What Makes You Feel More Like You?
BY SARAH MCAVOY
originally posted on Complicated Basic
A couple of weeks ago, I posted on Instagram asking what made you feel more like you. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. I’d been feeling super off and a little down. I struggled to find inspiration, motivation, and confidence, and I couldn’t figure out why that was or how to get it back. I felt helpless to the idea that these feelings would come and go as they pleased, without much of my own say in the matter.
BUT. What I realized last week in my big, BIG epiphany, was that I DO have a say in the matter. I do get to decide if I feel confident and inspired, and motivated. Sure, I may not feel it intrinsically at times, but we do have the power to create it for ourselves. And, the more we do this, the easier it is to get into the swing of it again and again and again. It’s amazing really. How much power we truly have. It’s just hard to see it when you’re struggling to get out from under that little dark cloud that won’t stop following you around.
What’s really funny about this epiphany that I had, though, is that I knew the answer to my question all along. I already knew how to get myself out of a funk. In fact, it’s literally the entire reason I started this blog in the first place. And yet, I forgot. I forgot what made me feel like me. What inspired and motivated me and made me feel unstoppable.
And what is it for me, you might ask, that makes me feel more like me? It’s giving me some extra time to do my hair and makeup and dressing myself up a bit. That’s it. Super simple. A little extra TLC to make me feel like my best self before the day begins. And yet, when I’m not in the best mood, it’s the last thing I want to do. Isn’t it funny how the things that will be best for us seem always to be the things we want to do the least? Salads over pizzas, water over pretty much any other beverage, working out over couch potatoing… (that’s right, I made it a verb).
Here I am, starting a blog to encourage women to do what they need to do to be and feel like their best selves, based on my own personal experiences, and even I am in need of the reminder as well. A reminder that we deserve love. ESPECIALLY from ourselves. And maybe that doesn’t mean putting makeup on every day. Maybe it’s actually quite the opposite. Maybe it’s as simple as taking your vitamins or remembering to moisturize.
When my Dad was sick, I traveled home to Portland to be with him and my family for the months leading up to his death. I felt so all over the place internally most days that I just wanted to crawl right out of my skin. But in acknowledging that my skin was the one place I will inhabit for the rest of my life, I instead decided to make it a more pleasant place to be. Ergo, my newborn obsession with makeup and hair tricks.
After my Dad passed, I spent the entire next year committed to doing one nice thing for myself a day. Something that healed me, whether it be physical or mental. I started acupuncture and therapy weekly. Also, I began to get my nails done and do face masks religiously. I honestly had never really found the benefit in any of these things prior, but I knew it’s what I needed.
Though I may no longer rely on these things as heavily anymore, their benefits have never dwindled. And I can see that more clearly today than ever before. Here I was thinking I was healed and that these things were more supplemental for me than anything. But, in reality, I still need them more than ever. I will never stop needing them.
Maybe those needs will change, as I do, but what I must remember is that making myself feel inspired and confident and loved is always a top priority. If I am going to inspire other women to unapologetically show themselves love way more often than society has ever taught us to, then I have to do the same. I have to truly live it. You can try your hardest to be self-sufficient and act as though you don’t need any of it, but the truth is, we all do. We all have the basic need of feeling loved and held. And providing this feeling, on our own, for ourselves, is the most healing and inspiring thing we’ll ever do.
So now I pose this question to you: what makes you feel more like, well… you?