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 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.

Working on Positive Self Talk

Hello Lovely,

Let’s face it—life can be rough sometimes. We all go through ups and downs. And you know I’ve definitely been through my share of moments, both good and bad. But here’s the thing. We can learn from our past and have it help shape our future. Today is day 10 of the #21DaysofMe Challenge and it's all about transformation and self love. In addition to three ways to show yourself some love, I'm going to share three things that I love about myself.

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Show Yourself Some Love

It really starts with giving yourself the love you deserve. Don’t beat yourself up—because you are enough. Wherever you are in your journey, that’s the best you can and should be. This is why even though I was really upset to have to eat at an expensive restaurant this past weekend, I ate the most expensive food I could find to engage in self-love. I ate oysters, mussels, shrimp and lobster tails (that was my entire dinner). For dessert, I finally had crème brulee and panacotta (I didn't like it). 

Real Talk

Boost yourself up, especially when you might be feeling down. Give yourself some positive words of encouragement! Maybe you leave notes for yourself on your bathroom mirror in lipstick. Maybe you just smile at your reflection. But be sure to share a kind word with yourself every once in awhile. I stood in the front of the mirror and told myself that I was awesome because at only 28, I may not have a serious romantic relationship like my friends, but I have a Master's Degree that I paid for on my own (no loan), I recently upgraded my car and I became the first and only certified Bahamian AutPlay Therapy Provider. I reminded myself that I have a lot going for myself and everything was beginning to line up for a brighter future.

Form Healthy Habits

Whether you work out every day or you’re just getting into your routine, that’s okay. Take it slow and work at your own pace. We’re all running our own marathons! When I first started going to the gym, it was really hard. Now I hate whenever I miss a day, and that I can only go three days a week.

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Check out this video by Demi Lovato, on transforming key areas of your life.

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