If You Have to Learn One Thing, Learn to Make Yourself Happy

A thought just crossed my mind: you should go on a solo trip and bring a vibrator with you.

Ok. I’m not actually writing about sex in this article. But I do want to talk about giving yourself pleasure and making yourself happy — in every way possible.

I learned that lesson after hitting rock bottom a few years ago. I went to therapy. I took myself out on dates. I participated in fun, wholesome group activities.

And, well, I went on a solo trip. No, there wasn’t any vibrator in my suitcase; I was too busy trying to get over all the emotional mess that had made me go on that trip in the first place.

But, now, as I am happy with myself and in a loving committed relationship (meaning unlikely anymore solo traveling), I wish that trip had been about gaining pleasure, not avoiding pain. I wish I had been as happy as I am now and enjoyed the hell out of it.

I was in France after all. I paid for all of it. In the city center of Bordeaux, at a beautiful boutique hotel with a balcony and white sheer curtains.

There were so many things I could’ve done, so many memories I could’ve made, so much fun I could’ve had. Instead of anxiously waiting for a text reply and agonising over all my past mistakes, I could’ve been present and had the time of my life there — or, at least, some peace.

That trip was shit, but don’t worry, I did make myself feel good later in other ways. The point is you should take time to discover yourself and have fun because it’s good and you deserve it.

I’ve said this and I’ll say it again — Being single and being in a relationship are simply two different stages of being. Each has its own pros and cons.

So, whichever stage you’re in, you should make the most of it. If you’re single now, my god, learn to pleasure yourself in every way you know how.

I don’t care — Take that bath. Read that book. Eat that food. Watch that show. Touch yourself. Buy that dress. Do that workout. Go to therapy. Feel that fabric on your skin. Breathe in your aliveness. Go on a solo trip and bring a vibrator with you. Or whatever it is that makes you feel good.

And you have to be present for every second of those activities, not seeing them as the means to an end which is often to be worthy of someone’s love. Nope.

Enough of being addicted to pain and pining for things and people who don’t want you. Try to hook yourself on wholesome pleasure instead. Not the destructive kind. Not drugs or porn. Not fleeting dopamine. None of that shit.

Real, natural pleasure. The pleasure that doesn’t hurt you. The pleasure that makes you glad you’re alive.

If being present and taking pleasure feels like moving mountains right now, give it some time. You can ask for help and support. You can take a break. But you have to keep pushing through. Please. No one can do that for you but you.

My life before that trip to France was really shit. I was lonely and sad most of the time. When I was supposed to have fun, my mind was all muddled because I was hung up over some guy who gave no shit about me or I worried about my future. And it was okay. It was where I was.

I’m here now — I can do all the fun things I did back then again and actually have fun this time around. I can live life to the fullest on behalf of my past self, feeling extra grateful for my journey.

Tonight, some silly movie on Netflix made me laugh out loud. Then I laughed some more with my wonderful partner like I do every day and felt excited for when lockdown is over. It’s a completely different perspective.

This is a perspective of positivity, gratitude, and love. This is a life without worries and anxiety, enabled by a few really shitty trips nationally and abroad and all sorts of hellish experiences in the past. Well, they were worth it then.

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