I Love Me More

Over the last several months, I have found myself retreating from certain arenas, namely my friends and the blogging world. A result of multiple transitions, self-evaluation, and overall need for healing. As an only child, I have always been at home with my “me-time.” I often have conversations with myself in my head, and this extended reflection and internal communication has led me to be at peace with my current direction. 

How I manage my time this summer holds a lot of promise for my 2017 and beyond.  If I do not make apt use of my time, I will not achieve my goals. Simple enough, right? What is not so simple, is putting that attitude into action. Saying “no” to an extra glass of wine. Leaving some events early to go to bed, because I wake up before sunrise to accomplish my daily tasks. Taking an entire day to prepare meals for the week because I know my schedule will not allow otherwise. A lot of people don’t understand the methodologies behind my lifestyle, and that’s okay, it’s not their life to live. But behind the seemingly obsessive itinerary, there are goals and dreams that I am working towards, and this schedule allows me to keep myself in check.

Although I have made time for myself, there are a lot of things I have neglected. After a hectic few weeks of transition, I am finally getting settled into a routine. I never wanted to admit that I am someone who enjoys a set schedule, but in one of those heart-to-hearts with myself, I have accepted that this is who I am, and this is the environment that I need to thrive. I need eight hours of sleep to be able to put 100% effort into my day. I need to go to yoga at least three times a week to keep my sanity in check. I need to go to the gym for that physical release. I need to write, because I have a voice. It seems that as each weekend rolls around, I assert that I will make time to write. And something happens, and Saturday night is somehow Monday morning again. The cycle repeats. I do not want to go through my entire summer wishing that I had allotted my time differently. I have spent most of my adult life as a people-pleaser, it’s time to put myself first for a change. That seems to be an overriding theme for me in 2016.

For what I want to achieve in 2017, I am going to have to make some sacrifices this summer.  Last weekend I was sitting around with a group of friends at a local bar, and I realized everyone was getting drunk, and I was getting tired. Someone asked if I wanted a shot, or another glass of wine, and I politely declined. Getting drunk with your friends is fun every once in a while, but I never want that to be the foundation for any relationship or friendship. I never want a friend to just be a drinking friend. You should offer each other more depth than that. I say it all the time, but I am different, and I am comfortable with my differences. And I think that’s another reason I feel so unattached to certain situations that most people gravitate towards. It is difficult to say “no” to my friends, but I think it is potentially more damaging to say “no” to time with myself. This is a time in my life when I need to be selfish, and I think that selfishness is something we are all entitled to. In fact, it is essential to our well-being.
As I am better prioritizing my time in relationship to my goals, I am also learning to navigate who to keep in my life as I move forward. I have learned that it is okay to cut people out of your life, especially those who do not support you, or hold any interest in your success or well-being. We all know these people. They only seem to care about one thing, themselves. Whenever in their presence, we leave feeling angered and wishing we could walk away. Do it. Leave them--friend, boyfriend, family member. If they are not contributing to your sense of contentment or adding positivity in your life, it is time to go. 

I briefly touched on an experience in my own life when this occurred. I have no patience for stagnancy. There were so many accumulated, passive-aggressive jabs at my life that this person made about my choices that it became unbearable. This person and I were very different, and at one point in time, we balanced one another out quite well. But there came a moment in our friendship in which this person became toxic to me. I think the one phrase that echoes in my head (probably more often than it should) was when this person said, “If you met the right man, you’d want to drop everything to get married right now. But you have goals and dreams and things, don’t you, Emily.” Yeah, you know what, I do. And I should not be shamed for living a life that makes me happy, and neither should that person, nor anyone else.  This person feels that her sole purpose in life is to be a wife and mother—wonderful, I am truly happy that she has found something that she feels fulfills her life goals. But along her path to becoming a wife, she seemed to lose herself in the process. This philosophy goes for any career or familial role. Do not make yourself stagnant to fulfill an outside role or duty in appeasement for someone else. You will end up searching for happiness in other people and outside situations because you never found it within yourself. It becomes obvious to those whom you once labeled as “friends,” and you will wonder why suddenly, you have none. Your quest for happiness and lack of self-esteem eventually manifests itself in all facets of your personality, and thus, you became a draining and toxic individual. Being a wife and mother are important roles, but life extends beyond those identities, and so should you. 

From the moment I cut this person out of my life, I felt such a weight lifted from my shoulders. It felt freeing that my lips no longer had to mouth her name, or voice one more remark regarding my negative feelings towards her. Finally cultivating enough of a backbone to tell myself, "I’ll be okay without this person, I need to protect myself. I need to walk away" was a big step for me.Since eliminating this toxicity from my life, I have been much more content. Not every relationship I have is perfect, but I can say that they all contribute positively to my life. For the first time, I am happy with those whom I choose to surround myself with, and spend time with, even if it is in sparing moments.