To My Former Best Friends: It's Not Okay That You're A "Lousy Communicator"

Hello Lovely,

It’s been a year since I gave up on one of my former best friends. We met in our first semester at college and were best friends ever since. We went everywhere together and told each other everything. Even when we moved on to different colleges, we still spoke to each other everyday. But things soon began to change. I became the friend she only talked to when she needed to complain about something. And once she got a boyfriend, I just didn’t hear from her at all. Even when I needed to talk to her, she didn’t take my calls and barely returned them. I was hurt, so I took some space. Some advise I’m sharing today comes from Irene S. Levine, PhD, freelance writer and author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Break Up With Your Best Friend.

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“If problems are chronic and keep recurring despite your best efforts, it’s probably prudent to at least take a break (I call it a friendship sabbatical) from the relationship,” Levine says. She suggests holding off on the blaming and instead focus on expressing your desire to spend some time apart. Just like “lovers need a holiday,” so do friends. Levin says it’s a myth to think friendships are perfect all the time without their natural ups and downs. At the same time, like any relationship, they are also not guaranteed to last forever. In fact, Levine explains that most friendships don’t, “because people change over time and it’s very rare that two friends, even very good ones, will change in the same direction.”

 A few years later, she had an issue that almost prevented her from graduating. I did my best to help, but there was so much she wasn’t telling me. I couldn’t figure out why, but once she went back to school, I didn’t hear from her any more. Even when I was in a neighbouring city to her last year for a week, she made no attempt to see her. It was then that I realised I was the only one in the friendship. After that I stopped making any attempts to communicate. She reached out to wish me a happy birthday but it’s been radio silence since.

I used this example of a friendship gone wrong, but I have other friends who also ghosted me and there’s so much I wish I could say to them.

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You've changed

I'm not stupid. I know people change. I'm not the same person I was when we met. But our friendship was based on mutual sharing, support and constant communication. I couldn't go a single day without talking to you. Then, slowly, you stopped calling and texting. I didn't want to read too much into it, we were in college and busy. But college ended and you still stayed away. You started keeping things from me but somehow expected me to know what's going on in your life.

Reciprocation is key

I can't tell you how many times I've been there for you. No really, I can't tell you because I haven't been counting. But there have been many times you've come to me for help, you dumped your problems on me, only to dump me when your "problem" decided to love you again. I have you advice, resources and did everything I could to see you healthy. But birthdays have come and gone and you haven't called. I've ended meaningful relationship and really needed support but you weren't there. I buried my step dad but you probably assumed I'd be fine with it. You probably don't even know that I changed jobs, or got that certification I always wanted. But it’s fine.

You Don’t Actually Owe Me Anything

In the end, you don’t owe me an apology, an explanation or anything. Your absence helped me to make new friends and I’m sure it’s because you’ve already replaced me. I used to feel like I was owed a conversation about why you didn’t want to be my friend anymore. I used to feel like I needed to know if it was something I did or didn’t do that pushed you away. I used to think that knowing any of this would make me a better friend. But it won’t. No matter how you feel, I’m beyond the point of caring about it. So why the open letter? Sometimes it just helps when things are official, and this is the closure that I needed.

For some of you reading this, you may be thinking about one or a few friends. So how do you know if you’re just hitting a rough spot in your friendship or you’re growing apart?

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Here are four signs it is time to say goodbye:

  1. If you are experiencing consistent un-resolvable arguments, misunderstandings and disappointments.

  2. If you feel tense, anxious or uncomfortable in her presence.

  3. If a friendship is destructive and hurting your self-esteem.

  4. If your biggest problem is you can’t find time to spend together. Levine says, “It may suggest that one or both people don’t consider the friendship a priority in their lives any more.”

So if it is time, how do you say goodbye?

Ghosting your friend is a really shitty thing to do, because not only is it hurtful, it leaves room for them to thing you’re actually still friends. There are many ways to end a friendship and I want to make it absolutely clear that ignoring the other person is NOT the way to do it. It may be tempting to bust out your iPhone and send a WhatsApp. Without the intensity of an in-person meeting, technology makes the process a whole lot easier. But is it a major faux pasto end a friendship that way?

