Saying “no” can be one of the most difficult things to say to someone. It can change relationships, hurt people, and even cut ties with the other individual or party. I’ve had to do it countless times in both professional and private settings – saying no to people I considered my friends because they were using me, turning down brands because they don’t fit my blog image, or just stating my opposing opinion at work, just to name a few. But what about saying “no” to yourself? This was something I recently overcame myself, and has changed me and allowed me to grow in the process.

「断る」ということはとても難しいことだと思います。人との関係を変えてしまったり、人を傷つけてしまったり、場合によっては相手と絶交することもあります。私も今まで何度もプロフェッショナルとプライベートの設定でやったことがあります。友達だと思っていた人に利用され、これ以上お付き合いができないとはっきり伝えたり、ブログのイメージに合わないブランドとのコラボレーションを断ったり、もしくは仕事場で自分の意見を主張したり。でも、自分自身へ「No」と言ったことはありませんか?実は、私も最近乗り越えたことであり、自分自身の成長に繋がりました。

To make a very long story as short as possible, my most recent relationship lasted 3 years, the longest one I’ve been in, and while I wanted to believe everything would turn out for the better, there were so many red flags that I tried to overlook because I thought I loved him. A work relationship eventually became romantic, but there was a side of him I didn’t know that I had zero control over. Because we were almost 10 years apart in age, he also stressed the fact that I was his junior and he was my senior (this is something engrained in the Japanese culture) even into our private relationship. After a certain point, I had to will myself to be composed when I’d seen on our days off so as to keep peace between us.

長い話を短くすると、去年まである人と3年間お付き合いしていて、その間はどんなに関係が崩れかけていてもいつかは良くなると信じていました。沢山の赤い旗が掲げられていても、彼のことを愛していると本当に思っていました。仕事の関係が恋愛関係に変わり、今まで見たことのなかった彼の一面を知り、自分の手には負えないような状況になりました。10歳ぐらい年が離れていたので、先輩と後輩の関係を仕事関係からプライベートの方にも持ち込み、それに悩まされました。彼に会えることが楽しみなはずなのに、いつからかどう問題が起きないように進めたらいいかが課題になってきていました。

Although there were issues that we both had during the time we were together, there were incidents that really crossed the line in our relationship. Despite all this, I still believed we could somehow make it work. I moved in with him under the condition that we would both improve and make the relationship a healthier one. After only a few days, the promise was broken on his end, and I knew I needed to get out fast. After a certain incident, I feared for my own wellbeing and after 2 weeks, my bags were packed and I was out.

お互い賛成できなかったことが多数ありましたが、自分のコントロールできる一線を超える出来事が増えました。それでもなんとか関係を保てると信じていました。二人で頑張ってより健康的な関係を気づこうと約束をした上で、彼との同居に決意しました。しかし同居し始めて数日後、約束してくれたことをすぐ覆され、ここから出ないと、もうこれ以上無理だと気づきました。自分の身の安全を優先的に考えた結果、2週間後彼を後にして出て行きました。

To be truthful, my heart wasn’t completely out. In a way, I thought this could be a break, some cooling down time for us since we continued to keep in touch for several more months. But the final wakeup call came as a big slap in the face early this year, and it was the first time in a couple years since I really broke down – I couldn’t eat anything, I had zero motivation, and I was calling my mother back home any chance I could. I couldn’t handle the situation as gracefully as a woman should. During the first few days, however, I remembered my previous breakup and how devastated I was, and I willed myself not to go through it again. I dragged myself to the nearest gym, signing up and working out for a full hour on an empty stomach in hopes of distracting myself. I continued doing that the rest of the week (I slowly regained my appetite, don’t worry), and made sure I kept myself busy whenever I could and texted my family and friends who knew what was going on. I think I was extremely lucky to be picking up more modeling jobs and DJ gigs around this time, giving me the confidence I clearly needed.

彼と別れたとは言え、まだ心までは吹っ切れていませんでした。まだ連絡は取り合っていたのでちょっとした休憩期間なのかなと思い込んでいました。ですが今年入ってすぐ、そんな自惚れた思い込みも一気にかき消されるような出来事で何年かぶりに心がブレイクダウンしてしまいました。食欲がゼロな上、モチベーションもまったくなく、時間があるときは泣きながら母親に電話していました。大人な女性らしく、この状況を上手に受け止めることができませんでした。本当にどん底に陥っていたのですが、前の失恋のことを思い出し、同じことを繰り返してはいけないと自分に言い聞かせ、数日後、気を紛らわすために無理矢理ジムのメンバーシップを契約し、何も食べていない状態で一時間運動しました。絶対立ち直りたいと本気で思いました。周りの人のサポートもあり、ちょうどいいタイミングで仕事も増えていたので、当時必要だった自信を取り戻すことができました。

