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I lived. I learned. I grew.

I lived…

Throwing all caution to the wind, I made a choice to live. To live in the fullness of me and who I am. I choose to love in the only way I know how, with my whole heart. And here’s the thing, when you choose to live full out, it means that the lessons are indeed full the fuck out as well. Lol Whew. But yet, I dove right in. I made choices I knew in real time could hurt me, but in retrospect, I’d make them again. They were choices that made life exciting and opened me up to new understandings about people, relationships, and, most importantly, myself. I had fun. I was flirty and pretty. I was honest and loyal. I was safe and valued. I was open and fulfilled. All worthwhile experiences that make life worth living, and so I lived…and then…

I learned

I learned that your intentions don’t matter; you can still get hurt by the people who are supposed to protect you. That my intuition is always on point. That lil voice inside is a guiding force pushing you in the direction of knowing, and while there might be fear in the knowing, there is far more pain in the not. At least in the knowing, you can make your next series of choices with all of the information before you. You can safeguard yourself with the newfound knowledge while not necessarily needing to build a wall around your heart. I learned that love is straightforward, people are not, and no matter how “good” you are, the things that make up individuals and inform how they choose to do something have nothing to do with you. I learned that I connect my value to how valuable the people I care about make me feel. I love to go above and beyond for the people in my life, and I always will. Still, if I neglect the necessity to give myself that same kind of love and commitment, I’ll always have this sense of dependency on others to feel fully loved, and that’s a dangerous game to play. The reality is the people in my life are amazing, and they love me truly, but they are also humans dealing with their own lives and are only capable of loving in whatever capacity they have. And sometimes, that can fall short of what I need from them. I’ve learned that I can’t give anyone that kind of power over me. The ability to take me into a bad space when I don’t feel loved, seen, appreciated, or valued. I’ve got to give myself all those things and allow those who do to be added bonuses on top of a self-fueled love that makes this life worth living and joyful. And so with that revelation…

I grew.

I realized I had to return to my path of self-care, self-love, and self-realization. That there was indeed still work to be done. I know I’m a fantastic person, and I know what I deserve in a relationship, particularly romantic, but right now is not about seeking something outside of me. It’s about turning within to be my own hero. It’s about valuing and cherishing myself for all I am, even if it’s never reciprocated again. Obvi that isn’t my story, it will be, but I don’t have to depend on that to feel good, and so I recommitted to myself and the work to be my fullest self in a way that doesn’t stop me from loving but puts the focus on ensuring I start with me. Every day I schedule time for something just about me, from journaling to exercise, even when I need to just sit with my feelings, good or bad. Being as intentional with myself as I am with my loved ones. Life’s a trip because you never stop learning about yourself, and the result is that you never stop needing to grow. And so, in keeping on the path of being happy, healthy, and whole, I lived, I learned, and I grew. Over and over again…

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