I never understood the real meaning of self-love until my long-term relationship failed miserably two years ago. I always needed to look for a man’s validation to make me feel complete. And that’s where it all went wrong.
I hated myself and thought it was all my fault. I felt like a failure, that I couldn’t hold the relationship together. I couldn’t stop thinking, “maybe if I tried a bit harder, he’d stay with me.” It took me a long time to realize that I needed the breakup in order to learn how to love myself in the first place.
So, three months after the breakup, I decided to quit my job, packed my bag, and booked a flight to Denpasar, Bali. Although it’s only 2 hours away from the town I lived in before, moving to Bali felt like living in a new country.
Settling down in a new place isn’t easy when you still have unresolved emotional baggage. The relocation brought some excitement, but at the end of the day, when I was alone in my room, I still cried like a baby, thinking about my ex-partner.
So I decided to take it slowly, but I made sure that I made progress month after month.
I allowed myself to grieve.
Having gone from being with someone for three years to being completely alone felt very strange to me, at least for the first three months I moved to Bali. But Bali has offered me so much freedom, so many new beginnings, and many cool places to see.
Regardless, my broken heart still needed time to process everything, so I allowed myself to grieve. I didn’t force myself to move on quickly. Instead of acting like my life was great whenever I met new people, I told them the truth.
Some friends recommended going out dating other people as soon as possible so that I could “forget my ex”. I refused to do this and stayed single for quite a while instead. I knew if I dated someone new right away, that person wouldn’t have my best interest and full attention.
I started acknowledging the good things in me.
I was very insecure when I was in my past relationship. I couldn’t even see my own worth. I kept thinking “what if he leaves me?” (and in the end, he did), and on top of that, I couldn’t see myself living my life without that person.
Living in Bali allowed me to explore places on my own and take myself for a nice lunch at beautiful cafes. I also worked on my social skills and learned to be more comfortable sitting alone in a restaurant.
Every evening after work, I’d drive for 15 minutes to the nearest beach and just sit there reading a book or journaling my thoughts. Life felt so slow, but it was peaceful. I was more present in the moment — something that I never had before.
Soon enough, I began to notice certain things that I liked about myself. I realized I wasn’t that socially awkward and I learned I was pretty good at making conversations with new people. I also adored the creative side of myself more since I started my new hobby of bullet journaling.
When you spend more time with yourself than with anyone else, you’ll see the things you often overlook in yourself. The small things that make you more you. And at the future point when the insecurity hits you again, you won’t fall into the rabbit hole of self-doubt, and you certainly won’t need anyone else’s validation to see your worth and value.
My hopes for the future came back.
Four months into life in Bali, and I felt so much better about the whole breakup situation. People around me kept saying it would take years before I could move on. But that was just not true.
I couldn’t see myself crying for years for my ex who wasn’t right for me. I couldn’t waste another year thinking all of the what-if scenarios. Therefore, massive changes were required for my own sake, so I wouldn’t be stuck in that situation for too long.
And moving to Bali has helped a lot in making those changes happen. From “I don’t think I can live anymore without him” to “yeah, I love my life now, it gets better and better!”.
I don’t think there’s any more powerful feeling than having your hope come back after a long period of feeling depressed and hopeless over a breakup. You don’t need your life to be perfect; you just need to find the hope in it again. And to have faith, because sometimes that’s all you need to keep going.
People heal differently when they get their hearts broken by someone they truly love. For some, they heal by getting closer to their family or by reconnecting with their old friends. And for other people like me, changing their environment or finding one sacred place to reflect on the past is the thing that works.
Bali has and will always have a special place in my heart. Something about it made me feel whole again.
Moving on after a breakup isn’t easy, but if you are willing to have hope again for the future, then you’ll see everything fall into place just at the right time.
A candid photo of Khloé Kardashian in a bikini started circulating the internet a few days ago.
And it sparked a lot of drama.
