International Women’s Day – Trying to be proud of myself

Happy International Women’s Day to all my lovely ladies out there! Not too long ago I wrote a post about how much I admire the amazing women in my life. Thanks to them I have managed to still stand with my head held high today. I spent all day thinking about what to write on a special day like this, but I just couldn’t figure it out. So after a tiresome day at school with far too much calculating formulas and balancing chemical reactions, I decided to sit myself down at my favourite cafĂ© and have a drink. While scrolling through instagram, one of my very good friends Mari (withlove_skandihome on IG, if you love interior with a Scandinavian aesthetic, you’ll LOVE her feed) asked her followers to send her 2 reasons as to why they are proud of themselves..

Now I have always been insecure about myself. I don’t consider myself to be particularly good or special, so just the idea of finding 2 reasons as to why I am proud of myself was a challenge. Subconsciously I just automatically connect being proud of yourself or liking yourself with being self absorbed, which is SO not true. I mean, I feel like many people should tone it down with the ”why is this happening to me, I’m such an amazing person” attitude, but liking yourself and being proud of yourself is a really good thing, a thing I need to learn!

So as I was sipping on my matcha chai, while reading her question, I started wondering.. Why am I proud of myself? What have I done that could possibly be considered something to be proud of? But then I got reminded of a conversation I had a long time ago. A conversation where I was bringing myself down, as I usually do when people point out something that I accomplished. And then it hit me. In my short 24 years I actually have done quite some awesome stuff, especially in the span of the last 5 years..

At age 19, right before my 20th birthday I was the first one in my family to have a formal education and got my degree as a Veterinary Technician. One of my proudest accomplishments.

At age 20 I moved to a foreign country, a country I still reside in today.

At age 20 I lost my mother to cancer and I remember telling myself that I wouldn’t survive this. Grieving alone, living far away from my family, is probably the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. I was convinced I would never see the light and that I would never smile again. Almost 5 years later I’m still standing. I told myself I would never marry or have kids if she wouldn’t be there to witness it, but I’m opening up to these ideas again. Time has kicked my ass, I’ve grown bitter and my skin is probably about 6 inches thick, but allowing myself to fall in love with people and life again is making me happier and softer again as the days go by..

I went from not being able to speak a word of Danish to speaking it fluently in under 2 years. Danish is my third language and I am currently following an education that is taught in Danish as well.

I decided to take a huge leap of faith by starting a new relationship last year with an amazing guy who lives in Finland. Last year I spontaneously booked a plane ticket to go see him and I haven’t regretted that decision. I vowed to never enter a long distance relationship again, but the heart wants what it wants.

But what I am most proud of is the fact that in just 5 years I have managed to overcome my fear of the unknown. I took a leap of faith when I moved abroad, learned a new language, entered a new education and a new relationship. If I would have told myself this 10 years ago I would have laughed.

I used to be this perfectionist little girl who preferred to stay inside and preferably lived home with mom forever, but circumstances have driven me to do the opposite. It took my safe haven, my home, my mother, away from me and forced me to open my eyes and live in the real world.

You never know how strong you are until it’s the only option you have. I’m living proof of that and I am damn proud of it, because even when all the odds were against me, I still made the best of it. My strength is my superpower. And even though I’m cringing as I am writing this, because I dislike complimenting myself, I guess I can pat myself on the shoulder for writing this, too.

What are your reasons to be proud of yourself? I would love to hear from you!

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Overcoming adversity

Today is the day before going on an adventure in another country, the lovely country that is Finland. Today is also the day where I had a very tough exam prep for history, which I’ll be having exams for very soon. And today was also the day where I saw my psychologist.

I’ve been battling depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember now, and after having seen different therapists in the course of the past decade, I finally feel like the psychologist I’m seeing now really gets me. With the death of my mom, the big changes in my private life, exams coming up and changing schools, this past month or 2 have been difficult to get through. I’ve been doubting my judgement, consumed with self loathing and over all just very insecure about my schoolwork. Vet school is something I’ve wanted since I was little, and now that I’m actively working towards it, I find myself very discouraged at times, as if I’m not smart enough, or worthy of getting in.

My psychologist used the movie ”Inside Out” as a comparison of the different versions of myself living within this head of mine. She asked me to sit down on a chair and tab into the depressed and dark side of myself, and once I’d gotten there, I’d have to tell her how that version of myself made me feel. At first it felt very weird to me, to get to a dark place in my consciousness while I’m actually having an okay day. But then she made me sit on another chair, the more positive and empathetic part of me. She told me to drag myself out of that deep, dark place and find out what the empathetic version of me would tell my depressed version.

It was very hard for me to actually face myself, my depressed self, and tell myself good things about myself. I’ve been dragging myself down for so long, that it’s basically all I know. I’m not good at telling myself that I deserve to be happy, or that I’m worthy of having good things in my life. For some reason I always felt as if bad things were about to happen, and because of that, I convinced myself that getting excited about anything, would only result in disappointment, so it’d be better to just be miserable. My mom’s death is a prime example of that. Why bother getting married or having kids when she won’t be there to witness it all? All of my milestones would be pointless without her there.

But since seeing my therapist, I started realising how flawed that logic actually is. My mom might be gone, but I’m at the prime of my life. It’d be stupid to deny myself nice things just because she’s gone, or because I got told once by a bully that I’m disgusting and worthless. I’m slowly opening up to the things that I denied myself for a long time, and surprisingly enough, I start feeling things again, instead of running on autopilot. For the first time in years I chose myself over someone else, and to be quite frankly here, it’s hard. My depressed version still comes out often to tell me I’m selfish, and that my choices hurt other people. My psychologist told me to train my empathetic version to be stronger. To tell myself that it’s okay to choose yourself over others sometimes. So I guess that’s another part in my recovery process that I’ll have to work on.

It’s not easy doing this alone. But eventually I’ll get there. Babysteps.

 

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