My Journey" Self Care Chronicles"
Today or more like this time of year is the anniversary for a very special time in my life… a time when I fell in love with my first partner and also when I began to fall in love with life. I left Missouri and moved to London, never looking back. At 21 I sold my life in Midwest America and I moved to London with 3 suitcases containing all of my beloved possessions. Soon to find out they were all things that would soon be replaced. My time spent in mid-west America had resulted in a lot of focus on material things, it felt good to be free.
"A time when I fell in love with my first partner and also when I began to fall in love with life"
While I have been living on my own now for a year. Moving to London created a new freedom. I could be anyone, anything I wanted to be. Lucky, I couldn't wait to be myself. Moving to a new place, a new country! I had to learn how to spend time alone. To not have the content stimulus of a partner ( girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend ) or a connected group of friends is hard. Leaving the nest you've worked so hard to build. Leaving home, or at least the home you created for yourself. I think London in a way is even more difficult to connect in. Everyone is coming or going. I myself have moved in and out of London a few times in the last 18 months due to my Visa status. The best people I have met in London have also been in and out. I have friends from all over the world - Norway, Sweden, Paris, Australia, US, - just to name a few. You have a love, knowing that your time together is even better because it may be over soon. It can be easy to run with the wrong crowds, really easy. Less difficult than taking the time to find the right friends. You have to be strong and loyal to yourself.
"You have a loose love, knowing that your time together is even better because it may be over soon"
**Interesting enough I moved to London to study abroad in the subject of psychology. To go even deeper I want to study human sexuality, going even deeeeper I want to study confidence and the journey of self-love. Of course, this will change and be represented in many forms but in a way, this subject was calling for me. A scary challenge to put my thoughts into words. whew.. and here it is.**
The journey of self-love has been just that, a journey. It is something that I feel liberated to talk about but its also something I don't really know how to talk about. For instance, rare women like Janelle Monae's character Mary Jackson in Hidden Figures was full of love for herself and was an outcast for it. Part of my struggle is my confidence and I carry it proudly.
Some tips I have for the journey of self care
1- Treat yo self - SELF MAINTENANCE
This may seem upfront and self-explanatory but think a little harder. What do you really love? Give yourself a small treat every day or every week. It does not have to be something materialistic.
My favorite thing is the ultimate bath. I'm talking candles, pomegranate, my favorite processo, a glass of ice water, something sweet... neals yard foaming bath with lavender leaves and tea tree oil. My Chanel face mask and an apricot body scrub from the hair shop. I will deep condition my hair. To top it off I will watch my favorite Netflix shows. I will be sharing some of my favorite sex-positive shows on Netflix! If it has been a particularly hard week I will have some mary jane and really relax.
2- Acknowledge your strengths
I am now living in New York and I have met so many amazing people! CLAIM YOUR SKILLS. Stop being coy. We have so many friends who have resources at their fingertips. Work together and create. That is the best fun and how the most iconic projects are created. Be fearless in asking for help or input and challenge your friends.
3- Be unapologetic
YOU'RE THE SHIT - OWN IT
4- Be around people who encourage you to be the best and work with YOU not against YOU.
This goes back to my second topic of acknowledging your strengths but also surrounding yourself with those who push you to create and become better. It sounds easy enough but its difficult. Having social structures like school or a sports team makes it easier but as you enter the world, especially cities like New York this structure is not always there in the traditional sense... But when your an adult and have the freedom to chose where to spend your time it can be hard. In the day of social media that is full of fleeting relationships also adds to the stress.
* My biggest tip would be to take advantage of people you have met online. It may seem strange but I have met some of my favorite people in the world from an app online (safety tips about that coming soon) *
5- LOVE YOURSELF - Don't feel bad putting yourself first.
I am attaching a video of a woman I admire Jada Pinkin, an amazing actress, and mother. She talks about her journey of self-love and maintenance of relationships with family and her husband, Will Smith. I love how she guides the conversation about finding happiness in yourself first before finding it in another person with her being a wife and a mother.
A few takeaways, try to figure out what your dreams are. From a young women's perspective that is my main focus right now. What is my dream and how can I achieve it. I'm hungry... I want to succeed. But not at the expense of my mental health. As you grow you have many connections and channels of energy you need to maintain. Friendships, relationships, co-workers, the list goes on.
Before the day is over figure out what it is YOU need. Life is a journey, communication creates partnerships, that we are here to assist you, that we can make your life for you, and we cant help you with the things we don't know. "You always have to remember to take care of yourself, first and foremost, because when you stop taking care of yourself you get off balance and forget how to take care of others" Jada Pinkett. She is such a beautiful soul.
In this interview, Jada Pinkett also talks about the process of being aware of where you are placing your happiness. We've been taught ( as women) that taking care of yourself is a problem which is just not true.
This is a lot of food for thought but take it in. I also would love to hear your thoughts!