5 lessons i learned in 2021
2021 was not perfect, but I’m very grateful for it. I learned so much!
lesson 1: never lose your confidence 0:12
lesson 2: embrace challenges 2:42
lesson 3: invest in yourself 3:56
lesson 4: have compassion towards yourself and others 6:47
lesson 5: enjoy life as it is 8:59
It’s Time to Be Brutally Honest About Instagram
In a Bustle article, a woman de-constructed her Instagram pictures and explained them in two ways: how she hopes they come across, and the actual thought process that accompanied each post.
My interest in this app has waxed and waned over the years, but in my earliest days, when I was obsessed with getting followers and likes, I used to use 30 hashtags (I kid you not) hoping that my posts would trend just a little bit.
I’ve only admitted this to two people so far, so two thousand or so more can’t hurt, right?
I’ve come a long way, mostly abandoning the popular practice of hashtagging, but it’s time to be brutally honest.
I think the way people interact with their Instagrams is important, because this app is a visual representation (or so we hope) of ourselves, in a world where people have become increasingly obsessed with the way they are portrayed.
We care about the number of followers and likes that we get so much that we have websites dedicated to tracking and analyzing all of these things. (Don’t lie, you’ve visited Friend or Follow at least once.)
The editing that the latest updates allow, along with the variety of filters available has basically allowed IG to become our own DIY public Photoshop space.
Isn’t that exactly what social commentaries have been attacking for so long?? Continue reading
A Social Experiment: No Makeup Mondays
I came up with this idea as I was putting makeup on, and it was a Monday.
I was at home, sick, but I was going to school to pick up my sister. I contemplated wearing makeup and decided to do so, my rationale being that my eyes were puffy from sleep. But I omitted most of the usual products for a very, very simple look.
Makeup, as I have realized, is both a camouflage and an enhancer. Not everyone wears it, and for all sorts of different reasons. Some don’t have time, some think they look fine without it. Continue reading
A rant about self-confidence
I love people who are unapologetically themselves; it is so intoxicating to find someone who loves themselves the way they are. Just don’t be pompous, and don’t impose your confidence on others. Don’t abuse self-confidence. I love confident people, but with certain limitations. People like this are hard to come by, especially in this society.
Comparison is the root of all evil. Continue reading
First day of senior year – facing the crowd
That was yesterday. I don’t know why schools have arbitrarily decided to throw their students back into school on random weekdays, but hey, why fight it?
We started off the day with some gate-cheering; the seniors assembled bright and early at the school gates, cheering incoming newbies with signs and noisemakers and elaborate getups. Unfortunately, I was fighting a sore throat and aching joints so I slept in and missed that one.
I have a free first period of the day. I’m not sure if I like this or not, because it could either entail really good things for my productivity or really bad things. We’ll see how that operates. In fact, I’m writing this post during my first period free.
Met my teachers, met my teachers, blah blah blah. They all seem very pleasant and genuine, but hey, it is the first day of senior year, right? I’m sure anything and everything that happens to me will be bathed in the light of seniority. Nonetheless, my teachers all seem optimistic and eager to teach, which gave me this awesome vibe about the strong start that I wanted to get to this year, that I haven’t felt much in years past.
Then…came the pep rally. This is where the seniors storm the basketball court in their senior t-shirts with face paint and firefighter helmets (as was our theme this year), and where the awkward kids sort of just lounge around in the back of the crowd. I was towards the back. Promptly after this was over, we all went to go sit in the bleachers, while our class presidents announced the games…
And they called my name. At first, I thought that I had misheard one of them. But then the people around me turned towards me and started cheering. Up I stood, and through the row of people I stumbled over, cursing myself for choosing to sit in the very middle of the row. These were light and silly gamed, half-rigged so that the seniors would win everytime, arbitrarily decided when it came pretty close.
I played the game (dressed up in a feather boa, angel wings, and a witches hat and then spun around with a baseball bat) and turned towards the crowd of seniors and motioned victoriously after the seniors inevitably won (the other grade levels were purposely disadvantaged) and the crowd…just exploded.
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get up in front of major crowds very often. Well, I do for things like debate and giving speeches, but not usually in a peppy sense. Maybe it’s because normally sports players get called up, and people in my social group rarely make enough social waves to even be considered for the picking.
Whatever the case, I have no opinion on the matter. The experience was both fun, yet slightly embarrassing. But different in years past, I walked back to my spot in the middle of the bleacher row with more confidence than I usually emanate, and people took notice. I think it was a mixture of newfound seniority and not caring as much what people thought of me. It has taken me a long time, and I’m nowhere close to where I’d ideally like to be in my self-consciousness, but I am on my way to full on not letting others’ opinions get to me. It’s a weird feeling.
