as i looked in the mirror the other day (which is sort of unavoidable – a salon is LITTERED with mirrors every way you turn) i realized that my six-months-ago self wouldn’t recognize the girl in my reflection today. perhaps she’d look at me and think, “where do i know her from? she looks so familiar.”

i had blogged in the past asking how people go about changing the things they dislike in themselves — how to become a better person, and love who you are.

i used to love who i was, but somewhere in there, i lost that. for reasons completely clear to me, i started to self-destruct. my life started to come apart, and instead of hanging on to it all and trying to keep it together, i helped tear everything down. and for a few years, i sat in the rubble, and was convinced i couldn’t get any lower, and i was always wrong.

in an attempt to rebuild, i’ve searched for ways to find the girl that i loved in me, because i know she wasn’t completely eradicated. but it was nearly impossible. how do you start?

i figured as long as i remembered to treat myself like i would my dear friends, that would be a start. difficult, yes. i’m amazingly self critical. but not impossible. the virgo side of me that always tries to avert conflict by being nice when she shouldn’t had to go – i knew that much.

and when i started to concoct this plan, i sort of got caught up in my life. my days turned into 16 hours of constant busy, and i completely immersed myself in my school, my job. somehow, without knowing it, i slowly became a person i adored again. as soon as i stopped thinking of what steps to take to heal and i became too busy with my life to bother with details, it took care of itself.

my mom has a wonderful gift. she is the most giving person i know. she always put everybody before herself, and sacrificed a lot in the process. she’s the mom who would make her favorite pie, and once everybody had taken a piece and there wasn’t one left for her, she would say she wasn’t hungry anyway.

i always admired that quality, and i tried to emulate it. but what i realized recently is that i took that amazing trait too far. i was too giving, especially of people who didn’t deserve it. i think a part of my subconscious figured that if i showed people who were selfish and awful some kindness, that it might make them see the beauty in that and somehow change the way they behave. but instead of any of that, i spread myself way too thin, gave far to much to people that were undeserving, and eroded myself in the process.

i look back at some of the people i gave too much of myself for, and i’m stupefied that i ever spent time on or cared about any of them to begin with. the arrogant, the selfish, the spiritually hideous people of my life that i treated far far better than i would ever treat myself. and none of those people ever benefitted in the way i hoped, they just took and took. and i let them, and kept giving.

once i saw this in myself, i wondered how a seemingly wonderful gift in my mother became a horrible defect in my life. why didn’t i realize this ten months ago?

i wouldn’t say i’m callous now, but i don’t hesitate to call people out, or tell them to fuck off when necessary. i’d rather spend an afternoon with myself than a weekend on someone worthless and self-centered. and in doing that, i saw that girl that i love. and she’s back in a big way.

it’s funny how once you change something inside, that strangers respond to you differently, like they see the light that emits from you once you embrace yourself, faults and all.

i will no longer give more of myself than i will get back (except to dear friends, who end up returning the favor.) i will be alone before i spend time and energy on people who are incapable of being grateful. and instead of pie, i will make cupcakes. and none of the assholes i know can have any.

i conversation i actually had:

me: do you know something i was thinking about that i just don’t understand?

dg: mathematics?

me: sunny? your husband’s an asshole.