By: Valeria Rigo, IATG Blog ContributorAugust 1, 2016
Growing up, I wasn’t typically surrounded by many people. If anything, I was the opposite. During school breaks, you could find me hiding in the bathroom to avoid social interactions, and once I even faked a broken foot, so I didn’t have to attend any summer parties.
I tried every group there was at school. I was part of the populars until they started going out, drinking, kissing, and expecting me to do the same (my 13 year old self wasn’t ready for that yet). I was part of the boys’ club, but then they started dating the populars. Hanging out with the chubby girl who makes bad jokes wasn’t so fun anymore. I was part of the good girls, the normal people, but I managed to leave those as well.
I never felt like I belonged somewhere. That feeling is what I’ve been longing for all my life, knowing that you’re part of something, and no matter what, no matter what you do, that’ll never change. No matter what you say, if you have a bad day or a good day, if you get an A or fail a class, if you gain a few pounds or you stay slim, they are going to accept you. I’ve always seen myself as an outsider, wishing I was a part, but watching quietly as the fun happens.
All my therapists, my advisors, and my mom have told me the same thing,
You have to love yourself first if you want to love other people.
I always thought that was insane. I believed I needed to get love from outsiders before I could love myself, that somehow their acceptance was proof that I was worth something.
But now, I know they were right. To be able to love others, to feel part of something, you need to love yourself. When you’re fully committed to yourself, you can commit to others. It’s a difficult task, at least for me, trying to fall in love with myself. But as they say, the hardest roads often lead to the most beautiful destinations. So I’m gonna keep trying.
It’s time to start loving yourself. Take some time today to show yourself a little extra love. Set aside some time to read a good book, pamper yourself with a pedicure, or simply treat yourself to your favorite dessert. You deserve your love more than anyone else
Valeria is an Argentinian girl who loves writing, dancing, making people laugh, and traveling. She is studying Global Business at university she always has something to say!