I couldn't sleep, somewhat stream-of-consciousness. I guess I've inadvertently brought up body issues again, oops. Well, it has been on my mind, dovetailing with a lot of other stuff.

TW: body issues, self-esteem, relationships

I've been lying in bed, thoughts racing, far from sleep. Lately I've been reflecting a lot on my life, particularly as it pertains to relationships and going forward in the future. I guess my forced vacation/injury recovery has given me a lot of time to sift through some things. I'm 26, single, just ended a sort-of-relationship. It's been several years since I've had a relationship last longer than a few months. I think my last breakup was really a moment of clarity for me: I had determined that he wasn't going to give me what I wanted AND deserved, and that it wasn't worth it. Claiming this truth felt empowering. I found myself in a long distance relationship without a plan for the future, and saying "I deserve more" felt revolutionary for me.

Looking back, I don't think any of the people I've dated have really been what I wanted in a relationship. I'm coming to realize that "good on paper" (mutual attraction, interests in common, etc.) isn't going to cut it in the long run. I realized that I've settled for less than I deserve because I thought that was all I was going to get. I'm realizing that I have a pretty big chip on my shoulder when it comes to feeling attractive, to feeling "worthy." All my life, I've felt like the cerebral ugly duckling with a "good personality." Comparing myself to my younger sister, who has always been athletic, conventionally attractive and charming. Who benefits from pretty person privileges and seems to go through life with men hitting on her often. Not that everything is easy for her. But I've often felt overlooked, even if partly in my own mind. It's kind of a self-fulfilling thing. I think I've disassociated from my body, and for me it all goes back to these feelings of both not measuring up to this feminine ideal that simultaneously rejected me and that I rejected, for many years.

I think that deep down, I've felt like the way that I look isn't good enough, isn't attractive enough. That feeling is starting to change within me—if not yet self-love (for ALL of myself) than that voice inside that is starting to say "I deserve the things I want." These thoughts really remind me of Brene Brown's work, (who I am a big fan of), when she said that the thing that marks "wholehearted" people is the belief that they "deserve love and belonging." I'm getting there. I'm starting to claim my power, my body and what's important to me, and I'm ready to surround myself with people who do the same.