It’s hard enough being a young woman in this day and age, and recently there has been so much negativity in the news and on social media surrounding political views. http://rupikaur.comRupi Kaur is a woman who has inspired me with her beautifully written poems. Her poems come from personal experiences, but they make readers relate. Her pieces are about everything from feeling not good enough, to difficult relationships, and dealing with discrimination of race or gender. But they all have a common thread which is resilience and empowering women to love themselves. Feminism, strength, and positivity are things that deserves to be written about and shared, and Rupi Kaur does it with grace and beauty. Her words are what we as women need to hear.
It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.
Anyways, let's do this thing.
Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.
The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?
1. My career
I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.
2. My family
Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.
This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.
4. Forgetting precious memories
When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.
5. Saying "goodbye"
I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.
6. Leaving places that I love
Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.
These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.
We often see on social media the preachings of loving oneself and how it is so important and necessary for our overall wellbeing. Practicing self-love or self-care comes in endless forms, whether it be cleaning and rearranging your bedroom, making lists of positives, doing yoga, surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good, or simply treating yourself. Taking the time to do a mental cleanse and focus on your needs is crucial, and can help you better accept or even understand yourself.
But there are a few things I think that need to be promoted more that come with loving ourselves. There's a difference between genuinely feeling good about yourself (and others around you) and believing that you are better than those around you. The latter is a pretty toxic and warped view of self-love and can do more harm than good. The comparison has always been something that taints us, but it doesn't have to be - learning to appreciate the beautiful differences we have and having the ability to recognize what makes individuals special can be a powerful way to look at the world.
Like many things in life, this is easier said than done. But self-love comes with a price. Loving and accepting yourself can be hard enough, but to do this effectively, we need to be able to criticize and hold ourselves accountable. Being self-aware is just as important as loving yourself, and can actually be more difficult. Work towards changing what you don't like, or accepting it. Forgive yourself for things you have done wrong, but try to do better or make them right. It's impossible to improve without being self-aware. Reflect on yourself, your needs, your goals, your decisions, and maybe keeping a journal can help with mapping everything out.
Practice discipline with yourself. This is something that isn't emphasized enough in self-love practice - but learning how to swallow your pride and admit when you are wrong and sincerely apologize when you mess up seems like something we should've learned as children. In my opinion, this is one of the most important aspects of self-awareness and can be so beneficial for ourselves and others around us. Again, these things are easier said than done, and there is a fine line between this and beating ourselves up and self-punishment when we do something wrong.
Balance is key here. Know when you're wrong, fix what you can, and try to do better. In that same vein, don't be too hard on yourself every time you make a mistake and learn to forgive. Thinking you can do no wrong and never have to own up to your actions is a shallow and immature way to see yourself. Do the same thing with your friends and family - just because you're close with each other and may fear walking on eggshells after calling someone out, doesn't mean you should let things slide for the sake of your relationship with them. Learn from each other, and grow together.
This is advice that everyone should take into consideration, including me. Building confidence to be more self-aware and be mindful of how the people you care about act is difficult. Bringing awareness of how we can be better as people is really important, as well as understanding that we should work together rather than against each other.