Good evening folks.
Whilst most of my blog post start with ‘Long time no see’ or ‘It has been a while’ today’s write up is a little off track from my normal narrative as I won’t be outlining the time I’ve spent away from my blog, mainly because I have needed it. These last two months have been an absolute rollercoaster, and I hate roller coasters. Aside being buried in dissertation work, my mental, physical and social wellbeing has been strapped in tight and put on loop. I am not really the type of person too share too much online, since high school I can honestly say I have kept myself to myself. I am not one for throwing myself a pity party (well not today anyway) so I’ve summed it up in what I like to call ‘positive learning outcomes’.
I have leant…
x I am not a pretty crier
x Worry and doubt can consume your mental state
x Depending on your appearance for happiness is an exhausting battle
x Just because you aren’t doing what everyone else your age is doing doesn’t mean you're failing
x Feeling alone doesn’t mean you are alone
x Sometimes you do just need a cuddle with your mum to fix everything
x Seeking help is the first step in getting better
The internet for many is a place to communicate with friends, drop subtle ‘likes’ to a boy you fancy and share your best selfies. But that is not always the case. This is a topic I have wanted to talk about for a while, but quite frankly was too scared to put something so personal online, until now. Before I get into the nitty gritty stuff you’re going to want to put the kettle on, this is a long one trust me. In a nutshell, my dissertation studied the requirement for ‘Girl Talk’ online within today’s society and how the internet can positively aid and benefit this for future women. Now I won’t copy and paste my 6,000 + words into this blog because I am sure the research behind it isn’t of interest, but what I hope is, is the impact we as women can make by sharing stories. It is said, those of us who aren’t consumed by our own profiles are engrossed in others. We scroll, we like, we judge, we tag our friend, we upload and most importantly we share – but how often do we stop and ask ourselves what are we sharing?
This blog isn’t about how many followers you have or how many likes you get, but how many people you can inspire, move or help. To write, especially in our modern society, is more than to describe an item of clothing or share what I got up to on a trip abroad, it is about making a connection and conveying emotions. I will set the scene with a nice quote which over the past two/three month has guided me back to a feeling of normality and love.
“I cannot think of a better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be themselves.”
NEVER COMPARE YOURSELF TO A STRANGER ON INSTAGRAM
Hands up if you’ve ever felt personally victimised by Regina Geor….. Ha! I joke. But I am sure we have all, at some point, felt some form of self-doubt because of social apps like Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest etc. I envision you all sat nodding to that statement, so from that I shall start with appearance. With the title ‘Influencer’ comes a huge check list of features, most of which I don’t tick the boxes for. I personally blame publications and social media for the current standards set in place for women. We are so caught up with how strangers from half way across the world appear, we begin to lose touch with ourselves. Not everything online is real, in fact I’d stay over 50% of the internet is a load of s***, what happens behind closed doors often ends up photo shopped and on Instagram the next morning. I think at some point we are all going to encounter moments of unhappiness with our body’s because none of us will ever be perfect, but what we can be is proud. I think it’s important to understand as we get older our bodies will change and we should see this as a positive thing. If we are fit and healthy then our body is a blessing that deserves praise. When we begin to obsess over our weight and/or appearance our mental state suffers, we disregard everything positive and focus all our remaining energy on what we do not like about ourselves. It is important to disconnect yourself from the source of your insecurities, whether that be the internet, magazines, your relationship with food or even exercise. My advice to you is to set YOUR own personal standards and work towards them at your own pace. Self-love is a wonderful thing when you encounter it, wait and see.
LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
Emotions are power. It means you care, you feel something and are in some way are effected by something or someone. They do not make us weak or weird, but normal. They say to feel everything so deeply is both a blessing and a curse. I totally relate to this. It’s kind of a contradicting thought, but to know you’re sad you must experience happiness. To know your worried, you must have been care-free and so on. But when all these emotions get too much it often feels like you’re losing control, a state which for most is overwhelming. The last few months have taught me the importance of our mental health and how there is so set destination to achieve wellness. All emotions matter. Identifying you are feeling different than normal is a huge step in objectifying the problem and moving forward. We are our own priority and self-care is a huge part of this. Take time each day to do something you like, whether it be the gym, watching Emmerdale (How hot is that new Tom guy btw?) or even cooking with your parents, stepping back and reflecting each day is an important part of appreciating the simple things we have. I am extremely lucky to be surrounded by people who I can so confidently offload my problems onto, which I am eternally grateful for. Despite this lesson being about looking out for yourself, look out for your friends too, you never know what other people could be going through. Life is short, be kind.
CHANGING PATHWAY DOESN’T MEAN YOU’VE FAILED.
If I were asked to do a SWOT analysis on myself, being a perfectionist would sit somewhere in the middle off strengths and weaknesses. I am an extremely self-critical person which comes from how highly I try to value myself. I push myself to my best to achieve my best and it is that simple - except it’s really not. Going into my third year of University I moved into a student house ready for the upcoming term. Little did I realise just how much I was going to hate it- the student nightlife, the idiot landlords and the phobia of other peoples unwashed plates. It’s safe to say I lasted 3 weeks before moving home to my mums cooking, a wardrobe full of clothes and the sound of nothing but silence past 10 o’clock. Disclosure: I would like to add in here I am a total grandma and my Saturday nights are best spent watching Casualty – judge away! It is total fair to say my plans for this year completely changed within a matter of days and in my head I labelled myself as a failure. Thoughts that went through my head were things like… I am failing being a ‘proper’ student. I am failing my relationship by moving away from where we both live. I am failing myself because I am not local enough to University. The list goes on, however this really wasn’t the case. Changing your mind on something, be it big or small, requires a high level of self-worth and respect, making you stronger than you probably thought.
Ok, 1,237 words in Lydia…. I’m starting to wonder if there is a word count for blogs as this is definitely my longest post to date. Maybe I could add an extra submission to my dissertation, PT2 ‘Lydia May – A large ramble with a few insightful points’. I hope something I’ve written today has been inspiring, helpful, or even if it’s just been of interest to read. The internet is a wonderful platform to utilise so share something new today.
A final side note. Here is a list of bloody amazing bloggers who are constantly keeping it real and inspiring me..