It feels so weird to actually be writing this out, but it’s here. I did it.
So I’m not doing something huge, I’m not quitting my job, and I do not have a secret boyfriend I am getting married to. Thank you to those who guessed those and I’m sorry I just shrugged my shoulders and smiled. I couldn’t spill what I was doing because it would have just ruined the whole point, haha.
67 days. That’s a long time if you think about it. That’s about two months. So let’s rewind shall we?
67 days ago was the first weekend that school began for Pomona. At the time, I thought I was going through a limbo state. The night before on August 25, after spending it with a group of people celebrating our friend’s birthday (shout out to Patricia the birthday girl), I went home reflecting on the week I just had: Welcome Week wrapping up, coming back to Pomona for one more semester to work, getting pho with two of my closest friends, and the recent Korean barbecue dinner was a mixed bag of emotions. Thinking back to that evening, I did not know how I would even survive this semester because of all the things that had happened prior. I was in a really weird transition period back in June of this year (2018). I finished my undergraduate degree, and I was trying to figure out so many things: friends, love, career, education, family, and myself. In the moment, fast-forwarding to after my trip to Europe, overall I felt things were good now, but I had a strong feeling the happiness was going to be short-lived and I would spiral downward again into my hole. That no matter how much I tried to push it away, something, whether it be events, words, labels, people, places, things, is going to throw me back into a place I did not want to be. Back into a person I did not want to be.
My mind kept screaming that these dark thoughts were not me. I had the hardest time trying to just separate myself from Her. I would always talk about Her. The other side of me. The side that drank often, that was aggressive, that cried too much, that would pass out and forget, that would have anxiety attacks. The side that broke friendships, that hurt people, that wanted to be alone, that felt misunderstood. The side that wished she never did those things, the side that wished she never existed.
Labels, I’ve heard them before. And it’s scary. When you’re someone that is prone to tunnel vision, it’s scary. You only focus on one thing, and you let that take up all of your thoughts. You can’t see the bigger picture and it’s…it’s frightening. You become more self-conscious about your actions and your thoughts. You become afraid of those around you. You trust less, you fear more. You start to see yourself as broken. You begin to accept that you are a mess. It becomes harder to love others. Even worse, it becomes harder to love yourself.
So 67 days ago, I…and I can’t write this in full detail. But, I guess you can say I finally have had enough. I was exhausted physically and mentally. I did not want to live this life of constant struggle with those around me and myself anymore.
I did not want to live a life constantly in fear of the unknown and what She would do.
I did not want to live a life constantly anxious of what others thought about me.
I did not want to live a life constantly regretting a choice that was made or not made.
I did not want to live a life constantly giving myself away and putting down my wants, needs, or desires to be there for people who, at the end of it all, just take or took advantage of me.
I did not want the what if’s. The thoughts and ideas of just doing it.
I wanted the oh wells. The feeling you get once you actually go through it, regardless if you succeed or fail.
I wanted to live a life where I can look in the mirror in the morning and tell myself, “Wow look at youuuu! You look pretty good” and be in my PJ’s, hair tied, chillin with no makeup on.
I wanted to live a life where I can look at some people from my past and not feel pain, but rather feel grateful for the time spent with them and wish for the best in their future with or without me.
I wanted to live a life where She can exist. I can work with Her and she truly is a part of me that I accepted, understood, and learned from.
I wanted to be more accepting of people around me regardless of who they were, they are, or will be.
I wanted to do things I say I would do, and actually do them.
I wanted to be happier with who I was.
So in a nutshell: I went on a self-love journey.
67 days ago I asked myself: So you’re tired of this life, this state you are in. What’s stopping you from doing what you really want?
The answer was myself. Admitting this was difficult because I kept trying to find excuses. I realized those excuses were made by me and only me.
So then the next question I asked myself: What do you want for yourself?
I never really asked myself what I wanted to do, for me and only me. Not for anyone else’s approval. And so I created a list of things I wanted to do.
Items on this list had both unreasonable and reasonable things. Both unexpected and expected events and things that I’ve just been doing on a daily basis.
- Start the graduate school applications
- Study for and take the GRE
- Lose weight
- Get your own business card
- Do another photoshoot with Grey Smiles Project
- Be fully happy and settled with your job
- Workout every single day
- Write 10 new posts for your blog
- Read 10 new books
- Decrease the debt on your credit card
- Re-decorate/fix your room
- Create a website
- Get a tattoo
At the beginning, I had set the goals with the intent that I wanted to complete all of this by a certain date. So I thought ahead and thought, how about the month of November in general? It’s the last two months of 2018 and it’d be good to start it off on a high note feeling accomplished.
