Reclaiming My Self-Love

Over the years, I've found myself battling with self-criticism. For whatever twisted reason, it's been so easy to pick apart my life bit by bit; from my weight and problem-solving abilities to my grades, I never seem to be satisfied.

In the eighth grade, I outgrew a size 0 in pants and cried for hours on end. Throughout my high school career, I buried myself in school work, and now I look back and only see a blurry, chaotic time before I found balance. While I prioritized my grades, my mental health became an afterthought to prevent it from interfering with academics. Somewhere in the mix, I conformed to a mild people-pleaser because it seemed like less conflict than trying to argue for what I wanted. For four years of my life, I normalized eating two meals a day and sleeping five or six hours each night. 

pile of books Photo by Pixabay from Pexels I thought that once I got accepted into Virginia Tech, these habits would dissolve on their own. To my unfortunate surprise, I managed to carry them nearly three hundred miles from home to Blacksburg. It has taken years to break some of my old habits, and even then, I still struggle with them during times of great stress. I find myself at 11:00 p.m. finally eating my third meal because I was too focused on studying and failing to stand my ground during an upset. 

I urge you to stop and ask yourself, "Do I want to look back and remember the woman I am today?" Whether you look back tomorrow or five years from now, would you be proud to share your story? Did you stop seeking validation from others because you learned it was always an obstacle to achieve self-love? Are the hypotheticals and the what-if’s gone because you know you have the power to turn what you want into reality? The smallest of steps will bring you the most significant differences. 

I'm well aware that the journey to loving yourself is painful. It takes a lot of reflection, second-guessing about everyday decisions and asking questions for answers that only you know. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution or anecdote to absolve all of your worries.

There may never be an answer that perfectly fits each criterion you hope to check off. I can only remind you that nourishment fuels you, knowledge empowers you and self-love strengthens you in the most unimaginable way. Begin your journey to reclaiming your self-love, and I promise quarantine will be a little brighter each day.