According to the chief marketing officer for KKW brands, it was mistakenly posted to social media by an assistant.
The picture in question is visibly different from the typical photos appearing on the Kardashian clan social media feeds. Most of them are carefully posed, lit, styled and curated pictures with heavy use of filters.
But not this one. It doesn’t include the typical image manipulation we’ve come to expect, and it shows a different side of Khloé: happy, relaxed and authentic.
Many fans have been resharing the photo, praising the Kardashian sister for finally showing the world the “real” her. But Khloé’s team is now threatening legal action against accounts who post the picture online (and that’s why I can’t include it in this article).
There is a lot to unpack about this situation.
Khloe’s public image has been under scrutiny for years
For years, Khloé Kardashian has received a lot of media backlash and bullying for her looks. Her every single flaw and imperfection has been micro-analyzed and made fun of to the smallest detail. And she was often referred to as “the fat, ugly sister”.
Khloé’s looks are definitely her vulnerable point, and she understandably has struggled with body image issues for years.
But I find it quite depressing that an unedited picture of her, where she looks anything but ugly, has sparked such an outrage. And it has sent the Kardashian lawyers into overdrive to get the image removed from the web.
The thing is, there is nothing wrong with that photo.
If anything, it is a much-needed reminder that even the celebrities and influencers we consider the golden standards of beauty don’t look perfect every single day.
The reality is, no one actually looks flawless
Kardashian sisters have long been accused of setting unattainable beauty standards. And not surprisingly so; their multi-million dollar empire has been built on and powered by their image. It is their brand.
But the Kardashians aren’t alone in doing that. Many celebrities and influencers alike rely on their carefully curated and heavily Photoshopped images to make a nice profit.
And I get that; it’s a business like any other. Everyone should be free to post whatever they want. But the problem begins when those highly unrealistic beauty standards start to impact women’s self-esteem negatively.
We get bombarded with dozens of images of perfect skin, luscious hair, big butts and full lips every day. But we seldom see what happens behind the scenes. We don’t know how many filters were used. We don’t know how much money the person spent on plastic surgery. We can’t even be sure if that’s their natural hair.
It’s easy to forget that what we see on social media and advertising isn’t exactly real. Even people that post those pictures or videos don’t actually look like that in real life. And that’s saying something.
Yet, we constantly compare ourselves to what we see in media. And that can be dangerous and damaging to women’s mental health, in particular younger girls.
Seeing unedited pictures is a refreshing change
When I was a teenager, I used to be obsessed with my flaws. I had acne, eczema, and I thought I was fat (even though I wasn’t).
It was the mid-2000s, and most of the models and actresses of that era were incredibly skinny. Anyone who didn’t fit that ideal was immediately labeled as “fat”. And the skin we saw in magazines and advertising was spotless, poreless, glowing, and, most likely, highly Photoshopped. But I didn’t know the latter.
Like many other teenagers in that time, I thought there was something wrong with me. I didn’t look normal. I didn’t look like those pretty ladies. What we see, especially from a young age, matters a great deal. And it can dramatically impact our self-esteem and sense of self-worth.
Luckily, the body positivity movement has been around for a few years now. And besides promoting different body shapes and sizes, it also encourages women to show their “real” self.
More and more influencers and models aren’t afraid anymore to show off their “imperfections”, like cellulite, stretch marks, acne, fat stomachs, wrinkles, grey hair, etc.
It is so refreshing to see. I hope it won’t be long for the mainstream media to follow that trend as well.
Khloé Kardashian might not want to have unedited pictures of herself circulating the internet due to her long history of being bullied.
Still, I do think we need to see more real, authentic, unedited and unfiltered content. Content that even the “ordinary” people can relate to.
I don’t want another generation of girls to grow up thinking they don’t look the way they are “supposed to”. We ALL have imperfections. We are human, after all.
And those imperfections don’t make us ugly, weird or unnatural.
If anything, they make us more beautiful.