You are enough. Three simple, yet powerful words. Three words that need to be used more than they are. By me. And by YOU.
You will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you lose your edge. Apologize for mistakes. Apologize for unintentionally hurting someone – profusely. But don’t apologize for being who you are. ~ Danielle LaPorte
Be unapologetically YOU.
My first name, Amanda, means “lovable; worthy of love,” yet I’ve struggled hard with feeling worthy and there have been so many days where I think I’m difficult to love. I’m not sharing any of this to fish for compliments or to be pitied, but rather to paint a picture of how society sets us up to dislike ourselves. That we need to fit within a certain box, otherwise we’re not worthy. This past year has been a game changer for me – tested me, pushed me, and opened my eyes to the heart of the matter. I want to share all of this with you because while I have felt a shift in my thinking, I know many still struggle.
I’m here to tell you that what you really need is to find peace within. To recognize that you are worthy at this very moment. You are ENOUGH. If you follow me on Instagram, you most likely saw the post I shared on my birthday along with this amazing poem:
“Never trust a mirror,
For a mirror always lies,
It makes you think that all your worth,
Can be seen on the outside,
Never trust a mirror.
It only shows you what’s skin deep,
You can’t see how your eyelids flutter,
When you’re drifting off to sleep,
It doesn’t show you what the world sees,
When you’re only being you,
Or how your eyes light up,
When you’re loving what you do,
It doesn’t capture when you’re smiling,
When no one else can see,
And your reflection cannot tell you,
Everything you mean to me,
Never trust a mirror,
For it only shows your skin,
And if you think that dictates your worth,
It’s time you looked within.”
~ Erin Hanson
Social media is a blessing and a curse. I have a love-hate relationship with it but lately it’s been getting better with adjusting my mindset. I have to frequently check myself and step away for my personal sanity, but I have watched it destroy others – to the point where they completely lost themselves or their self-worth hit an all-time low.
My battle with self-love dates back to high school and got harder along the way with toxic relationships. I heard it all (from men and women):
“not skinny enough”
“breast implants could help”
“not pretty enough”
“eyes are too big”
“needs a backbone”
I could go on, but it’s kind of depressing…and in the past. Disordered eating and body dysmorphia became a part of my life. Rather than looking within, I became obsessed with the reflection in the mirror and food…and not in a healthy way. It took a lot of hard work, time, and weeding out who I allowed in my life to get where I am today. Perfectly imperfect.
Going back to when I said social media is a blessing and a curse. When I talk about social media, I’m referring to Instagram (IG) because I left Facebook a few years ago as it wasn’t healthy for me. Instagram has connected me with so many amazing, inspiring, empowering people – some of them I consider my dearest friends, most of them I haven’t even met in person. And some of them are people I’ve known personally for years (former co-workers, school friends, family) – it’s a blessing to have an app to keep us in the loop of one another’s lives. To connect us. It feels good to be supported – to get a virtual hug, high-five, and the occasional “I’ve been there, mama” or “me too!”
Now the curse. The overly filtered, heavily edited, perfectly staged, selectively chosen pictures that are posted. Combined with the competitiveness and elitist attitude from some of the people…it can be a pretty toxic space…if you’re not careful. Did you know that I have received a quite few messages about how my photos could use some work or how to improve my blog or how to gain more followers? You probably didn’t. And while I try not to let that sort of stuff get to me, catch me on a bad day and I will over analyze everything and shut down. I’m not looking to grow my page or blog. To me, Instagram is my life in photos. Family, nature, food, and anything in between…I guess I consider myself a lifestyle page and to me, it’s kind of like a digital diary, an account of the delicious recipes I’ve tried, beautiful hiking spots, and my world…Willow. I post things that genuinely excite me or make me happy – I never post something as a way to impress someone or gain anything. Same goes for my blog – it’s more of a hobby for me. Something I genuinely enjoy because I write for me and if anyone happens to read my rambles, it’s just an added bonus. I don’t take the time to use a photo editor app or perfectly stage my food…nothing against those who do, for me, I just want to eat my food and I’ll occasionally snap a quick, in-the-moment pic, but that’s because I want to enjoy my food while it’s still hot or devour it before it melts. I can absolutely appreciate those gorgeous photos and even if I don’t photograph my food, I still make it pretty…does that make sense? But I need to digress because this rant is not where I intended this to go!
