This year has been a whirlwind. As I begin to look back on everything that I've done over the course of this year, I think about the amount of growth and confidence that I've acquired within myself. It's incredible to know that so much can happen in a year. Granted, as the years go by, they continually go faster (at least I think this happens) but sometimes when I don't think that much has happened for me in the course of a year when December comes, I am reminded of everything that I did. Aside from school and other activities, what has been a huge factor of my self-growth has been choosing every day to put myself and mental health first as well as setting personal boundaries.
By definition, personal boundaries can help define a person's likes and dislikes as well as setting a distance for other people to approach them. Personal boundaries can be physical, mental, psychological, and spiritual. Also, they involve a person's beliefs, emotions, their intuition, and self-esteem. Personally, I think boundaries are sacred. Each person should have a set of boundaries that they own. Personal boundaries are what allow a person to take ownership of their agency and power.
This year, I found out the importance of having them in my life because I was tolerating many things that I knew made me feel uncomfortable or angry. I let a lot of things slide in the relationships I formed with other people because I didn't want to make them upset with me. Also, I felt that If I expressed what was making me upset or angry, I was being a horrible person.
Generally, I think people haven't been taught the proper use of personal boundaries because we've been conditioned to put up with things that hurt or upset us and if we speak up for ourselves, then that makes us bad and uncaring. Everyone has a right to their personal boundaries.
I've learned that having personal boundaries is what has allowed me to better function and navigate the relationships I create with other people (romantic, friendships, etc.). Personal boundaries are what give me understanding for myself and what I want my environment to look and feel like. This year, I've taken the initiative to rid myself of relationships that no longer serve me or were damaging to my mental health and I encourage you to do the same.