Because I decided to channel my anger and hurt towards improving myself, I was back on my feet in no time. And I’m so glad that I said “no” to myself. The old me would have dragged it out much longer than I did, but the pride within me refused to do so. I have never felt more happier and confident in my twenty-something years of living, and I seriously believe I was able to purge the negativity out of myself. There were good times with him of course, but he was not the right person for me at all and although it took me 3 years to realize that, at least I realized it when I did. Things happen for a reason, and with time it’ll become easier to recognize and have a say in how the negative aspects in your life affect you. Because guess what? You are the only person that can make yourself happy. You have the absolute power of saying “no” to anything that could get in the way of your happiness. In the end, it’s all up to you.

その時感じていた怒りと悲しみを自己改善へのエネルギーに変えることによって、すぐ立ち直ることができました。昔の自分だったらずっと引きずっていたかもしれませんが、今の自分に宿っているプライドがそれを拒否しました。自分にとってマイナスなことを取り除き、ここ二十何年生きてきた中で一番幸せであり、こんなに自信に溢れている自分に正直びっくりです。良い思い出ももちろんありましたが、相性がまったく合わなかったことに気づいて良かったです。物事は理由があって起こることを信じているし、自分に合わないものに対して違うと判断出来ることも経験と共に増えていくと思います。私がこの経験で学んだことは、自分を幸せに出来るのは自分しかいないことです。あなたの幸せを邪魔するものに「No」と言える力があることを忘れないで下さい。あとはあなた次第です。

Forever 21 jacket, belt and necklace and cuff, Esqape sunglasses, Public Desire boots

All photos by Yuma Yamashita

50 comments

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Wow! Your story was very powerful and eye opening at the same time. I’m sorry you had to go through all of that, but I’m happy that you were able to conquer it. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Also, I love your outfit too!

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Omg babe. You can do it . Very touching story. Anyone of us I think had a similar one.
To say No is not easy also like mother for my childrens, but sometimes we must ..also in the life.
Keep strong ❤️❤️
Xx
Eva
http://www.themermaidfashion.com

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Dear Samantha,
I hope you know how amazing you are to go through all of this in such a brave way and to be able to share it. I can identify with a real lot of this within a relationship I was in before I met my husband. It’s not easy at all and you are completely overcoming this and I’m just so proud to know you.
Yours truly,
Jennifer
Also your outfit is unbelievably stunning!

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Samantha, you’re such an inspiration!! You have been through so much and even though it may not always seem so, you are stronger than you think and know! Saying no and knowing when to get out isn’t always easy, but you know yourself and you know how to save yourself.
Jordan xx
http://thehatlogic.com

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You’re so powerful and brave Samantha! It’s so good that you said “no” and choose for yourself and your own health and happiness. You GO girl <3 XO Charissa || http://www.ladygoldapple.com ||

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you are so fierce girl!! i love all of these photos, so gorgeous! also, I love this entire post.. so strong, powerful, and brave! you go girl!

xo, Samira

http://www.leathertolunch.com

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Indeed the hardest person to say no to is ourselves. Good job for overcoming it. I’m still learning.
And wow, this is one edgy and stunning outfit, dear.

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Ok first, incredible outfit, those boots are amazing! And secondly yes sometimes saying no and channelling negative energy gets you so much further (in terms of finding your own happiness and improving yourself etc. than if you’d just said yes and carried on with life. I’m so sorry that shit happened to you but am glad you came out the other end !

The Quirky Queer

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I applaud you for sharing this and have SOOOO much respect for you, and I can’t even start explaining how much I can relate. You are a strong person and I’ve had my own experience and struggles with leaneinf not to please others but rather myself. And from that it actually takes courage and strength to say no even though you want to make things work. I am so happy you are at a better place and being productive with your DJ career and blogging. And let’s not forget how amazing your photos and poses and confidence you exude in those pics! I would love to get together with you one day and take photos. You are truly an inspiration and a blogger I definitely admire!

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Girl this post is right on time!! I’m at a point in my life where I am trying to protect my energy. I try helping people and being there for them and some of them just suck my energy. It’s draining!! Just like you, I’m learning to say no!! I’m so glad to hear you bounced back. This is the best blog post thus far!

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I’m glad this post was helpful in any way possible! Yeah the relationships that suck your energy are not fun.. I hope things turn out well for you!

