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it's not me - it's you.

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

Name: Priya Chahal

Age: 27 years old

Occupation: Freelance

Current Location: Toronto, ON

I was laid off from my job recently and I have been really trying to take the time to ground myself and work on things and the people in my life that are important to me. Before all of this happened, I’ve realized that I really didn’t have any balance in my life. I would be on the extreme end of either being totally reclusive or never home partying all the time endlessly searching for the next thrill or distraction. I didn’t have a good head on my shoulders. And, after I lost my job, I definitely felt like I was derailing and started to seek outside of myself instead of within.

I was relying on other people to change my environment and to bring me happiness. I was reaching out for love from people that could never fulfill what it was I needed. And, honestly I feel like I relied on people so much because I had this almost romanticized impression of the world and how relationships were supposed to be like up until this point. I remember one evening I was sitting with my mom at home and we were talking about how I was starting to realize that there were a lot of toxic relationships in my life. And, at 27 I felt like I should have been able to recognize unhealthy relationships or people and be smart enough not even to entertain them. And, I remember my mom just looked and me and said, “Honestly Priya, the more you build a relationship with yourself and become your own best friend the easier it becomes to recognize and the easier it is not to let others affect you in a negative way no matter what their agenda or intentions may be.”And, truthfully what I’ve learned from all of this is that relationships are so complex, they have so many layers and as you get older they become that much harder [especially, when you’re going through a difficult time].

Because, another thing that I’ve realized is that amongst everything else that I had lost I also lost my sense of self, which I had worked so hard to gain all by surrounding myself with the wrong people. I didn’t know how to say no and was treating myself poorly. I was allowing people to treat me in a way that was degrading my self-worth and accepting them into my space with love, because I love to love the people in my life, only for people take advantage of that. It was only when I finally looked at myself in the mirror and was honest with myself and my reality that I was able to take a step back and separate myself from the negativity. By separating myself, I actually ended up isolating myself from everyone which I think I needed at the time so that I could truly start loving myself again.

My self-confidence is something I have always been so proud of because it took so many years to get there. I had so many years of insecurity and shame built up inside of me and to finally be able to break it all down is such a huge achievement. It’s sad how easy it can be to slip back down to that low because it almost becomes habitual to see yourself in that way. And, it wasn’t easy acknowledging that I was accepting people into my life that made me doubt that. So, now I am just trying to be solid again and free myself from other peoples opinions and judgements because you can’t please everyone. I want to really know who I am and be sure of that, which is something I am still working on.

By working on it, I am focusing on reconnecting and showing appreciation towards the people that have always been there for me and have given me love. I became too busy with people and times that in the moment were new and exciting. I wasn’t appreciating the people that are my rocks, instead I was out trying to seek appreciation from people who ultimately never knew me at all. But, life is going to test you and I feel like this was a test. A test that I am still in the process of learning how to manage and grow from by rediscovering who I am, as well as, surrounding myself with positive role models and relationships. Becoming my own best friend. I am excited to see what this year has to offer because I feel like by taking space for myself it has already started off so much more positively. I think certain experiences and certain people were meant to come in and out of my life and I don’t regret them. I’m learning how to grow from them.

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