There are many things I've had to learn this year. One of which is that you should never put anyone else before your own happiness or make them the source of your happiness. Sounds ridiculously simple written down, but it is anything but - or at least in my experience.

I feel very lucky to always have been rather confident in myself. Looks, talents and all that. I've never really craved validation or acceptance from other people - it feels like a nice plus when given though. But despite that, when I fell in love with another person, suddenly their presence became the only thing that kept me going, made me wanna get out of bed. Suddenly all other things that had made me happy and fulfilled seemed dull compared to that person's affection. And yeah of course we as humans usually need some amount of social connections to feel content, but ultimately, You should be the primary thing that makes You feel complete.

Love towards another person can literally do crazy things. Love, in itself, is a beautiful and healing thing, but it took me a long time to realize, that what I was feeling and doing to myself, wasn't healthy. I went to unimaginable lengths just to keep holding onto the person I loved. I cancelled other plans, missed out on great opportunities, tolerated toxic behavior and neglected my mental health. Even turned my back on people I thought might be a threat to my relationship - my then only source of "true happiness".

Looking back now, my life was very empty. While traveling to my favorite places, all I could think of was how the person I loved should be there with me and how I could never fully enjoy those experiences without him. Singing, my biggest passion, I couldn't do without thinking that he should be there singing with me. I blindly believed that loving him - he, was the only thing that mattered in my life and if he was taken away I would just... end.

Oh I did. And then didn't. After some time of being completely broken and drained, I slowly started wondering about all the things I'd missed doing, happily on my own. How I could, in fact very well survive this life loving no other than myself. There really isn't a thing more fulfilling than loving yourself and being your own main source of happiness. My interests in other things heightened. Things I'd used to love doing I did again. I started seeing so many beautiful things in life that I'd completely ignored, in fear that loving them I would somehow be betraying my then happiness. Feels so absurd thinking back now but valid, as all feelings should be.

I hope my point got across to you dear. All I'm trying to say is that please, please look into your heart and ask yourself: "What is the primary source of my happiness?" If your answer is non other than yourself, okay fine. Loving yourself and making yourself a priority is freaking hard. I get that, and it is a thing that can't be forced and maybe even a lifelong process. Please don't ever blame yourself for that. But just consider, if your current source of happiness was taken from you, where would you fall?

I wish you all the happiness in the world. You matter. Your feelings matter - were they whatever. Just keep breathing, life will work out. Thank you so much for reading.

- Jenna

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