I had three blog posts planned around Valentine’s Day. The first one was my “Meaningful Gift Ideas”, the second (and upcoming) “Creative Date Ideas”, and the third would be about “Galentine’s Day” – or celebrating with your friends instead of a S.O.
I’ve decided to axe my third planned post in order to write about something even more important than celebrating love with your friends: celebrating the love you have for yourself. Or, loving yourself. Being kind to yourself.
Some of you are sighing, and most of you have probably already clicked off the page, but that’s fine. I always aim to stay true to myself and genuine on this platform. I’m sharing this post for the few of you who need to read it, and who will hopefully be a little happier for doing so 🙂
Yesterday I had a really, really bad day. It was a bad day after a bad week. Unfortunately, this has been a pretty common pattern in my life lately. I feel unfulfilled, and stuck in a rut when it comes to my career. I believe I could be contributing so much more to a role that I just can’t seem to find, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed. I haven’t hit all the milestones I wanted to by this age, and I haven’t achieved all the big goals.
I was at my desk yesterday afternoon, when I received one last email for the day, with a request for a useless, stupid task. This request was actually a fairly regular one, but something about it hit a nerve. It made me totally reevaluate my life at this point, and things seemed pretty bleak. What made it so much worse was my long commute home on the TTC, and an argument with Azim who I haven’t spent much time with this week.
I got into my (mom’s) car and drove around for a little bit, blasting Adele and sing-sobbing (where you try to sing, but are crying too hard for any words to make sense). Because Adele knows all the feels. I didn’t want to call my friends, who have heard me complain about my career for FAR too long now (although I know they would want me to call, my friends are the best), and I didn’t want to hash it out with Azim.
What I needed was to give myself a break.
So what if I haven’t found my footing in my career yet? Julia Child didn’t even write her first cookbook until she was in her 50s! So what if I still haven’t moved out yet? My family is awesome and supportive (and my parents’ bar is always fully stocked 🙂 ). So what if my blog doesn’t have millions of hits? My readers (YOU) have been so, so, so, encouraging and awesome – and remind me everyday why I started.
One thing I got over fairly early on, and what I think a lot of my generation struggles with, is comparing. COMPARING! Social networks have made it almost impossible for us not to compare our lives to others. To covet the shiny car, the executive title, the happy relationship, the badass closet. But comparison is the thief of joy, and we are all on our own very unique path.
I don’t find myself longing for the success that others must be achieving, because I know we’re all struggling with something. My problem is that I put impossible pressure on myself, and I crumble when I can’t keep up with my own ideals. I know I’m not alone in this, and what I’m trying to get at, is that we must be kinder to ourselves.
This Valentine’s Day, make a concentrated effort to love yourself. Write yourself an encouraging letter, seal it, and read it next year to see how far you’ve come. Buy yourself treats (as if you needed an excuse). Do something splurge-y for yourself, that you normally wouldn’t. Maybe do something nice for someone else, because being selfless can be good for you too. Let yourself off the hook – I know it’s harder than it seems.
I purposely don’t like to reveal too much about my personal life or work outside this blog, for the sake of building a “brand” around Jocelyn Caithness. But I think this topic is important – too important for me have written something like “Top 5 ways to LOVE YOURSELF!”. I want you to know that even though things in my life might seem rosy on the outside, I struggle too.
I’ll conclude with some wise words from the ultimate badass, Amy Poehler:
“When you do talk about yourself or to yourself and you have that tape running in your head about yourself, try to picture you are talking to your own daughter or your younger sister, because you would tell your younger sister or your daughter that she is beautiful and you wouldn’t be lying, because she is. And so are you.”