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I wanna fall in love again...but this time with myself.

(Me and my older sister)

As a little girl I always compared myself to my older sister. She was smart, beautiful, and what seemed like talented at every single thing she did. And then there was me.

Dramatic? Probably. But when you're a child, everything seems like the end of the world.

I listened to songs like "Girl Next Door" by Saving Jane and just completely related. Although my sister was a cheerleader and in band. I was in neither.

I was as insecure as they came and at such an early age. I was bullied in school for many things, but mainly my looks and my interests. Aren't kids great?

I had friends. Quite a few actually. I had 'boyfriends' too. So it wasn't that I wasn't liked, but the insecurities were too big and far to deep for me to see any of the things that I had. All of this is to say, I've never loved myself.

They say that you should love yourself before you fall in love. Or some version of that. But that didn't happen for me.

(Me and my husband)

I fell in love with my first official boyfriend my sophomore year of high school. Think high school loves don't last? We just hit our fifteenth year together last January and are approaching our tenth wedding anniversary. Great right? It is! I absolutely adore my husband and the life we have made together.

So what's the problem?

The problem is, I fell in love with someone at fifteen.

Do you remember what you were like at fifteen? Despite what we believed, we did not know everything and we did not have everything figured out. I don't even have that at thirty-one. I was an insecure girl who had the approval, love and affection of a boy and I was completely here for it.

I would have given up the world for my husband when we started dating. Hell, I would have given up the world for him even two years ago. Some reading this may think, "yeah, duh, that's how you're supposed to feel'. But I disagree. Well thirty-one year old me disagrees.

It's not that I fell out of love with him, although we did go through a very hard time in our marriage. But what happen was the realization that I had NO idea of who I was or who I wanted to be. I looked at my twenties and realized I had been sleep walking through it.

It was at no fault of his. Well, not directly anyways. It had nothing to do with him as a person or things he said, it was because of his presence in my life. He knows this. We've since discussed it.

(My roomies and best friends back when I first moved out)

When I moved out of my parents house at nineteen, I moved in with two of my best friends. A few months later, he moved in with me. And that was it. Those few months (where he stayed at my place a lot) were the only ones I had as an independent woman (and he went straight from his parents to my place, so he had no independence).

At the time this didn't seem like a big deal. It wasn't a big deal until I was approaching thirty with two kids and married to my first real boyfriend.

Who are we? What are we passionate about? What are my thoughts on things?

I had spent so many years rebelling against the way I was raised and the views that they had, that I didn't even know what views were mine and what views were regurgitated from my parents or my husband.

2020 to me (at the time) was a year for change. It was a year for me to grow. But looking back, that was not my 2020. That year was actually a year of recovery and even some self reflection. 2021 was the year I began my growth. The year I began therapy. The year that I started publishing my books. The year I realized I don't need my husband, but want my husband in my life (a big revelation for me).

Although I'm still insecure and working on who I am and who I want to be, I have figured out my first step In moving forward. But sometimes to move forward, we have to step back.

So, I'm looking to fall in love again. Like I did when I was fifteen. But this time, I want it to be with the woman in the mirror.

(Me in 2009)

(Me in 2021)

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