THE ANONYMOUS HUSTLE: Chapter 4 - Self Love


That holiday with the asinine amount of hearts and like a kajillion shades of red and/or pink is just around the corner. So…truth bomb time. I hate Valentine’s Day (could you tell from my opening line?). I hated it when I was single and I still hate it now even after finding my Forever and Always. It isn’t because of the terrible consumerism that goes hand in hand with this holiday nor is it because some people feel obligated to it rather than wanting to celebrate it. Both those things are decisions that people make based on where they’re at in their lives and I can’t get mad at that. Every decision you make is the right decision…until you decide it’s the wrong decision. So, who am I to judge? But anyway, that’s probably another chapter for another day. I think the reason why I hate Valentine’s Day is the amount of people who feel alone and unloved on this day. I remember being one of those people and, being the hyper-empathetic person I am, I hated that other people might be feeling the same way. What does this have anything to do with my hustle? Shushhhh. I’m getting there!

Without having to go into all my awkward tween and teen phases, eventually I had an epiphany. Why does Valentine’s Day only have to be about romantic love? Kids bought or made Valentines for everybody in their class (maybe an extra special one for that crush you’re hoping will finally notice and love you). We grew up sharing our tokens of love with everyone, not just our significant others (I only assume…I’m Canadian so we might just be uber nice…not sure how V-Days work in other countries). So if we’re single and feeling lonely, why don’t we focus on people we do love in our lives? But wait. Lightbulb. If we’re single and feeling lonely on V-Day, why not focus on loving ourselves? Gasp…dun dun DUN…the title to this chapter probably gave away my silver lining, didn’t it? Hm. Derp. Let’s continue.

So this new ping of a light bulb prompted me to start a three-part series…within the Anonymous Hustle series (BLOG-CEPTION!). A big part of why I haven’t posted any original music in a long time or why I haven’t really allowed myself to do what makes me happy was because I didn’t value myself enough to give myself a chance. These unfulfilled and unhappy feelings I had, I chalked those up to just me not trying hard enough or people not acknowledging my talent and skills. After a year and a half in therapy and a lot of work unpacking deep-seeded issues, I started seeing positive changes; ones that actually seemed to be sticking. These changes made me see that it didn’t matter what people thought or acknowledged because whether I thought they were right or wrong, it didn't matter. The amount of recognition that I got or craved, none of that mattered if I wasn't taking care of myself.

My friend Dean (who’s an amazing musician by the way, check him out HERE) told me something that I carry with me to this day. I don’t remember it verbatim but what I got out of it is more important I think.

You’re the only person who can do what you do. 
If you don’t take care of yourself, you’re not at your best. 
If you’re not at your best, you’re not putting out your best 
You are not doing yourself or your work any justice
by not taking care of yourself first.

Little did I know, I wouldn’t understand this until I finally made the decision to go talk to a trained professional to help me understand and re-evaluate my life.

I avoided getting “diagnosed” because it sounded like I had a disease, which I didn’t. I have anxiety and perfectionism, which you already know if you’ve read my previous chapter. Without getting into the whole stigma around mental health, it was scary knowing that to be lined up with a therapist, I would have to be diagnosed by a doctor. That scared me a shit-ton. For a long time, I believed that I would find my own way and it wasn’t really a big deal. I thought that because I was still “functional”, I didn't need help. I could figure it out on my own. When I finally made the decision to talk to a nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood about how I suspected I might have depression, it was my first step towards taking care of myself. It was my first step towards loving me.

Now, I’m only speaking from my own experience and what I’ve learned. At the end of the day, you choose what’s best for taking care of you. It’s the right decision…until you decide it’s the wrong decision. Remember that? Were you paying attention? Hopefully or else I need to work on being more captivating. I chose what was best for me; therapy and writing The Anonymous Hustle. In writing these next three chapters, I fulfill my younger self who felt lonely on Valentine’s Day and my teenage self who wanted people to feel a little less alone and a little more loved. To fulfill my current self, I write to hopefully start believing that I am worthy of loving myself.

Until next time,
Stay bold and beautifully weird.

Planned Parenthood Toronto has been more than just supportive in my mental health journey. They have made me feel safe and my counsellor/therapist has given me the tools to be the best version of myself. I encourage that if you need someone to talk to, need some guidance, or you're just looking for a safe and supportive environment in regards to sexual, mental, or physical health, Planned Parenthood Toronto is the place to go. I can't stress enough how amazing they've been since I first walked through their doors. You can find them HERE

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