I’ve never had a rough life. I always had family and friends who loved me, shoes on my feet, a roof over my head, more food than I could eat, and everything else in between. But for the longest time, none of that mattered to me. I always thought that I was going through such a hard time. I always thought that everyone else was doing so much better and people always cared more about them because they were better off. Obviously now, I know that I could be worse off than I am now, and I am so so so grateful for what I do have in my life. However, I never reached that realization until I began focusing on myself and loving myself and the blessings I’ve been giving in life. Here’s how it went down:
I worked my booty off all throughout high school to get the best grades as possible. I worked two (sometimes three) jobs, and I still had to manage friendships, family life, and a boyfriend. This didn’t even include dealing with the usual high school nonsense. I got accepted into all of the colleges I applied to, and I was blessed to have gotten the loans to pay for the education to better myself. But, there was always something missing. Throughout the entire time of me doing all of those great things, I still never felt good enough. I felt empty and as though I was just going through the motions to do what I thought were the right things. On the outside, I was a happy, normal (well maybe not-so-normal) teenage girl with a busy schedule. On the inside? I was tired, I was stressed, and just felt like overall crap.
It took me getting removed from everything that made me comfortable and being on my own in college to realize what was missing. I didn’t care about myself, or love myself. I was so worried about making other people happy and setting myself up for complete success, that I forgot to take care of myself in the end. Being alone finally gave me the time to face myself and in all honesty, deal with myself. I had to look in the mirror each morning and tell myself that each day was going to be a good day, and that I was beautiful, I was smart, and I was loved. It sounds so cliche, but slowly it began working. I started working out, eating better, and my relationships with the people in my life began improving! I’m not sure what exactly ignited this change in me, but I am so thankful that it happened.
Now, regardless of how crappy I feel, how anxious I am, or how much I want to stay in bed all day, I force myself to get up, have my coffee, and get out there. It’s not always the easiest decision, but having love for myself and some self empathy makes it all a little easier. I reward myself for the little things and keep track of how I’m feeling throughout the day. These little changes improved my emotional health greatly, and I am so happy that something was able to finally click.
These changes made me love myself, love and appreciate those around me so much more, and fall back in love with theatre and where my life is going. Everyday isn’t always a great day, but I know that I can overcome anything that gets thrown at me regardless of if I crawl or run over the bumps in the road.
So who cares about my story right? Well, I am sharing this to let everyone reading this know how important it is to love yourself and be empathetic with yourself. Once you all begin to focus on you, everything else will fall into place and suddenly life seems much less stressful and 100% more manageable. I am not an expert in mental health by any means, but I know what worked for me may work for others, and if I can help at least one person realize their self-worth, sharing my story will have been worth it. You are loved by so many others, so jump on the bandwagon and love yourself just as much, if not more than your friends and family love you.