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Dear Self, I love you

Self love - regard for one's own well-being and happiness.

“Take your time, baby girl. there’s no rush to get there… you don’t have to figure everything out now. time will reveal itself.”

- Solange Knowles

Is it okay to be me? This is a question fashion commentator Caryn Franklin MBE posed when I attended a symposium on Creating Futures at the ICA. Her point was that as creatives, we are our own worst critiques. We are extremely harsh on ourselves and sometimes need to remember to be kinder to ourselves. We very easily get absorbed in our work and daily life and sometimes forget to take a breath. A moment to exhale and relax. Our work can take a life of its own and we can get lost in that world, and it can overwhelm us. This can sometimes lead to unhealthy habits and a negative energy which isn't conducive to our well-being. As you can't pour from an empty cup, we need to ensure we are taking care of ourselves first.

It took a long time for me to understand how important my own peace of mind is and how I need to make sure I'm investing in myself and my happiness as much as trying to figure out all the other elements around me. (i.e. work.) As a creative my passion drives everything that I do, it leaks into every aspect of my life and whispers at me to do better, to keep going. Many of us feel this calling when we find out what our passion is. Although it may make our journey harder, it is more fulfilling. And so I try to find a healthy balance when I complete work, setting parameters for me to work with so that I take breaks and allow myself to relax and focus on other things.

This is sometimes a difficult thing to do. As I reach late twenties I feel a sense of urgency to have my life together. Your 20s can be a weird time of figuring a lot out. It is a time of self-reflection and a wrestle to gain control of your place in the world. You’re questioning if you made the correct choices to end up where you currently find yourself situated. You’re looking on Facebook and seeing people from your secondary school announcing pregnancies and engagements. (Maybe you’re even one of them.) If like me you’re not, seeing all this can activate that niggling voice at the back of your mind. You don’t want a baby or marriage right now, but you feel an expectation to get your shit together.

My twenties are nothing like my sixteen year old mind thought they would be. Everyone is at different chapters in their life and it is very easy to compare your chapter to that of someone you know. However if there is one positive of my generation that I will happily speak on, it is the ambition that many of us share. The willingness to try something, even if it's not guaranteed to work out. We picture a better life for us and our families and if we are brave enough we will go out there and see that it is done.

And so I will continue to work on creating harmony between who I am, what I want and where I'm at in my life. Self-love is a chapter that I have always wanted to write. And I will continue to focus on it whilst I continue my creative journey.

Sera Rae - a woman learning to love herself first

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