Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!
Being in our twenties, we are still trying to figure out our place in the world and what it ultimately means to be ourselves. While some people figure those things out faster than others, it’s still such an important milestone to discover when you are living in your 20’s.
But getting to know yourself means getting to know your limits, boundaries, morals, values, and the things that just make up the entity of you. In other words, we become more self-aware with the things that in the past we were not able to fully comprehend. Maybe we were embarrassed to be a certain way in our teens, maybe you felt shameful for being a certain type of person; whatever the case may be, we just simply don’t care about what image we have and ultimately take care of ourselves when we are more self-aware. Therapy has helped me become more aware of myself over the past year, and because of it, I do have a lot of restrictions and boundaries I’ve created because I just have a better understanding of what I like and don’t like. I have a pretty good idea that if you guys are anything like me, your boundaries and restrictions are set up in the same way.
That doesn’t mean we are complaining.
As I’m writing this, we are currently going through a heatwave in NYC. I’ve known for years how much I don’t enjoy the summer; I get sick easily, I’m more depressed in the summer, I seem to never be cooled down, and I’m a lot more cranky and isolated during the hotter months. Because of this, I tend to trap myself in my air-conditioned room and let the day pass by. Of course, it’s not the healthiest thing to do, but it’s the way that I cope. Yes, I will tell you that I’m not coming out because it’s too hot. Yes, I will tell you I didn’t run my errands because it was too hot. Yes, I will not do a damn thing in this damn heat because it’s too fucking hot.
While I understand that everyone is feeling it the same way I am, my body is going to respond the way that it’s going to respond, and it’s my job to listen to her when she needs assistance. If I feel light-headed and dizzy and that I can’t breathe, I’m going to sit down and rest for the day. If I feel a little on-edge this particular day, I’m sorry but I’m just having a bad day. If I’m fine one minute and then all of a sudden I’m having an anxiety attack, my internal world stops in order to assist my body in whatever she may need to get out of that situation. I’m not trying to say that my problems are uniquely my own, I’m saying that I respond to them the way that I do, that’s all.
Of course, to the public eye, restrictions and boundaries are sometimes translated into “I can’t”, which again, isn’t the worst thing in the world. Saying no or that you can’t doesn’t mean you have a negative perspective on things, it just sometimes means at this moment, your boundaries or restrictions are not looking for any wiggle room. Yeah, that could change in the future, but at this exact moment, I’m listening to what my body needs and I’m going to put her first.
We are just self-aware of the things we can handle and what we can’t at this moment, so please be respectful of that. For many of us, this self-awareness took years to be discovered and heard and we are still new and unfamiliar with its contexts. Don’t just assume we are “complaining” about our problems or having a negative perspective on something. We are just human, and we always have room to grow.