Last week I wrote about wanting to write a “credo” every year, an idea that came to me while reading my favorite book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I set out, determined to have one all written up by today, but alas, this thing called life got in the way. However, I did start it, and I thought that this was a great way to do it. Different parts. I have an “introduction”, but sadly that is in my apron in the backseat of my car which is a good 5 minute walk away and I only have so much time before I get back to my little turkeys. So, I’ll spare you the introduction, and give you Part 1 of my “credo” (can I even really call it that? I have no idea..maybe it’s more of just a reflection..hmm).
Part 1: On Self Care and Independence
As I’ve gotten older I’ve truly realized how important self care is. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. I find it odd that it’s taken me to 25 to really start to understand the crucial effect poor self care has on a person, but it’s finally hit me hard enough to pay attention to the blunt face palms that I’ve experienced over the years. I need to be well. I need to feed my belly and my soul well. I need to hydrate my lips and my skin well. I need to exercise my body and my mind well. I need to treat my self and my thoughts well.
I can’t expect my body to look and do and feel the way I want it to if I feed it junk and treat it like a tree planted in the forest; sure, it’s a beautiful forest, it gets sunlight, rain, and nutrients and it is well loved by people, animals, and nature- but it’s stagnant. It doesn’t move, it just grows. If I give myself lots of food and sun and water than yes, I’ll become this beautiful tree for all to love, but what does that do for me? I need movement and beautiful views, I need to bend and stretch and dance and run. I need to climb mountains and swim in oceans; I need to feel the wide open fields and the closed walls of caves. My body and soul need those things to feel alive.
My skin has seen far too many tanning beds and it’s fair share of excessive make up. It’s freckles have been covered, it’s eyes have been brightened, and it’s shape has transformed from a powder and a few strokes of a brush. And my lips, oh how many liquids have wetted them. From water to wine, and soda to beer. I need to stop letting society’s standards for women affect the rosiness of my cheeks and I need to remember “fun” vs. “fitting in” when it comes to drinks.
I want the soles of my feet to feel the same way my heart beating into my soul feels when I run. I want the heaviness and the pain to disappear, and I want the lightness, the calming in and out breaths of my body to take over the weight in my legs. I need to run with the purpose of feeling good rather than looking good. I need to do more that makes me feel strong and confident; like kickboxing and yoga. I need to exercise my body to feel and be rather than just look. I need to get in a mindset of connecting to my movements, connecting to my breaths and to my thoughts. My mind needs to wonder, wander, and return. It needs to question and answer, it needs to think and to be still.
I need to stop the doubt, the anxious wonder, and the negative thoughts. I need to think for the better, remember my worth, and love myself. I need to believe in the good around me and I need to believe in the good about me and within me.
I’m not an independent person. It pains me to write that, but it’s the truth, and if I’m going to overcome it, I need to accept it. I don’t rely on any one person; I rely on many different people to reassure me of whatever it is I am doubting, or have someone else always make my decisions for me. I check in with my dad before I make any big decision- even ones that have literally nothing to do with him or anything he knows about. I check in with my mom before I buy anything over $10. I check in with my friends before a date or a conversation I may have with either another friend or my boyfriend- just to make sure they don’t think I’m saying the wrong things. I ask my boyfriend constantly to help me make decisions..literally any decision. I feel lonely when no one is around or able to talk. I feel distant when I haven’t spoken to someone in over a day. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m also a very anxious person. My mind is constantly worrying, wondering, and questioning every single thing I do, even after I “check in” with all of these different people.
Self care and independence are two of the biggest things I need to work on. I am very happy with my life overall; I have a great job, a supportive family, a caring boyfriend, lasting friendships, and over-all good health. But I need to work on me. At the end of a day I want to take one big breath in and breathe it out with a smile before I close my eyes to sleep. And when I wake up I want to stretch myself out of bed with the sun beating down on me; whether it’s sunny or not. I just want to feel good. I know what I need to do, I just need to do it.
But first maybe I should check with all the people I depend on to make sure I’m doing it right. (Funny how true this statement actually is within my head.)