Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Breaking From Our Comfort Zone

I feel like a lot of young girls suffer with dependency issues. 

You meet a boy. He's "so hot". You want to be around him 24/7. When he's not around, it feels like you can't even breathe. You doodle his name all over your notebooks in class and you text him 924893284 emojis a night ( or whatever teenagers do these days: text, Snap, sext, what-have-you ) Everything is supermegaawesome and you're prettttttttty sure you're in love.

But then you start not doing certain things. You teeter from your friends, and you center all of your attention around this one person. You are so consumed by this person of the opposite sex that you feel the need to constantly be around them. You are emotionally dependent. 

...this is SO not healthy.

How do I know this?
Because I was very dependent at one point.

One of the reasons why I didn't go to college after high school ( aside from the money, of course ) was because my ex told me, "If you go to school, you're going to leave me for some educated guy"...and, in turn, it caused an argument and an ( almost ) break-up. But so did numerous other things throughout our mess of a relationship.

In high school, I didn't go to dances. I didn't spend time with friends. I was always worried about "what he was doing" if I was with friends. I'd constantly talk about him when he wasn't around, and I texted him and called him whenever I had the chance. I endured 5 and a half years of emotional back-and-forth until I finally said "I'm done!"

All because I felt like I couldn't live without this person.
All because I was afraid of being, well, alone.

Now, young girls...they think they know it all. We've all been there. I have a 17 year old sister that brushes off my advice constantly. To each their own: we all learn through our own experiences. But it makes me think of the little things that a girl can do to gain some self-esteem, independence and less fear of the word alone.

Get a hobby
Find something that you really enjoy doing by yourself. Maybe you like arts and crafts; make a scrapbook or learn to crochet. Read. Start a blog. Do something that lets your creativity shine and gives you some alone/reflection time. I used to be terrified of being alone and always needed someone around to feel secure. But as I got older, I learned that I really love being alone. And, when you have a hobby like this, you learn more about yourself. You learn patience and what really makes you tick. You learn what really grabs your interest and what bores you to death. Take time to learn about you and not worry about other people.

Go out to lunch or a movie by yourself
A big stepping-stone for me as far as independence was when I was finally able to sit down at a restaurant and eat lunch by myself. I recommend this experience to everyone. You can use your phone if it helps, but sometimes it's just nice to sit down and eat and not have to entertain anyone. I remember exactly the first time I ate alone: I was killing time until my appointment for an oil change and I stopped for sushi in town. I didn't want to get it, go home, eat and then go to my appointment, so I decided to eat there. And it was liberating! Now, I enjoy going to lunch by myself. Whether it be a break from work or a lunch and pedi with myself...I don't need to have another person around to enjoy myself. 

Don't base life-altering decisions on others
Do you know how often I kick myself for not going to college right out of high school? I regret it every day. My living situation was pretty boss: I only paid for my car insurance and my cell phone while he took care of bills. It would have been THE opportunity. But...he didn't want me to go. So I didn't. And I should've known, even at 18, that someone doesn't truly love you if they try to hold you back from bettering yourself. That's not love. And that's why I feel like learning independence and strength at a young age is so important...because I didn't. And I have lots of regrets because of it. 

If a boy tells you not to do something that you really want to do, do it anyway. Fuck him.

Always trust your instincts: 9 times out of 10, they are right. Read the signs and don't make excuses for people when the proof is as plain as day.

Push your limits and try to break from your comfort zone. I seriously used to be nervous to call the fucking pizza guy for a delivery. Just do it. And then each time you do it after, it will be a little bit easier. Then it'll be like it's nothing.

And, of course...most of all...learn to love and trust yourself. After all, you have to lay in bed with yourself every night.

...just a little friendly advice from a lady who's been through some stuff! :)