Taking Me Time Isn’t Selfish

It’s been quiet on the writing front for the last almost 2 years, and its not what I ever dreamed it would be. I never thought I would get tired of writing, tired of traveling, tired of adventuring in life. But things happened, life happened, and I fell hard and hurt even harder in my heart. So often I considered coming back to the blog and writing everything out, and so often I did start drafting and writing and getting out all the words that were swirling in my head, but those drafts were meant to be just that, drafts, because I wasn’t ready to share the hurt, the aches, the happiness, the moments quite yet. I just needed some time to focus on me and process what life had offered.

Those I adored, fell from grace, and those I admired, showed that their strengths were built on the backs of those they pushed down, and it dawned upon me that the rose colored glasses I wore were mostly because I didn’t want to let go of the people who had been part of the thread of my existence for so long. However, removing those threads didn’t leave me falling apart, it was actually keeping those damaged threads in my tapestry of being that was dragging me down.

For a while I hurt for the loss of those that had broken my optimism. I hurt because I felt betrayed, and because I was angry that I let myself be betrayed. I put up guard walls, and shut myself out from the world, and then I remembered, or maybe I was inspired, to remind myself that you are only down if you stay down, and so I lifted myself up and moved forward, remembering that I am better for the experiences, and taking the road of putting myself first,is never going to hurt anybody else as long as I don’t step on the backs of others to raise myself to a higher place.

I took the last 2 years to really focus on who I am, and what I want out of life. I decided to walk away from my religion, I decided to only do the things that brought me rushes of excitement and made me happy. So I really focused on being the version of me, experiencing life, that I wanted it to be. It wasn’t without incident, and it wasn’t without hurdles, but the adventure I wrote into the life I wanted to live, was more enthralling than the life I led before, pining for something that wasn’t truly me, but part of the path I felt I needed to follow.

I have no regrets about focusing on me. Within the last 2 years I loved like I had never loved before. I relaxed like I had never relaxed before, and I laughed with that deep belly tearful laugh like I had always dreamed of. Without holding back, I experienced the life I wanted to live, and it was everything I needed, without having to be everything I wanted.

The thought of putting yourself first before everyone and everything else has always been ingrained as being selfish. I was always told that what you have, you give to others and what you do is to support the family and community. However, never have I been told that it was okay to focus on myself, and so for so many years, I chose not to be selfish, but in doing so, I lost the essence of me.

To take the time to self-care and focus on yourself, is not selfish. Taking the time to make sure you are getting the support you need is not selfish. Taking the time to make sure you have enough time to think is not selfish. I just wish the teachings of the church that I chose took the time to teach young adults that its okay to take care of you, because it would have saved me a lot of heartache.

I have zero regrets about taking the time the last 2 years to really let go. Let go of the hurt, let go of the misguided beliefs, and let go of the guilt. That last one was a big one. I needed to learn through this journey that I needed to let go of the guilt for feeling like focusing on me and doing things for me was wrong in every way possible. I felt guilty for abandoning my “duties” and loving myself. I felt guilty for choosing to follow my heart and explore the world. I felt guilty for not being perfect. I felt guilty for existing, and that was just not going to be okay if I wanted to keep living and breathing.

Letting go of that guilt freed me like no other, but it wasn’t some big life changing fireworks moment that did that. Instead it was a calm stream of tears that fell when I finally felt okay to cry and eat ice cream, and read a book, and just be me. It was silent, it was liberating, but it was an individual moment of freedom that overcame me as I realized that I can be okay with the guilt, I can be okay focusing on me, and that this decision to let go, was going to be the best decision I would ever make.

So I took the time, and I haven’t loved every moment of it, but I have embraced that loving myself needs to come first before I can love providing and sharing myself with anyone else around me.


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