RadSelfLove 2017: Janet Odubeko
Radical Self Love. I shared my story and thoughts about radical self love. Now, I pick the brains on the folks that have inspired my own journey to self love. In the radical self love series, I ask some questions that I asked myself in the beginning of 2017. Because learning about my peers, is to learn about self.
I met Janet at a party last summer. I brought a hula hoop to the function and we bonded through hooping and dancing. As I got to know her, I found out that she was transitioning careers and that in itself takes courage and strength. In this interview, I asked her how she managed to love herself through that journey.
Mykieintheraw: Tell me about yourself.
Janet Odubeko I’m a former higher education professional now turned marketing & PR professional. I possess a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and I’m a current Graduate student at Full Sail University focusing on Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication.
Also, I write from time to time uplifting each other as black women cause we aren’t all perfect. I write about things not only to empower other women but to empower myself.
MITR: Let’s talk about your process of transitioning from one industry to the next.
JO: It wasn’t easy. When I chose to transition from higher education to PR , I was at a low point of my life emotionally. I chose to take a huge career risk in my life where I’m at my dark place in my life. I was living on my own, traveling whenever I wanted to BUT I wasn’t happy and that’s why I left . I was working for little to no income for months and this was after leaving a job with good pay and somewhat good benefits.
My breaking point in my career transition was when I had an emotional breakdown at work. That’s when I knew that higher education was not going to work for me. I loved myself too much to be in a situation where my emotional health was being affected. So I left. It wasn’t the easiest decision to make as I would be at events and on social media but behind the scenes I would cry wondering if I made the right decision.
It definitely took a lot of strength, a lot of courage and a lot of self love to transition into the career that I have now. Now I’m starting to see every seed that I sowed in 2016 bear fruit despite the struggle to get to this place of happiness.
MITR: Do you have advice for someone who’s transitioning.
JO: I would definitely tell them that having a good support system and prayer is extremely important. Listening to a lot of music got me through. Music therapy, Art therapy. Don’t isolate yourself. That’s what I did and it did not work. Be around as many friends as possible. If you need to call somebody, call them. If you need to meditate, meditate, yoga, go to Zumba. Continue to keep yourself uplifted during that time because if you seclude yourself your mental health is gonna take a hit. You need that to be intact especially at that stage in your life.
MITR: Let’s talk about self love. What part of yourself do you adore?
JO: I adore my resilience. I adore my physical attributes as well. I love how I look physically. Its funny that you mentioned this question because at my low point, I gained 30 pounds because I was depressed. I did not love myself as much as I do now because I couldn’t fit into my clothes. Now that I’m getting to the point that I lost most of the weight and loving on me more. Right before I lost the the weight, I told myself that I had to love the extra rolls that I had and not just skinny girl I was used to being.
I also love my character and my ability to overcome obstacles. Resilience is probably the best thing I love overall and I still have a good heart despite the people that have tried to hurt me in my life.
MITR: What parts of yourself requires a bit more loving?
JO: I probably would say repairing the parts of me that holds on to pain dealing in terms of my parents. I need a little bit more loving in that area because it spills into other parts of my life and it shouldn’t. But that’s because I haven’t dealt with it.
I’m still learning to love myself more and my body after the weight gain and weight loss. It’s all a process.
MITR: Dig deeper. What part of yourself is hard for you to face?
JO: Hmm I guess the fact that I’m so guarded because of things I dealt with in the past. I think letting my guard down is hard for me to face because I’m afraid of getting hurt.
That’s something I”m also working on too because I’m noticing that I can push people away and I don’t want to push the right people out of my life..
MITR: What advice would you give someone embarking on a self love journey?
JO: I would definitely say writing your thoughts down so that they come to fruition. I used to journal and I stopped but I’m going to start again because there was a lot of things that I internalized and journaling helped me release these emotions.
Meditate and workout as much as possible because I remember when I was working out 5x a wk, I was definitely at my happiest. Every picture I saw during that time, I was always smiling.. Surrounding yourself with people who are like you. Who have good hearts, who don’t tear you down, who build you up. That’s imperative in your self love journey and most of all, being careful about the people you choose to entertain. Also, being cognizant of the love you deserve and making sure that you receive that and nothing less. Never settle.
MITR: What does radical self love mean to you?
JO: Radical self love means loving yourself no matter what stage you are. If you can love yourself during your hard times and during your happiness then you can truly achieve radical self love.