The Post In Which I Talk About Being Your Own Friend

When I was a stubborn thirteen year old, my psychologist at the time said something to me that stuck with me forever. ”Would you treat your friends the same way you treat yourself?” Of course not, was my immediate reaction. They were my friends after all. And at the same time I realized something important that day: I was treating myself like shit.

Looking back, I know exactly why. Because I thought I was shit. That I wasn’t worth anything. That I didn’t belong. There was something wrong with me. I was broken, didn’t have talents, was unable to make my parents proud. Or at least I felt like that. If you read this blog regularly, you know that I’ve come a long way since then. And I can finally say that now, I am my own best friend.

The road to better self-esteem was anything but easy. And like anything worthwhile in life, it was hard work. But my life became much easier and much more enjoyable when I became my own friend. 

I thought I was my own friend, my own alley, in every aspect of my own life. That I loved myself for everything that I was. And I do, mostly, for most of the time. But recently something happened that made me realize I’m not completely, one hundred percent there yet. It was hard, yet necessary for me to realize that. And it’s comforting to know that the road to becoming a better friend in that specific area of my life won’t be as hard, because I already built that road. I just need to walk it.

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

I’m talking about the confidence I have in myself as far as my academic goals and achievements go. Recently, someone proposed the idea to me that I would be a good candidate to transfer to university after getting the necessary college credits. For those of you who don’t know, in the Netherlands there are different levels of higher education. Very different then let’s say, the United States for example.

You are only allowed to go to (what we call) university when you finish the highest level of high school education or (in some cases) if you get a specific amount of college credit at a lower level of college education. Which is the idea that was proposed to me. Ya still following me? I want to stress that going to university over college isn’t always the best choice, depending on your goals in life. University education is much more abstract, analytical and theoretical, while ‘college’ (higher professional education or HBO) is usually much more focused on training for specific professions, with room for internships, etc.

Anyways, I’m getting a bit off track explaining the Dutch education system here. When this idea was proposed to me, my own reaction surprised me a lot, to be honest. The idea of going to university gave me anxiety. Because I – someone who had been told over and over again as a teenager that I could never even go to college – would never be intelligent enough to do such a thing. It was hard for me to even think about this being an option, let alone say it out loud. In my own head, Dalindcy and university just didn’t go together.

Am I really my own friend if I can’t even speak openly about this option? At least believing that it could be an option? I know what I would say if this exact situation happened to a friend. I would tell them that I would support them in their decision, guide them if necessary and just be there for them. At that moment, I wasn’t there for myself. And frankly, for a few days I was a terrible friend to me.

But I forced myself to talk about the subject with friends and family. And I’m not as uncomfortable thinking about it now. I learned that there are people who really do think that I could do this. That I’m not only ‘intelligent’ enough but also determined and disciplined enough.

And now I’m even going to a subject information evening at my local university, which is crazy to me. It’s hard to explain, but I feel like I’ve overcome a hurdle I didn’t know I needed to overcome. I’m anything but sure if I even want to perceive a university education after getting the necessary credits at my current college, but the fact that I am actively thinking about it is already a big step for me. I can do anything if I set my mind to it.


7 thoughts on “The Post In Which I Talk About Being Your Own Friend

  1. Whoever said you wouldn’t go to University had no idea who they were talking to. I never thought I would go but I did and I have an Associates and a Bachelors degree. Life has a way of being great when you don’t listen to your detractors.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It seems like a regular thing right now, but you are absolutely doing great in life and your posts are brilliant. Words can’t describe the sense of pride I feel right now.

    I think it’s hard deciding which way you want your future to go – and even then, you can always change that direction – but the way you are doing it, is really inspiring for me and for others. What I particularly like about your blogpost, is that you try to keep it real. There is no sugarcoating your message and that’s so refreshing in the bloggingworld, I think. That’s why I love reading your blog and love the way you look at life.

    Two fingers to anyone that said you couldn’t do it. You are definitely one of the most intelligent people I know and I feel that you will go beyond your wildest dreams. It’s important to follow your passions and that you believe in yourself. It pains me to sense that you sometimes doubts yourself, but it makes me so proud and rather emotional (I’m writing this with tears in my eyes) that you realise how strong and capable you are. It takes a strong person to look at possible changes in their life, but it takes an incredible strong and wise person to reflect on your own choices and thoughts. I’ve told you this before, but I really think you have it in you to go to university and make it a success. However, the most important things is that you feel comfortable in what you. You always give great advice and I’m 100% sure you will make the right decision.

    You inspire me every single day, by shining your light on us all. I’ve seen you grow and grow, I’m so incredibly proud of you. I’m not a kind person to myself, but this blogpost has only motivated me to give myself a break sometimes and be that kind person that I am to others. You can do anything you set your mind to and I will always be here for you, supporting you. Keep slaying it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now then! I read this because Marc told me to (via twitter) haha
    I’ve said to many different people since joining twitter and reading blogs – when I was young it was drinking, partying and a bit more drinking! Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed it, but when I read some of the posts and ones like this I actually feel happy (gezz I’m getting old, 36!) and wish I was more in touch with myself in my younger years than I am now who knows what I’d of achieved. It’s now at 36 I’m trying to make amends to that.
    It’s great to know you’re achieving what you think is crazy, and can tell by your posts it’s deserved. I’ve got some pretty crazy ideas of my own and reading things like this gives this ageing guy hope!


    1. aw thank you so much for this kind comment! It means a lot to me. I’m really focused on my future and while I love to go out and party from time to time, I don’t do it every weekend! That was a bit different when I was 16 though.. Hahaha.

      Liked by 1 person

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