Around this time last year, my first article was published. The article was about gaslighting and I had written that article because of the abuse I had experienced in a relationship that ended around this time a year ago.

I remember sitting down and it only taking a few minutes to finish the article. I was that angry. I was ready to destroy someone who had destroyed me regardless of the repercussions. I was in fight mode when I published that article.

It is a year later and I would never regret any articles I have written, but I do think that a lot has changed since then.

Since that article, I have realized a lot about myself that I don't think I would have realized if I didn't take out the time to write about what had and has happened. I wrote my first article and the following articles about the abuse I had experienced not realizing that I took less responsibility for the way things happened in that relationship than I should have. It has taken a lot of time for me, and even now, I realize that I tend to pick up the lesser end of responsibility than I should with most things in my life.

Since my first article, I have written so much about self-love and abuse in relationships. I'm going to ignore the abuse part for a second and focus on the self-love for a moment. It's bullshit. I can't remember what I've written exactly, but self-love is different for me now than it was before. The whole idea of having a deep fascination with yourself to the point you put yourself on a pedestal because others haven't is bullshit. It took some time but I realized that my version of self-love was taking no responsibility and avoiding the fact that I am the cause of most of my problems. It was blaming everyone but myself. I was one of those people who looked at my traits as definite rather than something I could work on.

And you know, to this day, my past relationship still haunts me. Not the person I was with but the things had been said and done. I'm terrified of getting close to people and if I do, one wrong move and I'm out. And it still haunts me in a way that's much different than I would have ever assumed. And not knowing what was coming after but hoping that love from another human was, I had this crazy idea that the world owed me after that and since then.

But boy, does the world owe me absolutely fucking nothing.

I was talking to a guy before coming to Thailand and a few weeks ago I had found out he was calling me crazy to his friends. This is nothing too relevant but when I thought for sure that the world was on my side, boy. I never said anything to him, I never did anything to him, and I kept my mouth shut no matter how I felt. I was still called crazy. After that, I realized how little the world owes me.

A few weeks ago I was telling my sisters about my dating life and one of them said, "I feel tired for you." And when I think like that I think of my past relationship and all of the things I'd like from someone. That's the problem though. I thought some guy was going to come along and treat me in ways that I had forgotten. I thought that someone was going to come to me and look at me with appreciation because I had forgotten what that felt like. I thought I was going to be respected, appreciated, and loved. When I wrote my first article I was torn and I knew I deserved so much more than I had gotten. Although I'm not where I was when I wrote that article, I have gotten all I have ever asked for and so much more.

And that's when I realized what self-love actually is.

I realized that the universe brought all I was expecting from some guy, from myself. I had realized that I wasn't giving enough credit to people who loved me and I was taking less responsibility than I ever should have. I realized how damaging I am to others and the relationships people try to form with me. I have realized how unbalanced I am in giving and taking with people who try so hard to love me. And I have realized that I was never ready for any relationship I had shared with any man because I didn't deserve them or vice versa. But now, I can say at some points that I didn't deserve certain men. I have come to know myself so well that I know what's right and wrong for me, without forcing anything. I have met guys that I'm not compatible with and that has been okay with me. I no longer blow things up if they aren't working out nor do I force things to be right between me and someone else. For once in my life, I have let all that needs to be just be.

I said before that I'd never regret my articles and I don't, but so much has changed for me that I don't have the stomach to go back and read them. It's not like I have forgotten about the pain written in my articles but that it has become so foreign to me. A whole year later and everything has changed.