Logging into Blogger and writing again feels strange, I almost don't know what to say. I have a fear of saying too much or too little, or not articulating my thoughts properly. Allow me to back up and kinda explain why I took a blog based gap year. So, you know when you write a day off before it even begins, because you just know it's going to be a bad one? Well, I did that to 2016. You could argue I was a little preemptive and to be honest, I'd agree, but Kylie Jenner was right, it was the year of realising things.
Living with mental health conditions are shit, but they're especially shit when they extend to your online life too, as mine certainly do, and being online as a blogger just exacerbated them all. Writing became a chore to me, and updating social media felt like a competition as the lines between reality and idealism blurred. The constant precision filtering and faultlessness became anxiety-inducing for me, not because I don't appreciate it, I certainly do, but because as everyone elses social media feeds grew, so did the standards for mine. I was aiming to reach the heights of others and knocked myself down when I couldn't. But my best, and my life, is different to theirs, and it is probably different to yours too, and that is okay. Don't get me wrong, I love scrolling through inspirational and dreamy feeds but sometimes it is the "flawed" shots and content that mean the most to me. We all know our angles for getting a good selfie, but you know, sometimes it is uplifting to keep it real and show that you're just as hot and worthy whatever shot from your camera roll.
I guess I've learned to outdo my past, not other people. Not just online, but as a life lesson too. I have a chronic illness and mental health issues, and a lot of the time I feel limited (because I am) and it becomes so easy to compare yourself and your situation to others. Friends? Buying houses. Family? Having babies. Me? Still living with my parents and childless. Without sounding too much of a dick, we're all on a different journey and it should not matter where you are in life. Just do you, because life is too short not too.
Three things that I've learned that have really stuck with me;
Everybody is problematic. If you look hard enough, you'll find that everybody has flaws. Society pushes perfection on to us all; we've got to be the perfect girlfriend, the perfect weight, and have the perfect lifestyle. Who's perfect though? It's an illusion, but it's the standard we are all expected to reach. Strive to be the best version of yourself, but cut yourself some slack, we're all entitled to make some mistakes and change as we grow.
No one is you and that is your power. You're unique, limited edition, one of a kind. Sometimes it's hard to remember your identity and your strengths, but appreciating yourself is empowering. I know, because I've started doing it. What you think of yourself is so much more important than what other people think of you. And believe in yourself, because you're probably freakin' wonderful and deserve the best.
You can't please all the people, all the time. Not everyone is going to like you and that is totally okay. As the saying goes, you could be the ripest and juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be someone that hates peaches. I don't know if this comes with age (I'm painfully aware I'm 25 now, although probably going on 75 haha) but as long as no harm is being caused, I let it go. Time is valuable, I'm not spending it worrying about things that don't matter.
My blog had a big question mark over it for most of 2016 - I didn't know if I had the confidence to come back or not. It is almost eight years old, so I've been blogging on and off for a long time, I've never felt good enough and I've never really got anywhere with it, so why bother? But someone told me "failing is not about how many times you try, it's about giving up" and I'm too much of a stubborn bitch to do that. Some part of this damn website feels like home, so here I am. The absolute goddess that is Grace shared a quote that really resonated with me not so long ago about being the kind of person your younger self needed, and YASSS that is exactly what I aim to be. Girls like me wanna see girls like me.