Falling in love with myself came somewhere between the big guy with the beard who talked shit about his exes and the weird pretentious dude who was oddly obsessed with getting “swol.” Love came around the time I bonded with a new friend over waffles at a Denny’s, lamenting over flakey dudes, last winter. Witnessing the rollercoaster that is my parents marriage, and watching my sister step right up to get on the same depressing ride.
Self love came from books about strong women who wet the bed or were lame in high school or got so fed up being controlled by oppressive guys in a dumb scene they decided to create their own. It grows when I get the honor of hearing my beautiful friends ugly laugh at my bad jokes. It is born in the vulnerable moments I share with my boyfriend when I feel brave enough to let him know something is bothering and he listens and apologises and alters his actions because he loves and respects me.
Self love is seeing the same therapist once a week for three years and knowing she is holding me accountable for my actions when I’m not entirely sure if I can. It comes from figuring out that I don’t really believe in God and that if she does exist that it’s not my job to find out right now. From spending quality time with the amazing women I am lucky enough to have in my very own family and have gotten look up to.
Self love is easier said than done and it comes in waves, sometimes calm and sometimes fierce, sometimes not at all. I fell in love with myself by observing how far I’ve come with so much going against me. Of all my many qualities, loving myself shamelessly may be the thing I love most about myself.
By Andrea Waldron
Featured in Basement Babes, Issue 13