Once upon a time I was 17 & in love. (HA!!! yeah, you can laugh it’s funny). I was 17 & thought I was going to marry my boyfriend at the time. How cute, right? At 17 we don’t know anything about the world, we technically still belong to our parents, we can’t even make our own decisions legally. So if you’re 17 & think you’re in love, please just know you’re not. I take that back, maybe you are, but really, you have no idea what love is so if you’re 17 & think you’re going to marry you’re significant other (like I did) please do me & yourself a huge favor & fucking run.
Here’s a quick backstory of the relationship that changed my life. I started dating this boy at 17 we talked for almost a year before making it official & then dated for almost 4 years. At first, everything was great (hellllooo honeymoon stage), but as time progressed more red flags emerged. Fights happened often, lots of lies, lots of secrets, lots of tears on my end & lot’s manipulation. It wasn’t always all bad & that’s why I think I was blinded for so long, when things were good they were great. When things were bad they were awful. As the years went on I completely & totally lost myself. In those 4 years, I was so insecure it was sickening. (If you ever feel insecure in your relationship, again please do me & you a favor & fucking run). My entire world, the entire thing, revolved around him. I spent every waking moment with him & put my life on pause so I could focus on his life, his goals, & his dreams. I lost control of my life & simply became the passenger of his. I couldn’t see it at the time because I was so “in love” but looking back I realize I gave up every inch of myself so I could become what he wanted me to be. Why? bc that’s what women do, no, that’s what wives do & that’s all I wanted. I gave up going away for school, I gave up pursuing modeling, & gave up time with my friends & family so I could accommodate him. It’s pitiful honestly.
Long story short, the relationship was terribly toxic & needed to end but even though I knew it needed to, when he broke up with me out of the blue it still crushed me. I thought my life was OVER, litttttlllleeee did I know it was only the beginning of a very exciting life I deserved to live. So let me tell you why this has been the very best thing to happen to me.
After about 3 weeks of crying, not getting out of bed, and not eating (thanks anxiety), something in me just snapped. I woke up, got up, & decided to live my life, & quite frankly I haven’t looked back since. The only thing that mattered now was me, my goals, & my dreams (as it should for anyone in their twenties). So after I got out of my little funk I booked a round trip ticket to LA for a whole 36 hours, all by myself, to meet with 7 different modeling agencies. 3 weeks later I was in Los Angeles chasing my dreams, living life in a way that I had always known I could but never thought I’d get the opportunity to. I experienced SO much in my 3 month stay & met some of my very best friends. I got to search & figure out who I was, who I wanted to be, & not who some boy wanted me to be. I finally realized I am mine before I am anyone else’s. (read that again!!!!!!) Relationships can be wonderful don’t get me wrong but in your early twenties…. I don’t think I can say they’re worth it. What is worth it? Building a life you love, a life you’re proud of. A life you made for yourself, & not anyone else.
The past two years have absolutely without a doubt been my best years yet. I’ve made myself proud, & overcome so many things I’d never thought I’d be able to. I up & moved my ass across the country to chase my dreams at full speed. I’ve made life long friends, & I’ve truly started to live for myself. It’s crazy to me how much our lives can really change if we let them. How much we can accomplish if we just put the work in.
If I could tell you anything, give you any piece of advice, it would be to trust your gut, & live for you. In every single aspect. Don’t stay in a shitty ass relationship because “you love him” & “he’s going to change” (newsflash, he isn’t). Don’t stay in your hometown to make your family happy. Don’t stay at a job you hate because its “secure.” Learn how to say no, learn how to value yourself, & always, always, hold yourself to a certain standard. You set the precedent for how others will treat you. That might be the biggest takeaway for me of the last 2 years. I set my standards, I decide who I am, & how I will be treated. From work to men. And guess what the best part of that is? If you don’t like it, that’s a you problem not a me problem. You can meet my standards or you can get to steppin’ cuz I will never again make myself small for anyone or anything.
PLEASE don’t ever be afraid to let people know who the hell you are & don’t let them forget.
If you’re like me & find yourself feeling depleted & lost, no matter what the reason might be, (relationship, work, school, anything) take it as an opportunity to wake yourself up & reevaluate. Reevaluate who you are, what you want, & what matters to you. Reevaluate how you present to yourself to people, reevaluate how much you are willing to tolerate. After you figure that out, just start working towards those things. Hit the ground running & believe in yourself wholeheartedly. Shift the narrative, put in the work, & I promiseeeeeeeee you will not regret it. Life is full of so many opportunities & I will never, ever, sell myself short again… and by tell you all this, I hope you always make sure you don’t either.