I do not like hurting other people’s feelings, but I no longer think other people’s feelings are more important than mine. This was a huge revelation for me especially in romantic relationships. I learned, the hard way, that I did not have to or need to be the one who made all the sacrifices or the one who did all the work.
Making all the sacrifices and working like a maniac didn’t earn me anything except exhaustion, resentment, and unhealthiness. Not love. I’m a giver and a nurturer, but I don’t have to give all of myself to everyone else.
I can save some of my time and affection for me. The world will not end if I spend a day going nowhere, doing nothing or sleeping in. I don’t often give these things to myself, but sometimes, I just need to do nothing.
Other times, I need to do something that I enjoy just because I enjoy it. Last summer, I ran a 10k. Sometimes, the only time I had to do my miles was when the sun was out full force. As I huffed and puffed past Dairy Queen where people weren’t breathing hard and sweating, I thought, why am I doing this?
I realized I was running because it mattered to me, and that was enough. I wasn’t running as a punishment, or to prove my self-worth. I just wanted to feel the satisfaction of completing a 10k.
It’s okay if I do something that matters to me. It’s okay if I stay home on a Saturday night and eat chips and salsa with my son and wear my pajamas all day.
When I was in romantic relationships in the past, I too often found myself ignoring my own wants because of someone else’s preferences, and all I did was hurt myself. This time that I have to myself is a gift, and I’m fortifying myself, gathering my strength. Being more of myself and liking what I like will benefit every aspect of my life.
Tomorrow is the 4th of July. I hope you spend it celebrating your own independence to do what matters to you. If something is important to you, it matters.
I hope my blog inspires you to believe in yourself more and feel less alone in the world. I, for one, am inspired by the imperfections of others who continue to rise up again and again despite life's challenges. May we find ways to inspire and support each other.