I feel like I took a really long time to meet myself.

Does everyone say this to themselves every time they survive an inner crisis? Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve met my favorite version of myself in my twenties.

For a while, I became someone who absorbed negativity. I began to believe I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. I doubted my talents, my decisions. I questioned myself constantly. I spent a lot of time telling myself why ideas wouldn’t work, why my opinions didn’t matter. I was miserable, and people were beginning to see it.

I hated being around people. I stopped going anywhere. I hated talking to anyone. I’d become very insecure. I actually wanted to just hibernate - lay in my bed and just Netflix it out.

Growing up, my mom always said that if I showed up and was present, so will my blessings. So, I took a step back to do just that. Learning how to disconnect and not define myself by things like social media, crappy jobs, toxic relationships was the kind of self awareness I dreamt of. From there, I decided to detox.

I wanted to make sure I was being genuine - to myself and to others. I tried not to let negativity, whether situations or people, suck the energy from me. We live in such a digital world and a lot of our insecurities are attached to social media. I felt it was important to disconnect myself from that when it wasn’t necessary. I wanted to be more present in my conversations and relationships. I made it a point to break the habit of constant scrolling and adopt healthier behaviors, like focusing on my writing, that worked for me.

I really tried to stay away from anything or anyone that really, truly didn’t make me feel good. It’s so easy to fall into a routine. At first, I couldn’t really find a groove. I was kind of lost, I felt so dramatic. But I began to force myself into really thinking about my decisions before I made them. I began to force myself to be honest with myself and a lot of that came through way of talking it out. I began to pray in a sense and talk myself through tough situations.

I took a lot of this time to journal my thoughts, to write and just pour all of that negativity out of my system. I tried channel my energy into things like yoga, kickboxing, painting, and meditating. I stayed really close to family and a support system that I felt safe around. I said yes to a lot more friends. I said no a lot more crap. I applied to a lot of better jobs. I was shifting my thought process.

I poured all my energy into being purposeful. I tried my best to really focus on everything that made me feel good with people that made me feel good; people that were honest with me.

Once I learned to shift the narrative in my mind of worrying if I’m on time, “am I where I’m supposed to be at 27?!” to “take your time girl, you got this,” I felt light yet grounded. That negativity I attached to people, things, and situations began to slowly chip away, and I just began to simplify my life. “It’s just not that serious,” I told myself often (still do.)

It’s never perfect but I know I want to feel good, and be good with good people. It was possible before but sometimes it means taking the time to build a stronger relationship with yourself in order to really see it, accept it, and feel it.


Camlyn Valdez

is a TGM Contributor from NYC you can find wrapped in a blanket burrito, show binging all winter, pretending to be a Latina Carrie Bradshaw, and probably the only person alive racing to the news stands for new magazines.