When COVID-19 quarantine hit, it caused many of us to do some intense personal reflection and take some “life inventories.” Mine made it glaringly obvious that I had a lot of healing to do when it came to my relationship with myself. I was focused on filling my “happiness tank” and “quality time tank” with other people’s love and attention. I realized that’s not only unfair to those around me, but it’s also impossible to sustain in the long term. So I set off on a self-discovery adventure during which I acted on my own love language and took myself on creative “self dates” every few weeks until my relationship with “me, myself, and I” was the strongest, most reliable connection I had in my life.
But that’s not what this is about. This article is the love child of the unexpected lesson I learned from my “self date” challenge. I learned that adventure is my “healing language.” I know I can stick to the assignment when I make it bigger than therapy sessions, journaling, and reading.
I was in a therapy session a few weeks back, still working through the “intake awkwards” with my newest therapist as she tried her hardest to learn everything about me in a few hours, and I tried my hardest not to burst out in tears with every question. She gave me the classic “Mhm, I see” with a head nod, and I was immediately intrigued by what she had to say next. She told me it sounded like with everything I experienced in my childhood and early adult years, I had inadvertently skipped a whole phase of development: the adolescent years, which form our identities. I went from an innocent child exploring my own imagination and soaking up as much fun as possible to an adult juggling responsibilities, decisions and consequences.
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