So I began. And it was such a struggle. I did not post anything obvious or suggestive on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. I deleted my Finsta (an Instagram account that focused on the “real, true feelings”) and removed my Snapchat app (I still have my account, I just removed the app). I tried to minimized the amount of distractions that were in my control that I knew would throw me off and really just focused on what I set as my goals. At the end of 67 days here’s what I accomplished:
- Worked out everyday – I can successfully run a full 8 miles in 1 hour and 40 minutes
- Saw two of my favorite artists at the moment (shout out to Ella Mai and Daniella and Beyonce and Kay)
- Spent time with people and actually follow up when I say that we’ll grab dinner/lunch or catch up
- Met one of my favorite authors (shout out to Lang Leav)
- Booked another wedding as a solo coordinator
- Build a stronger relationship with my family
- Build a stronger relationship with my closest friends (you know who you are and I love you)
- Gain two mentors who are walking me through both of my careers in higher education and event planning
- Went to a party and actually felt safe
- Studied for and took my GRE AND GOT THE SCORES I WANTED
- Went on a trip with some of my closest friends (Flo Rida crew)
- Lost weight (I’m probably a little less than 145? Probably at 140 now? I don’t remember lol but it’s better than 150)
- Wrote 10 new blog posts
- Read 5 new books
- Booked not one, but TWO photoshoots
- Extremely happy with my two jobs and so grateful
- Attended a conference that made me fall more in love with my career
- Decreased the debt on my credit card and be better with my finances in general
- Started actually cleaning out my room (I threw so much away)
- Created a website (but it’s still in progress so shhh)
- Have complete control over who I am
- Fall more in love with myself every single day
As you can see, a lot of my plans that I initially started with did not make it onto the list of things that I had planned for myself at the beginning. There is actually more.
A few of these things I had set prior to the start of my journey, but I did not know the outcome of it, such as the concerts or the trip to Florida. I did not know that moments that I planned ahead of time could have potential to be some of the best moments of my life thus far.
Over the course of 67 days, I learned you don’t need a set number of days to truly live the life you want to live and see yourself how you want to see yourself. It’s really what you do right here, right now for the future. A friend/acquaintance of mine recently passed away. It hurts the heart and we miss him so much, but his passing reminds us that times like this, these moments, are fleeting, how much of the future we don’t know, and how much we should cherish the time we have together and on this earth.
A lot of days I would find myself mid-day or even in the morning or late at night not wanting to do anything or feeling sad or upset about something someone did intentionally or unintentionally. I would dwell on the feeling, and let that one small thing or person ruin a perfectly good immediate or long term future. I would be in that mindset, and then I catch myself and ask myself again what am I doing, what do you want to do right now. I also developed this saying over the course of the past couple of weeks:
“It’s not midnight yet. The day is not over. Whether it be big or small, do something now that will make you feel good right now. Do something that will make you feel accomplished for the day. Do something for yourself.”
Whether that looks like going to bed early for your body to rest up for the next day, calling up a friend to grab a frachos and just talking, spending time with your pet, going for a workout, having a food that makes you happy (ice cream is always the love of my life), or making time to do something you’ve always enjoyed, you’re doing something that will bring you up from where you were for a split second. That’s practicing self care.
As for loving my whole self, I realized that it’s a constant journey. I have some friends that would call it “going to war with my body”. It was definitely a struggle getting up at five or six in the morning, too. I did not appreciate my body and its capabilities, and saw my mental and physical with a handicap because other people saw it as a disability. Over the course of 67 days, I learned that you can work out all you want and change your diet all you want, but you won’t get real results unless you start to recognize the change in yourself, be happy with the change, and just love where you are presently.
Everything that you were, are, and will be, it’s a gift. You’re a gift. And I want to document that: whether it be through journaling my daily thoughts, looking in the mirror and giving yourself words of affirmation, or having a photoshoot in an outfit where you feel the most comfortable, it speaks volumes of who you are and who you want to be.
I’m sorry this is a lot and probably a bit confusing, but these past two months have been extremely eye-opening on how I want to live out the rest of my life. I have done a lot of self-reflection and I have grown to continuously love and appreciate who I was, who I am, and who I will be. I celebrate all the victories on the way, no matter how big or how small. I can look in the mirror and legit tell myself I’m a piece of work. But an amazing piece of work.
And it does not stop here.
No this does not mean I’m going to do another 67 day long self-love journey. Rather with each day I’m going to continue to pour love into my life. When I continue to love myself truly and honestly, I’m able to love and pour love into the lives of those around me and with me. Loving yourself and others is something that is not finite. We as humans are a constant work of art and we’ll never be finished. We just keep getting better and better with each day, with each stroke being added, and we get to see more clearly who we are. At the end of the painting (if and when we die) we get to see the beauty in the art, and what makes us, us.
I’m drawing a blank at the moment, but I hope I make sense.
This was the countdown to really living and loving the next day of my life. Whatever that looks like for me.
Thank you to everyone who’s been supporting me through these past 67 days and those that have been a part of my journey, whether it be going on lunch and dinner dates, sitting at a coffee shop doing work together, reading my blog posts, going on trips with me, doing photoshoots, or just texting me and being there for me. I love and appreciate you so much.
Here’s to 67 days and forever to go.