Not necessarily. Levine says that it may be acceptable to end a long-distance friendship through technological means. And even an email might do. It’s all in the way you do it.

“Sometimes a text can give someone time to think and react to the bad news. Just because you’ve mulled over the breakup and made a decision doesn’t mean that the other person is psychologically prepared to react. A text can give them time.” Just be careful to keep your emotions in check when typing. Since your friend won’t be able to see your empathetic face or your caring eyes, be cognisant of the words you choose and how it may be interpreted by its receiver.

No matter how you do it, remember the person you’re ending with was a friend at one point of your life. Stifle the urge to blame, be defensive or attack. Instead, take responsibility for your part in the relationship. If you’re having trouble deciding what to say, Levine suggests writing out a script and practising it aloud.

Above all she says, “Ending a friendship is never easy. The closer the friendship, the harder it is to acknowledge it’s over.” But sometimes breaking up with a friend could be the best thing you ever did for yourself. “It leaves you more space and time for healthier and more satisfying relationships.” She also reminds us about the gift of the friendship itself. “We take something away from each friendship, hopefully, that will empower us to be a better friend and make better choices in the future.”

Ask Olivia: My Mother is The Reason I Have a Food Addiction

Hello lovley,

I haven’t done an Ask Olivia session in forever and I’m so sorry about that. I love when you guys send in your questions and seek advice. Lately I’ve responded on a one-on-one basis, but when I got this request, I had to share:

Hey Olivia,

My mum and I have never gotten along. She would get mad at me for nothing and always told me she hates me. She never says thank you, doesn't appreciate anything I do and won’t even give me keys to the house. She breathes down my neck all day and says hurtful things like I'm stupid and fat. She insists I’ve gained 20 lbs. when I’ve actually lost 20 lbs. and still continue to exercise. The worst part is, she now has dementia. Despite all of this, I still have respect for her, and do everything she asks of me. But when she gets on me about my weight, I start to stress eat and pick up unhealthy food to eat. Food has become a source of comfort, but I can’t let it or her destroy me. What should I do?

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Dear Reader,

I'm really sorry your mother treats you like this, but I’m also very proud of the way you manage to maintain respect for her. That is not an easy thing to do and says a lot about your character. I know its hard to be polite in the face of such disrespect, but given that she is your mother, whom you live with, limiting your interactions with her doesn’t sound like much of an option. However, I would suggest if moving out isn’t an option right now, arrange your daily schedule in such a way that you create boundaries between the two of you (ex: Getting up at a time you wouldn’t have to talk to her, finding activities that keep you away from the house etc.)If your interactions with her are the reason, you’re overeating, then your interactions with her and food have to change. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that eating too much in one sitting or taking in too many calories throughout the day are common habits that can be hard to break. There may even be moments you enjoy being around her, that draw you into communication, but it turns south and then you’re turning to food.

From a psychological point of view, the reason food feels like a source of comfort is because many highly processed foods trigger the reward centres in the brain. People begin eating these foods because they release endorphins and “feel good” neurotransmitters, which can temporarily relieve emotional distress. But no amount of temporary relief can compensate for the life long damage you're causing.

Meal planning is optimal to help you gain control of your overall food intake. Meal planning also involves keeping healthy snacks around for those binge moments. Too much of even a good thing is bad, but it’s still better to keep healthy options around that won't set you back too far.

Lastly try emphasising stress management techniques such as meditation, walking, or talking to a friend or therapist to help you deal with the underlying issues promoting stress. As 'long as you allow your mother's words to hurt you, that will constantly play in the back of your mind (subconscious) and drive you to seek comfort in the unhealthy behavior. You can’t change the person, only how you react to them. This is where its important to build new healthy habits, or strengthen those you already do.

