advice, Self Growth

What Truly Makes You Happy?

A sequential glide of a pen. The musical sound of fingers tapping one key after the other. Thoughts racing as the words spill out on the page. To me, this is paradise.

I have a book recommendation for you all. The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey. I stumbled upon this book a few years ago & it changed my perspective on life. We humans feel almost guilty when feeling lost or not knowing which path is the correct one to take. You’ll get recommendations from all sides & although advice can be helpful, I find the best way to really find your way is to soul search & dive deep into what makes you, you.

Take ownership of your strengths, your short comings, what you’ve loved in the past & what you love now. Truly ask yourself, “What Makes Me Happy?”

You know what makes me happy?

Writing.

Looking back, my whole life I’ve loved the craft. I would keep journals of my thoughts, hopes & dreams for so many years.

I wrote short stories at 7 years old. I made children’s books out of construction paper & sold them to my neighbors. My one neighbor still has one of my “books” to this day.

As a little girl, I wanted to be like Harriet from Harriet the Spy & write down everything. As I got older, I dreamed of becoming a journalist & tv reporter. I was nosy, loved drama & always wanted to find out the scoop on everything. Every chance I took whether it was for fun or my high school newspaper, I was always writing. But unfortunately, like many of us do, I listened too hard to other people.

They would tell me newspapers were a dying bread & you can’t make lots of money doing that. Or they would tell me journalists were too saturated & I wouldn’t be unique enough. I became hard on myself, not thinking I would be good enough. So I changed my path.

And the path I chose isn’t terrible. I’m still proud of my accomplishments. It’s just funny how writing always seems to come back to my life in some form. My Nana used to call me the future Barbara Walters. 😊

Since I listened to others more than myself, I spent my college years learning about the human mind & personalities. Although I found it interesting, I always felt like something was off. One semester I decided to take one writing course, & ended up being referred to the college newspaper the following semester.

And guess what? I loved it!

Clearly, I’ve been oblivious to my calling. I brush it off as something I can do well, I guess? But always went with plans b, c & d.

It wasn’t until I read this passage in Oprah’s book that everything just clicked. It was in that moment I was like “yes, this is me.”

When it comes to your life, you have to find what makes you light up. Sure, I’m not saying you won’t find a career that pays bills well. Or maybe you like doing something as merely a hobby. I believe people can have multiple paths.

It’s so very important to not lose your passions. Passions are what make us stand out from the crowd. And although people might not see the vision, as long as you do, that’s all that should matter.

Take yourself back to when you were really young & people would ask you, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Before society tainted your outlook on the world, what was it?

Yes I dreamed of being a journalist. But I also wanted to be an artist, a teacher for a while & an actress.

Clearly, I have a very creative soul. And I try to engage those traits through other ways. No, I may not have an abundance of acrylic paint & paint brushes, but I do have makeup brushes & I find my makeup routine to be an art in itself. I also love decorating the house & design in general.

These are the attributes that make me who I am. And I wouldn’t give that up for anything. As long as you enrich yourself in activities that feed the soul, happiness can be just around the corner.

My path led me to writing once again this year through blogging. The combination of sheer boredom [especially during stay at home order] & having the time, I decided why not write? I remember laying awake at night & wondering what I would do to fill my time. And the idea came to me like a freight train. I’ve considered it in the past but my insecurities always seemed to bite me in the ass. “What would people think?” “I’ll be made fun of.”

I don’t know if it’s my age or what, but I just don’t care what people think of me anymore. If it makes me happy, I’m going to do it.

And so, I shall write. I shall write until my hands are sore, because it’s one of the things I love.

And sure, I may not be the next Barbara Walters. But I’m B, & I think she’s pretty cool.

