How to be a Better Me

By Ashley Mae Orcutt
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2017 had some ups and downs for me, especially with my dating life. Ever since I was little, I always thought that my life in my twenties would include me being with my Prince Charming, graduating college, getting engaged and married, and eventually having children of my own. Am I anywhere near that? No. But that’s ok, and here’s why.

I tried dating so many times last year and putting so much effort on the person I was with rather than putting effort on myself. I spent countless nights trying to voice my concerns to the people I dated, trying to make relationships work. I put more effort into caring for someone else rather than focusing on myself. Then after all that effort, I watched as that relationship crumbled to bits and found my efforts to be pointless. Sometimes, the end to a romance was my fault, and other times the guy just couldn’t handle being with someone as serious as I was and left. Either way, I ended up getting hurt and wondering how much more effort could I have put into the relationship, when I should have been focusing on something else.

I spent many nights lying in bed depressed, telling myself how I wasn’t good enough, thinking about all the mistakes I made with every relationship I’ve been in, and blaming myself every time someone else walked out of my life. In reality, it’s just life knocking at my door telling me that I don’t need someone in my life to make me happy. Throughout the entirety of the year of 2017, I refused to listen to life and kept slamming the door shut in its face. However, in the year of 2018 I finally decided to open the door.

Boys are not the most important figures in my life, but are just major distractions and road blocks keeping me from my goal of being the happy, independent, badass me I’ve become. And I think most women and teenage girls, along with myself, forget that sometimes. We don’t need a boyfriend to keep us happy, and to some women that may be obvious. But to others, I think sometimes we need a reminder that we can be happy by ourselves. Without someone holding me back, I have been able to hang out with my best friends and family more. I have been able to make more guy friends. I have been able to focus on my blog more and write this article about how I’m feeling. And most importantly, I have been able to focus more on my job as being the Editor-in-Chief of The Lutrinae, my dream job as a college student. 

I want everyone reading this to know that it is ok if a relationship fails, because with the right person you’ll be able to be a better you and not feel like you’re not good enough. You won’t feel the weight of making so much effort to keep that person, but then feeling like the other person isn’t making the same effort back. You’ll be able to do whatever you want in life and go wherever you want to go with the right person by your side. If you ever feel like you need to leave a situation to better yourself, do so because you can survive without that man or woman in your life and be a better you.

If someone else leaves you because they choose not to see your worth, forget them. They aren’t worth your time if they don’t see the effort or beauty that lies behind every committed persons’ eyes. If they don’t give back the love you deserve after pouring your heart out, don’t chase them. Because chances are that person doesn’t want to be committed. Don’t give them the time of day, because that person didn’t see what they left behind.

Don’t rush into anything because you feel the need to be in a relationship. Don’t stay in a situation that makes you miserable. And don’t beat yourself up because a boy couldn’t see your worth and left you. I know it’s hard to accept all of this advice thrown at you in this article, and sometimes we don’t want to listen to the little voice inside our heads that tell us what the right thing to do is. 

There’s more to life than a boy or girl, and sometimes life throws us a curveball to make us our better selves without someone holding us back from doing so. The question is

I know I’m ready to let go and enjoy the beauty that single hood has to offer, where I can go wherever I want in life without being tied down. And I’ll know when my Prince Charming comes around when he encourages me to be a better me, when we can both make the same effort to love one another, and when we can both be free to do whatever we want in life with each other by our sides. 

I am becoming a better me.

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