Ahhh…. Valentine’s Day.
The day girls everywhere either love or hate. Whether you’re single or in a relationship or somewhere in between (…we’ve all been there), there is some common ground we all share.
Namely, that we have to love ourselves before any relationship can work. Super easy concept, super hard to do. I, for one, am super guilty of being beyond knit-picky about, well, just about everything in life. As knit-picky as I am about life, I’m super critical of myself. I critique things I work on, my ideas, my laziness, whatever. But I also critique things pretty much out of my control.
I’ve written a Prep Talk (I think… I can’t seem to find it!) about how I didn’t like the things that made me different. Of course, the realization was that the things that made me different were the things that made me, well, me. That is, I was focusing my energy on trying correct everything that made me stand out. Over the course of however long, I forgot about this. I started off strong, as usual, but then life takes over.
I am well aware that this is just the natural cycle of life, but it is good to take a step back every now and then and recalibrate.
What better time to recalibrate our love for ourselves than on Valentine’s Day? Sounded like as good a time as ever. Right?
I think the perfect place to start is to share how the #CurlChallenge went. Remember when Maxie and I decided to stop straightening our hair for an entire month? We started doing it as a way to save time in the morning and we learned a lot more about ourselves in the process. After a week, I realized that just because my hair wasn’t straight didn’t mean that I was out of control. (There was something about straight hair that translated into control.) Yes, I was saving time. But more importantly, I was learning how to embrace myself as is. Straight hair isn’t really me… it absolutely doesn’t happen naturally, that’s for sure. Now I’m leaving my hair curly pretty much every day, challenge or no challenge.
So that’s kind of a more superficial thing I thought I didn’t like, but really just had to learn to embrace. (Still working on the five-head and the not-so-perfect skin.)
And then there are the big things… those things I truly beat myself up over and get really down about. Like how I’m super aggressive. And how I’m super competitive. And how I have serious social awkwardness issues. Or how I tend to cry at the drop of the hat (if I’m happy, sad, embarrassed, surprised, confused, frustrated, and/or overwhelmed). Or how I have a short temper… very short.
But I’m learning to stop apologizing for the things that make me me.
My aggressiveness might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m straightforward. When I compliment, I mean it. When I point something out that’s wrong, I’m only really not criticizing the person, but instead envisioning a better end result. I think people are surprised that first time I really speak my mind. When I speak up, I mean it.
For my competitiveness, yes… it’s a little on the unhealthy side. But it’s my “juice.” It gives me this little fire in my belly that is simultaneously petrifying and exciting. I put blinders on and narrow in on the finish line (although it tends to move further into the distance with each stride). I don’t aim for the stars, instead I find the one I want to hit and go for it. Yet, I’m not afraid to change course should the need arise. I’m competitive with other people (a bit of a fault), but I’m way more competitive with myself. Numbers are important, but I usually can rely on that gut feeling too.
I am socially awkward, but not if I feel comfortable. And when I’m comfortable, it’s an amazing thing. Relating to people is difficult for me– or at least letting my guard down. If I open up, it’s because I trust you. It may not be the normal way to go about building friendships, but my friends mean the world to me. (As for guys… very few capture my attention for more than a text message. Those that have have been wonderful!)
Crying… well, I just can’t seem to help that. (You should have seen me during the Olympics. I cried during every commercial. Oh, and if they showed any of the parents in the stands, I lost it.) And my temper is something I’m working on. It’s not that fun to deal with and I always feel horribly when I say something I truly did not mean.
It’s not necessarily “accepting” who you are… it’s about learning who you are. Find out what makes you tick. What makes you different. What makes you you.
So this Valentine’s Day… Celebrate L O V E, but start with you.