– B 🌿💕

🥰
Self Growth

Stop Caring About What People Think of You

“You’ll Never Be Happy If You Constantly Worry What Other’s Think of You”

But why do we let ourselves get caught up in this game & allow it to take control of our lives? We scroll through social media & slowly degrade ourselves with every flick of the finger as the news feed moves across the screen. We treat the comment threats & mentions as true indications of our worth. When we make decisions of our life paths, we can’t help but wonder what others around us are doing instead & what they may think of ours. We question who is in the wrong & who is on the right track.

In terms of starting this passion project of a blog, I’m actually surprised I was able to start it in the first place. I had this fear of vulnerability & putting myself out there, especially to complete strangers across the globe. I wanted to grow thicker skin. All of my scarcities stemmed from caring what people would think of me. I would get a pit in my stomach going through scenarios in my head of being embarrassed or ridiculed for my choices. I though people in my real life would think I was nuts fo even thinking of going down this path.

“I wanted to grow thicker skin”

The fear of judgement is a real problem. It’s so easy to tell ourselves, “don’t worry about what people think of you.” But I know first hand, when I’d click publish on a blog post, my stomach would do flips because I was worried my perspectives on whatever I wrote about would be thought of as a weird or people would criticize my writing style. I’m a rather self critical person. A perfectionist of the arts if you will. On one hand, constructive criticism can be very beneficial to someone’s growth. I had to grasp the idea that there’s a difference between being taught vs. judged.

Here are 5 Ways To Stop Caring What People Think of You:

Have Something To Care About More

Life is all about how you see it & your perspective on situations. Creating a new mindset & shifting it to something more important to you, is a wonderful way to put the focus back on yourself instead of someone else. I think we can overly focus on other people & neglect our own journey’s. And chances are, people aren’t thinking about you on the level you think they are. Most of what you feel are insecurities you’ve developed in your mind. I was always told if I just simply made my life more important & stayed busy, I wouldn’t have time to even care about what other people may think of me or compare my life to there’s.

Question Your Thoughts

When you start caring what people think of you, chances are there’s an underlying reason behind it. Do a bit of reflection & determine why you are feeling the way you are. I for instance can be an over thinker at times. Blame my anxiety I guess. Over the years, I’ve learned to sit with my thoughts & pinpoint my reasonings for getting hung up on something or someone. Write out your thoughts on paper or even talk to a trustworthy person in your life. Most of the time what we think about are merely fabrications of what is really going on.

Find The Right Community

Don’t allow yourself to get mixed in with the wrong crowds. Being around the wrong people who don’t support your goals & ideas can cause you to question your entire existence. You start to wonder who is doing life correctly. You start to lose your authenticity & begin to mold into these so called “experts” on life. Instead, find people who cheer you on.

Embrace Vulnerability

If there are people in your life who question you on how open you are whether it’s in your writing or anything else, they are probably jealous you had the guts to share that information. So instead, feel proud the next time you show vulnerability & open up. I think the more you do this, the stronger you become. Your skin becomes thicker than ever & no sticks or stones could ever break it. In terms of blogging, when I shared my story on anxiety, I was a bundle of nerves at first. Once I read the comments & saw how it helped so many of you, I felt proud. And I want to share more stories on the caliber.

Be Your Own Best Friend

Above all else, YOU are your biggest cheerleader. The reality is, you will always have people questioning your decisions & making unsolicited judgments. It’s up to you to gain that back bone & confidence in your personal journey. There isn’t a rule book on life. There isn’t anyone who is more right than anyone else. So, just do you.

-B

Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest

Lifestyle

The Toxicity of Influencer Culture

The average American throws away 65 pounds of clothing per year. There is this constant urge for MORE and NEW where it just becomes an endless cycle of overconsumption. And with the age of social media & influencers, this trend isn’t leaving us anytime soon.

If I was younger in this generation, I’d be a complete mess. With items being just a click away & a saturated amount of photos & videos depicting these “so called perfect lives” at your finger tips, how isn’t this lifestyle affecting people’s wellbeing?

