I Hope You Fall in Love With Yourself This Year…

Four years later – you’ve written more than 200 self-love letters on Valentine’s Day. Every year I read these letters, sometimes with a glass of wine, and my heart just swells. How incredible it is that so many of you – from Australia to Wyoming – are taking a (very special) moment to remember what makes you so lovely. Because you are – you are so full of sass, smarts, kindness, beauty, hope, power, strength, courage and of course… love.

On Valentine’s Day and always, from my heart to yours, never forget the words you’ve written below. And if you haven’t written anything -that’s ok! – I dare you to put something on paper. You’ll be amazed at how cleansing and empowering it really is to simply… be loved by yourself.

 

Lindsay Aurora Tigar, 

10247462_10101105061669648_7766286907397873369_n-1This year, you’ve left me a little speechless. Which is a rarity for you – considering you live your life through words, both written and often, excitedly spoken. I think your mom probably said it best when you went South to visit for the holidays: “You’re so full of love, Linds, I can just feel it. You’re bursting.”

And you are.

Like you always have, you set your mind to do something in 2014, and damn it – you did it. You finally let go of the past and you forgave yourself for being imperfect. You forgave New York and all of the men and all of the frustrations for not working on your timeline, and you then went an extra step: you threw that to-do list away and you started living your life.

A year later, you have now stamped your passport with England, France, Italy, and right now, when this letter publishes, you’ll be in Denmark (and possibly swinging by Sweden for dinner, simply because you can). You have worked so incredibly hard to make your freelancing career take off – and now your byline is, well, everywhere. You always dreamed of writing a book one day… and now you have an agent (a real agent!). You had the courage to leave a bad job that made you unhappy to take a chance on a start-up that you’ve fallen in love with (and loves you back). You wanted to move downtown and be closer to the scene, and you wanted roommates you could also be friends with, and here you are in this East Village apartment, listening to C hum in the kitchen while she cooks. You wanted to be kinder to yourself and to your body, and you are more active than you’ve ever been, you put better things in your body, and girlfriend – you look awesome. You worked hard for that body – and you’re still working. I love that you remind yourself that you’re (more than) enough almost every single day, it’s important. Don’t stop doing that.

And love? Well. You’re a bit disappointed that almost three-and-a-half years since you last broke up with someone, you’re still wondering where that special guy is. But I tell you something: he’s definitely somewhere. I wish I knew where (then you’d stop worrying so much about it) – but I do know he exists. And I also know you’ll meet him one very fine day, but in the meantime, you’re doing a pretty incredible job of spreading love everywhere you go. To readers, to your friends, to your Facebook friends (they aren’t always the same), to your co-workers, to your dog (and her puppy friends), to your family near and far, to strangers on the street – literally, to everyone.

And that has made you bursting with love, like your mom noticed. Maybe more importantly, you can feel it. You feel that love in your heart – it’s warm, it’s powerful, it can’t be contained. You want to spread it. You want people to have hope. You want people to be full of fire and magic and endless positivity. You are one of the most thoughtful, caring, good-spirited and yet, incredibly sassy and confident women I’ve met. Everyone tells you that your eyes are beautiful – and they are, but mostly because of the person that’s shining from behind them. Keep sharing your heart with the world. Keep traveling and seeing the world. Keep believing in goodness, in romance, in butterflies, in your dreams, in yourself.

I won’t tell you to stop worrying – a part of you always will. But every once in a while, Linds? Maybe after yoga or when you’re walking those two miles to and from work each day, stop. Take a deep breath. Look at all of the things unfolding around you. Own the part of the universe that you make better. Smile that beautiful smile of yours (with your teeth!). Love with that beautiful soul. And my love, one day, you will have what you want. The book. The house. The bylines in prestigious publications. The kitchen that’s actually big enough to cook in. The backyard for Lucy. The passport that needs more pages for more stamps. The babies. The income to allow more freedom. And yes, the man, that love of your life.

It will all be there one day, but today, on Valentine’s Day, and all the time, stop. Relax. Dance. Believe. Share. Live with your heart out loud.
With all my heart, Linds, 26, New York City

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6 Reasons You’re More Badass Than You Think

Quick: When you woke up this morning and looked in the mirror, did you say something nice or start criticizing flaws? In that work meeting you led a few weeks ago, did you pat yourself on the back, or nitpick every little detail?

