I'm a certified life coach and have a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in Information Science. (I was originally going to be a librarian!)
I've worked extensively in bars & restaurants and consider it a major credential in navigating human relationships and practicing self-love.
I was born and raised in Hawaii and am currently living in nutty Hollywood, California with my adorable boyfriend of 13+ years, and approximately 6 plants.
🡫Read my story below!🡫
For most of my life I wanted to be anything but myself.
My had a sheltered childhood and never had a best friend while growing up. By the time I hit my teens, I was a socially anxious loner who felt more comfortable spending time in the school library writing stories, than with other kids.
But then I got my first boyfriend.
He asked me out while on a band trip to Maui. He held my hand while overlooking the ocean and bought me an artsy angel-shaped clay souvenir to express his feelings for me.
It really did feel like someone had just pulled me up from the underworld into the heavens. Somebody LIKED me!
For the first time in my life I actually felt like there was something good, special, loveable, about me! It was the closest I’d ever gotten towards actually feeling love for myself, and it felt like such a high after feeling lonely and not good enough my entire young life.
It felt so good to be chosen by him, that my biggest fear was someone else coming along who was better, more compatible, more attractive… and that he’d instantly leave me for her, leaving me right back to feeling unworthy and lonely like before.
So in order to prevent that from happening, I had to make up for whatever I thought I lacked by pleasing him, being more perfect for him, keeping him feeing good around me — so I could keep feeling good about me.
Underneath it all, it felt like if I could get my partner to see me as super special, compatible, and irreplaceable — I’d finally could relax and love being myself.
And relationship after relationship, it didn't work:
I fell into partner-pleasing. I stayed in unhealthy relationships because I couldn’t imagine my life without him. I was the crazy girlfriend who felt insecure if he went to see a movie with his dude-friends. I revolved my life around his — willing to consider changing my interests and lifestyle (when I didn’t want to), or consider a new religion (when I didn’t really want to), or try polyamory (when I really didn’t want to), and completely go against my own gut feelings and needs in order to match better with his.
After every relationship ended, I fell into an identity crisis.
Finally, I had to admit that the ONE thing I hadn’t yet tried was to stop tying so hard for someone else, and to just relax and learn how to love being myself.
I hated the idea of self-love. It sounded selfish and gross.
But I had to admit that it made sense. If I could love myself, I wouldn’t rely on my partner so much. I would have my own life, my own inner stability, and actually feel good about being myself for the first time in my life.
So I tried to do all the self-love things. I tried to talk lovingly to myself. I tried to meditate and repeat self-love mantras. I forced myself to spend time apart from him and stay busy so that I could “find myself” and not think about him.
Yet at the end of the day, I was still just as anxious, self-conscious, and feeling more empty and needy than ever.
I thought that maybe something was wrong with me. I was just too flawed, too insecure, too lacking, to be able to feel love towards myself.
Then one day it dawned on me: How could I love myself if I don’t know who “myself” really is?
I realized that from age 15, I’d been constantly abandoning my own identity in the name of trying to be seen and loved by someone else.
So now, of course I was confused, wishy-washy, uncertain, insecure about who it is that I really am.
I’d spent so much time and energy trying to be MORE for my partner, and that vicious cycle was what was preventing me from knowing how to be myself.
I began finally pursuing the one thing that I never allowed myself to do: Being true to myself.
Not in theory. Not as something that sounded nice and but then was quickly forgotten about the moment that my partner had a preference.
But being true to myself, for real. As a main priority.
And I was shocked: The more I explored what it was to be true to myself, the more I discovered that was so much more to me that I thought. I began having fun, actually caring less about what others thought, and feeling more sane and truly loving all on my own.
I began surprising myself over and over again. I wasn't actually a needy, insecure person. I just needed to know how to be myself -- in order for everything I didn't like about myself, to change.
Now I love being myself. I finally actually have self-esteem and feel GOOD about being myself -- in a quietly confident, peaceful, centered way.
I'm in a wonderful healthy relationship... and my life is full of meaning, joy, and depth. The way I live and who I am makes total sense to my soul, and I no longer spend my days pining away for his love and imagining the worst case scenarios.
It is completely possible to love being yourself, no matter where you're starting or how long you've struggled. It will change your life and the way you love. You can do it too.