This Friday the youth leaders at my work are hosting a self-love event with spoken word, photo books, visual artistry, and other interactive art that promotes self-acceptance, resiliency, and healthy relationships in youth. I’m saddened that a double tour shift means I won’t be able to attend the actual event but I’ve been inspired by the work the youth leaders are doing and wanted to take part in this practice of self-love.
So for today’s post, I want to combine a more traditional things about me post with this concept of self-love. I’d like to share with you 25 things (since I just turned 25) that I love and appreciate about myself. I’d also like to encourage you to do the same; whether you do it in blog form or you just write it out in a journal for yourself, challenging yourself to pick out the things you love rather than the things you dislike is a good practice in self-care and self-compassion. We could all use a little more love in our lives, and who’s to say it can’t come from ourselves?
I will say in creating this list it took some time. It started off as easy and then I really had to self-reflect. It was uplifting in the end as I realized more and more things about myself that I often take for granted. I hope to look back on this list when I’m having a hard time, hopefully it will inspire me to pick myself back up again.
1. I am compassionate and my ultimate goal in life is to help people in some way. I am the happiest when I am making a difference in someone’s life, whether that’s through crisis counselling or if it’s just giving someone directions on the street.
2. I do not let the fear of not being ‘good enough’ stop me from participating in art forms I enjoy. It’s okay if my writing isn’t perfect, if my pictures are sometimes grainy, and if the only thing I’ve mastered drawing is a cartoon portrait of a character who is neither myself nor Felicity Smoak but is somewhere in between.
3. I am pretty damn good at video games, especially first person shooter.
4. I put a lot of thought into gifts and events that I plan for other people. I care about what their reaction will be and if they’ll actually get use of the gift.
5. I’ve worked to embrace the body I have, rather than the one I’ve been told I should have.
6. I asked for help when I needed it the most. While I spent years denying my true feelings and suppressing pain because I thought that was how you handled it, I did come forward when I realized it had all become too much.
7. I do not let my anxiety and fears of social situations stop me from attending things all the time. I challenge myself to go even when I am uncomfortable and I try to make the best out of the situation.
8. I have a strong and wonderful relationship with my parents and my grandfather who all mean the world to me. I make the effort to call or visit whenever I can because maintaining that closeness means a lot to me.
9. Even when I’m crazy busy I always try to make the time to listen to friends when they need to vent.
10. I can really rock dark lipstick shades.
11. I have a wonderful sense of adventure that has allowed me to find hidden gems on a regular day out.
12. I enjoy cooking and I’ve become quite the master in the kitchen. I’ve challenged myself to new dishes and I have found ways to make healthy food exciting and enjoyable.
13. Despite considering myself an introvert who isn’t great at small talk, I have found ways to connect with guests from all over the world to the point where they feel comfortable sharing bits and pieces of their lives with me over an hour and a half walking tour.
14. I have never stopped being a student, even with my schooling finished I look for any opportunity to learn more about the world around me. I challenge myself to go to seminars and talks to get a broader view on life.
15. I can give you directions to pretty much anything from anywhere in the parks at Walt Disney World. I can also do this while I’m not even in Florida.
16. I believe in raising my friends up whenever I can, whether it’s by liking a selfie, giving a pep talk, or reminding them how amazing they are.
17. Most cats love me which is a pretty good sign I should love myself too because cats hate everyone.
18. I’m self-taught in photoshop which is an accomplishment I usually shrug off but it is something that has taken me a lot of time and practice to get good at, and of course I cam still learning.
19. I am physically stronger than anyone has ever given me credit for.
20. While I often feel like my life is a mess and I’m drowning, I do make an effort to maintain organization and control so I make sure that things get done. I do not procrastinate and I work harder when it’s time to hustle.
21. I am able to connect with kids of all ages on topics that really matter. I am able to make a difference by bringing these topics into schools and opening up about them, allowing kids to ask their questions in a space that is safe and inviting.
22. I am incredibly creative. I’m always thinking up new projects and ideas, whether it’s for work or if it’s just for gift giving. I challenge myself to not just go with the flow but to change it.
23. I am vocal about the causes I am passionate for, even if speaking up puts me in conflict with others around me. I stand up for what I believe in, I try to enact action as much as I talk, and I challenge myself to become better.
24. I have not let adversity stop me from doing what I want to do. I have fallen, I have been pushed, and I have continued to get back up again. I have felt the sting of bullying and the pain of disappointment but I have come out of every challenge stronger than before. This has not always been easy and many times it has taken years to rise from the ashes but I’ve come back like a phoenix time and time again.
25. Even after everything, I am still here.