One Year Ago.

A lot can change in a year. It’s funny how when we consciously think about it, we feel as though time is moving so slowly, but when we look back, we realize how quickly it is actually passing by and how quickly things are changing. This time last year I had just broken off my eight year long relationship with my ex. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I knew that it was something I needed to do. I had just finally started to feel like myself again, after a 6 month long recovery from my nervous breakdown. This time, however, I wasn’t completely my old self. It was as if the purpose of my breaking down completely was to reveal something deep inside me that had been kept hidden for a long time – my real self.

I knew the way I had been leading my life up until that point was obstructing my potential growth from within and I knew that there were still parts of myself that were dying to be revealed, only if I were willing to take the risks that were required of me to reveal them. I knew I had to make the decision to end things. And sometimes, although we may care for and love something deeply, it is not meant to be in our lives for more than the period of time that was needed in order to teach us something. My first love taught me just that. How to love. The innocence of it all. The purity of it all. The heartbreak of it all. But that was it’s only purpose. The rest was up to me to discover on my own. I needed to figure out who I was truly. My own identity. What I wanted from life. What I wanted to give back in return.

So a year ago, I decided just that. To give myself that chance. To move forward with my own personal journey and discover the beauty of loving myself. I’m not going to lie. It has been a difficult journey – one filled with loneliness, more heartbreak, anxiety, fear, sadness, and anger. But it has also been the most eye-opening, growth-producing, strength-building journey of them all. I was forced to push my limits. I had to step outside my own comfort zone and really depend on myself, something I had not done for I’m not sure how long since I had always attached my identity to someone else previously. I have gained wisdom that I would not have otherwise gained. I have learned what I dislike and what I do like. I have figured out what I want and do not want to include in my life on a daily basis. I have gone on adventures, taken chances, and faced many fears. I have tried the new and let go of the old. I have broken away from many old patterns of thoughts and replaced them with ones that were more positive and pure. I have learned what it is like to enjoy my own company and solitude. I have gone through periods of time when I was the only person I did have to lean on, aside from God. I’ve had to hold myself, love myself, and comfort myself in times of loneliness. But through it all, I have discovered who I am, and as I continue on this journey, I am still learning every day who that is.

It’s amazing how we can evolve. How making one choice can change our entire world, especially if it is the right choice. Previously, I always wondered how people changed. How one day they could just wake up and decide to lead a completely different life. But then I realized that change doesn’t just happen. It requires risk. It requires making choices. It requires sacrifice. And it requires a whole ton of effort. But then one day, you look back after a year, and realize how much you have growth and how much you have evolved and you begin to understand that it was worth it. That everything you went through was for a reason to bring you to this moment in time. That even the bad parts were part of the equation of helping you in your journey to get to this point.

I know sometimes we don’t get to make that choice for ourselves. Sometimes, life just happens and it doesn’t ask if we’re ready. So we are forced to evolve and adapt, but even then, I feel that everything does have its purpose and has a part in our stories.

I’m not entirely sure what the purpose was of this post, so don’t get mad at me if it doesn’t have some kind of deeper message or meaning that I’m trying to teach today. I think it’s more of a reflective post. One where I can just look back and notice how far I have come and to just take a moment and be proud of myself for accomplishing getting this far. I think it’s a post to encourage everyone really to look back and see where you were a year ago, two years ago, maybe even five years ago, and just be thankful that you are not where you used to be but that you are ever-evolving. Maybe you’re not even where you want to be yet, maybe you are still in the process, but be grateful for every single step you are taking towards moving forward, towards your calling, towards your own purpose and true self.

I am proud of myself and sometimes we have to be and that in itself is a great act of self love. Be proud of yourself. Be proud of who you are becoming. Of who you are now. And just keep going. One step at a time. Keep changing. Because changing means you’re alive and inspired, so don’t ever stop adding to who you are.


The Self Love Challenge:

Look back at least six months and see how much you have grown as a person, in your skills, in your relationship, in your career, etc. Then simply be proud of yourself. And be thankful for how far you have come.


Christina Ciro