Self Care and Saying “No”

As a human services professional, a social work student (soon to be licensed social worker!) and a human being, self-care is very important.

I know there’s been a lot going around about self-care, at least in my circles, but a lot of people don’t necessarily know what it is.

As simple as it sounds, self-care is taking care of yourself, that is, doing what you need to do to make sure that you are living your best life. Sometimes that means taking a mental health day, going for a walk, or curling up on the couch with a blanket and watching Netflix. Sometimes that means kicking your own butt to get out of bed and get something to eat, doing laundry, or socializing. Sometimes it just means allowing yourself to have a good cry or a deep belly laugh. It means all of these things, depending on what you need and when you need it.

I received a(nother) self-care tip sheet the other day. Most of it was old news to me by now, but one thing really stood out to me, and I’m going to share that advice with you all:

“Learn to say ‘no’ and mean it. If you can’t say ‘no,’ what is your ‘yes’ worth?”

This really stood out to me. I tend to say “yes” to everything, or if I say “no,” it’s a soft “no.” What I mean by that is I’ll say something like, “not right now,” or “I don’t know, we’ll see.” It’s hard for me to say a firm “no.”

But what is my “yes” worth, if I can’t say “no”? It means that people will come to expect me to say yes, it means that they won’t trust me or believe me when I do say no.

Maybe this isn’t as deep as I thought it was, but there’s still something there that I can’t articulate. I know that saying “no” is important. And it’s a skill I need to work on.

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Just listen to the rhythm of my heart

I don’t believe in soulmates.

In fanfiction there’s this concept called the “Soulmate AU.” Now, each person has their own interpretation, and there are some differences between general categories (for example, there’s a variation called the “soulmark” where a person is born with [or develops] a tattoo of some kind, a mark, or the name of, their soulmate somewhere on their body.) Now, I don’t like soulmate AUs. I think that, if there was something like that in real life, they’d be a recipe for misery rather than love.

I don’t believe in soulmates. That sounds cynical, but I do believe in love. I think soulmates invalidate the idea of love. Invalidate isn’t quite the right word, “cheapen,” maybe?

My point is that I think the idea of soulmates takes the choice out of love, and it takes the work out of love. Loving someone is a choice. You may be infatuated with them, in lust with them, et cetera, but when it comes to truly loving someone, it’s a choice, it’s not just a chemical reaction in the brain. Loving someone takes work. It requires putting in care and dedication, and again, choice. Making the choice to be with them (in sickness and in health, et cetera, et cetera) and not just giving up when things get tough.

The idea of soulmates, in my mind at least, is the idea that you don’t need to work for love, that there’s someone out there for you no matter what, and you don’t need to work on the relationship. When you see this person, you’ll just know, and while there may be troubles, everything will work out for happily ever after.

Furthermore, the idea of one-true-love soulmates or whatever absolutely invalidates other loves in your life. People are not only allowed to love more than one person, I think most people DO and SHOULD love more than one person. This includes platonic loves and familial loves, unconditional and questioning loves, friends, partners, agape and eros. But it also, to me, means you can fall in love, in the “traditional” romantic sense more than once.

Loving someone new after you’ve lost someone doesn’t negate the fact that you previously loved someone else. And this loss doesn’t even need to be a permanent separation. It could just be a break-up, a falling out, or a falling out of love.

Just because I loved my ex with all my heart, and he broke it, doesn’t mean I’m broken. It doesn’t mean I’ll never love again. It just means that I loved, and he loved, but now at least, he’s moved on to a new love. He told me when we were dating, even, that he had told two other girls that he had loved them before. That didn’t make his love for me any less strong, and it doesn’t make his love for his current girlfriend any weaker either. Just because he loved me once doesn’t mean he can’t love other people.

The same goes for me. I just haven’t found anybody new to love (romantically) yet, though I have made new friends who I love and value.

I’m getting kind of weepy as I write this, wondering why I can’t find anybody to love who loves me too. But that’s not the point.

The point is, I believe very strongly in love. I don’t think loving more than one person invalidates your love of anyone else, and I do believe that the obsession with soulmates and “true love” is toxic.