I hope this advice has been helpful. If you or anyone else you know is struggling with an addiction , do not hesitate to get help. Check out some resources below:

Food Addiction | Signs, Symptoms, Depression & Statistics

Do I Have A Food Addiction? | Psychology Today

11 Grown-Ass Strategies For Handling Your Mom If She's Toxic - Bustle

Surviving the Toxic Parent | Psychology Today

If you would like to ask a question, shoot me a message in the form below. Just put Ask Olivia in the subject:

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The Odd Thing I Started Collecting

Hello Lovely,

There's something about starting a collection that feels nostalgic. When I was young, I collected every Babysitter’s Club book I could find (hoping it would make me millions some day - and the books were just awesome). I even have 3 Barbie dolls in my collection (but still don’t have the one I REALLY want). But that’s not the collection I’m most excited about. As if Babysitter’s Club and Barbie Dolls aren’t odd enough, I have a major obsession with something and it was actually Lauren Conrad who inspired this obsession.

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In this excerpt from Lauren Conrad’s book Celebrate, she explains what she collects: “…my home office is overflowing with an admittedly ridiculous number of gorgeous, patinated brass pieces covering just about every inch of the room. That’s not an exaggeration; I have roughly three hundred brass candlesticks and vases, and I’m always looking for an excuse to use them. But trust me, I have a very good reason as to why I have curated this seemingly absurd exhibit. During the year leading up to William’s and my wedding, I began obsessively scouring eBay, flea markets, and antique shops for vintage brass for our reception tablescapes . . . and I promised him that the collection that was rapidly taking over our home was a thoughtful investment that I would use for years to come. Let’s just say that these days, it’s hard to come to a gathering at our house without spotting some brass. If you’re a habitual party thrower, I strongly encourage you to invest in some key items; it will end up saving you a good amount of money in the long run. It will also make you very popular when your friends are throwing parties of their own.”

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So what do I collect? I became obsessed with collecting glassware and white ceramic dishes. Every time I travel I look for a piece to bring back with me. I have glass bottles from Amsterdam and Switzerland, and can you believe this isn’t all of it? I love going through the home section of TJ Maxx (it’s literally the only section I shop in). I collect cool shaped wine bottles and I only recently replaced my lost rectangular ceramic plate (still haven’t even used it).

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Why do I collect these things? I genuinely admire food photography and became passionate about it, about two years ago. So I’m constantly expanding my collection to have various props, tablescape decorating tools and nice things to serve it in for my recipes. I probably only have just over 40 pieces, but my mother is still ready to put me out over it.

QUICK TIPS ON HOW TO START YOUR OWN COLLECTION - CUPCAKES & CASHMERE

1. If possible, collect something you can use. I love the French vases, because they're something I can display, then pull down to fill with flowers. Collections become sad when they gather dust on a shelf—or in a box.

2. Collect timeless things. Collections can take years to amass, so they should stand the test of time. Rather than collecting something of-the-moment, consider classic items that will be just as cool in five or fifty years.

3. Be mindful of kitschy-ness. The line between kitschy and cool is particularly thin when it comes to collections—a set of ceramic containers can be cool. A set of chicken-shaped ceramic containers? Not so cool. That being said, the beauty of collections is that you're free to collect what you love! If chickens are your thing, go for it.

4. Don't become too attached to your collection. At the end of the day, they're just objects. Be careful not to cross the line from collecting to hoarding.  If you come to a point when your collection is causing you more grievances than joy, either consider editing it down, or find someone to gift it or sell it to.

I'd love to hear: Did you have a collection as a kid? Anything now you could see yourself collecting now? How do you decide what’s worth collecting? Is it sentimental, for profit or do you have a hoarding problem like me? Share your collections in the comment section below!

