learning to become your own best friend

By: Rachel Rhodes

Let me just get right into this since my segue game is about as strong as my push up (I can’t do push-ups, yes i’m aware this is a #healthy and #fit blog, sue me.) I guess my take on health is establishing your own worth and persevering through anything to get what you know you deserve. In short, no one is going to fight as hard for you, as you.

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Let me take you back.

This past winter I quit my *adult job with a dope salary* because I was unhappy and started working two part time jobs, that was quickly accompanied with a pretty terrible break up. That entire winter I was not a cute individual. 

I spent a lot (no like, A LOT) of time sulking about how terrible I thought my life was (sidebar i’m 24 and dramatic) (second sidebar there’s gonna be a lot of parentheses in this article so bare with me). I stopped eating and going out, I stopped exercising and doing things I loved (spending time with my friends, singing, writing, eating..but you already knew that) I was crying anywhere and everywhere because I was more fragile than a porcelain teacup (openly sobbed on the subway way more times than i’m willing to admit.)

It got to a point where I genuinely accepted that this was it for me, this was how my life would play out, and I wasn’t destined for love or success or happiness. 

I don’t have any story about a grand epiphany I had where I realized something incredible about life that I can make my mantra. Honestly, my job (holla @ Physique57) was having a competition for who could take the most barre classes in 21 days. Your girl (it me) immediately hopped on this bandwagon because 1. I am a stupid degree of competitive and it’s why I don’t watch sports because it gives me anxiety and 2. I needed any distraction from the pit of despair that became my life. And I guess that’s when *it* happened. The more I worked out and the more classes I took, I realized how dope it felt to just do something for myself. Everyday I got to push my body and become a better version of me. I’d treat myself with açaí bowls (that I couldn’t afford bc, again, two part time jobs) after every work out and it became the highlight of my day. I gave myself something to look forward to because I NEEDED to. The more I fought for myself and worked for my body the more my confidence came back and the more my self worth built back up and the happier I became the more other people gravitated back to me. Have you ever realized how miserable of a person you were until people reentered your life? And you’re like “Oh ok, this is what I was missing when I was busy choosing to be a shell of a person.” Yeah that was ME. And the more people came back to me, the more they helped carry me through the low points (and trust me, this entire journey wasn’t just a steady climb, I would have great days followed by absolutely terrible days). I spent so much time isolating myself in a puddle of tears that I didn’t let anyone help me. I’m sure some therapist would psychoanalyze that behavior as me not believing I deserved anyone’s love or support or kindness.

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My point is that it’s so easy to feel bad for yourself. I mean, that’s normal, and you should let yourself wallow in some self pity for a second. Like jeez, give yourself a break. We’re all human so CRY IT OUT. But you can’t make it your life. You can’t make it forever. and no one is going to 100% always have your back more than yourself. Like, of course, my friends would try to get me out of bed, out of my apartment, or just try to get me to eat (thank you to those people, I know I was impossible and you are all perfect). But no one is going to get you out of that low but YOU. You have to persevere through the pain and start doing things for yourself. You have to believe that you deserve to be ok. And yes, it’s hard. There’s nothing easy about being knocked to the ground and finding the strength to fight for yourself when someone else wouldn’t. But you need to understand and know that you are worth that fight. 

I saw working out as a distraction from my pain and that just led to it becoming my “me time” I’m not tryna flex over here or have 6-pack abs (Dominos Pizza being the main reason that will never happen for me — but i am SO OK with that!!) I’m just saying give yourself a minute to yourself. Thank your body. And jeez wow i’m really not trying to sound like a self help book but I SWEAR the more love you give yourself, the more you command it in your life. You start to surround yourself with people who see the best in you, want the best for you, and make you a better person.
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OH, and another thing — take a step back and just give yourself a break. I’m 24 and I was absolutely berating myself because a relationship didn’t work out and because i didn’t have my dream job yet. (Still don’t, please hire me if your job opportunity includes traveling and saving animals) But what I’m saying is to take 56 steps back once and a while and give 👏🏻 yourself 👏🏻 a break 👏🏻 

YOURE FINE.

LIKE YOU’RE SO FINE

YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY AND PERFECTLY FINE.

There is a bigger picture and it involves you being ok at the end of all of this!

Honestly i’m not a very spiritual person. I don’t believe things happen for a reason and I believe you make your own luck. but through a lot of not-so-great things I’ve been through I’ve GIVEN those things a reason. 

My break up showed me how strong I am, how to stick up for myself, and learning how important it is to put myself first. Quitting my job showed me what I want for my future and what i’ll never compromise on. Finding new friends and strengthening friendships I already have taught me how IMPORTANT the people you surround yourself with truly are. And this whole year has shown me to focus on the bigger picture. 

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You are NOT how you feel when you’re having a bad day and you are NOT how someone else sees you or makes you out to be.

Sometimes life is really hard and really unfair and there seems to be no rhyme or reason for it. But GIVE it a reason. Turn your pain into a learning experience. Here comes the parent quote of the century but you can be anything you want to be, you just need to want to try for it. (Hi mom and dad I love you, and also you Claire just because I know I’m going to get some sort of comment at the dinner table if you don’t get an honorable mention.)

Just make sure to do something for yourself everyday. The only person who truly knows how you’re feeling is YOU..so monitor that and treat yourself to the love you deserve (and yes you deserve it) even if that self-love is NOT going to that work out class and staying in to order penne alla vodka for delivery (#relatable) do it! 

Treat yourself like you are your own best friend (sidebar I am my own best friend.)

Love yourself.

Seriously.

And thats it.

That’s all I got.

LOVE YOU, MEAN IT✌🏼

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