This piece started as a Facebook post, then it was fully drafted in an email with no subject line or recipient. I figured that no one in particular needed to read these thoughts of mine, so, naturally, I posted them on the internet.
Over the past summer I noticed that I was not a very happy camper; I was about to start college (whoo!), but I felt dependent and helpless. I couldn’t drive, I wasn’t taking care of myself, I lost my flexibility, my heart was empty and in need of a rebound, blah blah. I realized that I had completely lost touch with who I was and where I was going. Therefore I did what any lonely girl would do – read inspirational quotes and eat chocolate. I read one quote from a role model of mine, Gloria Steinem, which changed my perspective tremendously:
“We must become the men we want to marry.”
I am not a sentimental person all the time. When people would say “THIS BOOK/QUOTE CHANGED MY LIFE” I would roll my eyes. But this quote you just read gutted my mind. Wow. I was seeking to meet the people, particularly the guy, that I wanted to BE.
Pivotal. I stopped focusing on myself in search of self-actualization… yet I was only distracting myself from my own flawed perspective. Little did I know I had been doing this for at least a year, probably more. I dropped my laptop in surprise (kidding, I love this thing), and got to work on mission: be your own #flawless self, by doing the following things:
1. Yoga. I CAN BEND MY BODY IN COOL WAYS. I CAN FOCUS ON MY BREATHING, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE AWFUL ALLERGIES. EUREKA, THAT IS THE SPOT!!
2. Reading every day. I used to dislike reading because I am impatient, but now I see why I love books: you don’t have to look at beautiful actors and feel self-pity or turn the volume up-and-down. I read fiction, non-fiction, auto-biographies, and the news. I feel mentally fly.
3. Coding every day. I am going into computer science and was always a bit put off by the techy people who knew how to code everything ever. Instead of wallowing, I started using codecademy to learn new skills and brush up on old ones. Now I can make pretty glowing buttons using jQuery! Activate #STEMFemme super powers!!!
4. Learning a language. I signed up for Duolingo and do lessons in French and Spanish every day. Both of these are languages of the United Nations, which I fell in love on my trip to New York City, so I wanted to at least learn to say more than “Bonjour” and “Hola.”
5. Learning to drive. I was bad at driving for three years and just gave up on it, and in doing so, limited my freedom, adulthood, and individuality. So I began driving consistently and got way better at the mechanics of driving – I have even driven to downtown Orlando! Learning to drive has empowered me in unexpected ways, so I urge you to challenge yourself and do one thing every day that scares you (Eleanor Roosevelt quote).
As I heal myself from a life of self-limitation and underestimation, I gain pride in who I am and simultaneously stop caring so much about how I present who I am to others. But enough about me; this post was meant to help you. I am no Gloria Steinem and I am way too verbose, but I thought I’d lend you 26 quick, meme-worthy, sentence-long nuggets of wisdom I have gained during my coding/French/yoga sessions.
- Instead of learning to shape society, we should learn to stop letting it control us.
- If you do not try to own something, no one can steal it.
- Your greatest insecurity will one day be the world’s greatest trend.
- Just because you can operate properly does not mean you are over everything bad that has happened to you.
- Venting is restricted flow.
- Both love and pain are mental constructs, and you can control which one is greater than the other.
- Just because you pick your battles does not mean you are a doormat.
- You are not a paradox – you are balanced.
- Love is flexible and undefinable and not designed for you to understand.
- Jealousy indicates distrust and should not be felt in love. If it is felt, it is not love.
- You are your worst enemy and your greatest ally.
- You cannot change everything or waste energy being mad at social structure.
- However, you can morph your own structure.
- Trust that most people are dishonest sometimes.
- Make yourself feel special.
- Superheroes have unnatural superpowers… supermodels have?
- You are not fat. You have fat. Everyone has fat. Everyone is “fat.”
- Worry about your appearance. Motivate yourself. Then love what comes out of motivation.
- Accept authority under most circumstances.
- Stop complaining; it inhibits.
- Do not settle. 7 billion people. You’ll find “the one” and your true friends.
- Try not to change, because change is organic. If you try to control who you become, you will make the process of transitioning difficult.
- Do not ask people not to pigeon-hole you. They will just pigeon-hole you as too sensitive and move on.
- Pride is not shameful, it’s healthy.
- I am not defined by how I was born but by what I do every day.
- I love you. I love me too, though. Maybe me a little bit more. But it is okay because you should love you. Don’t make others do all the work. They won’t.