At the start of the summer, before I left for BC, I made myself a friendship bracelet. I decided that I was going to learn a thing or two about how to become my own best friend, value myself as a person, and show myself some much needed love. I think we could all use our own personal friendship bracelets and treat ourselves a little better. It helped me tremendously, to have that physical reminder, to be more careful with what matters most.
With the end of the year approaching, I actually decided to take off my bracelet, and put it in a place where I can come back to it and remember what sort of year this was. It was the year I learned who I am. Not who I was, who I've always been.
I'm a hardcore lover and a feeler. I see the good in everything and everyone, right down to the teeniest, simplest, things. This is both a blessing and a little bit of a curse. I'll get to the curse, below. I love that I love a lot of things. It's always been a part of my life, but I was nervous to let out into the open. I didn't want someone to take that from me, when yet, it's all in my own control. I see beauty everywhere. So much that I take the time to thank the moment when it takes my breath away; or when I need to be reminded just how lucky we are to even be alive on this planet. We don't own the world, it owns us. When we learn to embrace it and be a part of it, it becomes a much better place. So much feels.
Being a heavy feeler can lead to being taken for granted, and most definitely taken advantage of. I see that I spent a lot of time on the wrong people, and it isn't that they're bad people; they just weren't right for me. It's okay to tell life suckers to fuck off, even if some of them have feelings, too. Those feelings will mend themselves, without your wasted energy and effort. If it isn't returned, spread it elsewhere. I have spent far too much time, trying to please others, and make the best out of what wasn't working for me. Life is just too damn short to waste time. Simple as that. When you get rid of the things that break you down, you can build yourself up with ease. It's kind of amazing. I'm so free of bullshit and clutter. No time for it. It only takes two words, and you're free. Fuck off.
Learning how to value myself, and what I do was -and still is- a massive challenge. Just because I'm really good at something doesn't mean I don't struggle with it, or have my doubts from time to time. I have moments where I want to give up and tell myself that it's not worth it, because it's a tough gig to keep up with. I have the tendency to say to myself,"get a job" when this IS my job. I have been doing this for years. My entire life, really. I still catch myself tucking things aside, to avoid looking like a cocky asshole, to avoid becoming a certain target for people who feel I need to be broken down before things get to my head. Sorry, you guys, I worked hard to get here. If it makes you feel better, I'm terribly insecure about how talented I am. This isn't an arrogance act, it's fact. If you want something, bust your ass and work for it. If you think this job is easy, step up and do it for yourself. I did my time, since the day I was born. I'm only just learning to let it shine.
This is my job.
The most valuable lesson I learned this year, is that it's okay to ask for help. I realize that I'm quite stubborn about wanting to do everything on my own, but it doesn't always benefit the situation. I crashed hard when I was on the island, because I was taking on far too much at once. Life, business, surroundings, finances, marketing, friendships, world, responsibilities, people, clients, work, emails, stability, structure... I was focusing on everyone and everything around me, over myself, and what I needed to keep going. I needed my people. I needed my friends. My friends are my family. My family makes up who I am. Who I am is just as important as everything else in my world. I even have a new mantra:
Just because you can do everything on your own, doesn't mean that you have to.
Learning to love yourself is a hefty task, and a constant effort to maintain. It's like any muscle that needs exercise. You work with it, you move, bend, and shape it; it gets stronger. Loving who you are doesn't make you selfish, or arrogant, or conceited, it makes you human. You're with yourself until the very end, so why not learn to love what you have. It's not going to be around forever. Time is just as precious as you are. Take care of yourself, inside and out, and you might be surprised to find that you're a good friend to have.
Try it out. Be your BFF.