Self-love and self-discovery are two extremely important themes for me.

I passionately encourage every person I know to be unapologetically themselves. In addition, I find it equally important to keep an open mind about your growth and pay attention to the ways you change.

I feel like after experiencing the normal bouts of heartache and disappointment, I bucked up and realized something undoubtedly vital.

I was searching for my life in other people, but I wasn’t so ready to find it within myself.

This was obviously something that wasn’t an overnight fix. Honestly, having that proverbial bomb dropped on you can feel too intimidating to even decipher.

But alas, here I am to share my inner thoughts.

So often I see people invest their time into unreliable relationships. That could be sketchy girl/boyfriends, inconsistent family members, and sometimes questionable friends. The thing is: other people are important in our lives and they play their part but we must realize our part as well. If you aren’t comfortable by yourself, as an individual, you shouldn’t expect your relationships to be anywhere near comfortable.

It’s easy to hide behind someone when you’re in doubt. It’s simple to allow their plans to guide your own. Even more so, it’s convenient to rely on someone to be your distraction. Inversely, it is also too common to spread our ideas of how others should be leading their lives while we ourselves are unsure.

But, let me tell you a few things that are more fulfilling than all of that.

Feeling confident because you’re rocking your own style. Loving your plans because you made them. Focusing on what you want for your future, and figuring out how to make it happen. Ultimately, this is all because you are in control of your life.

Now, I don’t claim to have all the answers and I personally have a lot more figuring out to do. But, I can tell you this: since focusing on the inner-workings of me, my happiness with myself, and those around me, has grown exponentially.

You have to take the time to fully absorb the things that make you unique. Spending alone time doesn’t have to be lonely. Here’s a big shocker…you can pretty much do anything (that you usually do with others) by yourself.

For example, I really enjoy sitting by myself at the park. I usually bring a tapestry and throw it on the grass. As I sit there for a little while, I start to recalibrate. I look around at the activities going on around and remember how many different lives are being lived completely unassociated with mine. This brief moment at a park may be the only time our paths ever cross. And there is something so exciting about that.

Because on this particular day, I could’ve made the biggest mistake of my life or maybe I had the absolute best day ever. Either way, to everyone else at that park, I am just as I was any other day: a girl sitting in a park. Only I am aware of the difference.

My life is completely separate of theirs, just as much as they are separate of mine. I understand that in any given situation, my life and my choices are for me to determine.

I’ve gained balance with who I am and who I become each day. I can appreciate the people in my life much more now that I understand what I have to give them in return. I enjoy my time with those important to me, but in the space between I find joy being with myself.

I call this: a separationship. (Because it’s absolutely wrong to not label your relationship with yourself.)

Your soul is begging for attention and exploration. All you have to do is slow down and start listening.

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