Thursday, October 18, 2018

How to Love Life Despite Not Being Famous, Rich, or Having Oodles of Followers



Sidenote before we begin: This is a message for myself. I have been living in a fixed, self-pitying mindset lately and in order to calm myself down, I decided to write this. I hope this helps you, too.

* * *

I have this condition. It's called Yearning.

Yearning is a secret wish hidden so deep within one's self that you're afraid to let anyone else know about it. It's that thing that you consistently notice about other people, and if someone points out you don't have it, you may blow up about it -- and then later blame it on someone else.

My yearning is for numbers.

I have always had this top secret wish to become one of those popular Tumblr blogs that don't have a face but do have over 100k followers. Or a singer who get so big on YouTube she gets recognized by a big label and swept off onto world tours. A beauty vlogger that eventually launches her own makeup line, an author who skyrockets to the top of the bestsellers lists, or an inventor who creates something so stupidly amazing, it sells out.

And so on.

Even when I got into blogging I thought it would be easy and people would just flock to me in instantaneous adoration. [Because who couldn't love this, right?]

Then in stepped Reality.

It was like a slap in the face when I realized that's not how things work. Internet fame is a rare occurrence. It takes social energy and a whole lot of charm.

Things I don't have. Because I'm introverted and, well, quirky. And quiet. *

And that's okay. But I didn't always think it was.

* This isn't to say that introverts or anyone else for that matter can't be Internet famous. There happen to be lots of introverted, awkward and/or quiet people out there who attract tons of fans.

This is something I have struggled with on and off for several years. To the point where I would cry into my pillow at night, questioning my worth. I would obsess over my Instagram, following and unfollowing, going on liking sprees and commenting more empty emojis than emotionally charged messages.

It was... sick.

And really sad.

Because people could see right through me. Just like I can see through other people who are like that: fake and trying just a little too hard. Not only that, it's taken me a long time to recover from trying to please everyone and be everything. I still slip back into it and catch myself Yearning. Wishing and guilt tripping and hating and questioning why I don't have more.


In order to have more, you need to be more.

This post is more for me than it is for anyone else, but I love to share my lessons because there's always that little chance that it will help someone. So if you happen to Yearn or just want to feel a little brighter in this dark world, I hope this helps. <3

1. You are enough.

There's nothing wrong with you or the place you're at in your life. There's nothing holding you back from being your best, most amazing self. In fact, I bet there are many who think you are dah BOMB.

(Because you are.)

But sometimes it's so hard for us to feel like we're the bomb. We forget that it's awesome we can do some of the things we do. We have hidden talents that we think others have too, but in reality, not everyone can code websites, understand historical texts or get quite as lit up when political issues come into play.

Not like you, my friend.

Every day I find out that "normal" isn't actually normal. People like weird things. We all have our quirks. And despite striving so hard to blend in, we are meant to stand out. To shine!

2. This time is about finding out where your path will lead you.

When I say "this time" I really mean all the time. The entire time you're alive, you're walking a path. Sometimes crawling. But you're moving. Even it's backward, you're moving.

I tend to worry about my "progress" in the world and where I'm headed. But as my mother said to me recently, "Just enjoy the process." We have to remember that, friend. Instead of focusing on getting ahead or constantly moving, why don't we take the time to look at where we are and actually like it?


3. Take it one day at a time.

Or if things really suck, take it one battle at a time. One breath at a time.

When you're overwhelmed, get some sleep. Nothing ever seems too bad the next morning after a nice long rest.


4. You are not, in fact, doomed.

I refer to those thoughts that whisper, everyone else has/can/is ___, and yet you lack. I guess your destiny isn't what you thought it would be. You're not who you thought you were meant to be.

These are sticky, icky thoughts that don't leave the best feeling in your stomach (or the rest of your body).

I also refer to your panic attacks, anxiety attacks, and your fears. Those things that haunt you. The pieces of yourself that you look at and feel are too mangled for anyone to love.

I'm here to tell you that they're false sources of information that need to be shut off.
Make the conscious choice to fight back against these thoughts. That's not true. I have more than enough. I am headed the right way. My destiny is what I make it. I know it seems like EVERYONE goes on about stopping negative self-talk. So you try, but it's MUCH easier said than done. You feel like giving up. I mean, who cares? It's not like your thoughts are hurting you or anything.

WRONG.

