Once upon a time, before there were kids, before there was a marriage, there was a beautiful young maiden lady who used to love herself unconditionally. She took herself out on dates, to the movies and she treated herself to lavish dinners. She dressed up her smiles with the cutest of outfits and she loved herself and lived happily ever after, THE END......not.
Somewhere along the road she forgot how to appreciate her most valuable player and it cost her in more ways than she cared to admit. She started worrying about what people thought of her, rather she was a good enough mom or a wife and she started to love herself, quietly..... THE END.....not.
If you've not caught on to who "she" is, spoiler alert she is ME!
It wasn't until one day recently, as I'm nearing the end of my tricenarian (person between 30 and 39) phase of life that something clicked. This will sound so cliche, but I'm going to say it anyway. I heard a voice that said to me, "Ariel, love yourself OUT LOUD" I had recognized that voice. It was the same voice that spoke to me in my early carefree days that always made sure that I looked out first for numero uno, MOI! It was that very day that I got up, got myself dressed, added clothes to my smile and Ariel and I went out on our first date since forever and it was awesome! Our movie of choice though, (Halloween Kills, 2021) was HORRIBLE, but we enjoyed spending that alone time with each other, without having to share our popcorn or snacks with another living soul, just us. Loving myself as I did when I didn't have a responsibility to anyone, but myself, was just the right jump start that I needed. And you know what? I had no regrets and it felt great. I realized that I can't be anything for anyone if I'm nothing at all to myself, first.
I think the greatest compliment I received was from my little sister, telling me that she loved the new OLD Ariel. I was the big sister with the confidence again that she looked up to and she was proud of me for realizing what I had neglected to give myself. Love, Out Loud.
So, for those of you that have been following my recent photo dump journey and you notice all the pictures that I've been posting, please don't get irritated with me, it's just simply me loving myself the way the universe designed me to, OUT LOUD and unapologetic-ally.