After a breakup, everyone says just focus on you, do you. I’ve been in small, non serious relationships for the past 3 years now and every time one ends, my friends always tell me to focus on me for now. Now I can honestly tell you, I did not understand what this even meant up until now. I thought it was silly to even say, how does one focus on themselves? Am I supposed to sit around and think about myself and everything that I am? Is that what it means? After some much needed self reflection, I think I can articulate what it means.
There’s a lot that can transpire in a year. I’m sorry if this post goes in so many directions, I have a lot to say and I think it’s all going to make sense in the end but bear with me. A year ago, I can say that I relied mostly on the attention of others to feel better about myself. I put my focus on how others viewed me (whether this was attractive or funny or intelligent) and I let it consume me. Last year I remember my friend reiterating something to me over and over and the only reason I remember it now is because I too said the same thing to another friend this past week. Why is it we only realize things after the fact? I hear what others tell me but I never really listen until it’s too late. I guess this is just how I learn and I suppose I’m better off for that. We’ll call it a more authentic way to learn a lesson. What my friend had said to me was that I don’t need the affection of someone else to show me that I’m going to be okay.
Sure it’s nice to have someone to soften the sting of heartbreak. I go back and forth with whether I would welcome that right now or not. I’m not heartbroken, but I am working on myself. I don’t need someone for that. Needing someone else to make you feel better about yourself because of some guy who wronged you means that you are giving away more of yourself to someone else. You are continuously giving away parts of yourself every time you doubt your self worth. Giving pieces of yourself away is going backwards. Focusing on yourself allows you to be a little selfish, within a realm of still being a good person. It’s something that has taken me a long time to really, really understand. Anyone can tell you to focus on yourself. You need to take the time to realize what that means. Focusing on yourself means not letting others affect you. That’s what I’ve realized. Allowing yourself to be happy is what matters. I know it isn’t that simple. It’s hard to “allow” yourself to be happy but the first step is giving yourself time to be okay. It’s focusing on yourself.
Why is this so hard? Why do we feel the need to cover our hurt up with a band-aid? Why can’t I focus on myself? I am who I am and I’ve worked on myself for 24 years. This is something that I’ve never been able to do until now. Now that I’ve realized that focusing on yourself does not necessarily mean being alone but being okay with being yourself and being by yourself or being who you are in and out of a relationship. Knowing that things will work out and you’ll continue to grow and learn but right now you’re going to work on being okay. And that’s something that you can do whether you’re hurting or happy or single or in a relationship. Focus on you.