When people ask how old I am & I answer, “Almost 40” (Had Lia at 28. She’s 11 now), it’s typically followed by, “What’s your skincare regimen?”
There’s no secret. I don’t use anything. I don’t do spas or derma. I can’t even be bothered to brush my hair, tbh (I did give in to a friend who told me to apply Good Molecules & Celeteque products. Did it daily for two months last year, but stopped. Too lazy). My only regimen is this: I’ve learned to disengage from unhealthy relationships.
Doesn’t matter if it’s a friend, family, a guy, or an acquaintance. I ask myself, “Is this person someone I would feel safe integrating into/further having in my daughter’s life?” If a person is toxic or the connection proves unhealthy (and I am very generous with chances, giving until depleted), I cut them from my life and don’t look back.
It’s overrated and damaging to keep relationships just because of the time you spent in them, especially in our culture where we always get told, “Pamilya mo pa rin ‘yan (They’re still family)”. We do not get to choose the family we are born in, yes, but we can choose to break ties with them if they continue harming us.
We deserve people who share our values, honor our worth, and make us feel safe and secure. And vice-versa. Time isn’t promised. I’m halfway through the human lifespan and I’d rather use what remains of it cultivating space for people who will build a life with me that’s centered on well-being and compassion than fuck around with those who cause harm, are unsure of me, or play games.
It’s not easy! Setting boundaries can feel selfish especially when one is used to trauma. But we also owe it to the people we share our energies with. Connections leak into all aspects of our lives. They affect others and how we view the world and ourselves. When I learned to do it as an act of self-care (still learning; am a work in progress), I felt and moved through life lighter. Looking at photos from 5, 7 years ago when I was so stressed, and living in toxic relationships, God, the difference in the aura is light years.
I believe when we feel good inside, it radiates outwardly. When we are at peace, it will show. Do it for yourself. You deserve it.