These days I have been beyond frustrated. Life has been handing me a lot of lemons in the relationship field, and lately I’ve been too bitter to make them into sweet lemonade. It’s beyond disheartening to feel like a person who once was so important to you is someone you cannot even recognize anymore. Whether it be a friend or a partner, when they are gone it is so difficult to resurface to the person you once were without them.
As I have been wading through these conflicting emotions, I’ve realized something I should have known before. Even though boyfriends make you happy and loved and friends bring you comfort and provide a shoulder to lean on, the most important relationship we should all be concerned with is the one with ourselves.
I never knew how strong I was as an individual until I left my hometown and moved 400 miles away to central Missouri. To say I was terrified would be an understatement. Freshman year at Mizzou dealt me a lot of blows, as well as many triumphs. I found that I can be independent and that I had to be independent. It wasn’t until I lived on campus for a couple months that it all hit me: this is my life, this is my future, and I can make it into something magnificent if I embrace who I am.
That’s what I believe we all fail at most of the time: we fail to embrace who we are. We are too concerned with how others view us, or we are consumed with thoughts that we aren’t good enough. We constantly think we aren’t thin enough, pretty enough or smart enough. We think that there just isn’t anything about us to be happy with.
But that’s the thing, we are. We are good enough once we forget about what others think and when we start to focus on what we think. It might take a year at college or more to realize this, but when you realize your worth and how strong you are and how strong you have always been, then I promise you that you will just feel so incredible.
I know I’m heading straight for the “Love You For You” kind of public service announcement, but as cliché as it is, it’s true.
People are going to come into your life, and you are going to believe that you know them so well. You will swear that if you needed to take a test on everything about them you would get 100 percent, and you will also believe that they know you just as well and that they will never hurt you.
But relationships end, and people change. You’ll find yourself abandoned, betrayed and alone. We all have experienced this and, unfortunately, we will all probably experience this again.
Maybe I’m just a little gutted with my recent relationship fallouts, but until I wrote this, I never realized how important my relationship with myself truly is. People have walked out on me, but I am still here. I can always count on myself, and so can you.
There is something that defines you. Maybe you are an outstanding painter, a fearless skateboarder or a whimsical dreamer. What defines you doesn’t have to be so elaborate though; you may just be a strong, compassionate sister or friend, and that right there is something to always value in yourself.
For me, writing is what defines me; it has always been my outlet. My passion for writing has stayed constant when friendships and boyfriends haven’t, because that is who I am: a writer. I am not defined by who I date and how many friends I have. I am my own best friend, and the relationship I have with myself is so much more important than the relationships that didn’t work.
Before I step off my soapbox here, I just want to say to you that you are your own best friend, too. Roll your eyes all you want at that sappy sentence, but it is so unbelievably true. Think about it, you know yourself better than anyone else will ever know you. Your fears, secrets, hopes and dreams, they are all who you are. And they are all beautiful.
It took me 19 years to realize this, and I am still trying to grasp it every day, but Dr. Seuss really hit it on the head when he wrote, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
So embrace who you are, and take on this challenge of maintaining a positive, healthy relationship with yourself. I can’t promise you there won’t be ups and downs ahead, but knowing who you are and how much you are worth is just one step closer in your journey to finding someone. Someone who will take the plunge to love you and get to know the exciting person you have always been and will continue to be.
But first before you go looking for love, save some love inside of you for yourself.
This article is a part of Kaity's column focusing on dating and relationships in college.
By: Kaity Martin | Image Source