“Journey towards self-discovery and growth”
This is my self-proclaimed tag-line. My life simmered down to a few words strung together in a catchy slogan. But, you may be wondering, what does this phrase actually represent? Well, since you asked, here we go…
At the tender age of 22 when I look back on my life in a state of self-reflection I see the Ashna who used to be a people pleaser. I look back and remember all the minutes, hours, days and years I spent craving acceptance from others. I saw categories all around, in which I was placed so elegantly by society. Rather than being seen as an individual who exudes positivity, strives to make a difference and someone who selflessly gives her time and talents to the world, I was trapped within the confines of a label. A label that many young women are also stamped with.
Growing up, I struggled with my weight since day one. I’ve had emotional breakdowns in dressing rooms. I’ve experienced loved ones telling me to my face that I was “too fat,” “too unhealthy,” “too this and too that,” but all that resonated with me was this: “I’m not good enough. I’ll never be good enough, unless…”
Unless what?! Unless I lose weight and fit the mold that my family and society wanted me to fit into? Unless I live my life according to the standards of the people around me? Unless I do exactly what my parents wanted me to do? That’s some BS! Why was it so hard for them to see me? It was like I was physically present but invisible to those around me. I felt trapped in a cage and someone threw away the key. No spares, no escape route.
Time went on. Years flew by and I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t live my life at the expense of other people’s never-ending laundry list of expectations.
“My worth shines from the inside out, rather than the outside in.”
With daily self-affirmations and starting on this journey of self-discovery has taught me to love myself. A concept I was so unfamiliar with. Self-discovery to me = learning every facet there is about yourself. What you like or dislike. Understanding your goals and dreams in life. What breathes meaning into your existence and sets your soul on fire? Growth to me = self-evolution. A state of constant change, a beautiful synergistic collision of molecules, atoms and elements that create your physical being. A word that allows you to accept who you were yesterday, prepare for who you are today and be astonished by who you’ll be in the future.
The past 365 days of my life…
I transitioned from a place where I craved the love and affection of others. Validation was huge for me, no matter where its source. Family, friends, peers, mentors, strangers etc.. the list goes on but the vicious cycle stops now. In the past year I’ve grown mentally and physically. I feel like I’m finally learning to accept who I am, what I want out of life and respecting my body as the vessel through which I experience life.
My 6-word memoir is my identity now. I take full responsibility for my own happiness and use each day to fuel my growth as an individual in this vast world. Rather than waiting for people to know me and understand me, I channeled all that energy and focus onto myself. Who knew being in a relationship with yourself could be so fulfilling! 🙂
All I can say now is this, loving yourself should be a priority. There is no one out there who has the same attributes, talents and gifts that you do. Take time each day to show some self-love to your mind, body and soul. Let your inner light shine! The universe awaits you.
“Inhale the future, exhale the past.”