Rediscovering Independence

“You must learn to love yourself before you can love someone else.”

Late last night, I stumbled across an old video on my Facebook page. Staring at the girl that used to be me on the screen, I wondered where she went. That girl was fiercely independent, strong-willed, and outgoing, working hard to carry a positive attitude. She was someone who knew what she wanted and didn’t need anyone else’s approval to chase after it.

I found myself asking, “Who was that girl and how do I get her back?”

Today, I no longer see myself at that same level of independence. I find myself insecure in my solitude and shyer when I tackle the outside world. I search for the approval of others before making the most minor decisions, and I beat myself up when the pathway to my dreams runs slower than I anticipated.

While that girl may appear to be an entirely different person than the one behind the keyboard today, we are still the same person. She is a part of who I am and, deep down, that girl still exists. I just don’t know where she is, yet.

I long for that sense of independence. Until I was 19, boys were barely on my radar. I had big dreams and I saw boys as a distraction, an obstacle that would get in the way of my plans. I know now that relationships are a lot more than a distraction. They teach you about life, love, and, most importantly, yourself. A positive relationship will help support you along the way, not distract you from your true purpose.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t desire to be someone that never wants to be in a relationship again. Quite the contrary. I’d love to be in a relationship again, and I hope to be in the future.

I desire to be the kind of person that doesn’t need a significant other to be happy.

I would like to be happy in my own skin, loving who I am and what I stand for solely because that’s who I am, not because someone else validates my existence. I used to be that person. I used to find passion and love in the simplest things, from baking a cake to picking up a hula hoop.

That girl exists inside of me somewhere, and I am beginning a mission today to find her again.

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