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Adebimpe Alafe: Start By Loving Yourself

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I’m 23 years old and like most people my age, I’m at a point in my life where I’m trying to figure things out. Even though I live thousands of miles away from most of you and I’m sure we have very different realities, I believe all of us go through this phase at one time or another. Maybe for some of us, it’s not just a phase, but a feeling that doesn’t ever go away.

I’m talking about that feeling of incompleteness, that our life is missing something; we find ourselves unknowingly, subconsciously searching for it. Many women think the answer is a man, some dreamy guy who is perfect in every way. We believe this man won’t only make our lives complete, but he’ll also make it feel like heaven on earth and live happily ever after.

Well, I hate to break it to you…but I don’t think that even exists. And if it does, it only occurs in fairy tales. Something I read from a book, courtesy of the imitable John Green, has really stuck with me: “The problem with happy endings is that they’re either not really happy, or not really endings, you know? In real life, some things get better and some things get worse. And then eventually you die.”

It’s never going to be like how we imagined it. I mean, relationships are hard. They need work and in the end, they can leave us feeling even emptier than we felt before. A guy will not make you feel complete; in fact, the exact opposite is true. You’re the one in charge of your life. You don’t need a man to fill all the blank spaces.

I believe the road to finding yourself lies within. Start by being OK with yourself, standing on your own two feet and knowing that you are enough. You should not be afraid to express yourself and make your opinions heard. You should not feel like you need to hide behind a mask, or preserve yourself for the pleasure of some guy.

Embrace your curiosity in the world you live in. Take an interest in things; try to find out what speaks to you, experience new ideas, and try your best not to waste too much time on social media.

Try to appreciate what you already have—even the little things. More importantly, we should appreciate who we already have around us and not take anyone for granted, from parents to sisters to best friends. I can tell you that realizing the importance of the people closest to us after it’s too late…well, sucks.

Maybe we will find ourselves, and maybe our life will finally feel complete. Maybe not, and the feeling—of loneliness, of wanting more—may never go away. But at least enjoying the experiences we had all on our own and trying to live our life in a way that reflects us. Sometimes that’s enough.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Adebimpe Alafe is an entrepreneur and a seasoned writer who is trying to do right by writing her wrongs, when she can't right her wrongs. A friend to people both personally and professionally, she finds happiness in caring for herself extensively and volunteering to causes concerning mental health with NGOs as well as helping young girls achieve their dreams by mentoring them for free.

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