Why I'm Afraid To Get Too Personal On My Blog

Hello Lovely,

In an age of oversharing, it's easy to become that person who snaps a photo of every single meal, document every part of your vacation and broadcast relationship troubles. We're encouraged to be open and speak our minds. We've learning keeping secrets can be dangerous and we've reframed many hurtful labels. All of which I'm sure has been to help society become more open-minded, uninhibited and explorative creatures. But is there a price to being so open? What are the real risks? I originally started this blog as something to do while I looked for work, but over time it's become very therapeutic for me; giving me a reason to get up, get out and try new things. And when the feedback started coming in, the positivity encouraged me to do more, share more. But lately, I haven't wanted to share as much. It wasn't until I started reading, Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis that I realised how much I was really holding back and how superficial a lot of my content had become. If you want to check out the book for yourself, it's available on Amazon - I totally recommend it.

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What are my insecurities? This isn't one of those posts where I can simply list the reasons. A lot of my reasons are intertwined. When I really think about what stops me from getting too personal it's one thing: fear of backlash. I wish I could share about my weight struggles without people complaining that I'm delusional because I'm skinny and there are people with real weight problems. But what people don't know is I often receive unnecessary comments on my weight with people asking if I'm pregnant. I wish I could share about my mental health struggles without fear that a future employer would see this and think I'm too unstable for the job. I wish I could share about my relationship issues without my exes feeling vindicated somehow. Or the fact that sometimes, even after undergoing surgery at 19, I still have bladder accidents and wet myself. And as much as I wanted to share that a few weeks ago I went to the police because I feared someone I only went on two dates with might have been stalking me, I just couldn't find the strength.

What makes it worse, is for the past five years, I've worked with really vindictive people. The kind who go out of their way to get you fired by setting you up to fail or outright lying on you. And if they had access to my deepest personal problems, I just knew they would find a way to use it against me. None of this has been easy to deal with. I mean what's the point of owning a personal blog if you can't truly be yourself on it, right?

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So how have I been dealing with it? I recently started sharing more Instagram stories. I realised a good way to get personal is to get more real on social media. One thing I'm secretly insecure about is the sound of my voice. I can't explain it, I just don't like the sound of my own voice. So years ago I assumed others don't either and haven't been much for speaking. (Hence why blogging is so appealing and I never tried vlogging). But by sharing videos of the various stages of recipes I try or videos of myself getting ready or hanging out with friends, I'm getting more comfortable with speaking in front of people. I always thought people would look at me strangely if I'm recording a video in public, like I would look vain or something. To challenge myself, I went to a wine tasting (where I wrote a small portion of this post) and took selfies and a boomerang while at a table with other people. Was I self-concious? Of course I was. But I knew the fear of what others think about me was crippling my growth so I had to do something about it.

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The same with working out. When I was in Houston staying with a friend, we went to the gym in his community and I just couldn't do it. I couldn't work out in front of those people, even though they didn't know me. I went back to the apartment and worked out there, but deep down I knew I was cheating myself. I started sharing more about my workouts on my IG stories as a motivation to myself to continue. But the truth is I'm so inconsistent with working out lately, my diet isn't what it was before I travelled for the summer and I actually put back on some of the weight I lost, so I feel like a failure and I hate sharing failures. (Who doesn't, right?)

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Well, those were some of the biggest and the baddest in no particular order . I genuinely feel a weight being lifted off as I close out this post. I really appreciate all of the love I've been receiving as I open up. I want you to know it really is a reminder to think positively and be grateful for how far I've come, instead of how much further I think I need to go. The truth is, everyone doesn't need to know everything about your life, but you also shouldn't be so ashamed of the truth that you create a completely false life just to please others who are probably struggling with the same shit as you.  To quote Rachel Hollis, "More than anything, I hope you’ll rest in the knowledge that you can become whomever and whatever you want to be, my sweet friend . And on the days that seem the hardest, you’ll remember that— by an inch or a mile— forward momentum is the only requirement."

What I Do to Get My Blogging Mojo Back

Hello Lovely,

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When I first started blogging I didn't have a schedule or a plan. Now I know what I want to accomplish by blogging and I share something every day! Or at least I'm supposed to. Every now and then I miss a day or a week, and a reader recently asked me about it. Sometimes I really am too busy to create content but most of the time, I just don't know what I want to talk about, and not knowing what I should talk about leads to panic, which of course leaves me crippled by anxiety. And just like that, I've lost it. My motivation and my will to blog. I guess you can call it my mojo. That feeling of, "I've got this. I know what I'm doing and it's going to be great!"

