When I came back there was something very apparent. I have neglected loving myself for a very very long time.
I think this is the most neglected thing in our lives. We are constantly trying to find people to love. Trying to create something that we think people we want… We want to be wanted by other people, but forget to be wanted by ourselves. We never really stop to love ourselves, and CREATE the person we want to be. This post will be about scattered thoughts I have about why it is so important to love yourself, and how I do it in my life.
I think in life we get desperate and think, “If only something bad would happen to me, then people would care about me.” I came home from my mission… And well… Things got bad. One big misconception people have about really bad things happening in someone’s life is that people will pay attention to you. People will care, right? Nope. If something bad happened to me, people would finally care…. Right??? Not always. I came home and it was the most horrible time of my life. My sister had just passed away, I came home from my mission early, and I was more depressed than I could ever remember being. So, where were my friends? Where were all the people that were supportive before I left? I imagined calls everyday. Being asked to hang out all the time… The thing is, life happens. People fade away… We create a path, and we walk it. This means, that people won’t stay in your life forever. This has to be okay. Frankly, I was mad for a while. I wanted to blame everyone for my problems. However, I realized I needed to be happy for everyone I have met in my life. I had my moment of sadness, then I gave a smile, whispered goodbye, and let the beautiful people in my past live their lives. I was happy for this new opportunity to be alone.. It turns out that I really wasn’t all that alone.The problem wasn’t that I was essentially alone. The problem was that I didn’t like being alone with the person I was with. ME. Why love yourself? Because being alone won’t be a problem. Being alone after I came back was the best thing that ever happened to me. It really pushed me to love myself. It pushed me to really figure out how to do that.
Ahhh.. The dating… This is another place where loving yourself makes things easier. I have spent my entire life trying to be someone that everyone else wanted. I would beat myself up when I tried to set up a second date… And wouldn’t get a response… Like what the heck!? I would wonder what was wrong with me! I would continue to try and simply embarrass myself. I would always try to avoid being alone. I always had to be doing something. Surely, there was something wrong with me. I had to become more perfect. Right?
I always wanted to be what the girl that week wanted. Oh you like tough guys? Well miss, let me tell you how much I can dead lift. Oh you like guys who can cook? Well, let me spend all week practicing a meal that I can make for you just so you can go ahead and never call me back again. You always wanted a fairy tale? Oh, let me just pre-fabricate a magical evening that will never work. But WAIT. That’s not me! I can’t cook! (However I make amazing alfredo and slow cooked caramel spiced apple cider like a boss just a heads up). My life isn’t a fairy tale! I literally do nothing other than work, school, sing, Netflix, and literally take pictures of myself in the mountains. Some people do really cool things with their lives. I pound down a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and watch How I Met Your Mother on the weekend. I’m not a big talker. I never really have a lot to say. Ever gone on a date being a terrible conversationalist? However, I can dead lift a lot. So that part was true. But I’m not a tough guy. I am a complete softy.
What have I done to love myself? Well, I would do all of the things I have done to try and love other people my whole life… Except for me this time. Loving myself has changed my whole life. I started to take myself on a date once a week. I will go up to Salt Lake City, a hike, take my art supplies to the mountains, or make a picnic. I’ll take my camera to capture these moments, and look at the world in a different way. In a way I can be more appreciative of everything around me. I see lines, curves, and designs I never really appreciated before. I have so much time to think about how great I really am. I have time to remember the good times. I have time to think about the potential I have in this big world.
One of the biggest things, is that I do things for ME. I no longer need anyone to go have fun! I used to stay in when there was no one to go see a movie with. Well, now I just go alone. A cool weekend activity? Yup, I’ll do that alone. And I love it! Sure it could be better if I had someone with me… But I no longer have to miss out on living just because I am a single 20 something whose friends all got married or chased their dreams. Life doesn’t start when you get married. Life is always going, you have to decide if you want to ride the wave or let it crash on top of you.
How has my dating life improved? Well, I’m still super single… But that is finally okay with me. I love spending time with myself. Now, if a girl doesn’t text back… I leave it at that. I don’t try to text back a million times just in case their phone broke, their dog ate it, they lost it, maybe they never got it, or they threw it off a cliff and it got hit by a train and an eagle took it to South Africa where it was used as a football by the local children. I have an amazing track record with not making myself look like an idiot anymore. For real. Super proud of myself. I go on dates because I want to now. To actually get to know people. Not because I feel I have to fill my time so I don’t get depressed being by myself on a weekend night.
What is the last and greatest thing about loving yourself? Chasing your dreams.
The thing about living for other people is that you will quickly miss out on what you truly wanted to do. I missed many opportunities because I decided to stay in cuz I THINK some girl still wants to go out. A weekend? That’s something small. What about the bigger things? Going to your favorite college? Pursuing what you truly want to do? If you are living for others, you will neglect yourself. The outcome is losing things that may be great for you. I mean, those plans could crash and burn too, but you will never know if you don’t try.
A girl I used to date talked to one of my friends recently. She said, “He’s had a hard life.” Out of all of the things about me, that’s what she remembers. I… have had… a hard life. Ya, my life is hard. There are so many people out there who have had it harder. I personally think I am incredibly blessed! I think I have an amazing life. But then I thought about it… I guess my life has been hard. I always believed that my life would just be one big struggle… But.. I think it’s my decision. I have been inside this “struggle bubble” for a while. And for what? I can literally do ANYTHING with my life. It is simply my choice! Well, that opened my mind to do exactly just that.
I have finally reached a crazy point in my life. I am about to graduate college… I have never felt like I have had so many options in my entire life. Now, the old me would tell myself I need to stay in Utah after graduation. That’s just supposed to be the natural progression of things, right? (Struggle Bubble Syndrome). How else will I ever find a wife if I leave? But.. I can’t put my dreams and life on hold on that idea. Four years ago I bought a big painting of the Manhattan skyline. I bought it to remind me of where I want to be. It’s been my dream to move to New York. To pursue a career, and also my dream of doing music. I wasn’t sure if I would ever go through with it… I figured if I looked at it every day until graduation I would muster up enough courage by the time I graduate. Well, after spending quality time working on myself, I am finally ready to BELIEVE in myself. I don’t have to have a “hard life” anymore. I can have MY LIFE. So, this summer, I am moving to the big city. I finally feel like I am going in a direction I need to be. Something I am in control of. Bad things will happen no matter what in life. But you can choose how you want to live it. You can stay in the struggle bubble or you can smash a wall through that crap and become something! I am finally living for ME. It feels really good. Before, I would keep myself from leaving because of my friends, family, or the fear of leaving to a new place and completely failing. But… Life is failing and moving on! New York will be crazy hard. I’m not naive of that. I know there are millions of other people who have tried to move to New York to chase their dreams. I am an introvert that doesn’t like crowds. That alone will be a challenge. However, I will never know if I don’t try! I’m not gonna tell my kids that their dad tried his best to live a safe life in his struggle bubble. No. I will climb mountains with my hands bleeding until I figure out what I am capable of. They will know their dad stood on top of the mountain with his flag waiving. They will never know about any struggle bubble. I will not let them think that that’s what life is. Because… It’s not. Life is about living. You have to make that choice. Will you live in your struggle bubble? Or will you break out and start living again?
So, please, DATE YOURSELF. Find the things in life that you love. Chase your dreams! Life isn’t about making steps. Life is making leaps! God wants us to be happy! Maybe your leap isn’t moving to New York City. Maybe it’s something else. But.. Whatever it is.. Find it… Love it.. Never let go of it.
Here’s a lil song I wrote with a good friend about loving yourself. Share this post if you want!
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