When I saw that today’s one-word prompt was “phase,” The first thought that came to my mind was how my mother told me (in her attempts to be supportive and encouraging) that my relationship with my girlfriend was “maybe just a phase.” When she said that, I was offended but didn’t want to hurt her feelings, so I just ignored her comment.
Now that the relationship is over, I can admit that the relationship was a phase…simply because it’s over. After that break up my mom used to sneak in comments like, “well, now that you’ve been in a relationship like that, do you think you’ll go with men?” Thankfully, I shut that down and I don’t hear that kind of stuff from her anymore. Looking at the word “phase”and the picture of the moon above it, though, really made me start thinking about all the phases in my life-past and current.
Without going into much depth about that relationship, I can say that I am a much, MUCH better, stronger, and motivated person now that I’m out of it. Lately, I’ve been feeling so proud of myself (in addition to v. stressed out with some of my obligations ). The other day I received an email inviting me to join a team of bloggers that reaches “thousands” of psychology graduate students. I’ve been taking care of myself lately, practicing boundaries with friends/”friends”/supervisors/clients,trying to be proactive, and actually loving myself in the process. My belief is that this isn’t a phase, lol, but there was definitely a time when I was hella insecure, codependent, and faux-confident.
I’ve always been a very ambitious person who is serious about school and things of that nature. A lot of people in high school near me by my laugh, classroom participation, and poor driving record. A few months ago a close friend of mine said, “you weren’t insecure in high school! You were always smiling and laughing! You would light up the room!” She was incredulous at my admission of low self-esteem. I had so many issues in high school-college, and I think it makes me much more understanding of others who may seem like they have it all together on the outside. Also, I didn’t understand what it meant to be an introvert, I just knew that I felt different from most of my friends and I didn’t actually enjoy a big gatherings for long periods of time. <–also not a phase.
here’s a brief list of things that I will happily admit are over:
- Abusive relationships
- an eating disorder
- VERY low self-esteem
- body shame
- Shaming others
Of course, there are times when I feel insecure, sad, or ashamed about certain things, but it’s nowhere near the extent that it used to be. Truthfully blogging on Tumblr was one of the main contributors to me overcoming all of those things. There’s so much positivity on the blogs that I follow, so much support and validation. Plus, it really helped me out when I needed a good laugh. I’ve met some awesome people on there who seem to really understand me and a lot of my struggles. Being on Tumblr and blogging/reading others’ stories encouraged me to find people IRL that I can have similar relationships with. Telling my story in various places help me to feel courageous, less alone, and more empowered. I have not only found writing to be fun, but it also provides a lot of insight for me. Until today, I hadn’t taken the time to sit down and think about all of the phases of my life that are now over. There’s a quote that comes to mind, “some people are in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime,” and I feel the same way about that list up there. All of those experiences had a reason for coming into my life, but they only stayed for a season. Now, my hope is that I can continue to be ambitious and intentional in my self-love/self-care…for a lifetime.