Categories
mental health

Embrace Your Weird

How many times have you been called weird or have been made fun of/teased?

I’ve been called weird a lot. I’ve also been teased a lot.

This used to bother me more when I was younger. As someone who just wanted to fit in, any time light was shined on a way I was different from the people around me, I changed that aspect. Girls weren’t interested in playing outside? I didn’t talk about it. No one wore South Pole? I stopped wearing it, even though it was my favorite brand. Throughout my childhood/young adolescence, I changed anything about myself that may have been seen as “weird” to those around me.

Sitting here now, I can look back with hindsight. I am an empath, so the emotions of those around me can be overwhelming (and they especially were when I was a kid). My love languages are Words of Affirmations and Acts of Service, so being made fun of or teased was something that really bothered me. Emotions and words are things that I’m sensitive to!

And now, I am weird. I am interested in “weird” things that the majority of people in my life are not interested in (or at least not as much as I am). Astrology, paganism, psychology, moon phases, the magick of nature, spirituality, plays and films, books, so much more. I am grateful to be at the point of not giving a FUCK because I’m learning I don’t need to change myself for anyone.

I am learning to embrace my weirdness.

I’m also grateful for my fiancé, who also embraces my weird. We goof off around with each other, we have conversations about things that aren’t super important but are on our minds, etc. And seeing him, someone who I admire, love me as I am and encourage me to be myself has jumpstarted my own journey to actually learning more about the things that interest me.

But the thing is, I didn’t need him to love me in order for my weird to “be okay”. I have always been okay – my weird has always been okay, I just was so preoccupied for so long to fit in.

And of course, the clichés we’re all familiar with come to mind – “If you feel you don’t fit in, you were born to stand out”. Maybe you’re not comfortable standing out. I’m not! I’d rather be behind-the-scenes of things. But whether I am cast or crew, in the spotlight or backstage – my true self and the things that make me different are still valid. I am still valid and worthy of existing exactly as I am without changing myself to fit the mold of someone else, or of what someone else may want for me.

If this sense of hiding yourself and not embracing your true self is never something that’s affected you – good for you, my dude! (not sarcasm) That’s incredible and I am so happy for you that you have always felt comfortable in your own skin.

But if you feel like you can only be your true self on your own or with a select few people, then I want you to know that I see you. Maybe you came across this and are in high school – and honestly that is the breeding ground for trying to fit in. After graduation, you most likely won’t keep in touch with many people and you’ll see just how much your environment affects your personality and your-wellbeing.

Whatever your situation is – let this be a reminder that you are allowed to be yourself.

Categories
General

Love Yourself Too

Happy February!

This month has always been a weird one for me. We have Groundhog’s Day (which I’ve come to see is another Pagan-inspired holiday), Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, and also Black History Month. And I’m sure even more that I’m forgetting. That’s a lot for one month, let alone a month with only 28 days (not counting leap year).

Also, I have some beef with Valentine’s Day.

Growing up my parents gave me a basket with little toys and candy every year, and then I had the typical school stuff. And as I got older, I started to romanticize the day of romance and expect this to be the day that my crush of the week professed his feelings for me. That never happened. Eventually, I started dating my now-fiancé and while we’ve been in love ever since, I still never really got into Valentine’s Day. Until this year.

See, I was very much in the mindset that you should be romantic and love-y to your partner all year long, not just on one day because Hallmark said so. I’ve learned about the origins of the holiday and being in a loving relationship has me less anti-Valentine’s Day (I actually hand-made a gift for my love this year, I’m excited!). I do still think you should show and tell those around you that you love them all year long, but I also just feel like something is missing with the common ways to spend the day.

I feel like the type of love that needs to be celebrated the most, and also the least talked about, is self-love. And self-care.

Do you love yourself? That’s a pretty invasive question, but I’m not sorry for asking.

Do you show yourself the same love that you show your partner, your friends, your family? Do you let yourself rest when you need it? Do you motivate yourself to work on achieving your goals, even when it’s hard? Do you drink water, eat food that is good for you, and move your body?

Do you establish boundaries? Do you stand up for yourself and speak your truth? Do you also not give energy to the things that do nothing for your soul?

This may be a concept you’re not familiar with. You may not have been raised with the mindset that you are the most important person in your life – you can’t be there and serve others if you are not going through your life at your best.

Self-care has been a trendy subject lately, but I’m not seeing a lot of depth with the mainstream conversation. #selfcare is full of bubble baths and face masks, but self-care is so much more than that. Self-care is, quite simply, taking care of yourself. Supporting yourself, being there for yourself. It sometimes does look like a nice hot bath and pampering, and sometimes it looks like quitting a job that drains you. Sometimes it is going for a walk, or doing some moderate retail therapy for clothes, or having some tough-love conversations with yourself. It can look like dedicating a few hours on a Saturday morning to work on tasks when you’d rather be doing something else, but ultimately the productivity will make you feel good too.

