My senior year of high school I became severely depressed. It wasn't because I was stressed about where I was going to college or the fact high school was ending. I was going through a breakup, a particularly hard one. The kind of breakup that makes you feel like you will never get on with your life.
Obviously, at the time, I didn't see a single positive aspect of this breakup. Even though during the relationship I was completely miserable. I changed every aspect of my life for this boy and I was exhausted. I lost friendships, connections with my family and changed things about myself I wish I never had. I changed my clothes, makeup and even changed my perspective on things. It was a relationship that left me feeling more miserable than loved.
Fast forward to the day I left for college. I had been waiting for this day since my relationship had crumbled in late October of my senior year. While this day had brought upon a whole bunch of firsts for me it brought me one of the most important ones ever, my first ever loving relationship... with myself.
College was a blessing in disguise for me. My entire life I had been incredibly shy. The kind of shy that was almost painful. Nobody would've ever thought I'd go to college nearly three hours from my house. I fell in love with Bowling Green State University have never looked back. My friends at college are genuinely confused when I tell them I used to be shy. Now I seriously talk too much. Going away for college instilled a new found confidence and love for myself I never knew was possible to have. I even gained 25+ lbs. and surprisingly love my body more than ever.
I'm not saying you have to go away to college to love yourself. It's all about getting rid of the toxic things in your life. For me, it really was getting away from home. Being able to distance myself from the people and situations that made me not value myself. I want people to understand it is more than OK to leave things behind that do more harm for you than good. I know there are countless posts on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr etc. saying the exact same thing. It really is true though. Amazing things really start to happen when you begin to love yourself. People begin to notice. You begin to notice. As cheesy as it sounds you really do begin to glow.
Loving myself has brought upon so many different opportunities for myself. They really aren't lying when they say you can't expect somebody to love you until you love yourself. I now am in an amazing relationship with someone who understands fully that I am an independent woman who doesn't need someone to validate their worth. I know who I am now and am constantly growing to better myself and hope those around me and am so much better for it. Since I am able to respect and love myself now I am able to love others.
I hope whoever is reading this is able to love themselves with everything in them. I never knew I could have this much love within me for not only me but for people in general. I promise it is fully possible to do so and that it is incredibly rewarding once you do so. Keep believing in yourself and it will happen and be worth it.