Back to curse. Not everyone on social media is genuine or compassionate. Just like in real life. It can be a selfish world and by that I mean, there are people who are only on there to benefit themselves, even if it means hurting others along the way. For example, there are accounts on IG who spend time commenting on random posts using fake compliments. Sometimes they’ll even go so far as to “follow” you and say, “I love your page” or “I love what you’re doing here.” All of this just to get your attention so that you’ll check out their page or follow them back. Ninety-nine percent of the time they’ll unfollow you once you’re following them. All they care about is growing their numbers. What’s sad is that I know a few people whom this has happened to and due to already low self-worth, it set them over the edge. They took it so personal, as an insult, that they became so depressed. If only people took others feelings into consideration before acting.
It is SO easy to get caught up in the comparison trap – those “perfect” photos can be intimidating and for some, they can be toxic. Here’s my message to you (and a reminder to myself):
YOU ARE ENOUGH.
You can’t compare a 38-year-old stay-at-home mother to a twenty something college student. While age doesn’t matter, getting older changes things. Bodies are different, lifestyles alter, priorities shift. I remember being in college. I remember working two jobs while taking a full course load. I remember my body being totally different. I remember having more time to myself. BUT, remember, pregnancy and birthing a child is no joke. I look at my cesarean scar and stretch marks as gifts and while I may never have a toned, flat stomach again, I am damn proud of my body. I am enough.
I’ve even been bad about comparing myself to other moms – I’d see “perfect” posts and think, ‘I need to workout more,’ or ‘I don’t do enough when it comes to homeschooling,’ or a general blanket statement…’I need to do more.’ Heck, there are some days when getting dressed is about all we do and guess what? That’s enough. When I take a step back and look at my life, what I’ve accomplished, my goals – I’m proud and I think I am enough.
Don’t let those perfectly clean, organized house photos fool you. I have to laugh because I’ll joke and say that I need to snap a photo as evidence that it’s possible to have a clean house. Truth is, our house looks like a tornado ripped through it…95% of the time. Dishes piled HIGH, mail strewn about all over the counter, Willow drawings scattered on the floor, markers missing caps, crumbs EVERYWHERE, and blankets + couch cushions thrown about. We have an almost five-year old child and three fur babies. Our home is cozy, lived in, and messy. When Josh comes home from work, he’s able to follow the trail of the events by looking at the house. So, mamas, look at it this way. A messy house is a sign of having fun. A sign of living. It’s a sign that you’re feeding your family well. It’s a sign that you’ve found more important things to do than scrub the floors or dust the shelves…you’re being a present parent! Just because your house isn’t clean and organized like those posts on IG, doesn’t make you any less of a human being. Remember…YOU ARE ENOUGH. I am enough. (P.S. – also consider the fact that those so-called perfectly clean, organized homes were probably in disarray moments before or after they shared a pic).
What you can’t see in the photo below is our kitchen! Ha!! And to be honest, this is considered pretty clean…
Do not compare a blogger’s food photos to your own. Most bloggers have really nice cameras and props. Some have special lighting equipment. Most make a living off of creating recipes and taking stunningly beautiful photos. It’s their “job” and passion. More than anything, those bloggers put in hard work and effort to create a beautiful shot. It’s really easy for me to get caught up in this specific comparison trap. Being a SAHM I’m forever multi-tasking. Trying to snap a “perfect” photo is next to impossible because either (A) Willow is pulling on my legs or arms asking me to come look at something , (B) Willow is begging to eat what I’m photographing, or (C) I don’t have a really nice camera (just an inexpensive point-and-shoot Nikon or my iPhone), nor do I have any props. Once again, NOTHING against those who have all of this. I am simply stating why my photos aren’t much to look at. I AM a foodie though. I love the kitchen, I love creating, and I love trying new recipes created by others. Will my photos do them justice? Maybe not. But like I said, my posts are like an account of what I’ve made and enjoyed. I personally struggle sometimes to even post food pics because I think to myself, “these aren’t good enough” or “this looks nothing like so-and-so’s photos.” Stop that. Stop that right now. I’m talking to myself and YOU. Because remember…YOU ARE ENOUGH! So post those photos if they make you happy!
