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So it’s almost 2016 and looking back at the past year, I have to say OVERALL it’s been pretty good. Yes, I have had my struggles. Normal struggles that I am sure all of us have. Finances, Family, Lack of love in relationships.. and Some Growing Pains here and there. With Growing Pains comes Growth, and this year I feel good about that. Turning 30 has been nothing but clarity for what I want as a woman now and for my future, Here are some of the things I have learned about self love.

BEING ALONE IS QUITE ALRIGHT

This is something that has taken me a long time to come to terms with. I have been successfully single for about a little over 3 years now. Sure, I had a long term hook up here or there, and most recently since I moved to France. When I realized this wasn’t becoming a relationship and that I had given myself to someone for over a year without demanding what I wanted in return I decided to cut this off before my 30th birthday. I am still learning many, many things in my life, but one lesson I have learned the most is being with someone who is unaware of your worth is just as bad as being alone. Being alone reserves your self respect, and saves your essence for someone who one day will deserve it. There’s nothing religious, or prude about what I am about to say… but I just decided giving myself sexually to someone I was not in love with or who more importantly didn’t love me had to stop. I have been celibate for a while now, but in like with a few people and I feel AMAZING. When I finally do have a boyfriend, I will have sex because I am in love and because I want to share myself with someone who deserves me.

We as women often complain about the behavior of men today, but we take little credit for how and why they are the way they are in this generation. You simply cannot blame someone for treating you the way you have allowed them to treat you.

And if there is one thing that I have learned throughout my years in the game, it’s that when I have liked someone and they failed to treat me right or give me the attention I deserve… they always woke up eventually to the amazing woman I know I am. Always. Like Clockwork. Til this day I have guys that I used to fawn over in the past come out of the woodworks to see what I am up to, and nothing about me has changed besides for my confidence and my being okay to be single and focus on bettering myself.

AFTER THAT, DATING AGAIN CAN BE AWKWARD TO SAY THE LEAST

I must admit when you make the choice to be reserved in this way, dating gets hard. I have always been the kind of girl who needed a mental connection prior to having a physical one. I look for men who have the same attributes I try to sharpen in myself personally. To be very honest- that means I rarely meet guys, and when I do– I swoon, but in a silently awkward, nerdy way. I am reading the new Aziz Ansari book, Modern Romance right now (which will be the first SITL bookclub book in 2016) and I have to say that I RELATE.

When you are kind of old fashioned, and want something REAL, AMAZING, ROMANTIC and SIMPLE all at once- this generation can just be weird. What to text, how long to wait to text?, how to respond?, how to read someones response…. how to make eye contact, how to play it cool, “what if he doesn’t get that I am into to him?”, “Can I eat all of this in front of him?”, “am I too much of a tomboy bro?”, “OMG he likes all my instagram photos- doesn’t he f*ckin like me?”, “I wish we could talk on the phone”, “am I coming on too strong?”,”Will I ever see him again?”—

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It can all be pretty damn exhausting, and my romantic track record is blaze blaze blaze (cue Ty $ sign voice). When I feel confused or sad, I go with my heart. I send the boy I like a text, I smile back, I like as many of his instagram pictures as I want, and I remember – I am Aurielle Freakin Sayeh Rounsaville and I am awesome. I will look like JLO at age 45, I have a nice ass, a degree, love reading books, play a mean tetris, am working on my first TED talk, have amazing exotic genes and any man would be lucky to get with this, especially the ones I have hand chosen and pre selected as qualified material.
SO BOO-YAH-KA-SHAH!

And then I chill, because Like I said before, I have always upgraded in Life. I know G-d has an amazing dude chillin waiting for me somewhere cool in this world, and so do you. Who wants true love, if you aren’t ready for it, and how can you be ready for it if you don’t spend ample amounts of time getting to know yourself, what you want and loving you first?

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AFTER I HAVE SAID ALL OF THAT, YOU CAN STILL BE SEXY SOMETIMES & RESPECT YOURSELF

I have a lot of problems with internet hoes. Not even gonna lie. I could easily bump my mere 32K following up fast to 100 by showing just pictures of my ass. I know that. But I have some integrity. That is not to say that I don’t love myself, and don’t enjoy feeling sexy sometimes. After all I am a woman. I recently shot with a female photographer in London, Maria Pigeon, and I wanted to do this shoot because I have been working on my body so hard this year, and realized I am really self conscious about shooting this way. Most of the time because I work with male photographers, but also because up until now I wasn’t okay with my body. Since 17 when I started modeling something was always wrong with me at each agency I hopped around to. I was too short, too ethnic, not ethnically defined enough (what are you?), or I had to get skinnier. That can be a mind fuck. But now, I just don’t care. I love my body, I love my curves, and I love the days I happen to wake up feeling really skinny. I also love working out, it feels amazing, but I love cookies more, so I will never be that vision of perfection you see on all the girls who feel the need to show their butts for free daily to you and the creepy photographers shooting those pictures they post on instagram (also for free).

Did you know that the publication Playboy decided to stop from being a full nude magazine this past year? I love the message this sends. It is perfectly okay to be sexy and love your body. You can, all whilst respecting yourself. I love my curves, my stretch marks, my sometimes jiggly musclar thighs, and even my round face when I eat too many chocolate chip cookies. But there’s a difference between loving yourself for you, and loving yourself for other people or attention.

I always stress that my love for fitness stems from the way it makes me feel inside vs out because I feel there is so much pressure to do something to achieve something. When in reality, we are all different and will see and feel different results.


YOU SHOULD GO & LOVE YOURSELF (IN & OUT)

Over the past few years, and from living overseas being single and having a high stress life I have learned that pampering yourself is so important and it doesn’t cost a lot of money! Doing facemasks here and there, painting your nails, taking a bath, popping some hot water on the stove to stem your pores over, having a cup of tea, a cheap spa day, delivery thai food… if you can- these are all ways (in addition to sports) to feel more like yourself and relax.

I really have learned to take and make the time to do these sorts of things for myself. Sometimes I work so much that I survive off of being able to do these things. Something else that has come to mean a lot to me is yoga and meditating with my crystals (it’s not as crazy as it sounds) it really helps me stay balanced.

I am going to spend the day today doing things like this, and making my new years resolutions.

Something else I love to do on NYE is make my vision boards. I take all of my magazine and cut out pictures resembling things that I want to see in my life. I have been doing this for years and it really works (even though I haven’t seen that rose gold rolex or wedding ring yet) I keep putting them on the board, and setting my goals to a reachably high place.

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Thank you so much for following my journey this year and the movement. We have so many cool surprises in store for 2016. I have 2 other exciting posts rolling out today and tomorrow!

Happy New Year and don’t forget to start at home, feel good about you and you will spread these feelings, care for others and make this world a better place!

Bisous!

photos & styling: Maria Pigeon