Poetry Instagrams I Love to Follow: Blogging Challenge Day 2

I love words. I read an article yesterday that really resonated with me; the words hit me like a fucking truck, and I could physically feel them in my stomach. The fact that language has the capability to make me feel at such an intense level is something I find both terrifying and mesmerising. It’s why I fell in love with poetry. There’s nothing more satisfying than reading a poem that so exquisitely puts into words the feelings that you cannot.

So I thought in honour of my love of language I would share, in no particular order, my favourite poetry/quote pages to follow on instagram, so you can have a little bit of wordy inspo on your feed too.

@rmdrk

@beautaplin

@samantha.king.holmes

@r.h.sin

@6.17am

@indyyelich1

@trashedsociety

@rupikaur_

@featherdownsoul

@she.isawolf

@michaelfaudet

I thought I’d just leave it up to you to look at these grams at your leisure and find your own favourite pieces, because what I love and resonates with me might not be the same for you. Poetry is subjective. I hope you find something that makes you go “wow”.

I’m going to finish with one of my all-time favourite pieces from the queen herself, Rupi Kaur.

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Being Single and Dealing with Loneliness: Blogging Challenge Day 1

I’ve never been lonely as such. I’ve always been surrounded by family and great friends who make my heart so full. But I’ve also always been single. 21 years old and perpetually boyfriend-less. I’ve seen boys here and there, but never for longer than a few months, and it has always been in a casual ‘friends with benefits’ context, with no emotional attachment (at least not on their behalf anyway).  I’ve quite often viewed my never-ending status as a singleton as a negative thing. I let it influence the whole “I’m not good enough” notion I’ve got going in my head, which I know is bad and I really need to change this. I came across an article called “Do Not Let Your Loneliness Convince You To Settle for Less Than You Deserve” which I will link here. It really resonated with me, because it made me realise that sometimes loneliness does influence me to compromise who I am and what I know I’m worth.

I do settle for less than I deserve, because in my head ‘it’s better than nothing, than being alone’. I have let boys disrespect and take advantage of me in ways I wish they hadn’t. There have been times where I’ve looked at my friends who have boyfriends, and have told myself that I should start acting more like them so that someone will like me.  There have been times where I convince myself I like a boy, when in reality I don’t – I merely like the idea of having someone there to numb the loneliness.  At times it has made me bitter and cynical towards the world. It has made me jealous. It has made me these things because I am insecure about being lonely.

“When I get lonely these days, I think: so BE lonely. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearning.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Looking at my single status from a more positive perspective is something I’m really trying to work on. Yes it’s not always easy being single, but neither is being in a relationship. I can be grateful for the fact that I only have to worry about myself; I can focus on my goals and what I want. This is one of the only times in my life where it can be all about me, no partner, no children. I am blessed to have this time for myself, to learn and grow and experience.

Something that the article said about loneliness was to “Let it empower you to be someone who knows how to fight alone and someone who knows how to survive.  Let it be your shield and your armour in those cold and dark nights when most people do not know what to do or who to run to, but you’re not scared because you have yourself and you know you can count on it.”  I loved that. Because looking back on everything difficult I’ve faced in my life, I didn’t have a boyfriend through any of that; I got through it on my own.

Being lonely, feeling that emotion, and embracing it (no matter how awful it may feel at the time), is such an important part of growing up I believe.  I know people who jump from relationship to relationship because they simply do not know how to be on their own. At least I know I have the capability to feel lonely and get through it.

“If someone does not want me it is not the end of the world. But if I do not want me the world is nothing but endings” – Nayyirah Waheed

(sorry if this post feels rushed, like I said I won’t have time to make these ones as polished as my usual standard. I hope this still give you some food for thought though).

All my love,

S x

p.s. any ideas for this coming week of blog posts are welcome!