They are! I found out recently that every thought causes a chemical reaction in our brain. Because our brains are made up of cells that send signals to one another, your thoughts are basically signals pinged through your skull (not exactly but you get the gist). And those pings can cause a whole lot of damage. Stop this damage by stopping those thoughts! It will take a lot of work, but isn't it a lot of work you talk yourself back up to positivity? Isn't it a lot of work to feel bad about yourself ALL THE TIME? Isn't it a lot of work to throw all those pity parties?

You can choose to change today.


5. You don't understand their situation. Heck, you probably don't even understand your own right now.

So why are you comparing where you are to where she is? Because it's normal. But if you keep it up, it's going to destroy you.

When you find yourself envying, coveting or comparing, remember to take a step back and remind yourself that you are on your own path. You are where you're meant to be.

And don't be afraid to be a little selfish and say, "I need to focus more on me right now." *

* Also applicable to number 6 [below].

6. You know, if there's something that's making you unhappy, you're allowed to change it.

Even if it's a commitment. Finish it out like you said you would, and then next time say "no". Don't let 'em guilt trip you. If you're destroying yourself for someone else it's not healthy.

7. Try new things.

Now that you have some free time thanks to saying no and releasing those commitments that weighed you down, sign up for something. Anything. Piano lessons, vocal lessons, a writing workshop, a modeling deal--anything. If it's something you've been meaning to do, like participate in a walkathon for your favorite charity, DO IT! Don't be afraid to spend money on yourself (or even ask your parents to invest in you).


8. Continue to smile at people despite when they give you that "I want to punch every living thing in the face" vibe.

Some people just prefer to be unhappy (hence the Trolls movie). Don't let their vibe ruin your day. Keep smiling!

9. Go for a walk.

Get some blood flowing in your body and brain! Take this chance to marvel at the world. Don't look at the ground -- look at the sky. The trees. God's handiwork (your amazing self included).

10. Hang out with your close friends and spill your guts to them.

And if you feel like you don't have any friends, talking to your mom. Your sister. Your pet. Even me! I get emails all the time from young girls asking for advice or just looking for friendship. Don't be afraid to reach out (to anyone). Believe it or not, many humans are capable of empathy and compassion. When you open your eyes, you will see that there so many people out there who want to help.

11. Take your vitamins (pronounced: Vit-ah-minz).

If you're struggling with depression, repetitive thoughts, anxiety, or something else, chances are there is a supplement out there that may benefit you. Now I'm not a doctor, so I can't prescribe anything to you, but I can suggest you mention it to your own doctor. Bring up how you're struggling with him/her and ask if there's a way you can help your body fight it off.

12. Plan a trip.

Go! Explore the world God created for us. Even if that means going to a park or visiting a new restaurant a few blocks from your house.

13. Write about it.

Journaling has always helped me. There's no specific way or rules. Just write about you feel and go from there.

14. Stop worrying so much about other people! You are you, they are them and we all live in this world to pursue our passions, lend a helping hand and conquer our personal demons.

15. You are where you're supposed to be. I promise.

You feel behind. You feel like you should be a Somebody by now. But if that's not where you are now, that doesn't mean you'll never get there. You just have a few more things to do. Prepare yourself and remember to enjoy the journey (#2, above).

16. So what?

So what if you fail? So what if you look silly or fall flat on your face? Which will hurt worse -- that fact that you tried and didn't do it perfectly, or the fact that you didn't do it at all?

Which is worse?

Things that help me combat Yearning, comparison, and lack of luster in my life:

  • Taking a nice, good long break from all forms of social media, especially Instagram.
  • Long crying sessions.
  • Personal pep talks (if you want, I can give you one!)
  • Digging deep to find out what the REAL problem is.
  • Asking and working out solutions/action steps to the following: What thoughts am I stuck on? Where do I want to give up? How close am I to the finish line?
  • Remembering that my life is what I make it out to be. Sucess is something I define. Things like being "pretty" or "rich" are personal definitions, not the world's.
  • Talking to someone who loves me and knows what to say.
  • Reminding myself that I don't have to try so hard.
  • You are enough. Know this so deeply.

TL; DR - You are okay, just the way you are.

Did I miss anything? What do you do that makes you love life?


2 Sweet Words:

  1. Woah. That was big. But just what I know I needed to hear today. <3

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  2. i've been struggling with yearning for so much of my life it's become a norm for me... and recently, it feels like my life and the plans i had for myself are all coming apart and i don't even have the motivation to pick up the pieces. it's silly because instead of spending my time and energy picking myself up and dusting myself off, i'm busy obsessing over my flaws and failures (most of them imaginary, come to think of it...)

    this post couldn't have come at a better time. thank you so so much <3

    ~natasha

    ReplyDelete