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Your boots are a killer! Thank you for sharing your experiences. You seem like a very strong person having gone through these relationships. I think most of the time in your heart knows what the right thing to do. Stay strong.

Xxgracie

snappedbygracie.com

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I agree! things happen for a reason 🙂 thanks for reading!

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What an empowering post! I agree that saying no to yourself and having that self love to know you deserve better and are better will help you along the way. It is great that you got out of this relationship and have grown so much from it. We will always have a piece of us that wants to believe in the hope of a change, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. I know there is so much more out there for you and am so happy that you now know this too! xoxo, Christine
http://dailykongfidence.com/

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It took a while but yes, I’m glad I’m out and moving forward! Thank you for reading<3

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Thanks for this amazing post!!
You are a powerful woman and I think this message is really good for a lot of people being stuck.

Go girl !!
Love,
Anji

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Doesn’t matter how long it took, all that matters is that you realized it before you married him. Your situation slightly sounds similar to mine, as my fiancé and I used to work together and he is also 10 years my senior. However, he knows not to rub that in my face and act like he’s my superior because he knows I’m an alpha woman and can survive just as well without a man 🙂 Him knowing this, we have no problems like this. I do agree that he wasn’t the man for you and I am happy you’ve moved on and grown stronger because of it. Believe me, that perfect guy still awaits you 🙂

http://www.thebeautybeau.com

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Oh wow, quite similar! but different in that yours is working out and you two understand each other much better 🙂 Thank you and I’m glad I’ve moved on as well <3

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Wow, babe, your story is so touching! I’m so happy you have the power to say No, I know myself how difficult is that and you have overcome all of that. Thank you for sharing this post, I really need it to read this!!!! xx. Gina

Happy week ahead!

http://www.artsyrunway.com

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Aw thank you for reading! I’m glad it was helpful 🙂

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Aw dear, going through a break up is hard emotionally and physically and I’m sorry that you are going through all of this. Great job for you for getting emotional support from friends and family and dig within yourself to make it through. You are strong and amazing and I’m sure that you would be fine after the storm has cleared. Btw, you look absolutely amazing and slaying it in this look with the thigh high boots!

~ xo Sheree
PoshClassyMom.com

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I don’t think I could have done it without my friends and family honestly! So thankful. And thank you for your kind words<3

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First off, I love your outfit! You are slaying it like always. Secondly, I am sorry to hear you have to deal with this break up — they are never fun! But I’m happy that you are a strong woman who can stand her ground and know the importance and power of a “no.” Thanks for sharing your experience. Stay strong and there is someone better out there for you! <3 xo, sharon

http://www.stylelullaby.com/fashion/desert-gypsy-vibes-macys-max-studio/

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Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words! I hope so too haha<3

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Amen to everything you wrote! It is important to learn how to say no and not have to explain yourself. You have to know your limits!

Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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Totally agree with you there <3

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Ahh girl thank you so much for opening up about something this personal. You are such a strong individual and I’m so glad you were able to get out of that toxic relationship, find yourself and slowly become happy with who you are and chase after what you love. I hope that anyone reading this, even if they can relate or not, will understand the underlying message! PS you look totally bad ass in this shoot! One of my favorites.

With love, Jenn
https://www.jubilantdose.com

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It took me months to decide if I should write about it or not, but I felt like others are probably or have gone through similar situations.. better late than never, right? I enjoy reading your self-growth posts too 🙂

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Great story, and I’m so proud of you, you are a very strong woman and you can teach other girls how not to make mistakes. It is very important to be able to say “no” and I agree with you that the most difficult thing is to say “no” to yourself. But only you are responsible to your own life and your happiness, and sometimes to grow something new and beautiful, you have to cut old one. Even if it painful.

http://lanaluu.com

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It really is difficult sometimes, and change can be painful but also good for self growth. Thank you for reading<3

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I think this outfit matches your story perfectly – it’s all about girl power and sass, also very matrix-like “don’t mess with me” haha.
Saying no to yourself can be the hardest thing. I totally understand you and your relationship troubles having gone through similar things myself..so many girls stay in terrible relationships filled with cheating or emotional/physical abuse because I think it’s in our nature to give someone a chance to change and be better. But sometimes people don’t change. Having the courage to say to yourself “no don’t stay, get out, you deserve better” and also to have the strength to tell yourself “no” to wallowing in your own misfortunate is a really tough thing to do. Hoping this helps to give all the girls out there the courage to say no when needed.