Sometimes I miss the 90’s because to me, the pre-digital age was simple. Children still went outside to play. Now parents have to monitor screen time. People’s lives were a bit more mysterious & your past didn’t follow you as easily.

The world of technology, although is quite convenient; it can also cause a burden in the comparison battle.

Even at the age I am now, & a few years ago I would get sucked in feeling like I wanted & needed certain products to make me happy. The picture perfect life society shows online, is nothing compared to their reality. And even with this knowledge, I was quickly consumed by those worlds. Deleting my Instagram in 2016 was the best decision I ever made.

The thing that got me the most, besides the illustrated depiction of success, was the overexposed advertisements. Influencers would post a picture of themselves in an outfit against a bright pink wall & every inch of the image would have affiliate links to brands & companies.

And no, I’m not saying sponsored content is dumb & unnecessary. It’s a way to make a living. You can’t deny this. But you can’t just sit around oblivious to the fact it’s affecting the viewers decisions. Especially, these younger viewers.

I believe influencers of all platforms should keep in mind what they are promoting to their followers. They are role models after all. People trust their opinions whole heartedly. So they better really enjoy what they promote. I myself have purchased most of my makeup products on the sole fact someone [a beauty guru] recommended it.

Back in college I actually wrote a piece about how beauty influencers on YouTube negatively affect our youth. And I still find it holds a lot of truth. “Buy this makeup product, because it will enhance your beauty.” I don’t care how aware teens are about advertisement ploys & gimmicks, they still buy these products don’t they?

No wonder you have people struggling with self esteem, body image & depression. But that’s a topic for another day.

The point is, influencers push product from left to right. And it’s never enough. There will always be a new product to try or a new trend to pull off, with the majority of these products being rather luxurious & designer. Not to mention the amount of money wasted on said products. The average person can’t be dropping thousands of dollars on designer bags & clothing. But the Influencer makes it seem feasible. When most of the time, these men & women get sent these items for FREE! The change needs to come from us viewers where we say enough is enough.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sale from time to time. The Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale for example is a favorite of mine. And Sephora’s VIB Sale? My debit card is already crying just thinking about it. But honestly, I’ve learned to put the wallet away. It’s not like anything truly different shows up on the racks. Oh boy another basic white tee! Another pair of black ankle boots! How original. And how many lipsticks does one person really need?!

For some reason when a basic girl looks out her window & notices a leaf has fallen from a tree [a sign fall season is approaching] another pair of boots or a sweater needs to be added to the wardrobe. Even though she knows she owns 10 sweaters already.

And believe me, I was that girl. Before I discovered minimalism, I thought I needed all these material items to be happy & successful. I still love fashion & expressing myself through makeup looks & outfits. But I’m more mindful of my shopping habits. I’m not against owning expensive things or spending money. The key is to ask yourself if you truly need it?

Being a blogger myself may make me sound like a hypocrite because I talk about products & clothing pieces. But to me it’s more so the concepts I talk about that hold importance to me & the reader. When I talk about my wardrobe for example, I may talk about brands & stores but the main goal is to teach people they can be happy with less of it.

As a minimalist you don’t feel the need to buy certain things to make yourself feel whole. You should feel this way without anything. Picture yourself in an empty room with only yourself & your thoughts. How do you feel? If you feel empty, there’s a problem. Your objects shouldn’t define who you are.

I think as long as you take in consideration what these companies & influencers are aiming towards, which is fueling consumerism, you can take charge & alter your perspective. It all can just be way too much sometimes.

I’d rather have less things I really love over an abundance of items that are just ok. I don’t want to keep feeling the need to declutter & send bags of things to donation centers & landfills.

The world of social media & influencers has created this idea of “bragging” & “showing off” as an acceptable way of being. And although it’s good to feel proud of what you have & accomplished, I think apps like Instagram has ruined that for people.

Instead of selling an image that is desirable, how about just live it? There’s so much wishing & wanting in this life. But nobody wants to actually get up off their phones & do it themselves.

⁃ B 🌿