This post has been brewing around in my mind for the past couple of weeks, but I haven’t had the guts to really sit down and try and sort through it in writing.
My relationship with myself has been a very long, very tumultuous road. And I don’t think I’m even half-way through. But when I pause and look back, I can see growth and change and that makes me happy. But there is still so much to learn, so much to accept and so much to develop.
A couple weeks ago, I was meeting with my therapist and the topic of self-care came up. I was talking about my recent haircut and how cute it was, how much I liked it and how rarely I get my hair done. This took us into the topic of all things girly: Haircuts, manicures/pedicures, waxing, make-up, shopping, massages, etc. and I admitted that when it comes to me spending my money on those things, I get very accountant-minded and really just…don’t. As we talked more, I had this realization that right now, I have literally no one else in my world that I have to support (except for Ginger), and thus, why can’t I spend more money on myself? The reality is, I can. But I choose not to. Now, most of the time, my reason is travel. I want to spend as much of my money on travel as I possibly can because it’s something that I enjoy so much, and I still stand behind that. But, I think I need to learn balance. I would say that the bulk of my money goes to traveling, concerts, and going out with friends (food, drinks, etc.). All of those things are important to me because they are experiences, but I need to be important to me too. And if that means less glasses of wine out, less restaurants, then so be it. Those things I can easily remedy.
The other thought that popped into my head was the usual rebuke of “I shouldn’t have to look a certain way to be liked!” which is true. If I choose to dress in sweats and never wear make-up, I know that I am still an awesome person. And no, I should never do anything for anyone else. But, what about me? What about how I feel about myself?
When I have my hair cut nicely, and I get up and do my hair, put on make-up, choose a cute outfit and go out into the world, I just feel better all the way around. I’m still me. I still love laying around in sweats. But my overall self-love meter is tipping further into the full arena than empty because I’ve done something for myself. To make myself feel better. It’s the same feeling I get when I’m doing some form of workout that I enjoy. I will always feel more badass and happy when I’ve pushed my body and done something that I wasn’t sure I could do with a barbell or my own bodyweight. But, if I just go jump on a treadmill at a gym, I’ll always feel myself rebel out of insecurity and fear that I am not as good as someone else (usually the awesome chick next to me running a 6 minute mile) and out of hatred of that particular activity. I’ll still be the girl who rips her bra off minutes after getting home because….well, bras suck. But I will also appreciate looking in the mirror at my perfectly (maybe not so perfect) made-up face and thinking “hot damn, I look good”.
This has all been swirling around inside of me and constantly pushing me to realize that I am my first priority. My number one job is to take care of myself, in all ways.
It also has shed light into why I’ve been so reluctant to put myself out there in any situations lately where I could potentially meet a guy. Subconsciously I think I knew that before I go off trying to date, I want to reconcile this relationship with myself first because, again, it’s the most important relationship I have right now. And the older I get, the more and more I realize this. I want to be 100% happy and confident with myself on my own before allowing someone to come into my space. I don’t want to share a broken me. Not that I have to be perfect, but I want to be ok…balanced. I’ve been the girl who let men define her, and I won’t go back to that.
Most of the time, I am 90% happy with who I am. I am proud of myself and think men are absolutely crazy for passing me over. But that 10% really fucks me up. That 10% is my physical appearance. It’s my overweight body. It’s my round face. It’s me in pictures next to my friends where I look like a giant. That 10% crashes down on me and rules so much of my mental and emotional self. And I’m sick and tired of that.
So, I want to learn how to care for myself, in all the ways. I want to build new routines and habits that keep my outward appearance up in order to balance out that mental mind-fuck. And I want to do it because I love myself. Because I deserve it. Because I work hard and I was born in this skin so I want to treat it well. I don’t know exactly how all of this will be shaking out, but I started with a new lipstick. And I love it. 🙂