Self-Care Journey Month 30
I can’t be the only one gobsmacked that it’s July. July! How are we half way through 2022? And boy, has it been a hell of a bumpy ride. If you’re like me, it’s easy to get caught up in everything going on in the world. I don’t watch the news. I can’t. I get too anxious, and soon, I’m an absolute mess. I do keep track of national/international headlines, because I like to know what’s going on. It’s just that the news is always such doom and gloom. And frankly, there’s enough of that going on that I don’t need additional information. My parents, on the other hand, used to have a newschannel on nearly 24/7. I saw what that did to them, and I knew that wasn’t what I wanted/needed in my life.
This goes back to self-care. I know how it feels for my body to get worked up over the news. I think most of us like to believe we handle stress well. I’ve come to the hard and difficult realization that I don’t. Not at all. Oh, I handle it just fine as it’s happening, but when whatever it is is done, that’s when everything happens. There are the debilitating migraine, the nausea where I can’t even smell food, not able to sleep, and the way my body will react by breaking out. Fun times, I tell you. It’s all that’s been going on in the world that has made me double down with my meditation (Calm app. Give it a try. So, worth it!), and that helps to center and ground me so I can recognize the signs of stress and how to handle them.
During one of my meditations this last month, it was talking about letting go of things from the past. Let’s face it, we all have things we’re holding onto. Some we know about, some we don’t. The one that got brought up for me was one that I knew was an issue, but I hadn’t realized just how much. I didn’t want to delve into it. I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t want to look at how it affected my life. But I did. And I’m a better person for it.
I’m petite. Really petite. I can’t tell you how many people have thought I was a kid. I buy kids shoes at times. My sunglasses are kid sized (because it’s apparently too difficult to make adult sizes that fit me). In general, I’m kid sized. Which makes this more than irritating when I want to buy, say, gloves. Or anything, really. But it’s something that I’ve always dealt with. Guys overlooked me because of my size. Women have treated me less than, again, because I was short. I’ve had people refuse to help me at counters (like checking into a hotel, buying something) because of my size. I. Kid. You. Not.
Now, it’s been years since that happened, but it used to. With regularity. I don’t like wearing anything that’s “cute.” Ruffles. Frills, etc. Nope. You won’t see that in my closet. Ever. The reasoning isn’t because I’m petite. Ok. I’m short. Let’s just call a spade a spade. lol. No, I can trace back to the exact moment I never wanted anything “cute” in my life. Don’t call me cute, don’t say I’m cute, etc.
I’m 19/20 in college. One of my best friends starts dating a guy in a fraternity. She asks me to go to a few parties with her. So I do. Not a big deal. It’s of course, a college fraternity party, so you know it’s crazy. My friend quickly disappears with her bf, but I’m not alone. I’ve got a couple of girls I’m talking to, and a guy who is hitting on me. The looker of the fraternity is someone everyone wants (obviously). We exchanged a few words from the times I was over there, but nothing groundbreaking. I end up leaving the party early. A few weeks later, I see Hot Frat Guy (HFG) in the elevator at the library. He’s with another of the frat boys, and we get to talking.
I don’t recall exactly what we were talking about. I’m pretty sure they were asking me if I was going to go out on the date with their pal. HFG then says, “Well, you’re cute enough.”
My mama raised me right, so I reply with, “Thank you.”
He snorted and said. “I don’t know why you’re thanking me. Cute is just a step above ugly.”
To. This. Day. I can’t think about that without getting all icky inside. I’m angry and outraged and hurt all at once. Almost thirty years later. It’s ridiculous that something one guy said had such an influence over my life. But the truth is that it did. To the point that I can’t hear the word cute. That’s when I realized that it was time that I went deeper into this and found a way to let go of something some jackass said and move on with my life. I’d like to say it was easy and over with quickly, but it isn’t. I’m still working on this. It’s been such a part of me for so long, that it’s going to take time to release fully. I’m just thankful that I’ve taken notice of this and can do the work.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve done a lot of similar work over the past year and a half. It’s amazing (and a bit crazy) the things we can hold onto for DECADES! Yet, it’s the most wonderful feeling when you can fully release it, forgive yourself and the individual(s), and not let it control you/your life any longer. It’s freeing. You’ll feel so much lighter.
So, I say, take a look something you need to release. Take a hard look at it. See how it has affected your life, your words, your actions, your interactions with others. Face why it happened. Realize that your words and actions mean more than something someone said (probably in passing without much thought to how they would affect you), and see if you can let it go, release it so you can grow. It won’t be easy, but the benefits are utterly worth every tear, swell of anxiety, or fist-pounding anger that this thing has done to you.
There are a lot of mindfulness practices out there (youtube, etc) that can help with this. So, go forth and take care of yourself, gorgeous!
This month’s song is Be Good to Yourself by Journey (which is soooooo fitting!)
“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.”
Sometimes you get just what you need, thanks for this ❤️
My pleasure! 🙂
Wow is all I can say! Thank you so much for writing that. Opened my eyes to why I feel like I do. I def hold on to hurtful things. I couldn’t even attend the 100th anniversary of our high school! I see someone from my past in the street and I will cross the street hoping they don’t see me. Crazy eh? You have given me something to think about. Thank you!
Lots here for me to reflect on. Thank you for sharing!
🙂 My pleasure!