I'm really nervous about this post. Which is also why I think it's so important. This weekend, I read a handful of not-so-nice Instagram comments. One warned another blogger not to like me because of things she had read about me online. Another mentioned that I should simply "stop" and one so eloquently said "ew."
It's not like this is the first time I've received weird or unfriendly comments, but I was kind of at a point where I had just had enough! Because sometimes, enough is simply that... enough.
It was really after reaching out to the girl who was reading about me online via Facebook message that I got really upset. Lies and nasty untruths and speculations about me in a forum meant more to her than my own word. And I took that as a personal failure. Maybe I don't seem "real" enough on the blog.
The truth is that I don't live a photoshopped life and I don't deliberately hide things from my blog to try to deceive anyone. Sometimes I do choose not to share, but it's more for privacy or I simply don't think it's important to include or not appropriate to include in this space. I'm not here to market what a manufactured perfect life should be. My life is far from perfect and that is what I want to share!
Half of the time I'm in a state of fear of the future and the other half of the time, I'm just trying to get through one more day! I'm twenty-four, I'm still figuring it out. I don't know what I'll be doing a year from now... I don't know what I want to do in five years... I can't imagine what ten years holds for me.
But right now? Right now, it works. I'm happy and learning more about myself and growing every day. I reaffirmed that I love to blog and want to continue doing this as my job for as long as I can. Does that mean forever? I doubt it. (Frankly, very few people will be doing the exact same thing in thirty years. Blogging, certainly, is no different.) Does that make me nervous because there's no real "career path" for bloggers? Of course!!!! But I am also confident that this kind of risk will pay off and everything, in the end, will be just fine. Because it is always fine in the end.
Yet, this doesn't mean that every day is a walk in the park. There are days when I'm stressed or overwhelmed. I try to include those parts of my life on my blog because I think they are just as important as the happy things. I learn the most and grow the most from the bad days– I really do. And I think it's relevant to include that because I'm just this twenty-something girl trying to figure it out like everyone else.
I don't have the answers. I don't live some crazy glamorous life, but there are some sparkly moments! I want to share the UPS and the DOWNS and the everythings in between. I want to share clothes and events and books and movies and little adventures that happen in my life.
And my favorite part is knowing that I'm not alone in this.
The idea for the post started as my decree of Realness... and slowly became an idea that I hope others can get behind too. In a world of Photoshop and diets and beauty products and comparisons and duck faces and debt and self-loathing and cyber bullying... maybe we're losing our real selves a little bit in the process. Maybe I have lost myself a little bit, which caused some readers to so easily believe these lies or cause other hate-readers to create these stories, fill holes with manufactured truths, find anything to grasp onto to prove that this isn't real.
This is real and I am real. This is my real self.
hello acne scars, nonexistent eyelashes, crazy hair, puffy eyes
My real self...
battles with anxiety every day
prefers to stay in and read
worries about the future
wishes she had longer eye lashes
obsesses over projects and missions and visions
has uncontrollable laughing fits
has to make an effort to not work too much
is shy around strangers and is slow to let people in
wants to be accepted
gets excited over the tiniest of things
I'm going to be sharing #MyRealSelfie on Instagram too (@collegeprepster – hold me accountable!)... I like to post perfect posed photos as much as the next girl, but I don't want those photos to represent my entire person. Personally, I think it's totally fine to wear makeup and do your hair, but there's something really raw about reminding yourself that you're not only really "you" when you're fully made up. I'd love it if you would join me too! Post your own #MyRealSelfie on Instagram today and share a couple of facts about your real self in a caption.
Maybe I'm your cup of tea, maybe I'm not. I know what I know to be true, and this is real.