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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

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How to not hate yourself

The thing about hating yourself is you rarely know it’s happening.

It might come out during moments of ultimate shame and embarrassment—that time you lashed out for no reason or turned in your 7th late assignment of the semester (because 11:59 p.m. is pretty much the same as 12:02 a.m. which is also pretty much the same as 12:20 a.m. with a note of apology to your favorite professor).  

The thing about hating yourself is that it’s often easier than loving yourself — because loving yourself takes time; it takes grace; it takes a great deal of courage. 

I realize it’s tremendously easy to be tremendously hard on yourself. It’s easier to run from yourself than it is to face yourself and say “it’s okay” and also “I love you anyway.”

I hope we all want to love ourselves anyway, weep for ourselves and dance for ourselves and afford ourselves grace and tenderness. 

But it’s hard. It’s like plucking rose petals—I love me, I love me not

We always seem so unsure of ourselves.

Christina told me the other day that when we think about our friends and who they really are, we don’t hesitate. We think of their hearts, the way they smile and laugh, the way they care for their people, the way they go so hard on Thursdays and mean so well. 

We don’t think about the worst things they’ve done or said. We don’t think of their shortcomings. Perhaps we think of their wounds, but only because the wounds make them more beautiful, make them more human.

Christina is, of course, right. Who we were last weekend or last Tuesday has no bearing on who we are today; it has nothing to do with our hearts, which occasionally leak and spill and love. It has nothing to do with our love—the love we learn, the love we choose, the love we give and receive.  

I always thought, when you know someone’s heart, you can’t look away.

But I was wrong. 

We can look away, but we shouldn’t. It’s a choice. My roommate always says love is a choice. She’s right. 

So, I guess, perhaps we could choose to love ourselves a little better. 

This is, How to not hate yourself: 

  1. Take a shower
  2. Put on clothes (real clothes)
  3. Resist the urge to Uber Eats. Walk to the Dining Hall. 
  4. Ask a friend, “How are you, really?” and make them tell you everything that is or isn’t going on in their lives (trust me, this really works)
  5. Make a list. Any list. 
  6. Write a love note to one of your friends (bonus points if it’s to Katie McCurrie) (she’s the best)
  7. Listen to “(It Goes Like) Nanana” by Peggy Gou or “Squid Game & Do It To It (Zedd Edit)”
  8. Chirp one of your friends on the quad (“Hey, pretty lady, you are lookin’ good today”)
  9. Root for your ex-situationship’s team in March Madness (it’s good for your soul, I swear)
  10. Brush your teeth
  11. Have an intimate moment at the Grotto (not that kind of intimate, though). 
  12. Initiate that coffee date you’ve been putting off all semester.
  13. Let yourself say no and also let yourself say yes.
  14. Call your mom.
  15. Eat a Hawaiian roll.
  16. Run home to the girls.
  17. Run home to the boys.
  18. Run home from the bar and log it on Strava. 
  19. Run.
  20. Just run.
  21. Run to the people who feel like love.
  22. Hype up your favorite campus power couple.
  23. Tie a sweater around your shoulders.
  24. Tie your sweater around someone else’s shoulders.
  25. Turn in your assignment at 11:59 p.m. Just try.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.