But it's been really hard to want to blog when I know that I can't provide top quality  imagery of top blogs such as A Beautiful Mess or Color Me Courtney, or I don't have a degree in journalism. If I'm going to do something, I want to do it well or not do it at all, which is what most people want to do when they set out to do something. The issue here, though, is that I act like I absolutely must have editorial shoot level photography and content written better than J. K. Rowling. You so don't, and I know that, but I don't always act like I know that.

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I've been holding back from making posts that I feel are mediocre or irrelevant in comparison to most blogs. But the whole point of blogging is to share what you love and enjoy and to be yourself entirely. To lighten the load, I often give myself permission to take a week off every now and then, because I know there won't always be something worth talking about, so I have to give myself time to find something worth sharing.

I often read other blogs and if I enjoy reading it, it's probably something I'd enjoy making or a topic I'd enjoy writing about my own experience. I don't want to be posting half arsed content just to make sure I have a post up on a specific day, so I post about whatever I like even if it's not conventional because that is the whole point of blogging and occasionally, I need to remind myself of that.

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Stop Asking Millennials to Go to Church

Hello lovely,

I recently made the decision to leave my church home.  It was a decision I was wrestling with since about last October but I finally had enough. My church went through a lot of changes and if anyone knows me, like really knows me, they know I don't deal well with changes AT ALL. I react like an atypical teenager and it's something I've struggled with since my parents split eleven years ago.

I used to be super involved in church. Ever since I was 8 years old, I served on the altar in the Catholic church (one of very few females to do so at the time). I served under the direction of four different archbishops both here and in Miami. I eventually walked away from it all because I had a major disconnect. I still adore the Catholic mass and rituals but there was a huge split between the young people and the old ones. I was one of only a handful of people in their twenties in the church and I didn't get along with the others. It was a lonely experience and after all, isn't the purpose of going to church to fellowship with others? So I left. I stayed home from church for about two years after that before joining my most recent church.

It was a satellite campus, with the main campus in Cooper city Florida. I had never experienced anything like it and immediately joined the tech team because I wanted to be responsible for delivering that same experience to other people every Sunday.  

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1. There's only one right way to be a "Good Christian" - Don't question that

I recently got into a debate with another teacher online who was upset that one of her students told her he questions God. Bear in mind the teacher is the same age as me. This is one of the reasons people don't like the idea of church. Everything is structured in such a way that if you have any questions that challenges what anyone thinks or believes, then you're the problem. Everyone should be encouraged to question religion because quite frankly what we believe is so silly and far fetched you have to question it. In case you forgot, even Jesus questioned God before he was handed over to be crucified. There are so many things that don't make sense about Christianity yet we believe anyway. And it comes with a litany of rules that one must follow if they are to be "accepted". That's a lot for someone in the 21st century to get behind. We have questions and we know that most of the answers are BS. We know that if you want the truth, you more than likely will not find it in the church.

2. Churches are full of drama

There's always going to be someone or something you don't like. It shouldn't be that way but lately churches are full of so much drama. It's the reason I left my church. Between firings, hostile takeovers and too many egos running  church like a business has terrible implications for the overall experience. Furthermore, over and over we’ve been told to “tithe” and give 10% of our incomes to the church but where does that money actually go? Why should thousands of our hard-earned dollars go towards a mortgage on a multi-million dollar building that isn’t being utilized to serve the community or to pay for another celebratory bouncy castle when that same cash-money could provide food, clean water and shelter for someone in need?Let's not be daft, church is a business. There are bills to pay to keep the building open and the priest or pastor should receive a salary for what they do (they have families to support as well). But when everyone has an opinion on how things should be done (without necessarily the experience or expertise), combined with empty promises, and extra marital affairs church is just not a safe place any more.