Personality cannot be photoshopped
When I’m walking down the street and I see someone, I don’t wonder about his personality. The sad reality is that I’ll only take the time to observe what he looks like.
Don’t get me wrong, you can infer much from one’s appearance, but too often we disregard the person underneath their distracting features, hair, makeup, and clothing alike. Walking past someone on a sidewalk is certainly excusable. But faced with a person, do we assume too much from their visual impression?
We should take the time to get to know someone before we automatically make judgments. When the verdict is in and whether is it positive or negative, you can go to sleep a little less guiltily.
People are worth more than their facial features and their bone structure. Authors and singers don’t and shouldn’t have to rely on physical attraction to promote talents that have nothing to do with such a thing.
Of course, what they look like still holds some importance, but the sheer success and following they acquire from a skill such as writing or singing comes from hard work and talent, not what they look like.
When many see this happen on a daily basis, the idea becomes engraved in their conscience, so that they believe that their potential reaches only as far as their makeup lasts. This belief could be detrimental to someone’s self esteem! No matter how many times other people support you and tell you that you are worth it, that you are talented or smart, you won’t feel that way unless you believe it yourself.
Whenever people put an emphasis on physical appearance as the determining factor in worth and value, the problem is exacerbated. Worse, we gradually become dependent upon outside opinions to assure us of our importance, when self-love is the greatest experience.
Of course, one’s opinion of another’s visual appearance is always arbitrary, but there are definitely recurring trends in society today that have convinced many that fat is ugly, that a thigh gap is desirable, that tan skin is sexy, that there’s a certain equilibrium between big and small feet, and so much more.
But who are we to judge, when our appearances is something that we have little control over? Sure, you can dye your hair and plaster on makeup, but self-love. Self-love. Who told you that your hair color was boring and drab? Who convinced you that you shouldn’t want to embrace your freckles? The images in magazines and advertisements are constantly changing, but we should not be taught to follow trends.
Unfortunately, what everyone tells us is never taken seriously. Parents, teachers, and encouraging friends always claim that the good people will care only about inner beauty, when in reality, if someone has determined that another individual is “ugly,” they won’t even bother taking the time to dig deeper and find that perhaps the other person has a personality so bright and charismatic that their mother would go crazy.
On the other hand, this happens in the reverse as well. When someone is seen as handsome or beautiful, they are desirable. Their entire persona comes off as handsome and beautiful too. In this sense, there is less misunderstanding because people will tend to draw closer to these people. In fact, there are many individuals that society considers good looking, that have absolutely atrocious personalities, all masked under their pretty faces. (Which is not to exclude the possibility of someone being both arbitrarily beautiful on the inside and out!)
If you became close enough to a person like this to find out their true nature, then bless your soul, because I find that so many people just ignore the blatant character flaws and continue spending time with someone, entirely for their physical appearance.
It is the constant obsession with looks, the ongoing battle with insecurity that everyone faces. What are we to do about such a negative phenomenon in our world?
Everyone struggles. I have my ups and downs with body image and combats with inaccurate first impressions, so it is evident to me that there must be a middle ground.
Don’t completely disregard body image. Stay fit, but only for healthy reasons. Exercise and eat well for yourself, not for other people, because this sort of motivation never lasts. It’s also based on the necessity for other people’s approval, when everyone knows that in the real world, there will always be people who see something wrong with you, whether on the inside or the out.
Body image is important, but not for the reasons we’ve been believing recently. It’s important to have a confidence, but not to dress or look like every other person on the streets.
Beauty and physical appearance are also fading qualities. Lots of high schoolers (including myself at times) find it hard to remember that dimples disappear, that skin grows leathery and old, and that youthful skin is not forever.
Of course, I”m not suggesting that we should get to know every person we walk past on the street, but in a closer situation, perhaps it is worth getting to know someone before you base your opinion solely off their looks.
Prioritizing physical features is both pointless and destructive. Sure, they matter, but only to a certain extent. I’m sure I’ve missed out on great friendship opportunities simply because of my naive, judgmental assumptions.
– inspired by my Tumblr reblogs
– neverstationary post about body image from October 2012
Guest Post: Crying.
So, what’s crying exactly? Is it just something we do in our spare time, or is there meaning to it? Does it make us stronger, weaker, or is it just something that we do?
Well, I don’t really know.
But it’s 2:30 AM and I just finished “crying” of laughter, and “crying” of happiness. Yet, at the same time, I’ve cried of sadness, cried of sorrow. What can we really take out of such an activity?