Learning To Live For Yourself

Learning To Live For Yourself

Worrying less about others could be the best thing you ever do.
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Life changing sentence warning: If you are not living for yourself, stop what you are doing and start. This statement may seem slightly ambiguous, so let me explain what I mean. For 20 years of my life, I was living for everyone else around me except my self. When I say this, I mean that I put the happiness of others in front of my own well-being. Being a kind and caring person who is nice to the people around them is completely different from what I am saying. I would drive myself clinically insane in hopes that being nice to people and doing whatever they asked would make them like me. Let me tell you, this is not a good approach to gaining friends. The only thing that you will ever get out of being that way is a broken heart and years of being taken advantage of.

The day I finally realized that I needed to start living for myself was the best day of my life. It was almost like a cloud of oppression was hanging over my head. Then I said to myself, "I don't care what anyone thinks, I am going to do what I want, starting now." This involved worrying less about how people felt about my actions, changing my career path and major and just having more fun. I absolutely do not mean that you begin to be a complete jerk. I simply mean that you should worry less about other people and start taking care of yourself. If you are bending over backwards in your own life in hopes that you can make someone else happier, there is something wrong. Finding a happy medium between pleasing others and yourself is such an important thing to do, but it is not easy.

I looked at myself in the mirror and told myself that I needed to start doing things that I really wanted to do, regardless of what my friends and family thought about it. I knew this could cause some backlash. If your friends and family aren't happy that you are happy, that is a serious problem that they need to address for themselves. Let me give you an example. The first two years of my college career I wanted to go to law school because I thought it was something that would appease my family and help me pay off the student loans that they always talked about. This was always my plan, until one day I looked in the mirror and realized that I was completely miserable with the idea of being a lawyer. I sat down and started to read in hopes that it would calm me down and settle my mind. Little did I know that in this book I would find the rest of my life.

I continued to tear through books until it finally dawned on me; I want to be a writer. For the first time in my life, I felt happy with a decision that I had made on my own. It wasn't because of monetary reasons. It wasn't because it was what my friends and family thought I should do. It was simply because I loved it. After that day, I began writing and couldn't stop. Ideas began to consume my mind and many class periods were spent writing down short story ideas and poetry. It was almost like my brain was finally activated for its true purpose after years of neglect. After that day, I didn't care if that wasn't what people thought I should do. I really do get their concerns. Yes, most likely I won't make it. I might be poor and have to work manual labor jobs, but if it means me being happy, well that simply can never be bought.

I strongly urge you to think introspectively. Look in the mirror and ask yourself, "Am I truly happy with what I plan on doing in the future, and is it really what I want to do?" It is never too late to pursue something that makes you truly happy.

Cover Image Credit: quotesgram.com

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


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Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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