3. We're too busy/tired for church

We're supposed to "hustle" because let's face it, it's even harder to get established now. Businesses, brands, education, they all take hard work and dedication. And sometimes that means you're not available on a Sunday morning. So stop guilting us and making us feel like we have to choose and we're only "good" Christians if we go to church on a Sunday when worship can happen any time and anywhere.

4. Stop Talking About Us and Learn How to Accept Us

Despite the stereotypes about us, we are listening to phrases being spoken in our general direction. The church is supposed to be a place of healing and yet we don't feel like we can set foot inside without being ostracised for our sexual orientation and dress code. Until the church finds a way to be radically kinder and more compassionate than the world at large, the church is telling outsiders they’re better off on their own. And the truth is, many times they are. Here's a solution: Stop placing blame on individuals who struggle to get connected. For some people, especially those that are shy or struggle with anxiety, putting yourself out there even just once might be an overwhelming task. The church has to find ways to bridge that gap.

5. The Church is Failing to Adapt

The need for Black Millennials to see themselves goes beyond leaders humanizing themselves. Many of us are exiting our congregations because we don’t see ourselves in the biblical text or worship practices. Our sanctuaries are adorned with depictions of saints and a savior whose skin doesn’t look like our own. Here’s the bottom line church—you aren’t reaching millennials. Enough with the excuses and the blame. It's great that the church is trying to be more youth-oriented, but usually that entails kids and teenagers. The older adults already know where they belong, leaving millennials us young adults stuck in the middle with no nurturing.

Decide if millennials actually matter to you and let us know. In the mean time, we’ll be over here in our sweatpants listening to podcasts, serving the poor and agreeing with public opinion that perhaps church isn’t as important or worthwhile as our parents have lead us to believe.

What To Do When You're Not Feeling So Confident

Hello Lovely,

Are you a confident woman? Do you keep pushing in the face of adversity? Do you wake up every morning ready to rock? And then it happens. Every confident woman has a weakness somewhere. There's always something that can hurt our pride or put a thorn in our confident stride. Maybe it's when someone lets you down and you now have to fend for yourself? Maybe it's when you realise that you have no reliable or authentic friends at work, and no matter how hard you try to ignore it and just focus on the job, you can't deny that it gets a little lonely. And maybe even uncomfortable if you know they don't like you. It's hard to maintain your confidence when you have to interact with the very thing that tries to tear you down. I'm sure we all have our methods for breaking through, but after so much fighting, do you ever just get tired?

I know I do. I'm on a positive vibes only right now but I'm surrounded by negativity every day. No matter how hard I try to compartmentalise and distance myself from the drama, it really only does one thing: Leaves me alone. You brush it off as haters and a sign that you're clearly doing something worth watching. You also remind yourself that comparison is the thief of joy and it's never good to second guess yourself because of what someone else is doing. And sure for awhile being alone is nice, because I'm confident in myself and what I have to offer. However, after so much alone time, sometimes I do start to think, Is it me? Am I the problem? And just like that, my confident is shattered. So what do you do when you're not feeling so confident? Here are just a few ways to pick yourself back up.

1. Call your person

Everyone should know that episode of Grey's Anatomy where Christina told Meredith (or was it the other way around) that she is her person (if you don't, I literally just provided the clip for you, watch it, don't be lazy). It quickly became a thing that we all started saying. Everyone should have a "person" or maybe more than just one person. I have two people. Two people that no matter what, I know they won't judge me, they will understand, and depending on my mood will automatically know if I need sound, logical advise, or just an ear to vent to so that I feel right. And yes these are the people I would call if I just murdered someone, if they weren't already there when it happened.

2. Dance It Out

Or whatever your thing is. What is it that soothes you? Dancing? Singing? Video Games? Cooking? And it doesn't even have to be something you're good at. God knows I am not the best singer, but that doesn't stop me from building karaoke playlists that I belt out in my car while not letting people out of corners (eye of the tiger baby - not literally the song, that's just how it makes me feel when a song I really enjoy singing along to comes on).

