I truly believe that, at least in my case, that you can’t find happiness until you learn to put yourself first.
My 20’s were filled with putting other people first – catering to their needs, their whims, and not my own – and as a result, I let myself get walked over and be generally unhappy. Along with that came crippling anxiety and a general sense of unease and loss of control over my existence.
However, I chose to not put myself first. It might have not been conscious, but it was something that I could have rectified. Now, fixing that – getting out of the cycle in which you are putting an end to being walked over and being taken advantage of – is not easy, fun, or something that I would want to relive. In many ways, it was putting an end to a cycle of abuse.
I’m incredibly luck – I managed be given a pass and an “easy” exit out of a bad relationship. I didn’t choose to have that pass given nor have it be that time…but I am so glad it came and that I had the ability to move on.
It was that experience in which I was left with just myself that I was forced to focus on how to make myself happy, partly because I was the only one left that I could focus on. And once I got a glimpse of that corner that I could round, I kept going. And I no longer need to be medicated to get through my day and face life and I no longer put others before me…and I don’t derive my satisfaction from other people. I derive it from when I do a kick ass job, from when I cook an amazing meal, from when I finish a scarf that I know someone will love and that will keep them warm and be an amazing accessory.
And I am eternally thankful that I found my ability to be happy and embraced it and entered my 30’s a much different person than I entered and became in my 20’s.