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My resolution for this New Year is to learn to date myself. With the end of 2021, there also came the end of a significant era of my 21 years of life. In 2021, I broke up with the first person I ever truly fell in love with, had to withdraw from all of my classes during the fall semester, and parted ways with some of my closest friends who I thought would be there forever. 

To say that I was going through it last year would be an understatement. However, I genuinely believe in the universe and am nonetheless grateful for all of the lessons and experiences that it has sent my way. I’m not going to lie, these experiences were challenging and really forced me to look inwards and reflect on not only who I am as a person, but also who I wanted to be. These situations gave me a clear insight into my toxic habits and made me decide to either grow as a person or remain in the negative cycle that made me miserable.

As someone who now regularly attends therapy, I can confirm that I used to be an extremely codependent person that relied on everyone else in my life for my happiness. To clarify, codependency is when you become so dependent on another person that you are no longer independently functioning. When this occurs your mood, happiness and identity are all interconnected and influenced by that other person. 

Last year, I used to give all of my energy to others even if I had no energy to spare. I would justify this behavior by thinking that this was an honorable thing to do and was something that made me a good person. However, the critical issue with this is that when others could not devote the same energy to me, I would get severely depressed and assume that they “didn’t care about me.” This mentality placed a serious strain on my relationships and encouraged me to start reflecting on how I was contributing to my relationship issues.

Due to my codependency on others for validation and emotional support, if others didn’t drop everything to support me, I would end up feeling extremely worthless. However, thanks to the assistance of countless tears and extensive therapy sessions, I have learned that my self-worth is not determined or tied to others. Whenever I fail to do things to help myself recharge, it is not anyone else’s fault but my own if I experience burnout. 

The main lesson that I have taken from this past year is that there is no time like the present to fully commit to loving yourself. Not to be morbid, but you are going to live and die all by yourself. No one is ever going to be there with you for the entire journey of your life, so it is vital to have your own back. To be honest, I used to not love myself, and oh boy was it obvious. When you lack love and respect for yourself, it is difficult to have a healthy relationship with others. 

In conclusion, I have made the promise to date myself this year so that I can become more aware of the little things that bring me joy. Also, I am actively choosing to romanticize every single thing that I do for myself so that I am able to better appreciate and love who I am. Not only will this benefit the personal relationship that I have with myself, but in the long run, it will also positively impact my relationships with others.

Thankfully, with the end of 2021 comes the beginning of a new chapter of life. As we continue moving through 2022, now is the perfect time to reflect on the relationship that you have with yourself and others. While you cannot change the past, you can change your future and take personal control of your happiness. While learning to love yourself can be a difficult process, it is a journey that you must embark on independently.

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Hi! I am currently a senior majoring in Media & Communication Studies and minoring in Psychology! I love practicing yoga on the beach, cuddling with my cat Bean, and collecting crystals <3
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