I Don't Love Myself

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I do not love myself.  That's a massive statement and one I've been struggling to admit.  I am not a fan of the girl who looks back at me in the mirror.  She's a brutal disappointment.

I could write you a long, long, long list of things she's done wrong.  How she's messed up her life, has no potential, and will most likely do nothing of value with her life.  She'll die alone in the room she went to grade school in with no friends to surround her (she can't understand why she has friends currently).  There's so many more negative thoughts that I'm blocking right now to keep you from rolling your eyes in disgust. Yeah, it's that bad.

I have to come down from this place of intense dislike.  If I saw someone on the street berating another human being the way I berate myself I'd club them with my umbrella.  I just don't want to live in this space where I fear alone time because it means I can evaluate the ways I've screwed up.

This morning, I could barely drag myself out of bed. Charlie pounced on me repeatedly and eventually gave up.  When I finally stumbled into the bathroom and really looked in the mirror, I saw it glaring back at me:  I'm so miserable.

A lot of my relationships centered around what I call "Click Moments."  Someone said something and everything in that moment changed, including my feelings.  Staring at my miserable self in the mirror, this was my Click Moment.  I don't want to be in this relationship anymore.

The thing is, though, you can't escape yourself.  You are stuck with you forever and ever.  I have to find a way to make this work.

So I did what every girl (maybe some guys) do when they are looking for a "How To;" I searched Pinterest.  A little blurb stuck out at me and produced my next Click Moment:

"Learn how to truly be yourself; go to lunch, get coffee, go and watch a movie, alone and understand that there is no need to feel lonely.  Take it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself. Fall in love with yourself and romanticize everything you do.  The way your voice changes when you ask a shopkeeper, cinema attendant, waiter or any other person of vague authority for something.  The way you bite the inside of your cheek when you are nervous.  The way you feel the heat in your cheeks rising with the cool sides of your hands.  Become enamored with the little habits and idiosyncrasies that are only noticed by someone who loves you."

I'm alone all of the time, but when I'm alone I utilize that time to assault myself.  I'm going to try to fill those moments with love.  Instead of harshly criticizing how high pitched my laugh was, I'll admire that I laughed at all.  Instead of analyzing the joke I just made, I'll pat myself on the back for surrounding myself with people to joke with.

Today, I took a walk outside because I wanted to take one.  When I came back into my building, a man was sitting outside.  He regularly sits in front of my building in the mornings and, if truth be told, I've been avoiding him by walking a different route because I tend to shrink from direct attention.  I waved hello and then I stopped, turned around, and introduced myself.  We exchanged pleasantries and then we left.  I need to start appreciating the moments I am kind and remember that is who I am.  My bad moments don't make up the sum of my parts.  There are bad parts but there are lots of good parts too.

So, I'm going to start a journey of Self-Love, mostly concocted from pieces of the Internet I'm pulling together because I'm too cheap and too ashamed to pay for a real course.  I'm currently working on a 28 Day Self-Love Challenge.  I'm going to find more ways to "date" myself, and genuinely fall in love with the person I am and start to see the positives and reduce the times I highlight the negatives.  I would never treat one of my friends this way, so I need to stop holding myself up to these ridiculously unattainable standards.

Part of me thinks this is an awful idea.  I'm wasting my time browsing self-help books and websites searching for a temporary high.  I've looked down on those flipping through such books on the subway, yet here I am, sneaking into the bathroom at work to stare directly into one eye and mouth the words, "I love myself" over and over until the door opens and I shove my hands under the faucet to pretend I've been washing my hands.

There are women my age all over this world who would love their biggest problem to be that they don't "like" themselves.  It's that thought that tends to shame me into silence, but this is my issue and I'm learning to be grateful that this is my biggest struggle.

If I stop the process, though, I know I won't finish graduate school or move out of my parent's house.  I'll just stay inert, allowing things to happen around me.  I don't think I used to be this girl, I don't know when I became her.  It doesn't really matter one way or another; I just have to change it.

So this is my obnoxious journey to fall in love with myself and I am so sorry that I am putting it out there, but holding it in so long clearly hasn't done me any favors.  I do not love myself today, but that doesn't mean I won't tomorrow.

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