Be Valued

“There’s a difference between being liked by a man & valued by a man. A lot of guys like you. Not many value you. Be valued” -unknown.

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My friend and I were talking about being valued one day. He told me that I value being valued. I had to stop and think about what he was saying for a moment. Then he brought up the quote up above and I realized I do value being valued instead of simply being liked by a guy.

You see, it is easy to be liked by someone. It is so easy for someone to say the right words to make you fall for them. Then you begin to imagine yourself with them. However, it’s not really them you like, it’s the words. You lose yourself in what they say. You lose yourself in how smooth of a talker that person is.

But where are the actions? Where are the meaningful gestures? Where are the moments that suddenly pop up and remind you just how much you love that person?

They aren’t there. It is a plateau of settling and being content. You tell yourself it is okay because you both are in love and not all love is the same. True, not all love is the same, but how can a relationship thrive if you are not being valued by the one who loves you?

I thought I was valued. I would wake up to good morning messages or messages that signified how much my ex cared for me.  Looking back, I realized all of the messages said the exact same thing. There was no depth. Just surface words of a smooth talker saying things that would make me happy. I never felt more than liked. I never found those meaningful gestures or the moments where I would randomly smile out of the blue due to a fond memory. It was so easy for me to walk away from the relationship because I wasn’t happy. I was so content with being liked and not valued.

To be valued means you are important to the person. They care about you sometimes more than you care about yourself and they constantly remind you of how much they care for you. They listen to you. They make sure you’re okay. They go out of their way to calm you down when maybe things aren’t going the best that day.  Out of the blue they will hold your hand or turn your head in their direction and kiss you. Not in a ‘let’s start a make-out session right now” kind of way, but a meaningful kiss that is usually followed by a smile.

They value your beliefs. They value the little things about you that make up who you are. They are the ones who will look you in the eye when they know you’re upset. They are the ones who will stop everything and make you talk to them instead of shrugging off whatever it is that is bothering you.

It’s a weird feeling. I sound absurd for saying that, I know, but it is a weird feeling. By that, I mean it is weird when you’ve never experienced what it is like to truly be valued. It is such a great feeling, but such a new feeling at the same time. To know I matter that much to someone is a feeling almost indescribable. There are moments I have to take a step back and keep myself from getting all smitten because of how happy and how much I feel like I am wanted.

To be valued. To be wanted. To be of importance to someone. Sounds great, doesn’t it? I’d rather be valued than to be liked by many guys who truly don’t value me. Find someone who puts their words into actions. Find someone who makes you their everything and means it. Find someone who makes you feel important and not just convenient from time to time.

Be valued and don’t settle until you are.

Living with Anxiety

Anxiety isn’t a cute trend. Anxiety isn’t something I use as a crutch.

“Do you trust me? Do you hate me? Did I upset you? Why aren’t you speaking to me?”

All of the questions I hear when people notice that I’m not in the right head space. It isn’t that I have trust issues. I actually do not hate anyone. People sometimes upset me, but I’m not one to hold it against them. Sometimes I just need me time to try and calm down.

I get nervous. No, not the nervous you feel before a big exam, or when you are about to go perform onstage. This nervous is never-ending. Well, let me take that back. The nervous feeling comes and goes.  By that I mean, when I start overreacting and worrying is when the nervous feeling comes full swing.

It hits me deep in my stomach. It’s uncomfortable. I can tell that my mind is about to go into overdrive, and majority of the time there is no way to control it. I get to the point I put myself into a depressive state and it is so hard to snap out of it. I think about negative scenarios that are completely made up in my head. I think the worst of situations. I get so out of control that I impulsively react.

When I impulsively react it is usually because I’m so worked up that I am scared. I am afraid that I’ve pushed someone away or that I’ve done something wrong to that person. In reality, I haven’t done either. Most of the time, the people have no idea what I’m freaking out over. It is like I am making a mountain out of a molehill, but there isn’t a molehill. I’ve made it up.

This is the moment when people assume I have trust issues. It’s hard explaining to someone that I don’t have trust issues. To be honest, I am probably the most trusting person I know (which isn’t always a good thing).  They don’t understand that my episode isn’t due to a lack of trust, it is because I need to hear or read in a message that everything is okay.  It is crazy how much calmer I will get after knowing that everything is okay.  I can feel myself come back to reality and everything goes back to normal, as normal as it can be at least.

