Is Instagram Ruining Our Lives?

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Haven’t posted for a while, and I was scraping my brain trying to figure out something I can write about. I don’t know if it is because I am busy, life is changing, or if I’m simply feeling uninspired. After thinking and debating, there is something I want to address: Instagram … it’s VERY deceiving. For some reason I just can’t seem to get that through my head. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE Instagram, but it’s nothing but A LOT of smoke and mirrors and nothing is what it seems.

As young adults we are all on a continuous journey to find and love ourselves. Which is never going to happen if we keep trying to be a filtered standard of ourselves that isn’t even real! Sounds like some super messed up and unachievable shit. What does that say about what we think of ourselves and our goals in the first place? How can we achieve them when we don’t feel good enough to be ourselves, let alone to even want to be ourselves.

Here’s the harsh truth are you ready to hear it?

1.) Let’s be honest most of us are looking for validation.

2.) #BodyGoals – We see that hashtag almost every day on our Instagram timeline. Most likely, there will be a skinny pretty girl or boy in the picture with a flat stomach/abs. We’ve all seen it, and we’ve all wanted to be them at some point in our lives (Do not deny it, you know it’s true). So, are they really our body goals or is it just a silly fantasy that is bringing down our self-confidence? I don’t know about you, but social media has quickly destroyed my self-confidence.

3.) There’s this pressure to be “camera ready” at any given time of day.

4.) Instagram is the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I look at when I go to bed – this is borderline an addiction.

What have I learnt from Instagram? Most girls want to be skinny, and guys want to look ripped, and if you don’t look like that, then you’re considered unattractive … harsh reality right? But let me break it down for you once more!

1.) NO ONE wakes up with perfect hair and skin. NO ONE eats on a terrace with a beautiful mountain view every morning. NO ONE has a perfect relationship full of gifts, hand holding, and adventures.

2.) Everyone wakes up with a zit the size of a mountain on their forehead every once in a while (guilty). Everyone spends a day in bed eating junk food and binge watching Netflix (guilty). Everyone argues with their significant other (not guilty #singleAF). Everyone has bad days, they just don’t post it on social media!!!

Quite frankly, Instagram is transforming us literally into our own worst critics. Believe it or not if you want. Rant over!

 

A Letter To My 12 Year Old Self

Hey 12 year old Sam,

I think about you often. Not only about your ideals, your naïve outlook on life, but also how you would see me. How proud you would be of me if we ever met. 

I remember back in grade 6 you had no comprehension of the big move you were about to embark on with your family. You had to leave all your friends behind and neglect everything you thought you knew about life, because life in America is VERY different. However, you were lucky to not be in that situation alone, having your twin sister by your side every step of the way. All throughout high school you struggled with fitting in and finding the right group of friends. Don’t worry, as you progressed through your formal education, you placed less importance on trying to fit in and impress people. 

I understand your hopes and aspirations. You believe in creativity, being good to people and trying your best. You think thinking positively can get you through almost anything, as long as you understand your limits. You want to be a Vet and you’ve been convinced your whole life you wanted to be one. I hate to break it to you but thats not the path you are going to take. I cringe at the sight of blood and dead animals. The introverted little Sam that loved animals is still there, but your confidence and love for people grew TREMENDOUSLY and has shifted your career focus to business and the service industry (weird right?).

Your struggle with weight and body image was so hard, and unfortunately you will still face that struggle 8 years down the track. You were bullied for being fat and queer at 12 and now it continues at 21 for being too skinny. It will be tough. Your life is still controlled by insecurities and fear, but your beliefs have evolved. You want to be good to people, but are afraid sometimes you haven’t been. You’re afraid to think positively because you know that somewhere, somehow, something will shut your positivity down. You quite often want the same things as others, but need to remember that comparing your life to others will always make you come up short in the end!

I can proudly say, you will SLOWLY start to care less about you insecurities. While both of us have feared rejection for the majority of our life, I’m starting to embrace it. I’m starting to realise that I will never achieve anything without being rejected. You will have your doubts when you experience the amount of the rejection you are going to face, but I assure you it will all make sense in the end.

