CAGAYAN DE ORO

Wasted half of the year? Nah

IT'S already July, and I think I haven't made any real progress or accomplishments yet. But the truth is, I gained what I needed. It was a need that I've ignored for the longest time.

Before the year began, I shamelessly posted some of my goals this year: A Master's degree by the end of the semester, to get enrolled to another Master's degree in Manila, to go to this and that place, and others which I am a little embarrassed to write here.

I admit that it was a little humiliating to do so at first, especially if I fail to accomplish at least half of them.

Guess what: I really did miss half of them.

How did it happen?

It's easy to draw out the procrastination card, but I guess a series of depressing moments in life suddenly lined up in front of me that I could just let out a small yelp: difficulty at work, discouragements, abandonment issues, self-doubt, stress, and an emotional flux.

My self-esteem plummeted.

In a blink of an eye, six months have just been scratched off my gauge and that another semester is about to begin several weeks from now. I'm seriously lagging behind.

When I realized that I wasted so much time, I just fell into a deeper depression.

"What would people think of me now? I'll be branded as a failure," I thought to myself.

Motivation seemed to be so out of reach.

But I realized that even if I did cross out all of the goals that I yoked myself with, I don't think I will get rid of my self-esteem issues for good.

Even if I were to be given all the awards, rewards, and achievements that there is, I don't think I can still change what I think of myself: a failing self-image that has been there even before I planned out my goals.

In the middle of my failure, I learned that I had to learn how to love and appreciate myself as I am now -- because none of what I can accomplish can change my sense of worth.

I had to learn my value -- with or without the accomplishments.

Self-love was perhaps something I had to learn first: to learn my inherent value as a human being, as a girl, as a woman, as a 25-year-old, as an employee, and all other personas I take.

I have to take in that I deserve the same love, respect, and care as I give to others, and that I do not deserve the insults, criticisms, and bad talk that I often give myself whenever I mess up.

I deserved to forgive myself and to take things at my own pace.

Perhaps, all this time, I was exasperating myself because I refused to listen to my internal screams and struggles. I often ignored that I was about to breakdown and that my body and mind are faltering.

I was perhaps pushing myself too hard. I didn't deserve that kind of treatment.

No matter the weight of the medals and plaques I may win, none of it will tip the scales of my heavy heart. Perhaps, I will just throw away my laurel after all the applause I get from people. This is because my very self-image is dwindling.

People need to be kind to themselves as much as they are kind to others. I'm still trying to learn all of this, but I hope I'd get there very soon.

(rizsunio@gmail.com)


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