By Maya Palavali
There once was a tree in a beautiful park. The tree was known for its caring nature and I dubbed it the “giving tree.” The tree was a popular attraction and had many friends that would ask for its fruits. Overtime, the tree began to grow old. It stopped producing fruit and wilted. When the tree could give no more, its friends left. The tree became lonely, alone for the rest of its life.
One thing about me is that I have a lot of interests such as poetry to public speaking; however, what I love most in the world is helping others. The feeling I get when I know I caused someone to smile is priceless. When you help others, you give them a part of yourself.
I prioritize helping others more than anything else. While this is a good thing, it means that I tend to neglect one of the most important people in my life: myself. Giving takes up a lot of energy, and sometimes you use it up on external factors.
Just as the giving tree, I used to give too much of myself to others. It was taxing and distorted my self image. It took a long time to get out of that cycle, but I could not be more grateful that I did.
I made a conscious effort to surround myself with good people and gave less of my time to everyone. I started to find the balance between giving and receiving. I grew with the people around me, but that was not what I am most proud of.
I began to care, to truly love the person in the mirror. I used to hate myself and wish I was someone else. I tied my self worth to other people and what they thought of me.
I felt as if I was not useful then I was not wanted.
I chose to start a friendship with myself. I made more time to be alone and to do what I love. I would start off the day with reminding myself of my own worth. I had conversations with myself whenever I faced a problem in order to do what would make me happiest.
I gained a support system, a new outlook on life and an ability to make many more accomplishments. But, what I truly found was my best friend. Becoming your own friend is the best thing you can do for yourself.