Even just a couple of years ago I would have spent my birthday drinking to a stupor. Mostly because I would have spent the days leading up to it studying for finals of some sort. It was a vicious cycle of a stressful event and then convincing myself that this was the way to cope, relax, and let loose. Don’t get me wrong at the time it was mostly fun, but why did I feel that I needed alcohol to have fun.
People look at me now and say but aren’t you depriving yourself of all the best things in life? NO… I can still go out and have fun, dancing, spending time with friends, etc. The more I have become comfortable with myself, the less I need alcohol to be comfortable around other people! AND the best part is I can remember all the fun times I had.
Mindset work has been crucial for me in the past 2 years. I never realized how much I didn’t know myself—how much I used every other crutch and avoidance tool possible to avoid my feelings. I used alcohol and food to numb anxiety. I used naps to avoid depression and sadness.
Now I try not to avoid or escape. I really try my best to be present.
Some days I am rushing about and lose sight of the little beautiful things in life, but I will be quickly reminded to slow down and appreciate my life. Whether its a repeating sign that keeps being placed in my path (for me butterflies, repeating numbers, or just something or someone I am thinking about showing up in real life right in front of me that makes me laugh), now everything has a meaning for me if I will just slow down to see it.
Ellen always says “be kind to one another,” which I love but I never had much of a problem with this. I tended to lose myself in caring or worrying for others. In this way I wasn’t kind to myself. I put myself last.
So let me tell you today, you are not being selfish for taking care of yourself, for stepping up and being present for yourself.
So today, whether you’re a mom and need to hear this, someone getting run over with business and work demands, or someone who just feels this internal drive to put yourself last—it’s time to step up and claim time and space for yourself.
I promise you deserve to take up space in this world. Focus on your own mindset and needs so that you can be a better person to others. That’s what I’ve truly realized in 30 years, that all the time I was trying to help others, if I would have spent even a fraction of that time on myself I would have had more energy and positivity to help others, without feeling resentful and run down.
(For those who don’t know… I am doing “30 days to 30” and sharing life lessons and stories in order to celebrate my birthday—hoping to break stigmas and stereotypes about what 30 means and looks like)