How I Learned to Take a Step Back and Focus on Myself

How I Learned to Take a Step Back and Focus on Myself


2018 and into 2019 = REBIRTH

2018 Recap

Going into 2018 I was super optimistic that it was going to be my year. My first full year living on my own, going to college, a wonderful new job, and new memories to be made. However, in my case, some things happened and some did not.

The first couple months of 2018 went by pretty smoothly, but it also become excruciatingly hard for me as the days went on.

I started slacking on every aspect of my life–from getting up and going to school to hanging out with friends, and, most importantly, taking care of myself. As 2018 was moving along, I moved into a new apartment in the  summer and met incredible new friends.

Half of 2018  had gone by, and I was not the same person I used to be. I partied every night and spent my money on things that I didn’t need to. I was careless and got suspended from school. I became unstable financially and depression hit hard.

Throughout the first half of the year, I lost my absolute best friend. I was in what I thought was a good relationship, but it turned out to be extremely hard and emotionally draining. I was also in the ups with my current roommates, and I felt so unsure of myself. More importantly I was disappointed in myself.

Why I Took a Step Back

Once I realized that I was spiraling, I knew things weren’t okay. I wasn’t okay. I knew that I put going out and partying every night first instead of my career, school, and most importantly myself.

I knew I needed to change, not for everyone else but for myself. I opened up to my mom about what I was going through, and most importantly I asked for help. Knowing that I had my family and my friends who I could confide in truly made the world’s biggest difference for me.

How I Learned to Take a Step Back

The last half of 2018 was my recovery in a sense that I knew I needed to spend more time focusing on myself. This is when I learned to take a step back and that it was okay to take time for me.

Here are some of the most important lessons I learned during this time of my life:

Realizing it’s okay to not be okay: Accepting that things aren’t okay was my biggest battle. I always wanted to act like things were okay and just go with the flow. However, in the back of my mind I knew it wasn’t, and it was only hurting me. I stopped sleeping well, I would binge eat or only eat one meal a day or spend most of my money on alcoholic beverages.

My closest friends and my family kept telling me that I needed to slow down, but I didn’t. I kept going until I was ready to stop. It wasn’t until the end of summer that I realized that I needed to stop and I wasn’t okay.

Getting help: It’s hard to reach out to anyone about needing help, especially for me. The one person I truly could reach out to was my mom. She was my biggest help. We would talk just about every day and she would always give me the reassurance that I can get through anything, if I try. So, I did just that. I went back to counselling and started talking to someone. Once I started talking to someone and having that outlet, each day got easier for me.

Finding Inspiration:  When  summer was coming to an end and my friends started going back to school, I knew I needed to put a focus on my career, the one thing I was most passionate about and knew I could strive in. I minimized the amount of days I went out and focused on work. Fashion was my outlet and it’s something I put a lot into. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, and I did.

By this time, 2018 was ending and everything was starting to look up for me. I wasn’t dreading getting out of bed anymore, I started thriving in my work, being more cautious  with spending my money on unnecessary things. And at the same time I learned how to manage my social life more smoothly.

I began to take more care of myself rather than putting myself off. Skipping nights going out and giving myself more hours in the night to sleep, getting things ready to go back to school in the near future, and being more open and true to myself were all things I worked on.

The last thing I did for myself was that I joined The Quiet Nonsense as an intern in marketing because I knew that as I continued to grow my career in fashion merchandising, I wanted to learn more about marketing. Once I joined the TQN team, I took an opportunity to start writing again after  four long years on pause. I realized that I missed every aspect of writing, and once I finished my first article I felt a feeling that I hadn’t felt in a while: being proud of myself.

Where I am now

Now I am better than ever! Knowing that I was able to focus on myself and get my ducks in a row truly helped me in so many ways. I gained friendships that I never imagined I would, I reconnected with my closest friends and started seeing them more, I got a promotion at work and transferred a lot closer to home, but most importantly, I was happy with who I was becoming.

It wasn’t an easy process. I definitely slipped up a couple times when I began to put myself first, but in the end, it was extremely worth it.

This is me mid-September (top). I was finally at a moment where things were good and were starting to become a lot better for me. I still had bags under my eyes but nothing makeup can’t hide… am I right? I was still struggling then, but things were also easier and getting better.

The bottom photo is me now. Looking at these two pictures, I can say without hesitating,  that I am 100% a different person. I am without a doubt a lot happier with who I am. I’m no longer disappointed in myself. I realized that the hardship I went through in 2018 was only to show me that I am  much stronger than I thought. I’m a better person now than I was months ago and I can safely say that who I am now is someone I am happy to see grow.

Never Give Up

To every person, this was only part of my struggles that I have gone through. At one point, I did feel  like giving up, but I knew that if I gave up, I would have given up on everything I believed in, which was myself. So, I didn’t–I fought day in and day out to become better and the ending result was empowering. I knew that I needed to focus on myself, and so I did. I realized that not always being okay was okay, and I let that be my motivation to be better.

Don’t think that you can’t take time for yourself because you absolutely can, and it’s eye-opening to see the change you created. You learn so much stuff about yourself and that’s rewarding. Life is hard and you’re faced with multiple challenges, but, in the end, taking time to focus on yourself is the most important challenge you can conquer.  



About The Author…

Courtney is a Texas girl with a bunch of city in her. She’s huge into Fashion and dabbles in a bit of Marketing as well. She love anything that has to do with dogs, and you can catch her binge-watching any crime show or at the nearest concert. If she’s not at work that is. She joined The Quiet Nonsense to get more inside/knowledge on Marketing, which in-turn she just fell in love with it! Ever curious as to who is on TQN Twitter? It’s her!  She was given the opportunity to be one of TQN Social Media Managers and it has definitely been something that she has come to enjoy. She also does a little bit of writing for TQN, which has been a joy to get back into writing.

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Photo and graphic credit: Anne

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