Isn't it weird how effortless loving other people can be, but when it comes to ourselves it's as tedious as washing the dishes your roommate left on the sink for four days? It came to a point in my life in which every time I would look at the mirror, I just thought about all the things that I should fix; quirks and inadequacies that in everyone else I seemed to love.
This is why I decided to go to Starbucks and meet myself. If I am not confident enough to fall in love with my person, at least I'll try to be my friend. To be honest, all it takes to be my friend is to give me free food, but I decided to go a little traditional.
1. Don't be shy to say "Hi."
The first step to build up a prospective friendship is being brave enough to say "hi." Acknowledging your own being and importance requires looking beyond imperfections and roadblocks that often blur the person you really are and the vision of who you want to be. Take a moment to identify what keeps dragging you down and let it know that you're aware of its power; but not afraid.
2. Pursue common interests.
Besides food, the one thing that can get me to either hate someone or love them for the rest of my life is music taste. Pursuing common interests with a stranger can make them become family in less than a minute. This is why digging within your own thoughts is as healthy as digging through someone's iPod. Ask yourself questions, discover what makes you feel comfortable and what doesn't; things you'd like to change and things you'd like to reinforce. Explore your talents, you're always capable of so much more.
3. Get out of your comfort zone.
When I met my best friend, who is now my boyfriend for almost a year, I started looking into activities that might help tighten our friendship. These included things he liked and things I liked. I discovered my favorite de-stressing activity is long-boarding, thanks to him. I realized that if someone else can influence me into trying out new hobbies, I have as much potential to persuade myself to step out of my comfort zone and find what makes me happy. Enjoy your own company and feel comfortable even when no one else is around. Fight anxieties by joining a club, playing a video game, going for a jog and yes even staying in bed... If it works for you then do it.
4. Be persistent.
This is where around 77% (I just came up with that percentage, but trust me, it's a lot) of friendships go straight to the voicemail. I've had that one awesome group of friends that ends up never talking to each other again just because none of us put the effort into checking in on each other or at least call to see if any of us is still alive. Persistence is key in any type of relationship because it is a sign of being loyal and caring. In order to not to lose motivation during your recovery, you need to keep around positive thoughts, environments and people. Get away from anything that takes your peace away and be careful with those who do not support your dreams and your aspirations. Toxicity comes disguised and you're too cool for that.
5. In case of emergency, forgive.
Every day a new person is born within who we used to know the day before. It is constant personal growth and evolution. Mistakes become lessons learned, and as much as letting go of some anchors hurt, forgiveness is the greatest act of bravery. Some days I would wake up deciding that I'd be emotionally stable and it would work... until it wouldn't. Due to my lack of self-confidence something as small as a nasty glance from a stranger would cause me to break down into little pieces. I'd go back home and rant for hours about how I could never stick to goals and objectives. In my eyes I would only see myself as a failure... until I realized I wasn't.
Let me tell you what I am though. I am a human being and all of us often forget we are. We talk about bars and standards and don't realize how much we try on a daily basis. Relapsing is OK as long as you convince yourself that you can keep fighting. This is not a motivational speech — it is a wake up call. Be someone you'd love to meet and forgive yourself the times you can't.
So, after I was done with my Vanilla Bean Frappuccino, I patted myself on the back. Maybe I wouldn't put a ring on myself yet, but I am my friend and I'll keep on trying.