Commitment, Or My Lack Thereof
When I picture the concept of commitment, it’s usually in relation to both the people and the tasks in my life that need fulfillment. In other words, I’ll dedicate hours of my time and the vast majority of my energy to hanging out with my friends. I make it a priority to ensure they’re doing well and offer any support they may seek, even if that means seeing people back to back until I feel mentally and physically exhausted. I’ll stay up until the late hours of the night during the school year, so I can write and finish 6 to 8 page essays from scratch, read several chapters of a lengthy book, or study arduously for huge tests with the help of my neon colored flashcards. It wasn’t until COVID-19 forced me to pack up my dorm room and reluctantly leave behind my social life in mid-March, that I truly paid attention to my inner thoughts and feelings without all of the usual external noise surrounding me. Because of this, I realized that out of all the people and the things in my life I always dedicated myself to wholeheartedly, I never made much of an effort, if any, to commit to taking proper care of myself.
Prior to this life altering circumstance, the bulk of my mental space was occupied with anxious thoughts about the ways in which others perceived me; worrying that nothing I ever said or did would be good enough and that everyone I know and love secretly perceived me as a burden. I constantly questioned my self worth based on all of the disastrous dating experiences that left me feeling like I was simultaneously “too much” and “never enough”. I convinced myself there was something inherently wrong with my personality and my physical appearance that would make someone quickly move on and focus their attention on another person who could offer everything I seemingly couldn’t, and more. I became so wrapped up in this cycle of toxicity and insecurity that it became second nature to me, and once that realization dawned on me, I knew if I didn’t start trying to break out of those bad habits soon, I would end up losing myself entirely. I’m not going to lie; the beginning of this new journey was so fucking hard. Not to mention, I was also in the process of moving on from someone who lost feelings for me months before. All I could bring myself to do was listen to Heather by Conan Gray on repeat for weeks while bawling my eyes out. I knew my obsession with impressing that individual and trying desperately to earn their approval did more harm than it did any good in the long run. I still greatly valued my friendship with them, so I learned that instead of unnecessarily draining myself with such a detrimental endeavor, I had to find the courage to experience the acceptance and love I craved within my own self, and stop expecting anyone else to provide what I’d long been missing. After all the pain I dealt with, I finally understood that depending solely on others to provide the confidence and reassurance I desired was a terrible thing to do, especially when the people I relied on for those things are the very ones who failed to meet my (unfair and extreme) expectations. Once I began deserting my unhealthy habits and instead worked on developing better ones, it started to feel like a weight was gradually being lifted off of me; as cliché as that sounds.
Now that it’s been a few months, I can proudly say that for the first time in a long time, I’m not letting my negative perceptions of myself, including usual physical insecurities such as my acne, the size or shape of my body, or any other intrusive and inaccurate thoughts stemming from those specific insecurities, along with invisible ones, define the way I see myself. Instead, I’m choosing to notice and appreciate all the ways in which I am beautiful and wonderful that aren’t uniquely rooted in my physical appearance. Along with this, is an understanding that I am the only human being that gets to determine my worth, and no one else’s beliefs should have any influence. I’m far from perfect, simply because perfection doesn’t exist since humans are inherently flawed. Nevertheless, no matter how many daunting and seemingly impossible obstacles are thrown my way, I will continue to devote my time and my energy not only to the people I cherish and the assignments that require my attention, but also to reminding myself how important self love and self care are in order to keep growing into versions of myself that I continuously respect and admire.
Sofia is a Sophomore VMA major with a concentration in Screenwritng at Emerson College. For the last two years of her high school experience, she was part of her school’s Journalism team and wrote articles on school events and general pop culture news for their website. She hopes that the pieces she writes for PieFace will resonate with readers and help them feel less alone if they’re struggling with any mental health issues, and hopes to further normalize creating open conversations about mental health related topics.