Keeping what works. Letting go of what doesn’t.

Today marks the beginning of the new year. Naturally, I’ve been reflecting on my life and I’ve come to the conclusion that I loved the 2013 Nashiva. Now, keep in mind that I didn’t exercise as much as I said I would. I also didn’t read all of the books that I promised my 2012 self I would read. I never traveled or learned a new language. Finally, above all, I didn’t manage to gain employment in my hometown. The reason I love my 2013 self is because I came out on top in my mind. I ended the year at a better place than where I began.

On this  new year’s day when I think of all of the things I didn’t do in 2013 I remember the one thing I did do. Apply for graduate school and move to DC. I’m not sure what drove me to pursue my master’s, but I have a strong suspicion it had something to do with my 2012 self feeling empty. Without a daily purpose I had a heavy sense of uselessness. Besides the small responsibly of staying alive I had nothing else to do. I found myself questioning my self worth and for some reason these questions were incredibly challenging and hurtful. For example, “why aren’t you smart enough to get a salary position?”, “Did you know that your mom paid for your metrocard again?” And “Why is your face breaking out? You didn’t do work today.”

Questions like these ran through my head constantly. In my efforts to answer them I became physically tired. I never wanted to do anything. Anything I did mocked my existence in some way or another. Even soothing words of understanding and comfort from my sweet mother felt mocking. I translated all of her words of love and  encouragement into words of disappointment and shame. At that moment I realized that I might be depressed.

This depression wasn’t severe enough that my loved ones had need to worry, but once I realized I wasn’t happy I freaked out enough to think up an action plan. The thought of me being depressed scared me more than my feeling of uselessness because I felt that depression, when ignored, was as dangerous as a heart attack. I also felt that I had no right to feel depressed. Why should a woman with a roof over her head, food to eat, people who loved her, and a college degree (these were all the rage) feel that way?

My answer to this question was that whether or not I had the right to feel depressed the point is that I was.  I was unhappy enough to be depressed. By tackling my unhappiness I tackled my depression. Thankfully, this method worked. At the beginning of 2013 I made a list of the moments in my life I was the most Happy. I dug up my college admissions essays and my old journals to remind my self of my dreams and goals. By doing this I found the motivation and courage to apply to graduate school. The drive my 2013 self had carried me through my application process and my move to my future. That drive pushed me through my first semester successfully.  That drive convinced me that I was on the right path.

2013 Nashiva found a way to kick butt and feel good while doing so. I made moves that brought me up and kept me up emotionally. I hope to add to my 2013 self in the upcoming year.  The pressure I placed on myself and the unhappiness I felt might creep up but only to keep me on my toes for 2014. I look forward to the new year.

– Nashiva

31-Day Self-Love Writing Challenge

January is Self-Love month, and it marks the 4th year that we’ve hosted the 31-Day Self-Love Writing Challenge. You can participate by submitting your self-love writing to be published on this blog. You can submit your writing here. You can also participate by writing your self-love posts on your own blog and linking back to the 31-Day Self-Love Writing Challenge, 2014 blog post and Facebook event. If you don’t start on January 1st, that’s fine! You can jump into the challenge whenever you want.

Win a Copy of Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works

Each blog post you write is one entry into our random drawing to win an autographed copy of my book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works. You’ll also be entered into our drawing to win our upcoming Self-Love e-products that we’ll be announcing soon.

If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your self-love writing, you can write in a journal or write yourself self-love emails. If writing isn’t for you, simply reading others’ self-love writing can be powerful and beneficial to you on your self-love journey.

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