A Youtuber I follow recently asked the question, “What enriches your life and why?”
Her question really got me thinking. I sat down, and without much thought or planning, I just wrote. I was surprised by my answer, but was proud of myself for its honesty.
This simple question turned out to mean so much more to me than I expected, and I hope it gets you thinking deeply about how you might respond as well…
What enriches your life and why?
These past years have had their strings of ups and downs. Depression, thoughts of suicide, anxiety, body dysmorphia, vaginismus, relationships (both good, bad and extremely ugly)…Because my accomplishments throughout my life always seemed to go unnoticed by the people I wanted to notice them the most, I thought I wasn’t good enough.
So, I tried harder. I got my Masters at John’s Hopkins, I wrote a book, went on TV, had articles written about me, took medication for my mental health and fought through an abusive and toxic work environment despite the strain it was putting on me every day. I thought pushing myself would show my friends and family that I’m not weak. I thought they would finally see that I was doing something good and worthwhile.
Unfortunately, things went unnoticed or overlooked by those around me. Comments from others, brushing off my achievements, made me upset to even discuss them. I downplayed my Masters, I avoided talking about my book and I suffered in silence regarding vaginismus, my now past job and my mental health.
I again began to view myself as not being good enough to my friends and family. I felt like that little kid again, who could never please those around them and would get bullied for trying.
Having dealt with various people ignoring my cries for help, and having to come to terms with people’s true colors during a time that I needed them the most, I realized something. I realized that my happiness doesn’t depend on those around me. I realized that the people in my life don’t get to define what they deem is worthy of praise. I realized that my life is enriched when I accept myself for who I am.
I’m not perfect, but I’m perfectly me. Those around me, who don’t accept me or want to tear me down, don’t have to walk this journey with me. Once I realized that certain people in my life need to go, that others, who some people don’t approve of, need to stay, and that I need to stop looking for acceptance when I know I won’t receive it, my life instantly became better.
I’m opening myself up to trying new things, I’m drawing and writing again and I’m becoming healthier. Basically, I’m learning to love myself for the first time.
No one knows you better than you know yourself, so don’t let others dictate your life for you. If you prefer to save animals rather then to devote your life to kids, rock on! If you want to hangout with someone, do it! If you want to practice wicca, try it! If you want to open yourself up and spread awareness about vaginismus and mental health, no one can stop you!
So, what enriches my life? Finally accepting myself for who I am. How has this made my life better? It’s made me stronger, happier and proud of my accomplishments. After 27 years, I am finally accepting that I have accomplished quite a bit in my life and I know I will have even more unconventional accomplishments awaiting me in the future.
Now, I’m going to ask all of you the same question. What do you feel enriches your life and how has it made your life better? Comment your answers below or create a blog and tag this post!