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It’s been one heck of a year, hasn’t it? You’ve had so much happen that it can be hard to keep track, both the good and the bad. Sometimes things seemed to be going smoothly, only to overwhelm you again.
And if we’re honest, a great deal of this year circled around him.
It’s okay to admit it. We’ve all had those people who walked into our lives and managed to shake up any part of ourselves that felt stable and secure. The ones who don’t even have to try, just their presence alone can affect us in ways we didn’t even see coming. They can stir up intense feelings that we just aren’t sure what to do with.
We fall in love and we don’t even give anything else a second thought. Not even ourselves.
This year, you invested your heart into someone who seemed amazing in every possible way. You spent your days going to see him, and letting all of the outside world fade away. You laughed and smiled more than you ever remembered doing before. You told him your secrets and he trusted you with his darkest thoughts and deepest fears. You saw all the good in him and believed only the best things about him. You knew him better than anyone else, and you adored him with every fiber of your being.
But this year, you also spent more moments than you’d like to admit waiting on text messages that you would reread over and over again, long after they stopped appearing anymore. You rehashed your conversations with your friends, hoping that maybe this time you would be able to find some secret meaning in his words that you didn’t see the first time. You spent many nights alone wondering where he was or who he was with, making yourself miserable in the process as you imagined the worst.
You loved him unconditionally and without restraint, looking past all his flaws and shortcomings, because you couldn’t imagine doing anything less. You held onto him until he finally let you go, for one reason or another, and it left you devastated. You’ve been trying to pick up the pieces ever since, and there is a part of you that even feels like you wasted so much time on him.
But this year is coming to a close, and a new one is about to begin. And I hope you use it to love someone else instead. In 2018, I hope you learn to love yourself the way you loved him.
I don’t mean in a toxic way. I don’t mean in a way that leaves you broken. I mean that I hope you are willing to give yourself just as many chances as you gave to him. I hope you remember that you’re a human being who makes mistakes. And that it’s okay that you do. I hope you look at yourself and learn to see someone worth loving.
I hope you learn to treat yourself with the same respect and devotion that you were willing to pour out for him. I hope you don’t sit around and wait for him—or anyone else for that matter—to come around and validate you as someone worthy of love, but that you learn to do that yourself.
I hope that your thoughts about him become less and less, while your thoughts about you become more confident and positive. I hope you start doing things for yourself, things you want to do, rather than holding yourself back because of what someone else might think.
Because truthfully, you are already worth love and affection, but sometimes we take a little longer to see that for ourselves.
We tend to set others up on pedestals while we kick ourselves down every chance we get. We watch people leave and we blame ourselves for not being better, smarter, prettier, or one of thousands of other things we think we can’t measure up to.
But I hope that this year, you learn to love yourself the way you loved him. I hope you spend your year, and all the years to come, continuing to do so even if someone else walks into your life and sweeps you of your feet. I hope that by then, you’ll know that you deserve someone who doesn’t make you feel less, but sees the confidence and self-respect that you have for yourself, and intends to match it.
I hope that this year, you finally start seeing yourself the way you’re supposed to. And I hope you learn to love exactly what you see.