Boundaries: Work in Progress

Aleesha Suleman
3 min readNov 11, 2020


What has this pandemic meant for my self-development?

When the pandemic first started, I was still completing my Master’s programme and I felt a little pressured to get into some kind of workout routine or work on some creative projects mostly because I saw people being really productive. I had to take several steps back and tell myself that I was already doing something productive by focusing on completing my programme.

However, something that I’ve been working on since late last year is personal boundaries. And honestly, although the year has been difficult in so many ways, one of its blessings is that I’ve been able to learn how to spend time by myself and really appreciate the moments that I have ‘me’ time — to truly focus on the different ways that I should care for and love myself.

I’ve been a people-pleaser for a long time (#childhoodtraumas). And as a Gemini, I’ve always been able to go with the flow and be adaptable no matter what situation I’m in. This is such a valuable asset most of the time since I’ve never liked the idea of being picky or what I considered to be bratty. Unfortunately, because of not valuing myself, I have ended up in situations that made me feel devalued, unappreciated or simply put me at a disadvantage — through my own doing. Because of this adaptability and people-pleasing tendencies, it has sometimes been hard to draw the line between what I like and want versus what I am doing for others because it is what they prefer or want. I saw it as “I can adapt easily but this is a boundary for them and I should respect that and do what I can to make things easy for them”.

However, for the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching and experimenting to figure out, what do I like? What do I want?

What are MY boundaries and how can I respect and value MYSELF (by sticking to them rather than erasing the line and redrawing them each time at my own expense?

Spending time in lockdown, quarantine and social distancing, in general, has been really helpful in creating space for me to work on myself. Not necessarily skills-wise, but in terms of rediscovering myself and valuing myself.

I think this simply a part in the journey and I definitely don’t think I have figured things out yet. However, I feel that I have reached a new understanding and appreciation of my own value — either because of bad experiences or because of strong, loving personalities in my life who inspire me to treat myself with the respect and love I deserve. All of which I’ve been unconditionally handing out to everyone except myself.

Here’s to carrying self-love and self-development into 2021, no matter what uncertainties and dystopian scenarios we’re faced with.



Aleesha Suleman

Identity, personality and relationships: works-in-progress. Join me in the unearthing of myself through my writing. Karibuni!