Fall in love with yourself before you fall in love with someone else.
Don't fall in love with the way he smiles until you show yours when you laugh at yourself. Don't fall in love with his eyes until you can use yours to be satisfied with what you see in the mirror. Don't fall in love with his messy bed-head until you embrace a bad hair day every once in a while. Don't fall in love with his kindness until you realize that you're wonderful just the way you are.
When we find someone we're attracted to, sometimes we lose ourselves along the bumpy roller coaster ride we call love. We get so consumed in pleasing the other person that we forget to do the things that make us happy. It's almost as if our souls absorb into the other person's; we're not separate entities anymore. We forget to spend time with those who are special to us, take care of ourselves, and have a spark.
Don't lose the brightness in your eyes that you get when you're passionate. Don't ever stop learning or asking questions. Never lose sight of your dreams and goals. Always strive to be the best person you can be. Don't depend on another person for validation. You were a masterpiece before he came along - he wasn't the artist that thought of and painted you.
Recently, I lost who I was because I was so invested into being with someone else.
I wasn't in a good place, and I wanted to feel content again by being with him. Everything felt upside down. I was unsure of what I wanted when usually I'm so sure of certain things. I bent over backwards for someone who didn't care as much; I was trying to "compromise" by sacrificing my values and beliefs. That's unhealthy, and I realized I wasn't ready to date quite just yet.
I remembered that I want to make my dream to be a nurse come true. I want to achieve a life for myself - live on a beach in Hawaii, have a couple dogs, and travel the world. I needed to appreciate the friends that I have and strengthen my bonds with them. I needed to keep reaching out into the world around me. I needed to remind myself that I am in the right place, with the right people, and I'm supposed to be enjoying life.
I needed to be okay with being alone.
Being lonely and being alone are completely separate. Being lonely feels suffocating. You want to feel whole again. Being alone is necessary in order to stay sane. If you become okay with being alone, you become self-sufficient. You discover parts of yourself that you never knew. You can do anything you want without having the approval of another person. You can be wild and reckless, or, you can be as cautious as you like.
Time seems endless, but it's actually limited. You have your whole life ahead of you to be drunk off of someone else's affection. You're the only one who's walking alongside this journey with you. Your mind should be a safe place that's surrounded with beautiful flowers, not a black hole with thorns surrounding it. If you love yourself, everything else will follow.
If you spend all your time chasing after love, you'll become exhausted. You'll feel like it's all pointless. There's so much more to life than being in a romantic relationship. Your family and your friends will be there for you no matter what, so keep them close. They love you for who you are. They're your cheerleaders. They'll help you grow into who you're supposed to be.
I'm not completely in love with myself yet, but I'm getting there.
I have a better mindset than ever before, but I haven't reached the top of the mountain yet. This is only the start of the hike. Every day, all I need to do is be confident. I'm pursuing a degree that I think I'll be obsessed with. I'm enjoying planning events as Vice President of Chapter Development in my sorority. I'm meeting new friends in my classes. I don't put myself down as much as I used to.
Just because you're single doesn't mean you can't have fun. Find out what your favorite foods, books, TV shows, and movies are. Take up as many hobbies as you can. Eat well, but splurge - everything in moderation, right? Laugh until your stomach hurts.
Exercise - not because you want to look good for someone, but because you want to be healthy and strong. Go out on late-night adventures or stay in with your best pals. Create a dream board with ideas for your future. Go somewhere you've never been. Try to do one thing every day that scares you to death.
Self-love and self-care aren't things that can happen overnight. They take time. When one door closes, another opens. Accomplish one goal every day. Celebrate the little victories. Continue to aim higher, but don't forget to reminisce on what you've overcome. Do it all with the biggest smile on your face.