My whole life I have been a people pleaser. For as long as I can remember, I have avoided being the person that lets others down. I have gone out of my way to please others before myself, stretched myself in every way possible to fit one more thing in with a friend. I guess it comes from being a very sociable person, and the intrinsic joy I feel from being around people. I’m still very much like it today, and forever find my free time jam packed with plans. On the other hand, I have always known my own mind and have never been afraid to voice my own opinions and say no to things that are not worth my time – which I think is exactly how I learnt that, actually, putting yourself first every now and again is incredibly important to sustain a happy life. And that some people, no matter how harsh or selfish it sounds, are simply not worth stretching yourself for. I am by no means the perfect example of how to live your life, but I do know what makes me happy, and in a non-selfish (but also very selfish) way, know that I should be doing things I enjoy, and not just things to please others.
As adults, myself included, we barely have enough free time on our hands to simply adult. And by that I mean, tackling the mound of washing that has built up from your weekends being here there and everywhere, actually making your lunch for work tomorrow instead of another £3 meal deal, and basically anything else that is the absolute definition of BORING. We all live our lives with a constant list of 101 things to do, so I know that the free time I do have I want to fill in the best way possible, and not with people who don’t bring any fulfilment into my life. And that is okay. Recently, I have seen so many people talk about the impacts of following the wrong types of people on social media. The people that you spend hours comparing yourself to – a topic I feel very strongly about and have written about before. The people that make you question your own life choices, or any other sorts of negative. I love people’s stance on it, that you should not have to feel guilty for pressing that unfollow button and choosing your own happiness over anything else. And why aren’t we extending this to real life too? I know first hand just how miserable it can feel to spend time with people who don’t make you feel the best versions of yourself. The people who bring out the worst in you, and not intentionally on their behalf, but simply because you feel uncomfortable, and can’t let your true self out. Do yourself a favour by spending time with the people who mean the most to you; your family and closest friends. Not the people you feel rubbish around. Not the people who bring negativity into your life. Not the people who let you down time and time again.
Ironically, I am also guilty of letting myself down. I cram too much in and don’t put myself first by not allowing myself enough time for self-care… Ahh, self-care, the word I see thrown around like confetti, and one of those phrases I believe is easier said than done. We relate it to slapping on a face mask, jumping in a hot bubbly bath with a cup of tea. But the self-care I’m talking about is more than that, more than just quick fixes, but more about the time we give ourselves to unequivocally put ourselves first. To stop stressing about doing this and doing that, or being this and being that. Accepting that no matter how hard you try, you won’t always be someones cup of tea. But that it really doesn’t matter, and being you is the best you can be. I remember something my Mum told me once, which has stuck with me and will forever… “You could be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there will always be one person who doesn’t like peaches”, and I don’t think this has ever felt more prevalent than now, and something that a lot of us probably need to tell ourselves more than we do already.
This post was seemingly more difficult to write than I first thought. So I hope the intentions of it have been relayed to all of you that have made it this far! This is not just a kick up the bum to myself to put me first, but also to each and every one of you that feels the same, and resonates with even just a bit of what I have said. Life is so fast paced, and spending more than just a second to take a step back and give yourself the room to breathe is always going to do more good than anything else.