You are the Only You

Writing is something I love to do. The only time I have trouble writing is when it is personal, which is why this blog can sometimes be a little hard for me to maintain. Blogging forces me to be honest about me. I have found that stepping outside of my comfort zone is a good thing and today that is what I attempt to do.

As of today, November 30, I am 22 years old and I am embarking on the hardest journey I have ever trekked. I am on the journey of self-love. However corny or cheesy that may sound, I am attempting to learn to love myself.

I am a young woman at the beginning of my adult life. What I have found so far is that the world is not always a pretty place. The world will shut you down. You may date a guy who doesn’t treat you well and you cannot seem to figure out why. You may get a job where it seems like it is your boss’ sole mission to give you hell every day when you step in the door. Your group of friends may see some drastic alterations in the next two or three years. Your car may break down. Your money situation may not be the most stable. In the midst of all the chaos around you, it is important that you learn to love yourself. If you don’t, who else will?

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This whole idea of self-love has been something that I have struggled with since I was a little kid. For one reason or another, I just always felt different. Now that I am 22, I understand that it is okay to be different. In many ways, this is a very good thing. Tell that to a younger version of me and I would not have believed you.

I can easily make a long list of my weaknesses. I over think things. I have a hard time letting go of people and the past. I run from conflict. I have dry skin. I have a slight over bite. I am slew footed (i.e. duck footed or bow-legged). When I smile, my eyes squint and you cannot see my pupils. I can be critical of myself. I worry a lot. I can be a control freak. The list goes on and on………

For the first time in my life, I came to a strange and daunting revelation. I have not loved myself. Hard to hear and even harder to admit, but I realized that I have spent so much of my life being critical of myself and comparing myself to other people that I lost sight of me. I lost sight of the awesome, strong, beautiful person God created me to be!

I am finding that when I love myself, even when I immensely screw up, that things are easier. I don’t stress as easily and worry as much. I don’t look to other people to define me. I laugh at my mistakes and am easier on myself when I fall down.

10 Good Things About Me

1. Quirky

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2. Analytical

3. Intelligent

4. Ambitious

      5. Outgoing

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6. Artistic

      7. Passionate

8. Driven

9. Strong

10. Beautiful

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Life is a process. You and I will never ever be perfect no matter how hard we try. However, we must still learn to love ourselves. The hardest relationship a person can have is the one they have with themselves. Other people’s treatment of you will reflect your treatment of yourself. People will only treat you the way you allow them to.

Maybe you are in the same boat as me, a 20 something and just embarking on your life. Maybe you are a teenager and just getting a first taste of freedom. Maybe you are in your 30s and raising kids or you are in your 50s experiencing empty-nest syndrome. Whatever stage of life you find yourself in, I hope you learn to love yourself, flaws and all. Love yourself and see all the good things that have been in you all along.  You are worthy. You are important. You are special. You are loved.

So far embarking on this journey of self-love is the best decision I have ever made. It is a process but I am learning how to love me for me. Nobody else can be me but me. God must have put me here for a reason. So I have decided to be the best version of myself possible.

Make your own list of good things about yourself.  Throw away what other people think and what’s happening in the world around you. I dare you to fall in love with you!

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Stephkt

A Woman of Noble Strength

Mae Audrey Taylor was my grandmother’s name. I smile just thinking of her. I cannot put into words the kind of women she was. To keep it really short and simple, when I think of my grandmother, one word comes to mind, good. She had a really good heart. You could ask anyone who knew her what kind of person she was and they would likely say caring, kind, nice, giving, which are words all synonymous with good. My grandmother was a good woman.

Recently, a friend of mine told me that her mom has been diagnosed with cancer. As I digested the news and tried to desperately find words to console my friend, I thought of my grandmother. My grandmother had breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The latter, sadly to say, took her life in February 2006. I sat in my room earlier this week trying to possibly grasp how hurt my friend must be while also remembering the sadness I felt when I lost my grandmother.

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My grandmother was the best woman I have ever known. She really was my super hero. With her, I was never lacking. There was never a time when I was with her that I did not feel safe. I started wondering what it was about her that made me look up to her with such esteem for 16 years of my life. I looked up the meaning of her name. Of course that was the most logical next step to research the history and origin of my grandmother’s name. (Please sense my journalistic sarcasm.)

I seriously do believe in the significance of a name though. I think people’s names have a lot to do with their personalities. People say words are powerful. Well, names are words spoken over and into a person’s life for their entire life. Names must carry some weight in determining a person’s character.

After I did some research, I found that Mae means ‘welcome’ and Audrey means noble strength. My instant reaction was “Woooow that is so spot on.” My grandmother was caring and giving to everyone she met. Whether she knew you or not, she loved with arms wide open. You always felt welcomed in her presence. As for her middle name Audrey, well that is my favorite part. My grandmother was a humble woman with a big heart. Like I said before, I always felt safe and at home in her presence. I felt protected. She had a strength about her that went beyond words. Everything about her spoke integrity, strength and humility. She personified the meaning of her name.

Remembering my grandmother is bittersweet for me. I miss her of course. I sometimes wonder if she would be proud of the 22-year-old woman that I have grown into and the person I am becoming. Deep down, I really think she would be. I smile when I remember little things about her or the memories we made together. I am so glad to have had her in my life. Although I miss her, I am just grateful to have had the time that I did have with her. It was so precious looking back on it.

Mae Audrey Taylor

At 22, I constantly feel myself changing and growing up in all the right ways. I think a lot about the woman and eventually wife and mother that I want to become. I now know. I want to be the kind of woman my grandmother was. My grandmother’s caring heart and her selflessness were her strengths. Most people look at vulnerability as a weakness, but my grandmother showed me that a tender heart is a good thing. It allows you to show others crazy amounts of grace when they don’t deserve it. It allows you to love when you have been hurt, to show empathy for people who are suffering and to be the person that helps heal others’ pain. I want to be a woman with a tender heart who isn’t afraid to be vulnerable. I want to be selfless and caring. I believe a woman with a caring heart is a strong woman. I want to be the kind of woman my grandmother was, one of noble, loving strength.

What kind of woman or man do you want to be? Who inspires you? Feel free to comment below.

Stephkt