, in a field you always loved.”

Self-love is so much more than just giving yourself a bubble bath or a spa day (not that I recommend going to a spa during a global pandemic.) Self love is believing in yourself. Find that faith through whatever outlet, may that be religion or spiritual practices. In bleak times like these, when people are losing their jobs, working jobs they don’t want but need to put food on the table, people also need that place of comfort. As much as I resent retail at the moment, my crew is like my second family. Self-love is that optimism that every day is going to be a good day, despite how you’re feeling that day.

Also, if you did lose your job in 2020, that’s NOT your fault in the slightest. Again, we’re in a pandemic.

Self-love is also knowing that better things are out there for you when something doesn’t work out for you. Don’t ever say you’re being scammed by the universe because you’re destined for better things. This is just the universe, or God, telling you that you are worthy for so much better than what you initially applied for, or whatever. Self-love is not being your own best friend, it is being your own advocate.

With that being said, self-love is knowing when you must step away from the negativity that’s surrounding you. If people refuse to be happy, that’s on them. And it’s most certainly not your fault. People are only mean when they are not happy with themselves. Again, that’s on them. Let them watch the negative news when you could be watching “Forrest Gump,” a movie to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Self-love is the most important love you’ll ever have. Like I said, and it was very timely in Does anybody like you when you’re 23? You have to love yourself, first , that the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. Well, actually, Carrie Bradshaw said that — but still relevant, nonetheless.

Self-Reliance Being Put To Use: A Semester In Review

I have at least eight drafts that I want to write, but, unfortunately, they’re not the right ones. I just finished my first semester at RWU, and so much is going through my mind: a sense of accomplishment, a sense of fulfillment, and a sense of gratitude. Transferring was something I thought long and hard about, and I have had some instances of regret. But all in all, I think I made the right choice.

While I was making the decision to transfer, I was also going through a mental breakdown that, as you all know, landed me in the hospital. I still wanted to go back to school so I could get my bachelor’s and lead a somewhat normal life. Even my psychiatrist and therapist said to me, “you’re going back to school after all that!? Wow!”

There were a lot of reasons why I decided to transfer. But while I was looking at schools in Rhode Island, I realized I wanted a program that was writing-oriented. When I looked at RWU, I saw they had a creative writing program. I knew I wanted a seaside education, too, with access to everything. So, I thought that RWU was perfect for me.

Here are my top ten highlights from this semester:

1.)  Being appointed Features Editor of the Hawks’ Herald

2.)  Being a Writing Tutor

3.)  Going to Dallas

4.)  Writing two of the best short stories I’ll probably ever write

5.)  Writing countless articles

6.)  Joining Writers’ Anonymous

…………… and I’m sure there will be more to actually make it a “top ten.” I have more tricks up my sleeve to make Spring 2018 an even better semester!

I took my last final today. It was for Early American Literature: Pre-Columbus. As I was doing some last-minute cramming in the library, I looked to my left and saw Mount Hope Bridge (another perk). Throughout the course, we studied romantics and transcendentalists like my literary husband, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau was a student of Emerson’s. Emerson, if you’ve ever taken American Literature in high school, wrote Self-Reliance. Self-Reliance is basically about being a non-conformist and forming your own opinions. Thoreau took this to heart and thought he would give this a try. He had his own garden in a tiny house by the water. I realized before writing this post that I am basically living that phenomenon at RWU and at home. It’s nice to write knowing you’re by the water.

Conformity is slow suicide. If there’s one thing I learned is to find your niche. And I’ll leave it at that. I’m still trying to relearn who I am, but I think I’m getting there.

 

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Happy Holidays! #stayfierce ♥