What did you accomplish in 2011 that you're most proud of?
There are numerous things that I accomplished this particular year; I was able to successfully adjust to University life and living away from home. I didn't gain the infamous "freshman fifteen" or screw up in any of my classes. I didn't get any drinking tickets (or any legal trouble, for that matter). I cultivated amazing relationships that taught me some extremely valuable lessons. Yet, those things are not what I am most proud of.
I shouldn't necessarily say proud, but rather humbled by; this isn't something that I did completely on my own. It took the help of my parents, a therapist, a supportive circle of friends and a lot of spiritual guidance in order to do it.
Nevertheless, I am most humbled by the fact that I am now in a place where I can say that I genuinely love and accept myself, exactly for who I am.
On the outside, this may not be that big of a deal, because most people do get to that place at some time in their life or another. But as someone who has battled with confidence and self-esteem issues since they were nine or ten years old, I'd say this is a pretty big feat.
It said that loving yourself first is often arrogant and selfish. But if you don't take care of yourself, how exactly will you be able to muster the will, energy, and ability to do the same for anybody else?
Perhaps it's because I've gotten past the whole college experimentation and have really begun to recognize who I am as both a woman and a human being. Perhaps it's because I've learned to let go and live life on a day to day basis. But what I do know is that I appreciate my good qualities and have stopped beating myself up about that not so good. As of right now, I am filled with joy and I am comfortable in my own skin.
Yet, self-love is not just about physical characteristics or personality. It is about going after your dreams and not caring about whether or not anyone believes you can do it. It is about realizing that you at least have the right to ask for something, and to fulfill your own needs and wishes. It is surrounding yourself with wonderful, genuine people. And is difficult as it may be, it is having the courage to distance yourself and even walk away from those that will ultimately cause you more harm than good.
I don't know where this newfound sense will take me in 2012, because life has a way of throwing curveballs and sometimes knocking you to the ground. But, I want to be able to go forward on a daily basis and achieve more goals and aspirations, especially since I will be entering my twenties. I hope I can be a role model for many and just shine a light wherever I may go.
Most of all, I want to never forget that I have a lot to offer, a lot to give, and that my best is enough.