The site going down for as long as it did feels like part of the last gasp of an awful time of my life coming to a close. Until now, I simply haven’t had the resources to do things like pay a large invoice like the one for my host, even a yearly one. Along with finally securing a good and lucrative job that plays to my strengths and fosters a healthy environment, my mental and emotional turbines have spun up to a good level of power. Above all, I’ve done a good deal of work in being more gentle with myself, and remembering that, no matter what I or anyone else might say, I’m only human.

Even now, at times, I struggle to refrain from being hard on myself to the point that people say I am “beating myself up.” Home and work life are both in a form that remind me that it’s okay if I don’t have all the answers, or insufficient spoons to do a particular chore. It’s much better in the long run to admit that you don’t know than pretend you do and be found out later. That’s part of the problem I have with the whole “fake it ’til you make it” thing — I’d rather be known for who I really am than have people engage favorably with a false front conveying false knowledge and false confidence.

I’ve dealt with those people. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

Showing up as myself, the person I’ve been working hard to be for over a year, is something to which I’m unaccustomed. My habits have always been to make more room for others, turn myself down for others, get out of the way of others. I’ve always seen putting myself first as too selfish, too disagreeable. Some of my experiences pointed towards that being the truth, and I bought into that as the rule, rather than exceptions. But with a little thought, and the growth I’ve experienced, it’s clear that looking after my own best interests is neither disagreeable nor selfish in the way that taking all of the cookies or drinking all of the beer is selfish.

If I am looked after, I can produce, write, and be there for others.

I’m the only person I can rely upon to look after me.

Therefore, to look after myself is not selfish.

That’s been the crux of this corner upon which I turn. Giving more thought to myself, my words, and my actions — it’s still a bit new to me. I still need reminders that my feelings and opinions are just as valid as those of the people around me, and that I am allowed to occupy the space in which I exist. I’ve had trouble believing that in the past. Some of my more recent experiences could have reinforced the notion that I am unworthy of friends, affection, or success. It’s taken a lot of effort to fight back against those feelings, those learned behaviors. I’m still unlearning them, and teaching myself new ones. I don’t want to perpetuate old habits, pattern arguments, or anything of the sort.

As far as I’ve come, as much as I’ve done, it’s all just part of turning a corner.

And turning a corner means that the journey, and the work to make it a survivable, lucrative, and memorable one, is far from over.

Tuesdays are for telling my story.