I think that there comes a point every so often where you have to reexamine yourself, your surroundings, your possessions, your relationships, etc., and figure out – what’s really good for me? Right now? Long term? Are the things in my life healthy? Do they add value? Or are they detracting from my life in some way?
Over the last year I’ve tried to become truer to who I am. I’ve owned my belief system, from atheism, to my political leanings, to my musical preferences, my reading choices, my hobbies, etc. I’ve tried to stop hiding who I am from the world. Sure, I’ve disappointed people (namely my family) that I’m the “normal” daughter/niece/cousin that they wanted or expected. I’ve heard many times in my life “why can’t you be more like so and so,” and for years I tried. I really did. I did all of the things that I was supposed to do. And it never felt right. You know what feels right? The tattoos, the piercings, the love of sci-fi and fantasy and superheroes, listening to bands that most people outside of certain circles have never heard of.
I’ve walked away, or at least dialed back on, a number of relationships in my life that were not healthy. In most cases too much give, not enough take. I haven’t ended them, I actually like these people, but these are relationships that I don’t get what I need in return. I give and give and give, and when I need something in return… nothing. There’s one in particular that I’ve stopped chasing. It’s always me reaching out, trying to make plans, trying to pull them out of their shell. I can’t anymore. They know if they need me to reach out, but, like in many instances in my life, I’ve stopped trying to be everything to everyone. I need to take care of me, first. I need to prioritize myself and the relationships that really add something to my life. Guess what, me first, for the first time.
I will no longer run at the drop of the hat to anyone and everyone that needs me, when in many cases they really don’t. They just don’t want to do something themselves, or they want someone to solve their problems. I can’t do it anymore.
Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.– audre lorde
I have to say, since I’ve started doing all of these things (and more), I feel much more centered. The last few weeks with the whole not sleeping thing could have ended a lot worse, but even during all of that I was focusing on my mental health, taking care of it, protecting it. In many aspects I was being gentle with myself. And I feel rejuvenated this week. I’m taking care of myself, but in a different way. I’m getting back to basics, getting my routine reestablished, putting the pieces back together slowly but surely.
Because, you know what? Just like everything else, I’m going to come out better and stronger than I was.