The Hidden Thimble

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I totally agree.. it’s in our nature where we want to give someone a chance, even though it gets harder and harder for people to change. Thats the message I was hoping to get across, is that you have to make the decision for yourself. Thank you for reading<33

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Wow, these photographs are amazing!!! 🙂
x finja ~ http://www.effcaa.com

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I was so moved your story!!
まりこさんと同じで、わたしも年上の人と去年の終わりに別れて、英会話スクールに入会しました。
本当に、自分を幸せにできるのは自分しかいないですね!!
見失ってしまった時は、また、まりこさんのこの記事を見に来ます♡

akiko

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昭子さん、
そうだったんですね!何か新しいことにチャレンジすることはとても良いと思います❤️
英会話頑張って下さい!応援してます♪

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My dear Samantha, you know, this really got to me. In two ways. You know quite a bit from my recent relationship and how hard it has been for me to get over him, but I didn’t know that much about your two relationships. Nor could I have ever imagined you went through this earlier this year. That’s what we do best, right? Keeping up appearances. However. You taught me an important lesson and that is, you CAN get over someone and realize that person was not the right one for you. You might love the person for the rest of your life in some way or another, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I am so happy you are doing so well in your professional career and proud of what you have achieved and are achieving by saying no, not only to others, but to yourself. And oh, by the way, I’ll reply to your email asap!
xoxo
Thomas

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Oh yes, I totally agree about the keeping up with appearances part because of our occupations! I’m sorry to hear about your recent relationship, but I’m glad this post helped in some way. And welcome back from Fashion Week! 🙂

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I’m going to first off say how proud I am of you. I don’t know all the details of this relationship, but I do know that being in a situation where you fear for your wellbeing is never a good situation. I’m really glad that you made the decision to say goodbye to someone who wasn’t healthy for you, and are now continuing to get stronger and be more confident on your own. That takes so much guts, and I admire it like crazy. Secondly, learning to piece yourself back together as quickly as you did is also insanely impressive. I have to admit that in my past breakups, it was way more challenging with each one (probably due to the nature of the relationships, as several were abusive), but even still, it takes so much strength to make it on your own and realize your worth after all that. You go, girl!

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Thank you Stephanie!! Yeah, breakups are never easy when you’re in serious relationships but there’s always the upside that you learn something out of it 🙂

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You are so strong and brave Sam. I remember being in an emotionally abusive relationship. I finally cut it off cold turkey one day and felt sooo much better. Luckily my hubby is nothing like that! I don’t have time to put up with that. We are equal (he’s 6 years older than me), matter of fact, I act like his superior most of the time hahahaha. The right person will come! Don’t worry and don’t sell yourself short. You deserve better!!

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That’s great you are in a very good relationship with your husband 🙂 that’s how it should be<3

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I’m so happy you’re out of that toxic relationship! There should never be an enforced unbalance of power where one person believes they are superior for any reason. I guess that’s something that asian cultures must fight hard to overcome. It’s good that you used this as a stepping stone up in life xx

https://www.bunnybernice.com/single-post/2017/06/29/The-Necessity-of-the-Everyday-Bag

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Thanks so much for sharing this very open post with us, Samantha! I can totally relate to that emotional push and pull that comes with a toxic relationship. It’s times like that when you can really see how strong you are and how much you can overcome. I’m so happy to hear you found the strength and courage to say no and cut off ties with someone who is not healthy for you. You look like a warrior goddess here by the way 🙂 Slay girl slay! You do you!

xoxo, Jo

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I totally agree! It’s the more difficult relationships that makes one stronger 🙂 thank you for reading<3

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Saying no is big part of our lives, both professional and personal and earlier we learn to say no, our life is going to be so much easier! I agree with you on everything.

Btw, I loved this look. It’s so different from everything I’ve seen lately. Grunge, urban with a hint of chic. Loving it Samantha!

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Holly -Molly! This outfit is the most stunning outfit I have seen on blogs this year!!! I give you a score of 200 out of 100 Samantha!!! Not that it’s very fierce and stunning, but it’s so stylish and represented you well!! absolutely loving this outfit!

xx, Jessie
http://4evajessie.com/shenkin-hotel-tel-aviv/

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I’m glad to know you were able to overcome the negativity. Your photos are stunning. Such a fab look.

Inez | My Small World

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Happy Readers!
Really nice post!
I was just googling around the internet and got this blog but really really inspirational in every way.

http://thevictoriaandco.com/2018/02/26/how-to-generate-extra-income/

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Oh you look so cool in this black dress, your glasses makes you look super adorable. I will recommend you to wear black leather jackets and blue jeans. Waiting for more pics

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