3. Stop trying

Who gives a damn any way? So what if your coworkers don't like you, so what if you messed up that recipe? Give yourself a break. Literally, stop trying. Whatever it is, walk away from it. Do not let that moment define who you are. You, awesome you. You'll get it next time, or maybe never at all; and that's okay. Whatever it is you can't do (after trying everything you could to do it) simply wasn't meant for you to do. Stop trying, and find something else you can do!

We're not perfect. We cheat on diets, we skip gym days (for months on end) but we're not failures. It's okay to not be confident 100% of the time. It's okay to not have all the answers. Give yourself credit for the things you can do and know that tomorrow is a brand new chapter waiting to be written.

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How to Avoid The Toxic Trap of Social Media

Hello Lovely,

I wanted to start this post by stating I wrote this an entire week before The Elevation Awards. Win or lose I knew this one something I needed to talk about. Even though blogging relies heavily on social media, social media hasn't exactly been a good thing for society. It's great for keeping in touch with long distance family and friends, and it's also great for connecting with people you otherwise would never have met. But there's also a dark side to social media; a toxic trap so to speak. It happens when we start comparing our lives to those of the people we follow on social media.

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It's something I struggled with for years and sometimes still find myself doing. I see all these social media accounts that just look so perfect, and I can’t help but think, “why am I not doing that? Why don’t I look like that?” I go through stages where I have so much confidence in myself and what I am doing, and then I go through stages where I freak out and go on a social media blackout because I feel like I’m not growing as fast as well as I should. I compare myself to other bloggers who are killing it, but when I don’t see my follower count growing, I feel like I am failing. Online, people have to keep up an image. We have to get the likes. We have to gain the followers. But why?

Social media, as much as I love it, I’ve learned can be toxic. We always post about living our best lives and looking our finest. When we aren’t doing that, we can feel like we’re failing in some way. We have to be conscious of what we are seeing and remind ourselves that the online world is not what reality looks like. So here are three ways you can avoid the toxic trap of social media.

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1. It's All Fake

Social media is all about showing your best side. You wear your best outfit, find the best lighting on the best location and show your best side. You're not going to show that pouch, cellulite or dress with the rip. You're not going to use the corner of your house that's always a mess, in fact, there even be a designated "pretty" part of the house that gets used, or props that come out just for the photos. Who would want to follow you if they saw your mismatched outdated furniture or your actual, "I woke up like this face"? A lot of people don't really live how they portray their lives on social media and it's starting to cost a lot of money for people to keep up.

2. The Cliché, Why Fit In When You Were Born To Stand Out is Actually True

I look at the local elite social circle and I will never fit into that. I've got way too much general anxiety to be bar hopping, popping bottles and always wearing the trendiest clothes. Sure I do some of that now, but it's with a group of people who get me and have a weird sense of humour like me. They don't care for flashy things and we're always thinking about maintaining a healthy adult bank balance, so no splurging for us. Don't go broke trying to impress people you may not even like. Stay in your own lane and do what feels right to you.

3. Check The Paper

College isn't for everyone, but always remember this: In the world of Social Media, you are replaceable. People just want someone who's cute and acceptably quirky to promote whatever brand or ideal they're selling. So when your 15 minutes of fame are up, you'll need something to fall back on. I love blogging and want to go into full time, but until I'm ready, I'm glad I have my degrees and certifications to get me by. Because of my degrees and skills, my options are far from limited and I will always have a source of revenue.

5 Times I Felt Incompetent and How I Dealt With It

5 Times I Felt Incompetent and How I Dealt With It

I hope this post shows my human side. We all make mistakes and we all fall short. Whether it's that relationship that ended after 2 years or only 2 days (yes I have lost a guy after only 2 days) there is always going to be something in life that makes you feel incompetent.  Today I want to share, in no particular order, about five times I felt incompetent, which is going to involve me "putting a few people on blast".

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