the yes or no

A long time ago, I was asked 2 questions that stopped me dead in my tracks: Would I be friends with myself? Would I date myself?

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The answer to both was no. I know, so dramatic—but hear me out. At the time, I was very confused about how I felt about myself. The way we feel about ourselves is more important than anything else because the first thing that we do is project that on to our surrounding relationships. They are our outlet. I was extremely irritated by my faults and I wasn’t clear on what my solid traits were. I slowly began to question who I loved genuinely and who I loved for tolerating me. Yes, we do this. I know, I was in bed for a week when I found out. The weird part was that I was dating someone at the time, so you can imagine how confusing that was for me. Why is he here?? Shit, what if he finds out I wouldn’t even date myself! What if my friends find out I suck? Ay caray. I’m going to lose everything.

I couldn’t pin any feelings down for very long and I would feel the constant shifting of what I wanted. My feelings weren’t stable. I was constantly questioning whether I was being “real”. So I would fall in love with the people around me and then be irritated by them out of the blue. I wanted to be loyal to my feelings, but which one was true?! The shit hath hitteth the fan-eth.

Was I being sneaky? How do I make it stop? I invested a great deal of time into figuring this out. It’s best to keep this little epiphany to yourself. This isn’t work for anyone else to do or understand, kiddo. It hurt, it was uncomfortable, and it was a cringe fest the whole way through, but I did it.

Over time, I would remember the questions lingering in the back. I would simply respond to myself without much analysis. I knew that my response was still no, but I was working on becoming that person so I was less anxious as time went by. I recently felt extremely aggravated by a number of situations in my life so I sat down to write out who I was annoyed at, what my excuse was, and how it tied back to me. I knew I wasn’t dealing with things, I knew I had things buried inside, and I didn’t want to lash out. It was too much of a coincidence that everyone was annoying me all at once. Soon after, these questions found their way to me again and as I looked at my exercise, I was happy to have a different answer prepared.

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Yes, I would date myself. Actually, if I were a guy, I’d sleep outside my window, with a bag full of super large fries from McDonalds and a box of chocolates. Yes, I would be my friend and I only know that because I am my friend now. I learned to let things slide when I needed it and I make sure to call sh*t out too, but I’m here. Everyday, I’m here with me. And sometimes, I don’t like me, but I’m still there. I still listen, like I did with the exercise. The ability to say this out loud gives birth to an invisible crown. A kind, loving crown that I wish all of us could wear.

So would you? Would you dish out your dead-body stories? Would you expect? Would you trust? Would you bet on yourself? Would you inspire yourself?

Would you trust blindly? Dance softly? Would you feel safe? Would you love yourself like they do in the movies?

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If you aren’t really sure if you’d trust yourself, then find out why. You can feel this way now, but you can’t live with that now that you know. We should all want to be our own friends. We should all want to date ourselves. We don’t have to change who we are,  but there is a certain kind of level that we need to be on so that we can admit being proud of ourselves. We should be our own standard and if we are not there yet, it’s okay. It’s on this path that everything begins to make sense. It’s on this path where the fog begins to clear. You need to realize that you are worth it. Because whatever image of yourself you’re carrying, the people around you are tolerating. This is not good now and won’t be good later. We can’t just tolerate. Life is about more, and you know that. There is nothing thrilling and scary in tolerating. So, if you aren’t too tied up today with bullsh*t and drama, put your sassy pants on and let’s walk.

This question is not one to take lightly and if you bench it, the only guarantee I have is that it will visit you again. You may need to let go of some strings along the way. You might be nervous to grab on to others, but the fires that you start will light the way. I promise. There is a better team waiting for you on the other side.

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Tu Tone

About Antonella Saravia

Antonella is a New York based writer from Nicaragua.

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