Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!
New month, new goals, and new opportunities to make this month yours. Personally, for me, February has always been a rocky month for me; family deaths, pet deaths, relationship deaths, you named it and it happened during the month of February. Last year around this time, I spent the majority of the month in this huge fight, so needless to say: I hope 2020’s February has a different outcome.
I’m hopeful and confident that it will be because I now have control over my own life and my emotions are not tied to surrounding things and people that may affect it. I don’t say in a nasty way, but I’ve had years of experience on “thinking about everyone else besides myself” and to some extent I still do, but this time it’s different. I’m truly on my own this time. I am in control of my own destiny, my own decisions, and how things can go.
Hi, welcome to this month’s installment of:
A lot is happening; a good type of “a lot”, and I believe it’s because I’m finally doing things the way I want to do them. No more worrying about what others may think, no more thinking my decisions are always wrong; no more feeling shameful or guilty for doing what’s best for me. I promised myself that this year would be the year that I said yes to the things that once scared me or made me second guess myself. I decided to go to my very first Kpop concert in the city by myself, I had my appointment with the bariatrics specialist, I might be making a trip to Florida to see my college friend; even the minor things that are happening within my life are happening because I chose for them to happen. Of course, that doesn’t exclude the things that are out of my control, but I least have a say in how to let certain things in my life affect the way I live it.
I’m simply learning how to be on my own after being emotionally dependent on everyone around me. For years, the opinions of friends, lovers, family, and even strangers affected the way I perceived myself and the way I made decisions for myself. Now, I’m not saying that people put a gun to my head and forced me to see things their way, I always had a mind of my own, but the opinions of others influenced the way I saw myself. For example, people saw me as the happy, bubbly, outgoing one when I was younger, so when I started to become depressed, more irritated at times, and experience social anxiety, I couldn’t accept myself for simply being human because I felt like I had to live up to the expectations of everyone in my life. After a while, (and I mean years of doing shit like this), I simply found myself being tugged in two different directions. One way, I was trying to meet the expectations of everyone in my life while my declining mental health and the need to start taking care of myself was tugging me the other way. It was a battle I was never going to win, in all honestly.
Were some of my actions during this time in my life toxic to those around me? Most definitely. Did I hurt people along the way? Absolutely. Could I have done things differently? To some extent, sure. And it’s these things that I’m still trying to reflect about myself and try to come out of it a better person. Maybe some of the people I hurt I didn’t deserve at this point in time. Maybe I needed this time of self-reflection and reconstruction to learn how to take care of yourself and take care of others in a healthy way, without neglecting my own needs, without losing myself in the process.
So these things like going out to a concert by myself, going to the bariatrics doctor by myself, and making every other decision by myself because I want to and not have people judge me or tell me otherwise is simply just some of the results coming from practicing self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-respect. I’m going to do what I feel like is best for me at this moment because isn’t that what matters the most? Living in the present? Being present? Taking life for what it is at this moment? Why dwell on the past and why worry about the future so much? If I’m not happy with the version of myself I am now, how do you expect me to be happy in the future and grow?
Listen, Ms. RuPaul once said, “if you don’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”