Love isn’t easy. But it’s important. And there’s no such thing as one-true-love. You will love many times in your life, some of those will be romantic, some of those won’t. But in any event, love comes and love goes. That does not make it less powerful or meaningful.

I think love is one of the most important things there is. But I do not believe in “true love.” I don’t believe in soulmates.

I do believe in people.pexels-photo-255441.jpeg

Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine

Hey all! Long time no write, as tends to be my M.O. I’ve been chugging along on my end, and I’ve wanted to blog, but it reached the point where I dreamed about blogging last night, so I figure it’s time!

A few weeks ago, I was nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by Sierraleonegirl. I haven’t been following her for very long (though it’s been a bit longer than when I first had this post drafted at the end of March!) but her posts are excellent! She is personal, prolific, and overall a great writer, and a great commenter! No matter what form, I always look forward to reading what she writes. Thank you for nominating me! I really appreciate it! <333

Sunshine Blogger Award Rules:
-Thank the blogger who nominated you.
-Answer the 11 questions asked.
-Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
-List the rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

Continue reading “Sunshine Blogger Award”

Good Body Days and Bad Body Days

I have a weight problem. That is not something that is debatable. Caused by genetics, medication, and a sedentary lifestyle, among other things probably, I’m having a hard time losing weight. I want to lose weight for my health and I want to lose weight for my appearance and self-esteem. I’ve talked about all this before.

But something I’ve been noticing recently is that I’m having more Good Body Days, where I appreciate myself, than I used to. I still have a majority of Bad Body Days, where I hate my body and myself, but it’s great to actually feel good sometimes.

For example, I wrote the post Shape about liking the shape of my face, and it’s true! Sometimes I even look at my face and think, “I look pretty today.”

On the other hand, today I saw myself in my full length mirror when I was getting dressed and literally said aloud, “My body is disgusting”

But then, just yesterday, when I was changing into pajamas, I saw myself and I thought, “Man, my boobs are awesome.”

So it depends on the day. There are some bits I will probably always hate, like my stomach, chin, and neck, other parts that will change, like some days I love my thick thighs, other days I think they’re just fat.

 

It’s important to be healthy – and I’m working on that part. But it’s also important to love yourself. Every body is a good body.

“This is me; getting out”: Doing what’s best for me when I need to

Martha MF Jones

I started watching Doctor Who with Christopher Eccelston as the 9th Doctor. His companion was Rose Tyler, who stayed the companion when David Tennant took over as the 10th Doctor. When David Tennant was the Doctor, his second companion was Martha Jones. Throughout the entire season with Martha, I wasn’t sure how to feel about her. Sure, she was cool. But she just wasn’t Rose. That is, until Martha’s very last episode.

Continue reading ““This is me; getting out”: Doing what’s best for me when I need to”

Shape

This is a little a little weird to say but…I’ve been looking through photos of me on Facebook over the past few hours and I’ve noticed something.

I like my face better now that I’ve gained weight than when I was thin.

I mean, I think there was a point where I weighed a bit less than I do now, but still substantially more than before I gained all this weight where I liked my face the best, but right now, it’s still good.

It’s softer, rounder obviously. But it feels more feminine, and more adult. Less like a kid playing at being an adult. Maybe that’s because I associate being thin with being younger, but I graduated from undergrad at that same old weight, and I just feel like I look like a kid in those pictures.

I hate my body so much more than I used to. But my face, at least, I can look in the mirror and almost say it looks pretty, depending on the day. So that, I think, is an improvement.

Here are two photos of me, from a photoshoot I did when I was in undergrad and weighed 133 pounds, and from a photoshoot I did a few months ago, weighing significantly more.

 

I think I’m even wearing the same lipstick in each of the pictures. I mean, I look great in the first photo, though it’s not 100% the best shot for the shape of my face, and pretty good in the second photo, but I’m happier with the shape of my face now – if still upset about my neck and chin being all fat and gross looking.

So I don’t know how to feel about this. I want to lose weight…like, a lot of weight. But I don’t want to be as thin as I was. So it’s something I’m trying to figure out.