I also have to factor in social anxiety. The tag team duo on Jailynn’s life. I never realized how bad my social anxiety was for the longest time.  When I am walking somewhere on campus and I hear people laughing behind me, I panic. I instantly think that they are laughing at me. One time at Buffalo Wild Wings I mapped out the best way to get to the bathroom so I wouldn’t have to encounter people just in case I accidentally tripped or have to say ‘excuse me’ to get passed them.

I used to believe the reason why I didn’t raise my hand in class was due to me being shy and quiet. I am a very quiet person at times however, I realized there were different motives as to why I sometimes remain quiet in class. I am afraid to be called on and say the wrong answer and then have the class laugh at me or make comments about me. I get so nervous when the professor randomly calls on me. I always say, “Um I don’t know” and then I give an answer that is usually correct. Most of the time I do know the correct answer. I get too afraid to say it. I’m learning though. I’ve been speaking out more especially if they are opinionated based questions.

Overall, I am slowly progressing. I write in a journal every night. I make blog posts which helps clear my mind. I even paint or draw mandalas to get my mind concentrated on something else. Some days are harder than others. Some days I truly do have a clear mind and it is lovely.

People may not understand my mind. To be honest, sometimes I don’t understand it. All I know is I am who I am and I’m learning.  Anxiety isn’t a cute trend. Anxiety isn’t something I use as a crutch. It’s part of me whether I like it or not. What means the most to me is people hearing my story and understanding they aren’t alone. We are all in this together (yeah I know HSM reference) and even on the hardest days we can still be over-comers.

My Number 1 Struggle

Some days, I don’t always like my body. Some days, I do.

My number 1 struggle is my body.

No matter how many times I give myself pep talks, no matter how many times I’m told I am perfectly fine just the way I am, I just cannot let go of the way I look.

I have never been skinny. I have never had a thigh gap. I definitely do not have the Kim Kardashian body either. My bra size is not impressive to some people, and whenever I buy bathing suits my top is smaller than my bottoms.

Surprisingly, I don’t actually eat more than I should. I cut red meat out of my diet, I’ll eat it occasionally though. I am big on raw veggies and I love fruit. I exercise, maybe not as often as I should, but I make sure to get one nice walk in everyday.

Sure, I am not the healthiest nor the fittest person. I know that, yet I still cannot get past my looks. I feel like my friends get aggravated with me when I say I look like a potato. The thing is, I’m not joking about it. Some days I literally feel as if there is nothing pretty about me. I’ll change my outfit up to 5 times in the morning because the other 4 outfits made me feel insecure in some way.

Yet, this isn’t an everyday feeling. There are days I feel hot and attractive. As Beyonce would say, “I’m feeling myself” on those days. Then there are other days I truly feel as if I am not even able to look in the mirror and tell myself that I am beautiful. If I did, I would be lying because deep down inside I wouldn’t feel one ounce of beauty radiating from me.

I compare myself to other girls so much. It’s almost ridiculous. In all honesty, it probably is ridiculous. People say you should love and embrace your body. Trust me, I am trying. I have my good days just as well as my bad days.

The more I think about why I seem to have a negative mindset about my body, the more I think it boils down to one thing. The belief that I am not as beautiful as other girls. It’s a common idea, and it happens to so many people.

What is really odd is that we all have our own idea of what beautiful is. My friend believes that when she is fit and she is able to run that is when she is the most beautiful. Another friend believes that when he can see the improvement of him working out at the gym, he feels unstoppable. No one can ruin his mindset that day because he feels great about himself.

That leaves me wondering, what do I see beautiful about myself? What is my moment where I feel confident and no longer feeling insecure about myself? I realized that when I am rocking lipstick is when I feel confident. I feel beautiful. I feel as if for once people are stopping to look at me because I am walking with my head held high as if I just stepped out of a magazine.

One major problem: I don’t wear lipstick everyday. Also, lipstick can sometimes be annoying. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely LOVE my liquid lipsticks from Colourpop, but there are certain days I don’t want to rock my lipstick. I’d rather sport a tee and some leggings.