When you’re always trying to improve, it’s easy to get caught up in a self-confidence spiral. But here’s the thing: According to several studies, the stories we tell ourselves directly contribute to our happiness level and day-to-day satisfaction.

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The Most Important Thing to Remember in Dating

This post was originally published on eHarmony’s blog.

My ex and I broke up in September of 2011 – it was one of those dramatic, romantic comedy-esque kind of scenes: I asked for more, he couldn’t give it, he offered a half-hearted plea for me to stay and I grabbed the next cab I saw uptown to my apartment, while it rained (of course) and I cried the whole way home.

In the months that turned into years after that I’ve been dating in New York – one of those cities with a bad reputation for being more about career than love – I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons. Like – if a guy says he’s 5’11 in his online dating profile, he’s likely around 5’8”. Or when a guy says he’s not looking for a relationship, he’s not, no matter how easygoing, beautiful, sexy or sassy you might be. And that there are more than enough men who are willing to wine and dine you, but not too many that actually want to talk to you and listen. I think that’s why love is so valuable when we do eventually stumble across it, the work to get there feels really, really hard.

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Write a Love Letter… To Yourself!

One of my favorite things to ever come from Confessions of a Love Addict is the annual self-love letter writing campaign. Over the past four years, you’ve written more than 200 letters of confidence, kindness, beauty, passion and strength… to yourself.

When you’re single – or when you’re in a relationship – it’s sometimes difficult to take a step back and truly appreciate all of the incredible things that make you… you. From the way you walk and talk to how you treat your best friends and the special gifts that only you have – there are so many things that make you one-of-a-kind.

I’m happy to introduce the 5th annual (wow!) Self-Love Letters on Confessions of a Love Addict.

Here’s how to participate:

1- Fill out this form. Remember – you can be totally anonymous! Or if you’re a blogger, I’m happy to link back to your blog. And you’re welcome to send along a photo, drawing, graphic – anything -that you’d like to go along with your letter.

The deadline to submit is Monday, February 9th

2- If you need inspiration, check out 2011‘s, 2012‘s, 2013‘s and 2014‘s letters.

3- Check back on the blog on Valentine’s Day to see your letter. If you feel like, share it with those you love!

4- Check back on February 15th to see if you won the fun prize!

5- Love yourself. Love everything.

Stop Wondering What You Don’t Have

There was a period of time last year when I basically refused to go out.

I wouldn’t say I was depressed – that’s a bit of an exaggeration for me – but I wasn’t happy. There were a lot of things going on, from my family to my non-existent love life – and no matter how hard I tried or how much I damned myself to be more hopeful, I just couldn’t get there. And when my friends all made fun plans to go bar hopping in Brooklyn or hit up a gimmicky club in the Lower East Side, I politely joined them for dinner and weaseled my way out of of the late night excursions.

Logically, I knew that staying home snuggled up with my pup wouldn’t get me closer to finding The Infamous Love of All Loves – but emotionally, I couldn’t stomach standing in some crowded place, having drinks spilled on me and drunken guys attempting to hit on me while slurring their words. I wasn’t in the mood for it and frankly, at the time, I didn’t believe it would actually help me meet anyone worth meeting (I’m still not convinced it will, for the record, but I do go out more now). But more than the immature 24-year-olds hitting on me or the blaring pop music…

…it was all of those girls.

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8 Reasons Every Single Woman Should Go on a Date at Least Once a Week

Earlier this year, my roommate and I were lazily lounging on our Ikea couch, splitting a bottle of $5 wine and bitching hard core about men. As we went through the annoying guys we were making boring small talk with on Tinder, the ones who matched us on Hinge, and the questionable picks on OkCupid—I kept thinking…we aren’t actually dating.

Until we started the dating pact. Sure it isn’t always easy, but we have each other to keep us going.

We remind each other of all of the reasons why we should go on a date—even when we don’t want to.

