I wasn't ready for the pain, heartache, tiredness, and loneliness of adulthood. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t prepared. And here I am, at 23, still trying to figure out who I am and what purpose I serve on this earth. You could say I’ve been through a lot, but who hasn’t? I had a great childhood, I have great parents who love me dearly, I’m surrounded by amazing friends and family, I have a God that loves me, so why do I feel so alone? So disconnected from everyone else? Like an outcast? Growing up, I was the most outgoing and carefree child. I would go to youth group on Wednesday and Church on Sunday. My faith was the strongest it had ever been and I felt so alive. Then high school hit, and all the sudden I became this person I didn’t know anymore. I lost sight of my faith and I forgot everything I had ever been taught. I became this person I'm still trying to fully figure out. High school was alright. Some parts were great & some parts flat out sucked. But what I regret the most is spending so much time chasing after someone else I wanted to be instead of taking the time to figure out who I was. Instead of living my life through Christ, how I had been living for so long. So here I am, 23, still clueless, still trying to learn how to love myself, writing this blog to share my story with people who have gone through similar situations as me.
Let's rewind back to August 2013, the first day of college. I decided to stay at home so I could save money. The first two years of college were alright. I made decent grades while struggling to find with a major I found any interest in. I took every personality test you could think of, dug through books and internet searches to find something I could even barley see myself doing in the future. I started in Dental Hygiene and decided that was not what I wanted to do. So I moved on to Exercise Science. I love working out so that'd be perfect for me right? Wrong. So I went back to square one. This happened a couple of different times throughout my first two years of school. I felt really discouraged and frustrated. All of my friends found their passions and what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives and I just couldn't find mine. One day at the end of my second year of college I came across a major called Health Information Management. I had never heard of it before but something about it sparked my attention. It was a mix of healthcare and administration which seemed to be the best of both worlds for me. I would be on the back end of healthcare but I would also be able to interact with people so I immediately thought this major was for me. Two and some years later, I have my bachelor degree in Health Information Management as well as my credentials! I wish I could say that was how simple and easy my college life was...but unfortunately it was not.
I wasn't ready for this. I wasn't ready for college and all of the chaos and confusion and identity crisis it brings. The hardest part of college for me was the fact that I went into it without truly knowing or understanding the person I was. I had my eye turned away from God. My whole life I hid from who I really was, afraid of the judgement or talk that might be said about me if I was true to myself. And lemme tell ya, it came around and completely crashed my world. I lost many relationships and pushed many people out because of my own toxic behavior, not even realizing that I was the issue. I would use excuse after excuse to avoid coming to terms with who I was, because for so long I was SO used to hiding from myself. It was always easier to run from my problems instead of face them head on.
This behavior went on for many years. All of high school and all of college. My life was a continuous cycle of self-destructive behavior; getting close to someone, pushing them away before they got too close with me then being left alone in the dark wondering what was wrong with me and why I would ALWAYS do this to myself. I would pray a little here and there but I was not fully committed to living my life through Christ like I used to. I knew how bad the pain felt when I was alone so why on earth would I keep taking myself back to this horrible, lonely place? I couldn't figure it out. I thought something was wrong with me. That I wasn't normal and I eventually led myself to believe I didn't deserve these relationships because I would always do something to mess it up, no matter how hard I tried.
The beginning of this year I finally ventured into the world of YouTube and started to read the bible again. I knew I was missing a huge part of myself, but I wasn't exactly sure what that part was. I started with watching basic fitness videos trying to motivate myself to finally stick to a plan. I eventually entered a whole new realm of videos about 'self-love' and 'law of attraction'. I quickly found a whole squad of empowering girls who have changed their lives to lookup to (shout out Whitney Simmons, Taylor Chamberlain Sam Ozkural and Renee Amberg for being a HUGE part of this success story). Watching them be so confident in who they were and their purpose on this earth really put a spark in me. I also started praying to God again, asking him to guide my heart in the right direction. I downloaded the bible app and made it a priority to read at least one verse before bed. I started meditating and truly coming to terms with my thoughts instead of hiding from them. I found a workout routine that works for me and I stuck to it for the first time in a long time. After watching SO many videos on how to love yourself and reading so many bible verses, I finally realized, who was I living for? The people I worried would talk about behind my back and judge my every move or MYSELF? And the answer was, I was living for other people and I had completely lost sight of my faith and who I was.
All of these years of pain and confusion FINALLY made sense. I was never happy because I wasn't truly living for myself. I wasn't living my life through Christ. I was living in fear of who I really was. Hiding from who that person might be. Hiding from my past thinking that would be easier. I was constantly chasing the next person I wanted to be like instead of investing time in myself. I didn't love myself. I was scared to love myself. I didn't know how. I was turning a blind eye to my faith, certain I could go through this life and fix this pain on my own. Not loving myself took up a lot of my time and energy. It caused so much unneeded stress and anxiously. It caused so much pain and hurt. It caused years of depression. It caused so much harm to my life and the worst part was being blinded by it for so long.
So how did I start loving myself you may ask? Well it started with what I had been hiding from for so long...facing terms with who I was. Analyzing every aspect of my life to truly understand where I was at and why I wanted to make this change. It started with not worrying about the past or the future but living in the moment. I also asked God for forgiveness for my unfaithfulness to Him and for thinking I could live my life without Him. It started with taking care of my mind and body every. single. day. Reminding myself that I deserve to be happy and healthy not just on the outside but on the inside too. I cried. A lot. I fought it. A lot. I made every excuse in the book to not make this change I so desperately needed. It wasn't until I bought the book 'You are a Badass' that I TRULY started living for me. This book opened up my mind to so much more than I would have been able to on my own. It gave me a great understanding of who I was and how I became this way. It made me realize that I needed to stop being so damn hard on myself and it made me realize that I just needed to love myself. That was it. No tips or tricks. Just learning how to honestly love myself and not even bat a single eye at what the world around me has to say. I am still not perfect and I have days where I beat myself up over the smallest stuff, but I am learning and growing everyday and I am honestly so happy with where I am at today. My faith is even stronger than it was before. I am surrounded by people that love me and are constantly cheering me on and I have cut out those people who have ever made me question my worth. I can confidently say that I love myself and that is something I never dreamed of being possible. I do not have to live in fear of myself or my past any longer.
I wanted to write this post not only to get these words off my chest, but to maybe make an impact in someone else's life. Loving yourself is SO IMPORTANT. If you don't love yourself, who will? Those are words I try to live by every single day. Life is as hard as you make it and that is something I didn't realize for so long. Also, reach out to your loved ones and make sure they are truly alright, because you never know what someone else is going through.
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own thing" - Matthew 6:34