Looking back on the days where I feel amazing, is it truly the lipstick? Or is it actually me feeling beautiful and confident all on my own? Maybe the lipstick is just an added bonus. I tell myself it is the lipstick, but in reality it is me feeling great about myself and my looks. If I can do that on lipstick days, why can’t I do that on non-lipstick days?

If I would take a few seconds out of my day to look in the mirror and tell myself that I am beautiful and manifest that idea I could conquer the world. Okay, I could conquer my struggle of talking down about myself, not so much the world. Either way that is one huge step for Jailynn and a million more positive steps will come later on down the road.

If you are reading this and you feel the way I do, find what makes you feel beautiful, confident, or even sexy. Then try to channel it into your everyday life. Or maybe if you already do, (Props to you!) tell yourself that you are beautiful. That you are handsome. That you are perfect for who you are and you should never feel ashamed of who you are.

We may not always like something about ourselves, but to the people who love us those are things that don’t even matter to them. They love us for who we are. So when our friends, family, or our significant others are telling us that we look amazing, let’s start believing it. Trust me, it’s easier said than done. I get it. I’m about to be 21 in the fall and I’m still learning. However, with time you’ll start to believe that you are beautiful and loved for just the way you are.

 

The Wall I’ve Built With Anxiety

I built this wall. Now I have to be the one to tear it down.

I know that I have a wall built up.

I know there isn’t anything wrong with having a wall because it’s nice to be cautious.

I didn’t know that I have a wall built with the help of anxiety.

I’m used to having walls guarding my heart from being hurt. I’m used to staying cautious of guys I’ve talked too because it is all centered around my fear of being hurt. It’s normal. Once you’ve been hurt it isn’t the easiest thing to trust that person again let alone another person you are thinking about being in a relationship with.

Trust me, I know all too well.

The more walls I build seems to be better. I mean if a guy truly likes me he will take time to break past those walls, right? Maybe not. I used to think that if a guy who cared for me then he would take the time to break down my walls, but recently I’ve realized that my walls aren’t just normal walls. There are twinned with anxiety.

Not only is a guy supposed to break down my walls, but then they have to get around the overthinking, the irrational thoughts, the negative scenarios I’ve already made up in my head before he even has a chance to get to the wall itself.  Some people may say, “If that guy does care, then he will do all of that.” That could possibly be true, but let’s add in the fact once I get too deep in my overthinking I push people away. It’s like the guy is on an episode of Wipe Out trying to get to me.

It’s not that I try to make him jump through loops. It’s not that I want him to have to break down my walls either. He wasn’t the one who caused this in the first place. I sometimes don’t even realize how guarded I keep myself which is been hurting me more than it has been helping me.

I did not realize that once I let the overthinking take over then it has won that battle. I overthink. I make myself upset. I assume the worst. I become irrational. Then I unintentionally push them away. By trying to ‘protect’ myself, I am pushing away people that care about me.

Never in my life would I try to hurt someone intentionally. I could not imagine the hate and anger I would have to feel in order to make someone feel so bad about themselves. Yet, I’ve been doing it every time I have my wall built with anxiety as a layer of protective support. As weird as this sounds, whenever I am in my overthinking stage I let that take control of me and I stop thinking for myself. I am already convinced that I’m going to get hurt again, or that the guy is just playing me. Instead of being a double texter and using my communication skills, I go head first and react with the irrational thoughts.

When I first realized that I build walls with anxiety, it hurt me. It hurt me because I have done such an amazing job at pushing people away. If there were to be an Oscar given for the girl who is best at pushing people away, I would win without a doubt. Sadly when it comes to pushing people away, I don’t even give them a chance. I don’t even give myself a chance. How can I expect someone to break down my walls when I haven’t even managed to take control of it myself?

Great question, right? Doesn’t exactly sound like the easiest task in the world, but I’m willing to try. I can’t keep letting overthinking win. I can’t hurting people and pushing them away. That’s not me. That will never be me. I am not letting myself become so clouded with negative thoughts that I lose the heart and soul of who I am as a person.

I built this wall. Now I have to be the one to tear it down.

 

No Means No

We say no because we have a right and we shouldn’t feel guilty for saying it.

