I like improvement. I like making things better.

I like a good challenge, as do many people. I find puzzles intriguing. I love doing the New York Times' daily crossword. I literally work at an escape room, where I'm constantly surrounded by puzzles and things that need mending, often requiring quick, on-the-spot thinking.

I love the satisfaction I feel when I figure something out.

I am full of compassion and belief in others. If you were to ask any of my friends, I can almost guarantee they would mention how willing I am, at any given moment, to offer advice or even just a shoulder to cry on. I support every person that enters my life; I encourage them to become their best selves. I shower people with love, always, regardless of who they are. I just love people.

I care way too much about a lot of things, including relationships, friendships, even group projects at school. I have trouble determining when to walk away; sometimes, I don't even have to- people just leave, and I'm left to deal with the brokenness that often accompanies loss (which I guess is like a puzzle, but a really sucky, challenging one).

Sometimes, I let the problems others face take over too much of my own time. I allow myself to get overly invested and attached, which always ends in my getting hurt.

Don't get me wrong- I love who I am. I love who I have become, especially within the past two years of my life. I am my most authentic self, and I think I become closer to who I dream of being with each passing day- but that doesn't mean I'm there yet.

I still have to learn when a relationship does not contribute positively to my journey of self-progression. I still have to learn when it's okay to put my foot down and say no, especially when I'm uncomfortable. I still have to learn how to value my time, how to make the most of each day, and how to love others without allowing them to take over my life. I still have to learn when (and how) to walk away.

I think that although being selfish has a negative stigma surrounding it, it's okay to be selfish sometimes, so long as you aren't losing compassion for others. In fact, I think you have to be selfish sometimes to get the most out of life. If you think about it, you're really the only person who will always be there for yourself. You are the only person who can consciously help yourself grow. I think it's okay to acknowledge that.

So, from now on, I will be practicing a more loving and mindful lifestyle when it comes to myself. I will be more careful who I befriend, who I trust, who I love especially who I love. I will spend more time doing things that benefit me and my future. Yes, I will always care about others; that's not something I ever want to rid myself of- but I want to spend more time dedicating care to myself. I want to learn how to put myself first. I want to be able to realize when I'm being treated in a way that equates to less than what I deserve, and I want to be able to walk away from it without a second thought.

And in the end, I know I will be better for it.