Makeup Free; My Experience + 7 Day Blogging Challenge

Over the past few years I’ve developed a huge reliance on makeup to make me feel good about myself on a daily basis.  I’ve done a lot of thinking about this; why am I insecure without makeup? Why do I feel anxious leaving the house without it? Here’s my theory…

I went to a girls only school from year 9 to 13, so during this time I had very little to do with boys. I was bare faced most of the time due to not being allowed to wear makeup to school. I was insecure in my looks much like any teenager, but I could still leave the house without makeup. Then when I started university three years ago, I was suddenly surrounded by boys. I started putting makeup on and going out and partying every weekend and I noticed I was receiving more positive attention from guys than I ever had before. I got into a routine of wearing makeup every day, and over time I guess I knitted an association in my brain between people’s positive perceptions of myself and the way I looked when I wore makeup. Receiving attention from guys and knowing that I could be viewed as attractive gave me a little boost in self confidence, but it also made me feel weirdly obligated to look attractive all the time. I felt that if I had an ‘ugly’ day I would be judged for it, because if I had the potential to look good then that was the standard I had to strive for. And so I developed an irrational belief that I needed to wear makeup whenever I left the house because I always needed to look my best in order to receive validation. I know that at the crux of this whole issue are the insecurities I have in myself – that’s what it boils down to; the relentless pressure of needing other people to view me positively because I find it difficult to do for myself.

I realised this was an unhealthy relationship to have with makeup, yes it’s fun to wear and play with, and its nice to make yourself feel more confident, but I wanted to prove to myself that I didn’t need to rely on it. I wanted to prove to myself that I am still a valid and beautiful person even when I’m not wearing makeup, and so, as a challenge to myself, I decided to go about my life for a week (well, 5 days) sans makeup.  Going into the week, I was terrified. This whole warped logic I had lived my life by for the past few years was going out the window. I had to step out of the house and feel confident in myself, and for myself. I couldn’t let my confidence be determined by how attractive other people found me.  So with that nerve racking thought in mind, I put away my beauty blender and didn’t pick it up again for five days. Here’s what happened…

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The Power of Vulnerability

I used to follow this girl on instagram a few years back called Essena O’Neill (lol please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers her???) and I guess you could say I looked up to her quite a bit. During my first year of uni she had what some may call an existential crisis, deleted all of her social media accounts and hasn’t really been heard from since. Anyway, the reason I mention her is because not long before she went off the grid, she recommended a TED talk called “The Power of Vulnerability” by Brené Brown. I watched it at the time but I didn’t really think much of it, perhaps because I didn’t yet have enough experience to resonate with what she was saying. It wasn’t until I revisited it recently that it really struck me, and I just thought wow, Brené Brown is bloody incredible; this woman is onto something. I’ll link the video here, it’s about 20 minutes long and I would 100% recommend watching it. Basically, her core message is that we need to shift the perception we have of vulnerability – that it is negative and should be avoided at all costs – to one where we view it as fundamental and necessary in living a truly fulfilling life. As a society we need to embrace the discomfort of vulnerability and recognise that whilst it is, as she puts it “the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness”, it is also “the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.”

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Your body is awesome.

Today is the first day of eating disorder awareness week (EDAW). I haven’t exactly started it off in the most fitting manner with not making time for breakfast (first day of semester and was already running late – I need to get my life together ASAP). The purpose of this week is obviously to raise awareness and encourage people to get help for their illness, and whilst I could go into detail and write a really long post about this, I don’t want to get too deep and personal. I just want to use this as an opportunity to spread some body positive vibes; something we all need a good dose of every now and then.

I find it pretty amazing how complex and intelligent our bodies are. During my psychology degree I’ve learnt a fair bit about how the brain and body works, and it is honestly so fascinating and mind blowing to me the intricate systems we have in place that keep our bodies running smoothly day to day.  And the thing is, we all too often take it for granted. If you are lucky enough to have a healthy and fully functioning body, you should feel truly blessed.

