Hey there... it's been a while.

Amidst college applications, surviving IB, battling illness, extracurriculars, and utter chaos, I have been offline for quite a while. But, I realized that I need to be back; I need to keep writing to keep myself sane.

After weeks of agonizing back pain, and a slow accumulation of congestion and pain, it finally happened. Yesterday I woke up in paralyzing pain, and I could not get out of bed to go to school. My lower right back felt like it had been mutilated with a machete and then set on fire. As if this wasn't sucky enough, it was the last day of finals.

I went to the hospital, and learned that I had ketones in my kidneys, a kidney infection. I took my antibiotics and began to reflect about why my physical health had deteriorated so surprisingly. Until I realized that it wasn't surprising at all.

In the past six months I have probably averaged 4 hours of sleep every night. I skipped meals because I didn't have time to eat. I stopped doing the things I loved in order to please others. I didn't go to yoga, write, go shopping, spend time with family or friends, read, visit museums, or go to concerts.

In the moments that I chose to focus on school and college apps instead of taking care of myself, it didn't seem that bad. But, as time went on, it really added up.

I am the first person to preach self-love and taking care of yourself, but when it comes to myself, I do anything besides take care of myself. I constantly say "yes" when I should say "no" to obligations, and I always put the needs of others before myself. I become so focused on school that I spend 18 hours in my room doing homework, and miss the sunrise and sunset. I forgot what it felt like to bake with my mom. I forgot what it was like to spontaneously drive to LA. I forgot to live.

So, here and now, I declare that from here forward I will put myself first. I will go for walks just to enjoy nature. I will put my happiness over everything. I will read books for fun. I will make cookies for my local baristas at Starbucks. I will go shopping. I will spend time my family. I will go for a pedicure. I will eat real meals because I owe it to myself. You owe it to yourself too.

If you don't take care of yourself, then who will?

When was the last time that you did something selfish? When did you last put yourself before everyone else? When did you last stop work to take a walk or call a friend?

Please remember that you are a human being with feelings, hobbies, quirks, and a soul that needs to be fed. Please do not let your lack of self-care affect your health. Please be selfish.