Last year, I went through a breakup with my boyfriend in Maui, Hawaii: an unlikely turn of events in paradise. We were on a two-week vacation, enjoying the fast pace of Tokyo, Japan, followed by a consecutive trip to Maui to relax. Little arguments on the trip somehow turned to conversations on intentions to get married and falling out of love, and as a result, we decided to end our relationship. As background, we had talked about marriage a lot, shared an apartment, and had the most adorable dog together. I. Was. Heartbroken.
After the breakup, I realized that there was something I’ve been meaning to tell myself that I didn’t say enough.
I love you.
We’ve been taught to show others how much we love and appreciate them, and it’s something that comes naturally. Our families, our significant others and our friends all feel the love. Yet when it comes to telling and showing yourself how much you love and appreciate YOU, well why is that so non-existent?
Even though one love had ended, the most empowering kind, self-love, was always there the whole time.
I had always thought I was going to marry that boyfriend at the time. Yet why wait for a ring from a man? I always dreamed of a ring from Tiffany & Co., so to bring in the new year, I went ahead and bought one for myself, and added a note to go with it as a constant reminder to myself. The note read, “I say ‘I do’ to always loving myself.”
I followed that up with a present for my 30th birthday: a solo trip to the Dominican Republic — a vacation paradise re-do, so to speak, to make up for the one that went awry. As expected, it was beyond liberating and I had the best time with just with me, myself and I.
I started doing things by myself that I had once become accustomed to having him around for. At first I dreaded it and it scared me, but then it started to become something I enjoyed. I relished the feeling of taking care of myself without dependence. I also had all this free time that I started to utilize really effectively — I began to reflect on my goals more, crossing off items on my list of things I wished to do and achieve. I started running again, taking long walks at the park with my dog (I retained dog custody), writing more consistently, spending more time with my friends, and just generally started doing more things that I was passionate about and that would elevate me as a person.
I embraced loving and spoiling myself with every chance I could get, and as I did, I became more appreciative of everything.
I empower you to gift yourself too with the greatest thing you can offer yourself: love.
Rachel Rocero is a Marketing and PR pro, passionate about tech startups and higher education. She’s also a recreational blogger who has contributed to HelloGiggles, SharpHeels, VolunteerMatch and more. She’s worn many career hats — leading communications for a coding school, working with several clients at a tech PR agency, the marketing director for an ephemeral messaging app, the North America corporate relations manager for an international business school, and the marketing project manager for a 12-campus college. She’s served on the Board of Directors for PRSA San Francisco. She’s a true Californian and a San Francisco explorer. Not to mention, a tea and coffee enthusiast — who in her free time finds pleasure collecting vintage advertising and other treasures at local antique shops.
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