1. I get out of bed every day and face the world.
Every day I wake up and I drag myself out of my fluffy haven. As much as I want to curl up into the sheets and forget the world is out there, I get up. I push past that urge to just not exist for the day. Though I may already know that there are unpleasant moments and unwanted encounters awaiting me, I walk towards them knowing that this is what I have to do. I tell myself that I am doing it for me. I don't do it for my boss, or my friends, or anyone else. At the core of it, I get up for me. And I'm so proud of myself for doing that. Because this world is harsh, rapid and unforgiving. And it's hard to face it all the time. So I'm proud I can, and I'm proud I do.
2. I acknowledge that I am flawed.
Sometimes, I'll do something and think what on earth is wrong with you? I'll go over it in my head a million times and think of all the things I could have done instead; things which wouldn't have left me embarrassed or ashamed of myself. But then I remember that I'm just a person. I'm not a cyborg hard-wired to anticipate and analyse every situation to the fullest before I respond. I'm just a human being, like everyone else. So yeah, I lashed out at someone and I know it was a shitty thing to do. Sure, I said something cringy and I get that it gave way to an awkward few seconds afterwards. But who on this planet isn't sort of stupid and awkward? We're all just trying to find our way through this incredibly complicated life, and we tend to forget along the way that it's okay to not be perfect at it. It's okay to not be a pro at life.
3. I let myself be sad.
I remember a few months ago that I was watching a show on Netflix, and one of the characters said "I shouldn't feel bad about feeling bad." This surprisingly simple sentence really struck a chord with me. Because I knew in my heart of hearts that it was true already. I knew before they said it that I shouldn't feel bad about feeling bad. But it was oddly surreal to hear someone actually say it, even if it was an animated teenage horse. I'd never seen someone put it so simply, and it's really stuck with me. I think it's okay to stand in the shower and just start crying. I think it's okay to have a sleepless night because something is really bothering you. I think it's okay to tell someone you don't want to do something with them because you just don't feel up to it today. I think it's okay to not be okay. Sure, it sucks when you don't feel good, but I think it's so important to let yourself really sit with your emotions sometimes instead of pushing them down and forcing yourself to live on without noticing them. Our emotions make us, so if something is wrong, we need to allow ourselves to feel something about it.
4. I care much less than I used to.
When I was younger, I would often keep my mouth shut about things in my life because I didn't want other people to look at me any differently than they did before. I would remind myself that I needed to only let certain things be known about myself, because I was ashamed of letting people know who I really was. But, with age (and I'm still ridiculously young), I've come to realise that it's absolutely crazy to think that way. You know that saying "Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind?" Well, it rings true. If anyone has a problem with what you're interested in, what you like to wear on your body, what you do to stay happy or anything else you that makes you more okay in yourself, fuck 'em. People who put you down for who you are just feel a need to control certain parts of you, because they're uncomfortable with you not being what they want you to be. This is because they're uncomfortable with something in themselves. So instead of fearing these people, pity them—because they've got a hell of a lot of growing up to do.
5. I love myself because I love myself.
I love myself because I can look in the mirror and know that I am wearing exactly what I wanted to wear that day. I love myself because I can tell someone a story about myself or my past and not feel scared about their reaction. I love myself because I do exactly what I need to do in order to be happy. Yeah, I collect crystals and candles and herbs. Yeah, I listen to weird brainwave music because it makes me feel closer to myself. Yeah, I compliment myself in front of other people because it's great to feel great! Yes... I still feel terrible sometimes, and all my confidence completely disappears on occasion. But no, I will not value myself less because of this. Don't forget, I'm just like you. Because, like you, I'm just a person trying to live among other people and myself while keeping my head above water. So if I can love myself, what's stopping you?