On self-development and learning more than I thought possible

There is so much I want to say about what this past year has taught me, but, instead of doing that, I will tell you simply how I feel about it - I feel so happy that I am in a good place where I feel okay. I am not going through something anymore. Thank God. Thank goodness.

I remember the heavy burdens that weighed on my heart and soul because of a difficult past I had refused to face. I remember the feeling, but I genuinely don't feel it anymore.

This year, I did. I faced myself. I took care of myself in a way I had neglected to for so long. Though I have always done a good job of taking care of my T1D, I had failed to bandage and heal my soul wounds. I allowed them to enlarge over the years. I fed on the drama they brought. It was the only feeling I knew for a while - the highs and lows. I am better than my highs and lows. I have found balance within myself. I know how to cope and manage the bad. I see things differently. My perspective has changed, or returned, more like. I know how to adjust my expectations now. 

I am so glad to be over it. I had this wonderful moment of realization that I truly am, lying in bed the other night, about how at peace I feel with myself, and how content I feel about my state of being. I am glad to be myself and be myself genuinely, for the first time in a long while. For the first time in a long while, I have maintained this consistently, and I intend to carry on this way.

I know life will throw more difficult things my way. I expect it. I never expect all good or all bad, nor do I perfection; nor would I want perfection - how boring and lifeless. I do not expect, I hope because I care where care is called for. Life is always full of ups and downs. I expect more bad, good, pretty, and ugly. I am human. Life is life. It's all imperfect. I accept myself. I don't judge myself. I love myself, genuinely... 

I have been giving advice for many years on my own blog(s) and other websites, but have only inherited the lessons my brain has been telling me recently. I have connected my brain to my heart. Finally. 

I still have progress to make, given that I am human and am inevitably flawed. And I am 100% okay with that. I have found beauty in the vulnerability of the human experience. I am calm and at peace with who I am. I am not as hard on myself, nor do I put as much pressure on myself to be someone I think I should be. 

Instead, I let myself be who I am, for the first time in a long time. I don't apologize for wanting or needing certain things. I take care of myself as I have so freely taken care of and cared for and loved my family and friends. 

I ignored my past for so long. I am happy to say it is no longer a part of my present. I am a product of my experiences, yes, but the foundation of my character is not my experiences. I am the strength of the aftermath. My character is a response to my experiences. I am a better me because I have absorbed the lessons of difficulty. I am strong. I am confident. I am happy to be me, for the first time in a long time. 

I am not high with emotion, but peaceful in my ration. I am me, and I am so grateful for the experiences and people that have helped pushed me to this point. Thank you. You know who you are. I hope you know how much you have meant to me. This period of my existence is a break I didn't know if I'd get for a long time. I didn't know if I had the capacity to give it to myself, but I am more than I gave myself credit for. My emotional intelligence has brought me to a new phase of being alive, and I am ever grateful for those who strongly encouraged this self along the way.

I do not fear facing myself any longer. If you are going through something and are struggling to face it or yourself, please, know that your support team is closer than you think. It will probably get worse before it gets better, but, take my advice - it will get better. 

You will feel better. You will feel more fulfilled, at peace with yourself, and as though you are with friends and family all the time. You will be the family you need, the friend you deserve, and the companion you admire. Take the steps towards accepting and loving yourself wholly. Be there for yourself. Push yourself. Take care of yourself. Be well. 

Strive towards balance, not happiness or having "more." You will never have it if you are constantly searching. I am so glad I am not searching anymore. I used to be a person who walked down 5th avenue in New York, walking so fast, unsure of herself, and aware, but unaware of it at the same time. 

I was unsure of what kind of self I could be for me and for others. What did I truly value? What did I truly want? Who did I have the capacity to be? Did I have the capacity to overcome what had happened to me to be the self that is? I didn't know it at the time, not fully, but, the answer is yes. I do, and so do you, whoever you are, whatever you're going through. 

I didn't need to avoid things. I didn't need to walk so fast I could barely see my shoes anymore. I didn't think I needed anyone, including me, apparently, but what I needed more than anything or anyone else the whole time was me. I didn't know how to give that to myself until recently. It seems cheesy as I write it, but, I assure you - it's one of the most real things I have said and admitted to in a long while. I had been embarrassed and ashamed of my past for many, many years, but this year I became angry. I accepted it soon after, and have been letting it go. 

It feels every sort of wonderful you could imagine - such a relief. I assure you.

It is a bit difficult to write this, but in an effort to help others and be completely honest about myself, I am setting my story free. I went through a lot of anxiety and depression this year, for reasons some of you know, and, in seeking out proper help, I have come back to myself. I am so happy to see myself in the mirror properly for the first time in a long time - with love and without judgment. I am so glad I put in the work. It was not easy, but it has made all the difference in helping me move forward and be my best, most fulfilled self. I intend to never back down from myself again. 

I am open-minded to life's new challenges in year 24 of my life. I am ready to accept change, embrace new people, love those I already know and do, and be carried by the strength, acceptance, and love I finally hold in my heart for me. 

I am my friend. I am my family. I am what I need. I am telling you this because there was a time in my life I didn't think I'd ever feel this way, but, here I am. Here we are. 

I am telling you this because I imagine you may be sitting at your computer thinking, "me too," if you've made it this far in the post... I am here to be your friend and to reassure you, you are worth your own time and effort - so much more than you know, so much more than you have given yourself previously.

Give to yourself now. You will be rewarded with authentic feelings of peace and content. I believe that of you. Now believe it of yourself. You owe it to yourself. You are worth it.

Whatever you're going through, at whatever age, please know that when you dedicate the time and effort to caring for yourself with a sense of mindfulness and nurturing, you will come out of the other end stronger than before. If you don't know how to do that for yourself right now, that's okay. Don't look for answers in others. Look for help where you need it, then find the answers in yourself. You may not know it now, but the answers and solutions you need are things only you can provide you. 

Lay down your walls. Ask for the help you need. Be the person you need. Become the person you are. Do it sooner rather than later. Life is too damn short to be anybody but your genuine self. 

Live your life for you. Love yourself first. Take care of yourself, always. Whoever you are, reading this, you have my platonic love! Thank you for all the good you have contributed. Forgive yourself for the bad you've done to others and yourself. Make peace with it. Apologize for it. Be strong. Be patient. Be kind to yourself. Move forward for good reasons. Take care of your soul. Take care of your brain. Take care of your heart. Take care of you.

You got me? You got you? You got this. You do.

All my love,
Julia Rose


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