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You Can Do Anything

I wondered if everyone who warned me about the dangers and lasting effects of forcing my wide little feet into heels every day had some merit in their concern as I hobbled back into my Harlem apartment in 2010. It smelled like marijuana and though I bought the cheap air fresheners from the Duane Reade around the block (a pharmacy I had never heard of), the scent was far too overpowering to ignore. The big box my mom sent me from North Carolina sat in my “kitchen”, or rather the furthest left portion of my 400-sq-feet room that amazingly cost $850 a month. I had spent the day going to interview to interview, scouring through every possible magazine masthead I could, emailing to meet up for coffee and praying to the job gods to give me their blessing. I had only lived in New York for two and a half weeks and most of my savings were gone thanks to a security deposit and first months rent. I started my hostessing gig in a week if I didn’t find employment before then. My parents couldn’t help. I was 150% on my own. I was terrified. And I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted the city to welcome me with the open arms I always thought it had somewhere buried underneath it’s tough exterior and soiled streets. But instead of falling apart, I repeated my mantra:

You can do it, Lindsay. You’re a Tigar. You can do anything.

Putting the dirty details of my existent and non-existent dating life on the internet was rather a bold decision, I told some girl I met through a new friend I didn’t know well enough yet. The girl was “obsessed” with my blog and I felt a little naked in front of her – considering she knew about my last one night stand the boy who broke my heart in college, and yet, I had no idea what she told me her name was 10 minutes ago. I should be thankful for my job, I reminded myself the next morning while writing a blog about taxes for small business owners. It was a challenging subject matter, and my salary (barely) covered my expenses, but I longed to do what I already did for free: write things that will help women feel less alone. I knew how to get from point A to point B, but the thought of keeping up a popular personal blog, working 9-6, dating, attempting to make friends and applying for a new job seemed daunting. I had done it before when I moved here a year ago, I reminded myself. My drive didn’t seem quite as high but I knew that passion could never really be put out. After all, I repeated:

You can do it, Lindsay. You’re a Tigar. You can do anything.

It was as if the city knocked the air out of me on the ride up Broadway to the Upper West Side. The cabbie had asked if I wanted to take the highway, but I said I preferred to pay a little more and watch New York wind down on that Sunday night. We had been broken up for six months then, but never stopped sleeping together. Even though I acted like I wasn’t seeing him drunkenly or haphazardly, dangling my heart in front of him as he pushed it away. As always. But then the last shoe dropped and something inside me woke up – was this really the love I wanted? Was this the type of relationship I would encourage my friends, my readers, the strangers in the street to have? It wasn’t – and I gave him the choice to make it better. Pick me and work on it, or get out of my life. He wouldn’t decide – per usual – so I made the choice for him. But as I cried silently and the driver ignored my sobs, I felt the fear building up. What if that’s as good as it gets? What if I don’t meet anyone? What if I can’t feel it again? To keep from sobbing from that pit in your heart few people ever touch, I sang my song:

You can do it, Lindsay. You’re a Tigar. You can do anything.

Your knee doesn’t really hurt, you’re just listening to the pain instead of focusing on the finish. Remember philosophy class? What you give your attention to grows – focus on something else to distract yourself. I decided to think about complicated things as I pasted mile 8 on the West Side Highway last Sunday. Only 5.1 more miles to go to complete the NYC Half-Marathon that I didn’t have time to train for with everything. With my dad’s 5th surgery in one year. With the uncertainty surrounding my future. With my dire need to get laid after quite the dry spell. With a trip to Europe so close I can see it, but can’t get excited about just get. Not until my dad is fine. Not until my finances are balanced and my taxes are paid. Not until I finish this race, with my ears freezing and my joints aching with every step. But if I can just keep moving, I know I’ll be home napping before I can think. I know what to tell myself:

You can do it, Lindsay. You’re a Tigar. You can do anything.

Just when you think the sunshine that always defined you was withered away into the clouds that just keep surrounding you, a little ray shines it’s way through. People always warned me that finding my way on my own would be hard. That dating wasn’t easy in this city. That careers are flaky and my industry is shaky at very best. That friendships would require work and diligence, patience and understanding. That loving yourself and believing in the good gets easier and harder as you get older, as you experience more things and question, well, everything. And at times, it all seems impossible. It seems stagnant and unreal. Scary. Like all that you worked so hard for, all that you wanted, all of those magical things that you imagined growing up would never come true. And sometimes, they don’t. Other times, they do. Most of the time, they work out just how they’re supposed to – without you realizing they ever came to be at all.

But of all the struggles and the dilemmas your adult life puts you through, of all of the trouble, and all of the unanswered questions left spiraling in your mind, if you can remember one simple truth that’s true for you, that’s true for me, that’s true for everyone:

You can do anything.

That is, my dear, if you never stopping believing that you can. That you already have. That you always will.