Maybe you quit your job, maybe you're on the back end of a bad break up, or maybe you had a falling out with your parents after you told them you're dropping out of med school to pursue your life long dream of becoming an underwater basketball coach. Fish can dunk too Mom! Well whatever the reason may be for your new found interest in your main squeeze (you), I'm here to offer up some do's and don'ts that might help make your journey go a little smoother.
DO: Find out what you like about yourself.
Even on your worst days, there is something to be thankful for. Great family? Super polite? Awesome Jenga skills? Teeth? All wonderful things that you may have, but don't take the time to appreciate. Take a look in the mirror and decide what 5 things you've got going on that makes you a catch. Write those bad boys down on that same mirror with a dry erase marker or a garbage lipstick you're never going to use again and look at it every MORNING. Not at 6:30pm, 15 minutes before your Tinder date when you're looking fierce. No no, I'm talking in the a.m. Early morning, crusty eyes, smudged eyeliner your make up wipes didn't get, hair in what was once a messy bun but is now a FEMA declared natural disaster, kind of chic. Read all those awesome things to yourself when you're looking your roughest, until you get to that point where you feel just as confident before that make up goes on as you do before it comes off. It isn't going to be easy and we've all had our bad days, but just like any other relationship, the one with yourself takes work, so as a famous pop star once said...."You Betta Work Bitch!"
DON'T: Underestimate the power of friends and family.
This is about you and we'll come back to that, but come on.. tell me a ladies night post break up doesn't feed the soul.
DO: Treat yo self!
Ice cream? Nails? Hair? Shoes? Think of what little vice makes you feel good and take yourself out. Sometimes all it takes is a smoothie or a pumpkin spice latte to brighten the day.
DON'T: Rush the process.
When you're hurting or battling raw emotions, this is absolutely the worst possible time to make any major decisions. Think B. Spears shaving her head circa 2007. As tempting as it may be, don't change everything if your life in a whirlwind of an escape attempt. Don't quit your job, buy a one way ticket to Dubai or chop off your beautiful long locks when those feelings are still fresh. Give yourself time to process your feelings and if you still want to move away or cut your hair then by all means go for it, but making drastic changes when you're in a fragile place can leave you feeling worse not better.
DO: Find a hobby.
Ask yourself if there is something you've always wanted to try or maybe just get better at a hobby you already have. Cooking, crafting, dancing, silks, tumbling, hula hooping, yoga, singing, playing an instrument, kick boxing, running, swimming, snowboarding, cycling, baking, painting. The possibilities are literally endless, I mean have you been on Pinterest? No? Get out.
Self discovery is about finding what you like about yourself but also trying to reach your potential. It undeniably feels good to accomplish something so go get that hobby, accomplish something, and be proud of it. Better yet, be proud of you!
DON'T: Be somebody you're not.
It can be very tempting to rebel against the life you've been living to spite someone who has wronged you. Ex Best Friend loves music? Jokes on you Stacey. I hate music now. Parents want a college grad? I'll show them and sell meth behind a closed down Sizzler. Ex boyfriend loved dogs? Well I can't have one now because he ruined them. STUPID. HYPERBOLIC & STUPID.
Discovering who you are is a process that you build on over time. If you have already discovered that you love dogs, don't abandon ship because some dick head made you sleep in the dog cage so Sparky could sleep in the bed. Go volunteer at a local animal shelter and be surrounded by so many dogs that Cesar Milan starts thinking YOUR the dog whisperer. Create new memories that overshadow the old ones. Finding new interests is wonderful, but changing doesn't mean transforming yourself into a whole new person you don't like.
Let me put it to you this way for all my trendy Pokemon players... Charmander doesn't go around morphing into Jiggly Puff right? No, because a giant, fat, pink singing ball with an impressive knack for friendship, just isn't who Charmander is. He evolves into a stronger/ better version of himself. Evolve into Charmeleon, not a dinosaur lizard combo creature running around in pink paint and a fat suit.
DO: Plan & save for your future. **eye roll okaaaaay mom**
She's right though. Out of everything, this was the most beneficial during my journey and I still use it! For example, writing down and looking at the list of places I want to travel to within the next year has been consistently inspiring. I knew I wanted to travel but when my preliminary itinerary was all laid out, it became much easier for me to pinch those pennies to save up because I know it's going to be worth it. I'd think order Chinese food or use that coinage for water park tickets? I love pot stickers and all but that was an easy choice. I'm not saying plan your wedding with a groom that doesn't exist but, what I am saying is give yourself goals. Having something to look forward to is not only a good morale booster overall, but it can also be a good motivator to get you through a rough time. My college students where you at? #FinalsWeek. If you can keep reminding yourself why the hard work is worth it, you can get through it.
DON'T: Give a f*** about what anybody thinks.
Yeah, this includes me. You may have a different game plan all on your own for finding out who you are and that's okay. There is no right, there is no wrong, there is just you. You do what makes you happy. Challenge yourself to be the best that you can be and start putting effort in to the relationship with yourself. We spend so much time and energy on our relationships with others but that relationship needs attention too. There is one theme throughout all of this. Self discovery is about learning and loving you for you, nobody else. You will NEVER be able to please everyone, so stop trying and start learning how to please your ride or die....YOU!