I remember when I had no clue who I was. I was 19, might have just turned 20 when I realized that I was just floating through life. Like water, I was taking the form of whatever situation I was placed in because I wasn’t aware of my own distinct identity. I knew my name. I knew I was smart & I knew I was a pretty girl but I didn’t know vital things about myself & what made it worse was that I didn’t know that I didn’t know who I was until I met people that knew me more than I did. My roommate had studied me. Analyzed me. Learned me like the back of her hand. My boyfriend had studied me. Analyzed me. Learned me like his favorite song. It seemed like everyone took the time out to do this but me. My life took a drastic turn at 17 & between then and 20, it was showing in everything I did. Because he was my boyfriend, I was clinging to him because he had me figured out. I was intrigued. No one knew me. Not even me. No one had figured me out. Not even me. & here he was with the cheat code to my entire existence.
It’s dangerous for someone to have the upper hand on you & you don’t even fucking know how, why or when that happened. I needed him and because I felt that way, I also need him to be perfect because….well he had my entire being in his palm. Yeah my roommate knew me like the back of her hand but there were things that I would only share with my boyfriend. I was a ball of emotions, grief, depression & happiness that depended on if we were on good terms or not. Let me explain why it’s important to know yourself before you love someone else. One, you’ll know your limits before you’re put in a position to figure them the fuck out. Two, you’ll know your standards before you’re put in a position to figure them the fuck out. You never want to learn how to swim in a situation where your only choices are swimming or dying. Relationships and friendships are no different; you never want to be in a situation where your only choices are know yourself or be taken advantage of. He knew me & I didn’t. He knew he didn’t deserve me but that didn’t matter if I wasn’t the one who knew that. Don’t be the one that everyone sees greatness in but tries to stops it before you even get the chance to notice how great you are. Learn yourself. NOW. Know yourself. NOW. Love yourself. NOW. Spend REAL time with you before you spend time with anyone else.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to me. My only choices were to find out who Candice really was and what she’d deal with or be walked all over. It took me forever to even WANT to know me more because I knew in the back of my mind it’d be the end of us. Granted, my heart is pure so many people take my kindness for weakness & back then, if I loved you?….lawd. You could have killed 3 people and a dog and I would have still seen your halo. But I chose to find out who I was at that very moment because in all honesty, I’m pretty passionate when it comes to matters of my heart and this was starting to be unhealthy; he was taking my temper to places that made me uncomfortable. Anger is so heavy and I was angry with him all the time. I KNEW that wasn’t who I was because otherwise there wouldn’t have been so much discomfort. I started distancing myself from him. It was almost as if I was going through his pockets while he was sleeping, looking for all of the evidence to who I was. I talked less whenever we talked on the phone. I started going out more, taking myself out to restaurants. I genuinely was discovering everything about me and it felt so damn good. My “I love you’s” to him became less heartfelt because I felt like he had been holding something back from me – yet using it to his advantage. Granted, it’s not his damn fault I hadn’t spent alone time with myself, but once I had realized where I was going and what I was capable of and how I had spent more time trying to better him? I had resented him for holding me back for 3 years.
When you discover who you really are, the less you’ll welcome into your life. The more you’ll make things earn your time, respect, attention, etc. instead of giving it out to whoever shows interests. People will genuinely notice your greatness before you do and try to stop you from getting there. They will notice that one day you’re going to go further, accomplish more, and make more impacts than them and they’ll try to stop you. I can’t express this enough: KNOW you before you fall in love. Love is already blind, not knowing yourself while being in love is equivalent to being blind with a blindfold on in the dark with earmuffs on – you can only hope that what you think you feel is real. Don’t go “snooping for who you are” to figure yourself out like I did; I was trying to hold on to the old and search for the new without causing too much commotion. Take some time out to be alone. Because I promise you will be like the old me – taking the form of whatever situation you’re placed in. Only learning how to swim because the situation forced you to. Only setting standards because the discomfort has become unbearable. No one should know you more than you; always have the upper hand on who you are.