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Ahhh, can you believe it’s 2018? I can’t. Like. My brain literally cannot compute this simple fact. I feel like 2008 was five years ago or something, not ten. Back in good ol’ 2008, I was a fresh faced (and immature) senior in college. I thought I was unstoppable. A total bad ass. I loved reading pretentious literature and pretending like the characters’ lives mirrored my own university existence. I never thought I could turn 30. But the years zipped past me in the blink of an eye. Now I’m staring 2018 in the face, stunned. When did I get so… so… old?!
Overall, 2017 was a lovely year for me, even if (like so many others) I felt uneasy about the political atmosphere in the United States. I definitely enjoyed all my travels in 2017. I have a lot of fond memories that I’m sure I’ll reflect on once 2027 rolls around the corner.
However, even if 2017 wasn’t necessarily a bad year, something very important and vital to my own happiness vanished at some point. Poof! Self-love decided to take an extended vacation, and it forgot to take me along for the ride.
Ouch, right? It’s hard for me to admit to you all, but transparency keeps this blog a happy and real place. I don’t want to give everyone the impression that I live a perfectly cheery life, a life where I take pictures of beautiful destinations 24/7 and lounge around on the days I’m not traveling somewhere new and epic. It’s not true.
As I’ve said, self-love has been lacking a little in my life. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a miserable depressed person eating bon bons and harshly judging myself in the mirror. Oh no. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression here.
However, I have been directing too much energy toward other people and priorities. Generosity is wonderful, but too much is too much. What makes it worse is I have no mental strength left to pamper myself – which is gonna change in 2018. I deserve to feel more content. A happier and healthier version of myself will also benefit my friends, family, and career. Everyone wins.
How do I accomplish this lofty goal of falling into a pattern of treating myself with extra love? Stay tuned, folks. I have a plan.
How I Will Embody the Importance of Self-Love
1. I will give myself permission to be selfish.
Not to brag, but as I’ve already said, I’m a very giving person. I’m generous with my time and money – even though both are in limited supply. Plus I constantly put other people’s needs ahead of mine. My anxiety (wrongly) tells me that I cannot disappoint anyone or else I’ll risk losing that person forever. It’s ridiculous. Therefore, in 2018, I want to aim all my love to myself again. I’m a beautiful and courageous person who deserves a pat on the back. And not to rant, but I think it’s especially important for women to act selfish every-so often. We’re awesome, yeah?
2. I will sleep for eight hours a night to take care of my body.
Teaching has many bonuses. I know I positively impact the lives of my students, and I’m grateful for my job. Most days I love it. However, high school teachers wake up early. Way too early. I’m NOT a morning person either. Of course I never go to bed on time, which only fuels my addiction to caffeine. I want to address both my lack of sleep and caffeine lust by actually going to bed at a reasonable hour, preferably so I get a full eight hours of glorious sleep. In addition, it may be time for me to cut back on the coffee. It’s gotten to the point where I cannot function at work without at least three or four cups flowing throughout my system. Ridiculous much?
3. I will never stop learning new things.
I’ve already signed up for art and dance lessons for 2018. Because why the hell not? I want to learn and participate in new hobbies – even though I’ve been out of school for longer than I want to admit on here. Sometimes I find it difficult to cultivate my own interests after a busy day at work, but again, it’s time to put myself at the top of the priority list. Furthermore, I want to read a lot more than I did in 2017. I used to be an avid reader throughout high school and college; sometimes I’d even read the same book twice if I loved it enough. I want to return to feeling the wonder of opening a new book.
4. I will not despair over things I cannot control.
Time for even more openness. Yay! You ready? My anxiety is the (really lame) result of one simple little thing: I detest having no control over the events in my life. Sure, I can control choosing my next travel destination(s) or what restaurant to try with my friends. However I can’t force New Jersey to change its state budget or move the important people in my life around a board like pretty little chess pieces. It’s simply not possible. No amount of sweaty palms, stomachaches, racing thoughts, etc. will change it. I guess I also need to accept that I can’t control other people’s thinking patterns, emotions, or decisions, and realize that people will disappoint me. It’s inevitable.
5. I will eat my fruits and vegetables.
Haha. Yup. I will eat lots of fruits and veggies every single day of the week. No exceptions. I feel (and sound) like a disgruntled parent scolding a picky child here, but my god, I need to eat healthier food to demonstrate even more self-love. I did a great job eating well when I first moved, but somehow I lost my way and ended up in the junk food section of Wegmans. As the sole cook in my apartment, I have no one to blame for my lousy eating habits, except myself, which then pisses me off even more. I’m my own worst enemy here. No more junk!
How will you demonstrate the importance of self-love in 2018? Happy New Years, my wayfarers. Ya’ll are wonderful.