“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
I am 20 years old. I have red hair and hazel colored eyes. I am a current university student studying management. My favorite color is green, and my favorite movie is Gone with the Wind. I live in a small town I want to get out of, but I have no idea where I want to settle down (Destination: Unknown, Some State, United States). I want to travel, but I cannot tell you where (Location unknown; I’ll get there eventually). I have never had a serious relationship, and I am not looking for one, but I understand the value in committing to someone. I have multiple pets I adore, and owls are my favorite animals. But most importantly:
I am still learning who I am.
All facts listed above are snippets of who I am as a person, but they’re all surface points. They’re the paragraph on the back of a book introducing the story. They’re not the meat, the weight, of who I am as a person. I have aspirations and goals, but I don’t yet know exactly what I plan to pursue or which goal is more important than others. I have no idea where my career will take me, but I am so excited to find out. I am ecstatic for my future, though I am still working out the details. And so often I believe people live in this perpetual state of “Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow” before ever worrying about today. So often, I think people forget that is such a thing as “Self-love” and everyone needs to be able to love themselves wholly before trying to love someone else.
Because if you wake up in the morning, and the most important phrase in your vocabulary is “I don’t know”, then you have little to nothing to say to anyone else. Now, let me clarify, if you’re that person who is near my age, and you’re married with your own house and a kid or a child on the way, please know I am not devaluing your choice. Everyone is at different points of their life, and if you’re happy, I am certainly happy for you. I want to speak to my introverts, my dreamers, my “put off till tomorrow”s. I am speaking to anyone who has no idea where they will be tomorrow.
Figuring out who you are takes time, and if you cannot identify who you are, how can you identify what you want in another? How can you decide what qualities you want to see in a life partner? If you’re like me, and you’re in a perpetual state of “Who, What, Where, and Why”, don’t feel bad. Don’t think you’re behind the curve of the world, or that there is something wrong with you. There are people like you everywhere. There are people like you who have no idea where they’re headed. There are people like you who have goals, but they have no idea how they will reach them.
You should never feel weak for staying alone and figuring out your own mind first.
There is value in not rushing into relationships. There is value in spending Friday night studying (but don’t do that all the time. Take breaks! You’ve earned it, no doubt). There’s nothing wrong with turning down a date because you’d rather watch a movie alone or curl up with a good book. There is nothing wrong with going on a date and realizing they are not the person for you. There is nothing wrong with being turned down because you’re not someone’s type. There is nothing wrong with wanting to find and love yourself before giving your love to someone else.
There is value in being and finding yourself first.
It is not, nor will it ever be, selfish to give yourself time to work out the chaos in your own head. You are an amazing, ambitious mess of a puzzle waiting to connect the pieces, and no one has the right to stand in your way to do so.
Find yourself before you find someone else because there is value in being just a little bit selfish. Worry about others when you need to and when you want to, but know that you are just as important as everyone else in the world, and you have an obligation to yourself to figuring out who you are in this fast-paced, crazy world we’re living in.
I bet you’re amazing.