Self-care looks like being honest with yourself and finding a balance between what you want and need. It’s ordering a salad because pizza doesn’t make you feel great, and it’s also having ice cream for dinner on nights where you’re hungry but don’t feel up to doing anything. It looks like distancing yourself from friendships that weigh you down and it also looks like holding space for people to be in your life who are going through journeys you may not even be aware of. It looks like cleaning your room some days and also looks like leaving the laundry for a week when you just can’t get to the place of caring.

Self-care looks like being your own best friend. Self-love looks being your own damn hype man. And if this relationship with yourself has been something you’ve been neglecting, let this Valentine’s Day be a reminder that you are deserving of love from yourself, too. ❤

Categories
mental health

Fuck It – The Motto

A lot of people advise to choose a word to embody your intention for the new year. I saw that all over social media last month – and that practice has never really felt like it fit all the way for me. Sure, I could jam the puzzle piece in the spot if I needed to, but choosing one word just didn’t feel like me.

I was scrolling through TikTok as one does and found this video and I immediately felt like it was made for me. And I remembered that “fuck it” was something I’d repeat to myself and it helped me overcome my anxiety and helped me kinda take back my sense of confidence. So we’re bringing that back!

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I’m working on accepting my body as it is. I’m very early on in this process and I’m not a fan of most things about my physical body. But once I changed the narrative in my mind and started calling it my “meat bag” or my “organ vessel” or something like that, my focus started to shift from the way it looks to the way it feels. My worth as a person has absolutely nothing to do with the way I look but about the way I am. So if I’m wearing an outfit that I think looks good on the bed but then not that great when it’s on me? Fuck it – I’m going to wear it anyway.

There was a day the other week where I felt so anxious. I felt anxious about future plans – and I was really getting worked up about not knowing what was on the agenda. And I talked with myself about deep breathing through the anxiety and trusting that everything will work out and that I don’t need to have a minute-by-minute itinerary of what I’m going to do. 1. That’s an old version of me wanting control – the version of me that I’m aspiring to be and cultivating now goes with the flow; and 2. I was making assumptions and getting anxious about scenarios that weren’t even happening. And that’s usually how it goes, right? So what did I do? I asked. “Hey – is such-and-such happening this weekend?” and “Hey, this is my plan so far, what do you think?”. Fuck it – the only thing I can do is ask.

This works with a lot of things too. If it’s cold in the morning and I know a long walk before work will feel good but I’m not sure if I want to put in the effort – some days it’s “Fuck it – don’t be lazy and go for the walk” and other days it’s “Fuck it- there’s always tomorrow. Rest if you need it”. If I think someone is upset with me – it could be “Fuck it – their opinion is not my problem” or a “Fuck it – just ask them”. If I want to go to the grocery store and spend $10 on sushi just because – “Fuck it, you only have this day once” or “Fuck it, save your money and get something this weekend instead”.

Fuck holding yourself back. Fuck putting other people above yourself. Fuck making assumptions. Fuck holding onto expectations that nobody knows about. Fuck living your life for somebody else.

All of these things and more are things I defaultly do. Whether it’s a trauma response or my societal conditioning or whatever – I am a people pleaser. I tend to care more about what other people want or need from me than what I want or need. I tend to hold people to standards that I never verbalize and then get upset when they don’t meet those expectations. I tend to overthink and blow things out of proportion. But I don’t want to be that person anymore. I don’t want to be held back by myself anymore – fuck that.

🌼

Maybe some of you do like to choose a word for the year. Maybe some of you made New Years Resolutions. Whatever the case may be – the number of the year does not determine the quality of the year. I’m writing this post on New Year’s Eve (🤓), and my social media is flooded with people saying “I can’t wait for 2021, it’s got to be better than 2020”. Does it? Do you really think that the clock changing and the calendars going to the next year is going to *snap* magically make everything better?

NO.

We have to put in the work. Trust in the universe/God/your higher power to provide, and put in the work in the meantime. Pandemic aside, a new year is not going to automatically bring a new you. We all don’t have a software update that’s installed on January 1st at midnight. If we have a resolution to lose 50 pounds or save $5,000, we need to put in the effort to get there, regardless of the date.

So yes, this “fuck it” motto of mine was inspired by the new year, but I’ve been making changes to my diet, my exercises, my mind all year long.

Of course – you do what feels right for you. But a friendly, tough-love-no-bullshit reminder that if you want something different to happen, you have to do something different to get that. If you want something to change, you have to change.

And if you’re just not feeling it? Fuck it – do what will feed your soul in that moment. Sometimes it’s a run, sometimes it’s a nap, and there’s nothing wrong with either.

As the New Year hype starts to die down – just remember that you live your life for you. Fuck it – do what you want 🙌🏻✌