by Sarah Luna
A big part of living alone this past year has been learning to affirm myself (see self-affirmation). Previously, I had always had family and close friends living around me to encourage me when I struggled and to congratulate me when I triumphed. I depended on them for that positive feedback and reserved my own thoughts for focusing on how to improve.
Now each day I come home to a house occupied only by my thoughts. At first that meant I came home to a house of practical criticism. I would analyze every part of my day, pinpoint my shortcomings, and create a plan to improve the next day (this works wonderfully, by the way). I realized over time that I had to take responsibility for recognizing my accomplishments as well–that I needed to cultivate a sense of proper pride as well as the appropriate humility.
I knew my birthday would be the true test. I have never looked forward to my birthday. I had never planned anything for my birthday because the nagging thought always was: why would anyone want to celebrate with me? Luckily, my college friends were on top of things and got me out of that lil funk.
Like when they kidnapped me for my 19th birthday.
Or my 20th birthday, when I thought I was just getting dinner with my close friends and glorious Lechner turned up to salsa!
Or when my girls took me to get my ears pierced for my 21st birthday and surprised me with dinner again on my 22nd birthday.
You ladies rock.
But this year, I had to step it up and take responsibility for celebrating my own life. I found a salsa night, invited my new friends, encouraged them to come, and was delighted when they did! Even my friends who don’t like to dance came. They dressed up, came out to the Big Red Barn, tried a salsa here and there, and just overall made me feel like a person worth celebrating. Thank you, new friends.
While I did go out and celebrate with friends last night and I did purposefully put myself in the center of attention (and had a wonderful time!), I wanted to do something more solemn to commemorate the beginning of my adult life as an independent woman.
Stay tuned to hear about what three gifts I gave to myself.