Hello friends! I'm back with another piece to my self love series.
I once again am postponing a couple other fashion and beauty posts just to write another lifestyle post (this time, with all photos of me taken by Angie). But, I mean, hopefully this post can suffice for this week.
So, if you've been keeping up with my blog, you might've read my post from a week ago called How I View Myself. Basically, I discussed how other people in my life, primarily in high school, shaped how I view myself. How I see myself as an outcast and really depend on others for validation. Which, if you can't already tell, is arguably not a good thing.
And also, in my prologue to this series, I hinted about how I pushed away someone I loved. Someone I cared about. But also someone who unintentionally made me feel lost in my own life. I pushed away that person because I could no longer find ways to cope with my own anxiety and depression, and even his comfort couldn't help me. I was so far gone that all I thought about was my distrust with him and my insecurities within myself.
My pushing him away was in no way an impulse. It was no way meant to cause harm to him. I did it, as selfish as it sounds, to save myself. To dig deep into my heart and to find a version of myself who knows manipulation, who knows fraud, who knows her own self worth.
And this new version of myself, AKA Lydia 2.0, doesn't take that anymore. She doesn't allow for hurt, whether it's from a significant other or from a friend. And today, I want to discuss these relationships. I want to discuss why it's important for me to finally put my foot down and be "cold" to negative influences in my life.
I never want to give names on my blog when mentioning hardships, because my blog is a safe place, made to help others and to help myself. But I was inspired to write this post after having a discussion with coworkers while we folded clothes last night.
So, to give some background, ever since being on my own, I've been spending time with friends, old and new. I've been trying new things. I've admittedly caught feelings, but I'm keeping those stowed away. And I've not been invited to a lot of things my friends do. Which, like, I should be happy for them.
I spoke to one friend tonight about how I miss hanging out with her, but I'm happy for her since I see her snapchat story filled with clips from concerts and travels. That's just one example, of course. But, ever since high school, I start to feel discouraged and lash out at myself for, I don't know, not being cool enough to be invited to things. So this has been an ongoing problem.
But anyways, I was talking to my manager about how she seems so confident, and I started to ask her how she brushes off issues with friends and moves on with her life. And she told me that it's important to keep only those around that give you positive energy when you interact with them. If they're a negative part of your life, it's okay and healthy to be selfish and carry on without them.
See, I have the issue of caring a lot. And I mean a lot. This might seem like an odd problem to have, but basically, I try so hard to create and to keep friendships. I spend so much energy on people who don't give me the time of day. And that's the sad reality that I have to face. But, similar to my three year relationship, I need to let Lydia 2.0 swoop in.
As cold as it might seem, it really is healthy to cut out the negative people in your life. The people who make you feel like you're worthless, like you're not good enough. The people who make you feel ugly. The people who make you lose trust. That's what Lydia 2.0 has done so far, she's blocked out those people. And, as hard as it is, it's important for my mental health. Because dwelling and believing that I'm not good enough for others is not healthy. I need to believe I'm good enough for even myself.
So, what my manager mentioned about positive energy made me think--even some strangers who I meet at work or while I'm out and about can give me a boost of happiness. Any great encounter, even just seeing old classmates, puts a smile on my face. But I then started thinking about those around me. How do they make me feel about myself? What kind of energy do they carry? What kind of mood do they put me in?
I want to give you folks some examples of my more positive relationships. And for this part of the post, I will give names, because these people are amazing. Granted, these are not the only people I care about in my life. These are just some examples of people who boost my spirits in different ways.
First off, Angie. Angie is my sister in law. She's been in my life for...eight years now? I'm not sure. But she's here to stay. Angie and I bonded instantly, years ago. We love cats, crafts, and quiet places. Angie is the reason I named the blog Grins & Needles--because she taught me how to sew and knit. I've learned so much from Angie. She encourages me, as a fellow anxious being, to go out into the world and try things. To face my fears, to make art. I leave her house feeling proud of who I am and how much I've accomplished in the years I've known her. She's a positive light that is crucial in my life.
Next, my pal Cooper. Cooper was my twin sister's friend first, but ever since he and I teamed up to spook her with images of birds (I know, we're sometimes evil), we became really good friends. Cooper and I are always willing to hang out--we both equally make the effort to hang out with each other. We can be open about our thoughts about life and dreams, and can literally talk for hours on end about any ole thing. I feel like, in all honesty, Cooper and I bring out the best in each other. He and I went to some local shops in New Carlisle recently. There, we appreciated art, candles, and conversation with shop owners. Like I said earlier, even having a good interaction with acquaintances and strangers can leave me feeling really happy. So the fact that Cooper and I can stir up positive interactions with strangers wherever we go means the world to me. Plus, he's the type of friend that's down to try anything--we got glamorous manicures and felt shiny and new. Cooper is a friend that leaves me feeling cheerful, energized, and open to new interactions.
Next, my friend Vanessa. Vanessa is a coworker of mine who brings out the...weirder...side of me. Although it started out as mockery, the valley girl voice has ironically become the only voice we speak to each other in. She and I went on a quest to feel beautiful, so we got major hair transformations (which I documented in my blog post called Getting The Chop). She and I constantly joke about our failed attempts at finding love and how the only man we need is a spunky waiter she and I idolize from iHop. Vanessa and I have a very open and judgement-free friendship. Our conversations, whether about iHop or heartbreak, always leave me with a smile on my face. I'm happy to have such a goofy relationship with someone who's willing to spontaneously book a hair appointment with me.
And for a final example, my friend Megan. Megan and I have our rowdy times together. Whether we play intense games of mancala (with beans instead of pebbles), or we fall into a rage of laughter from eating too many fruit snacks, we keep our old traditions alive through our college years. Megan and I have been friends since the eighth grade and we love to reminisce on our embarrassing encounters through our teenage years. We've watched each other grow, and we always know how to make each other laugh. She's someone who makes me feel positive, even when she's away at college. All it takes is an iMessage game request for cup pong or mancala. It's the simple traditions in our friendship that fills me with so much joy.
I recently sat down with my friend Cassidy and she told me something crucial--be honest with the people who you care about. If something happens that bothers you, speak up. Know your worth enough to talk through it and create understanding. To keep these relationships thriving, it's important to always keep updated. Always maintain honesty. Always maintain respect.
If there's one piece of advice I can give you all regarding keeping only positive influences around you, it's this:
Be honest with yourself first and foremost. Note when a problem begins. Ask yourself if it's excusable. If it alters your view of yourself in a negative way, confront the source. Confront that friend, that significant other. If something--like in my case, trust--is broken (which in my case was more than once), it's time to take a step back and evaluate the situation from the outside. Evaluate how this affects you. How this affects your self worth. And if it's impacting you negatively, send in your own version of Lydia 2.0 to move past that toxicity. Be on your own for a while. Find yourself.
If I didn't mention you in this blog post, don't fret! If I'm keeping you around, it's because you're a positive energy in my life and you help me feel strong and happy.