When I was in my second year at university I broke my foot on a night out and subsequently spent the next 5 or so weeks on crutches. I felt so isolated by my own body and I couldn’t believe how much I had taken my legs and ability to walk for granted. I went from being able to walk and run and do whatever I wanted, to struggling to do everyday things like go grocery shopping or have a shower.  After a week of being on crutches I was aching to go for a run, and I’m not a runner by any means, I just missed having the freedom to move my body.  Here I had been most of my life only concerned about what my legs looked like…going to the gym, shaving them, tanning them, trying to make them look ‘perfect’, yet failing to acknowledge the fact that they carried me from A to B and gave me the ability to do so many cool things.  Through that experience, I promised to never take my legs for granted again.  We need to appreciate what our bodies can do for us as opposed to purely focussing on their physical appearance.  Our bodies are resilient and forgiving, even when we treat them like shit every cell inside us continues to fight to keep us alive. Don’t you think that’s amazing? In return, let’s work on forgiving them too for not looking 100% perfect.

Basically, if you do anything this EDAW make sure you look out for yourself and look out for those around you. Ask them if they are okay, create a safe space in which they can confide if something is wrong. Ask them if they’ve eaten and drunk enough today – if they haven’t cook them a meal or make them a drink! Give them compliments, and not just on their appearance.  Express to those around you your love for them. I feel like people are sometimes ashamed or nervous to tell people they are loved, but it is so important in my books. You should not be afraid to let people know you value them. Eating disorders are extremely isolating illnesses, and more common than you think, so it’s important to make people feel loved and like they are not alone in this battle.

Remember, regardless of what it looks like, your body is fucking awesome.

Love

S xx

Let’s talk about forgiveness

As a side note before I actually get into the nitty gritty of this post, I have to say, I’m already finding this blogging thing kind of hard. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write about this topic so soon. I felt I should write something more light hearted, you know, keep the early days of this blog nice and casual before I get into the deeper more meaningful topics. I was scared of coming across as too emotional and weird when I’m only a few posts in.  But, the whole point of this blog is for me to stop being so scared of how other people perceive me and just speak my mind.  Also, let’s be real, the only people who are probably going to read this are those that are close to me anyway, and you guys already know how much of an over thinking and feeling person I am. So I’ve got nothing to lose.

The reason I really wanted to write about this topic now is because it is relevant to my life at this very moment. One of the ways I want this blog to serve me is as an outlet to share what I am experiencing and learning right now, and extrapolate it into something greater that other people can relate to as well. Sharing the wisdom we gain through life’s ups and downs is what brings us together and makes us better people, and you know I’m all about that self improvement.

Anyway, let’s get on with the blog post…

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What does ‘more self love’ actually mean?

The following may be an unpopular opinion, but it’s something I’ve been pondering recently, so bear with me while I explain.

It might just be me, but for the last few months and with the turn of the new year I’ve noticed that “more self love” seems to be the phrase everyone (particularly female millennials like myself) is buzzing about. It’s something I hear thrown around a lot more often than I used to – a new years resolution, a slogan on a t-shirt, an Instagram caption. It seems to me like it’s becoming some sort of craze that people are feeding into simply because it’s now perceived as ‘cool’ to practice self love and self care. I’m in no way disregarding this movement or disagreeing with the perception of self love being cool , because yes, I think self love IS cool, and necessary, and important for every human being to practice. So I’m happy that it’s being talked about and more people are getting on the self love bandwagon. However, in saying that, I also believe that when something is overexposed we become a little numb to it, and stop seeing it for what it truly is or means. So I can’t help but wonder if this self love craze is creating a shift, whereby the importance behind the whole concept of self love is disappearing, and the term is morphing into a fad that is romanticised as simply having more bubble baths, ice cream and online shopping sessions. Because those things make you feel good, right? And self love is about indulging and treating yourself, right?

Yes and no.

Sometimes self care is indulging and playing out the cliche version in our heads – face masks, netflix, sleeping in, eating crap, lush bath bombs; the whole nine yards. But sometimes it’s not these things. I think self love is becoming too romanticised, and we are forgetting that self love is hard too. Doing the right thing by your mental and physical health is not this rosy idea that a lot of people have in their head. So how do we expect ourselves to really embrace ‘more self love’ if we are developing a warped perception of what it truly means?

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