By: Julie Pike, Editor-in-Chief
Fair warning, I’m about to get personal here.
This past week has been an eye-opener for me, as I discovered that I’m not truly happy with myself.
It wasn’t a revelation that came to me easily, but one that I had to force myself to think over and realize. I have been so busy trying to balance everything in my life, from school, work, other jobs and relationships, that it was something I never allowed myself to focus on.
Maybe taking on everything I did was a way for me to distract myself from how I was really feeling, or maybe not. That’s all in the past now, as I have to look forward on how I can make a change in my life.
This letter isn’t going to have any magical remedies for being happy with yourself. Instead, I just want to encourage others to really think about how they feel about themselves, and ask yourself, are you happy?
Those who know me would probably never think I wasn’t happy with myself. But I’m able to present myself as I need to, which is often friendly and smiling. I feel as if I have pretty good self-confidence, but that has never had an impact on how happy I am.
I’m a positive person, almost too positive sometimes. I think more about the happiness of others than I think about my own.
In this past week, I’ve been able to think more about why I’m unhappy and what I can do to change that. I found that I wasn’t making time for friends or for doing things I actually enjoy. I let my school and work consume me, and when I had free time I was too exhausted to do anything and would just binge watch Netflix while strolling through Instagram. While I was giving my mind a break, I wasn’t doing anything that I truly enjoyed. No one is going to feel like their life has been fulfilled after watching a full season of a show in a single day.
My career counselor had a good tip for me. As someone who makes lists almost religiously, with different ones for various parts of my life, homework, the paper, chores, career and others, I need to make a list of things that are fun, things that I want to do. It sounds cheesy, but it’s a way for me to encourage myself to make time for more enjoyable activities, instead of just focusing on the things I have to do.
Others may have a problem that’s completely opposite, they’ve put too much time into hanging out with friends and other activities they enjoy, while letting school and work fall to the back of their mind. Whatever it is, finding more of a balance seems to be a step in the right direction.
It’s time to start being a bit more selfish and focus on you and what you want to do, not about others. This is especially true for those in a relationship. You’ve probably heard this before, but being happy with yourself has to come first before you think about the happiness of others, and it will make your relationships that much stronger.
For me it’s a tricky situation, because I am in a long-term relationship. It’s a question that’s been gnawing at me for days, can I work towards being happy with myself while in a relationship? I’ve heard varying answers to this from close friends and family, some say no, some say yes, which has just made the decision even more difficult to make.
One thing I do know for certain is that I’m going to be changing my goals and changing my focus to be more about me and what I need and want. I know it’s something that won’t come quickly, being happy with myself. It could take months, years, who knows. At least now I am aware of how I feel, so that’s something I can check off my list.