Why do we feel bad for saying no? There shouldn’t be a guilty conscience associated with our right to say no. Could there be a chance it isn’t our guilty conscience?

Maybe, it isn’t even us at all.

Maybe, it’s the people.

For the longest time, I would feel guilty for saying no. I would easily give in instead of sticking with no. Usually they were just favors or something small. No, it wouldn’t have killed me to do those favors, but I had other obligations, and by me saying no was a way to keep my mind focuses on a what I needed to finish. 

However, not everyone who says no to something are for small favors. Someone can say no to the act of sexual activities. Someone can say no to drinking or drugs. Someone can say no to anything they do not want to do, and they should not have to feel guilty for saying it. 

Whenever I say no, repercussions somehow follow. Either the person gets mad and has a pity party, or they just assume I’ll change my mind. Or in the words of one person, “I guess I like being in control and it didn’t occur to me that I was taking advantage of you saying no”. 

Typically, I’m a reserved girl. I don’t go out of my way to put myself in a situation that is out of my comfort zone, but to some of my friends that’s hindering me from having a great social life. Why should it matter? Why is it that I have to follow the rules of others when I know what I want and they don’t? 

I have every right to say no. I have every right to stick to my gut feeling and not place the blame on myself because I decided to do what was best for me. 

Just like I have every right to say no, so does everyone else. No one should need convincing to change their mind. No one should be degraded for saying no. No one should fear repercussions for saying no. No one should be taken advantage of, whether that is sexually, emotionally, or even because they have a kind heart, because they said no. 

Despite of contrary belief, we don’t say no to upset someone. We don’t say no because we are lazy, selfish, or inconsiderate. We do not say no because you think we are being a tease or a flirt. 

We say no because we have a right and we shouldn’t feel guilty for saying it.

Remember Who You Are

I had a guy tell me he wanted to remain friends because we were on ‘different’ wavelengths romantically. What he said isn’t rocket science. From reading in-between the lines I knew he did not want to be in a relationship with a girl who wasn’t ready for sex. Although I had told him when we first started talking that I was not ready to have sex, he figured things would change. Well they didn’t, and that’s when he decided I was no longer worth his interest.

I was mad. I was upset. I spent my morning crying when I read that text message. I placed the blame on myself. I began to question why I even tried to date in a ‘hook-up’ culture.  I found myself wondering why I decided to stay a virgin. What was the point in being true to myself when it somehow ends up being thrown in my face?

I had all of these thoughts floating around in my head. I even texted my big sister in my sorority and one of my close friends at my school because I just wanted to know what I did wrong. I wanted to figure out why I seemed to continuously push guys away.

With the help of my big and my friend,  I realized it wasn’t my fault. I began to see the bigger picture. I shouldn’t have felt ashamed. I shouldn’t have questioned myself.

In that moment I had to remember who I was. I had to remember why I decided to stick to my values. The truth is, he was just one guy. One small scratch that did hurt and it did a bit of damage, but I healed from it.  I may have questioned myself. I may have even doubted myself, but at least I did not lose myself.

It is so easy to lose yourself, to question yourself, or even doubt yourself. There may be times you begin to wonder why you even bother to stay true to your values when to other people your values seem pointless.

Well, I am here to tell you that your values aren’t ‘pointless’. There is a reason you stick to your values and your morals. There is a reason you are so passionate about certain things. Maybe others might not understand your reason behind it, but you do. So who gives people that right to question you when you know yourself better than anyone else does.

Those people who make you question yourself are those who are the small scratches. They hurt for a bit, but sooner or later the pain disappears and they are no longer effect you. When it comes to those small cuts we usually don’t even think about putting a band-aid on it. Why risk a band-aid over something so small?

The same can be said over a person that leaves you doubting your values. Why change who you are if that person doesn’t respect the real you? If those people really cared about you, then they would not have you choose between them and yourself. If they are wanting you to compromise who you are, then those are not the people you need in your life.

You have to remember that you are worth so much more than to settle for people who do not value the real you.

You have to remember who you are because who you are is a beautiful person who should not have to change for anyone who believes you are not worthy of their interest.

Remember Who You Are because you are stronger than losing yourself over one small opinion.