At 21, your life has changed A LOT. You have a degree, you’ve worked at Disney World, you have a full time job with one of the largest hotel brands in the world and you have AMAZING friends. You’ve surrounded yourself with people who lift you up. Mum, Dad and Rebecca are all thriving in their careers as well and with their support, you’re finally going after the things you want! I’m happy because I’m trying. I’m learning not to turn down opportunities because I fear I’m not right for the job, or that I will fail. 

Remember that it’s okay to be different and to stand up for what you believe in. It’s okay to take things at your own pace. You have a wonderful, long, and eye-opening road in front of you. 

And as for me? I have plenty of time to make both of us proud.

Good Luck,

Your 21 year old self

P.S. Brace yourself for how sassy you will become, it will be one of your defining qualities 😉 

Staying Motivated When Things Aren’t Going Your Way

Trying to stay motivated when things aren’t going quite the way you planned is quite difficult! Let me re-phrase that, it’s super fucking hard. Problems and heartaches in life are inevitable, It’s natural to get overwhelmed by our struggles and when things aren’t going our way, most of us, me included, have a tendency to complain. In my experience complaining rarely does much to improve the situation and can often make matters worse. You know what it’s like, it’s so tiresome to provide support to someone who shares their problems with you constantly. So I try not to be that person …  A way to combat this feeling is to find the strength to stay positive. I always try to laugh even when it’s hard to. I spend time with other people as much as I can and refrain myself from isolation. I like to give myself space and time to re-energize (I can’t stress how important this is for me).

A way I’ve been trying to combat all this feeling of hopelessness is looking back on my life and some of the things I’ve done and achieved so far and dwell on the good things in my life at this moment and list a good 5 things out. Sounds silly, but I read it actually makes you so much more grateful for the life you have had so far.

  1. I have a wonderful family, I believe I had the best upbringing. My parents are so loving and supportive of me and everything I’ve ever done. Im very close with all my relatives and they give me constant love and support.
  2. I had the opportunity to work for one of the largest most successful companies in the world for 6 months overseas. It resulted in many life lessons, personal growth and life long friendships
  3. I have had the opportunity to travel and see lots of amazing places
  4. I got to live in the Texas for 6 years with my family and attend school there
  5. I have wonderful friends, close or distant, I love them all

Every struggle we encounter is a step forward; it’s all part of life’s journey, giving us the opportunity to learn about ourselves. The way in which we are able to handle what life throws at us, defines our future and who we will become.

 

Growing Up is SCARY!

My thoughts on growing up!

let’s face it, there hasn’t been a time in your life where you haven’t wished to “not grow up”! When you think about it, growing up means getting a car, getting an adult job (whatever that is), moving out and having real life responsibilities. Even the word adulthood is pretty scary to me, so I call it ‘adulting’ to seem less daunting. I feel like I am experiencing this fear of adulthood now more than ever as I am close to graduating university. You could say that i’m in the ‘in-between stage’ of finishing school and facing the real world.

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To me the most terrifying thing of all is not knowing what’s ahead. Throughout childhood and young adult life, you have your life mapped out, but once university is over and you step into the real world where you have to work and make a living for yourself, you are afraid of not knowing what you will face along the way. Adults have a lot of responsibilities, that’s what makes adulthood so much fun (not really!). Going into adulthood, you have responsibilities like paying bills, buying a car, house etc. I have found that it is super hard to book appointments for myself! Growing up my parents did all that for me, so you can imagine the shock I got when one day my parents said I was on my own now when it came to the dentist, hairdresser, doctor, taxes etc. It was a huge wake up call that adulthood was commencing! I think having all these responsibilities has made me even more scared to grow up because it can be so stressful!

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I personally have gotten so used to having my parents, friends and family around me so much that when it is time for me to move on and start my own individual life, I think I will struggle immensely! Separation anxiety will become a real thing and although it scares me, it’s part of life. Change is scary! And let’s face it, sometimes we don’t like to admit it!

While the thought of growing up is scary, we cannot lose sight of ourselves and neglect our youth years. They have shaped us into the young adults we are today!

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