“Find yourself” “Do it for yourself” “Figure out who you are again”
So many words uttered to me in the months following my break-up were ones that emphasised myself as my own entity that needed to be rediscovered and who was no longer thought of in relation to another person.
In a way, I took this advice at first, doing a lot of things ‘for myself’ like picking up new hobbies, splashing out on nice beauty products, and going to the gym. But it isn’t long before you get bored of these things and bored of yourself, and I started missing who I was when I was with that someone.
For the duration of my relationship, I thought of myself in relation to that person. I considered this person in every thing I did, every choice I made, every plan I thought of — anything concerning me, I would consider his role in it. Not in an unhealthy way (I don’t think!), he didn’t define me or govern what I did, but I always considered him with every part of my daily life. And when he left, I suddenly had to stop doing that.
If you’re thinking that I probably didn’t stop right away, you guessed correctly. I still thought about him everyday, and I still thought of him as a part of me. And when I told myself I no longer should be thinking this way, I instead sought out other men who I could think of myself in relation to. I used them to not only validate my feelings of inadequacy or to quench my
thirst boredom, but I had them in a place where they were a part of my everyday life and I began to think of myself and my life in terms of what was happening between me and them at the time.
How I finally deleted tinder and said no to seeking out anything romantic or intimate with anyone, is beyond me. I think I had just finished having a short conversation with my ex about how he was going, and maybe I felt extra pathetic, or maybe sensing he had moved on made me motivated to move on too. Perhaps it’s a bit of both — I was motivated to move on because I was sick of feeling pathetic, possibly. And it’s funny because most people’s idea of moving on is being with someone else, but my moving on involved the absence of the possibility of such a thing.
It took me a really long while, but I’m finally doing that thing of ‘focusing on myself.’ I’m loving being alone, I don’t look for potential love/lust interests, I don’t let my choices or plans be shaped by anyone else other than myself. And it really is a beautiful thing. It may sound a bit lonely, but once you think of it as a time for getting to know yourself and just be yourself as only you, it’s so liberating that you begin to see that you as yourself is enough.
By taking away the figures around me that shaped how I thought of myself, I’m allowed to decide the “terms” in which they tell you to “Live on your own terms.” I get to figure out what my “truth” is when they say “Stand in your truth.”
And although I haven’t quite figured out what exactly those “terms” or my “truth” are just yet, I know that they are mine — no one else considered.