So it’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything! There’s been sort of a lot going on—not like actual things going on, but a lot of emotional struggles and changes and that sort of thing, and I just haven’t really been in a headspace where writing about it on here would’ve helped. But now that I’ve had the time to fully think things through and understand everything, I’m ready to get it all out.
I had sort of a breakthrough this past weekend. Something I’ve been struggling with a lot the past several months, and I think I’ve written a bit about it on here, is this feeling that I’ve become super dependent on the approval and validation of my friends and the people around me. And it’s totally sucked, because I’ve always been a really independent person, so that was just an awful and weird feeling that I didn’t know how to deal with or get away from. The most annoying part about it is that consciously, I knew very well that I didn’t want to be that way, but I just couldn’t figure out how to get the way I felt to match what I wanted. There was just this huge gap between my logic and my emotions, and it was quite literally infuriating.
Basically what happened is that one of my friends sometimes gets in these moods where she’s super short with the people around her and basically overall not herself and kind of mean, and I get it because I sometimes get in those types of moods too—I think everyone does—but the problem really is that because we’ve been quarantined together for so long, I’ve really been the only person around her so I’ve been the one getting the brunt of those bad moods. So what happened is that one morning, after she served up some particularly mean energy, she came to apologize, which was very nice because it she’d honestly hurt my feelings with her attitude. But rather than telling her how it had made me feel and actually explaining that it was a pattern and I wasn’t okay with it, I just said that everything was fine and I understood and accepted her apology and blah blah blah. And when she left, I felt better for a minute, until I realized that she hadn’t actually even said she was sorry. And it just felt like such a glaring and awful example of my tendency to roll over for people and put up with literally anything because I’m so afraid of losing my friendships. It was honestly, in that moment, really embarrassing. I didn’t feel good about myself or proud of who I was in that moment, and all the bad feelings were about to lead to some serious wallowing.
But I resisted that urge, and instead (eventually) put on my running shoes and got outside. I went for a walk by the water and sat in the sunlight for a while, and then after I went back home and showered, I went back out to sit in the park and read for a while. No music, no nothing, just sitting in the sun, listening to the quiet, and being by myself. And I realized that in that moment, I was happier than I’d been in ages. I felt more like myself and more connected to myself than I had in ages! And in that moment, sitting in the park, I realized that I was actually truly and finally free of that feeling that I needed validation and needed approval from my friends so badly. Because in that moment, I didn’t need it. I was so happy to just be by myself. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my day than the way I’d just spent it. It was the evening by the time I got home, so I pulled an Olivia Pope and had a glass of red wine and a bowl of popcorn, and I got snuggled up in my bed and watched a movie. And you know what was so awesome? I didn’t have to discuss it with anyone! I just picked a movie, and then I watched it. And for dessert I had peppermint tea and oatly coffee ice cream with chocolate chips, and it was absolutely delicious. After my movie, I did a full hour of yin yoga—I lit my pumpkin vanilla candle and put it on the floor by my mat, it was magical—and then I read before going to bed. It was the perfect day, not because of all the things I did, because that didn’t matter so much. What mattered is that I really listened to myself for the first time in a long time, and I did what felt right for me. By the end of the day, I wasn’t feeling frustrated with anyone, including myself, because I’d finally let go and chosen to only seek approval from myself.
I’ve realized that sometimes it takes hitting some sort of rock bottom for me to realize how to actually make changes in my life. Though this might not seem like such a dramatic rock bottom, it was this huge moment where I realized that I didn’t like the version of myself that I was seeing. I realized how bad things were, and how desperately I needed to make a change. And specifically, I realized that I was never mad at my roommate—her apology was actually very sweet, and much appreciated because I grew up in a household where no one ever apologized, we just pretended things didn’t happen. I was never mad at her, I was mad at myself for not speaking up for myself. And I was mad that I was still feeling like such shit about myself, and that I wasn’t the person I wanted to be, the person that I knew I really was.
So, yeah. That’s what’s been going on with me. I had kind of a huge emotional transformation, and the whole process of it kind of threw me for a loop. But these days, I’m feeling better about myself than I think I ever have. It’s a nice feeling. Hopefully I’ll be back to posting more regularly now, we’ll see how I’m feeling. I’ve realized I need to start taking things more day by day, rather than trying to rush to the finish line before I can even see it. Things are good. I’m okay. There is joy, and that’s all I can ask for.