Just Me, Myself, and I

When I was a young girl, I changed schools very often. My family moved many times during my school years for different reasons.

I enjoyed moving and getting to experience different people, surroundings, and schools, but it also left me alone a lot of the time when I first started at a new school.

Memories

I have memories of eating alone at the lunch table, being picked last in gym class, and just feeling in general like I had no one on my side.

I was an outgoing child, but a very shy and anxious teen. I was embarrassed to be alone, and I felt like it meant that something was wrong with me.

I recall trying to enjoy my lunch in the cafeteria, but at the same time being too distracted from looking around to see if anyone saw me alone.

Alone, But Not Lonely 

I didn’t mind being alone, and I didn’t feel lonely, but like a lot of kids, I was worried about what others thought of me.

In my head, I could hear them thinking “what’s wrong with her?” “Why is she eating alone?” “Does she have friends?”

Growing Up

As I grew older, I started becoming more confident in myself and I slowly broke out of my shell.

I found it easier to communicate and being around others felt more natural. I didn’t let my anxiety take over as I had in the past.

As I matured, I felt like the true me was coming out and I was finally enjoying life!

The Irony

Fast-forward to my young adult and adult years and although I love socializing and being with others, I crave alone time and I need a lot of it!

Ironically, the very thing that had me anxious and embarrassed, is now the one thing that I constantly crave.

Although I don’t like to admit this, I am guilty of turning down a social event or two. I don’t get much time to myself at all these days, and I enjoy having a moment to be in my own company to reflect on life. I try hard to balance this because my loved ones are very important to me.

Just I

I feel as though there is a stigma of being alone or wanting to be alone. I used to wonder how people could travel or eat at a restaurant alone and now I realize that these things are a beautiful and relaxing part of life!

How wonderful it is to be able to be in your own company and be content. I must say that there were many times in my past when I longed for people to be there because at that point they weren’t. It’s possible that because people are fortunately in my life now that I have the choice.

One can also get pretty comfortable wanting to have alone time to the point where it is not healthy.

We all have varying degrees of needing human connection. I do love and thrive on seeing my friends and family, however. I equally love the time that I get to spend just me, myself, and I.

I have found a comfortable place between enjoying my own company and being much less reliant on others to make me happy. Previously, my happiness depended on others, but I have learned to find that within myself.

Whatever Works for YOU!

We are all different and we have to find what makes us happy and find that balance in life.

I feel like this is such a stigma about being alone or wanting to be alone in society today.

I believe that having time alone is crucial to one’s health as is social interaction. Everyone’s view of balance will be different. Some prefer less alone time and more social interactions, while others prefer the exact opposite.

The goal in life is to do what makes you happy!

Something to Look Foward To

Life can take us on a journey in many different directions. There are good days, bad days, and days in between.

One thing that I love to incorporate in life is having something to look forward to, this way no matter what is going on in my life or what kind of day I have had, I can keep my eye on something that will bring me happiness at the end of the day.

Things That I Look Forward To

It varies what I end up choosing to think about to get me through the day, week, or month. It may be as simple as getting some ice cream or something bigger like looking forward to an event that is coming up.

Having things in mind that bring us happiness is a great way to keep a bad mood at bay and help us stay motivated while having a long day at work, school, or just in general. When I was working, I would think of a piece of chocolate that I was looking forward to enjoying and also my favorite TV show.

Try This!

As you go about your day or week, try to think of a few things that you can look forward to when you get home from a long day. It may be a hug from your significant other, a hot meal, a dessert, a movie while relaxing on the couch, it might be a good book, a walk, spending time with pets, or even taking time for yourself to write. Whatever it may be, pick something to focus on and see what a mood booster this can be in your life!

Truly Love Yourself

I’ve always heard that you have to love yourself before you can truly love someone else. To be honest, I never really believed that until recently. I always thought that I have plenty of love to give, why couldn’t I possibly love someone completely without 100% loving myself first? I have started to realize why.

We are our own worst critics, possibly because we know ourselves as no one else does, also we know all of our faults and our past. I’m sure that many of you have been given a compliment from someone and you appreciated it so much, yet you didn’t believe it to be true. Maybe you were told that you are a good communicator, that you are attractive, smart, and funny. It was great to hear a sincere compliment from someone, but you didn’t feel it inside and that took some of the joy away from those wonderful words. We are putting distance between ourselves and those that we love when we don’t truly love and have confidence in ourselves.

The act of loving oneself is not saying that you love yourself and your qualities 100% of the time. We all have things that we do not like about ourselves, however, the art of loving yourself comes down to forgiving yourself, being at peace with your past, having confidence in who you are and what you stand for, and truly being able to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are proud and happy of who you have become.

When we love ourselves wholly, it opens up a brand new world for us to find, we are then able to sincerely love someone else as we can finally share pieces of ourselves that we may have hidden before accepting ourselves.
For those of you that love yourself unconditionally, I am very proud of you for reaching this level of confidence and peace. For those of you that have yet to reach this, I have faith that you will get there and I understand because I have been in your place, sometimes I still find myself there, but I can bring myself back.

The biggest step that I feel has been the most helpful in my life is negating every destructive thought with something positive, or at the very least, neutral. For example, if you are working on a challenging project at work and you are ready to give up, instead of telling yourself “I can’t do this, I am always a failure,” negate that thought to tell yourself that you acknowledge that the project is difficult, but you are trying your best and giving it your all. If you feel that you are not good at relationships you might feel that it’s all your fault and that no one loves you. Instead of this approach, negate that thought to tell yourself that you will work hard on communicating your feelings and that sometimes people are not always compatible.

Start working on all aspects of yourself until you are happy and can confidently say that you love yourself. Once you have mastered loving yourself, the whole world opens up to you and it is then that you will truly be ready to love someone else with your entire heart and soul. Get out a journal, or a piece of paper and write down all of the things that you love about yourself and the things that you are grateful for, you will find out what a mood booster this is!

Keeping Your Cup Full

Self-care is a word that we hear about often, yet something that many of us don’t remember to do as much as we should. We are so busy with life and we spend so much time taking care of others that we forget to take care of ourselves.

Life keeps us busy and we all have relationships and responsibilities that we must attend to and put energy towards. We may sometimes feel superhuman as we navigate daily challenges and tasks off of our to-do list. Often in the midst of things we forget that energy is not finite, it will run low if not preserved and boosted.

There are many ways and things that you can do to help with self-care, it all depends on what your likes and interests are. Self-care may be as simple as taking yourself out to dinner, getting a new haircut, getting a manicure/pedicure, gardening, cooking a good meal, playing sports, even choosing to stay in one evening to watch shows is self-care.

The importance of taking care of oneself is immense. Our minds and bodies are only capable of so much before we hit a slump, or even a breakdown, it’s very important to listen to your mind and body and to know when to slow down and take time for yourself. When you practice good self-care, you are physically and mentally at your best and you keep your cup full. It is only when you yourself are “full” that you are able to do your best in life and also give your best in life. We can’t possibly take care of others, or the demands of life without taking care of ourselves first! This is a reminder to do something that you love, something that makes you happy, something that helps you relax today!

A Message

Life will take you down many different paths. Things will be thrown at you that make you question yourself and the world and people around you, but make a promise to yourself that you will always strive every day to make life exactly the way you want it to be. Go through the motions of life and know that you are exactly where you need to be at this time.