I intended on snapping a before photo, but she couldn’t wait to dive in and honestly, this photo makes me waaaaaay happier than a bowl of banana ice cream…
Do not compare someone else’s journey with your own. – Whether its spiritual, health, healing, diet, lifestyle, etc…DO NOT compare the path you are on to another person’s. Do not minimize your progress or success to someone else’s. Keep the focus within. What we all need to remember is that each one of us is different. Bodies. Mindsets. Priorities. Resources. Finances. All of it differs from person to person. Family to family. I do feel that it’s nice to have something to aspire to and occasionally it’s healthy to use someone else’s story for inspiration BUT not as an end all. Not as an “I need this in order to be happy, healthy, or beautiful.” Keep checking in with yourself. Are you happy? If so, you’re on the right path. And remember, no matter the case, YOU ARE ENOUGH.
– I struggled for a while with my own spiritual journey. I’d be bombarded by posts from others sharing what I needed in order to be truly spiritual. I began to feel that I wasn’t meditating enough, praying enough, unplugging enough, reading enough, minimalist enough. In a nutshell, I didn’t feel like I was enough, that while I thought of myself as spiritual, I began doubting that I actually was. That I constantly needed more. Truth is, after taking a deeper look within, I began to see that I was enough and that what I held dear to my journey – to my spiritual practice – worked for me. I began to phase out what others were throwing at me and focused more on what worked for me. Once I stopped comparing my journey with others, I was more at peace. I am a constant work in progress; forever learning how to be the best version of myself without the influence of others.
– In line with this thought, everyone’s idea of veganism (or diet in general) is different and for us to belittle one another over minor details is silly. What I consider healthy for me, won’t line up with the next person. What’s important is that we do what’s right for our own body and mind. Realizing that it’s enough – you’re not less healthy or less of a person because you consume more fat or carbs than someone else.
Holy bright!!!! I swear this photo is unedited! I attempted to capture Willow being super silly, but just as I snapped the pic, she ducked down in her car seat…but I managed to capture how truly happy I was…
I have to share an excerpt from Daring Greatly by Brené Brown (seriously read her books, I’ve loved them all). The last paragraph on the page below is so perfect…
Do it for YOU. The second you start posting for someone else’s attention or approval or writing what you think people want to hear, you’ve lost yourself. You’ve forgotten what it’s all about. YOU are important and what you have to share IS important. So don’t post something because you think it will get a lot of “likes” or “followers” – post from the heart. Post what makes YOU happy. Post what sings to your soul. When you do that, the right people will be aligned with your path.When you get caught up in what others like or what the “trend” is, you stop being yourself. What YOU have to offer is ENOUGH. For me this also means taking frequent breaks or unplugging for a few days – I’ve learned to be OK with not replying to comments the day they’re left or catching up on everyone’s page. Those who matter will still be there when I return. I choose to take care of myself (and family) before anything else.
If you find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth to someone, you have already forgotten your value. ~ Unknown
Do not compare numbers; in fact, ignore them. Just because you have less followers than someone else, does not make you any less important or valuable. Just because you only got 30 likes on a post doesn’t mean your photo wasn’t beautiful or meaningful. Know deep down that numbers mean nothing. Some of my absolute favorite pages/people have small followings and I adore them because their captions speak to me and their photos are real, in-the-moment accounts of life. I enjoy interacting, engaging with other people and often times, the bigger pages just can’t keep up with comments or questions, which sadly, makes me less inclined to reach out to them. I love the pages that share unapologetically and a little bit of everything: food, personal, nature, quotes, motherhood…you name it. As long as they’re posting from the heart, that’s all that matters. So whether you have 20 followers or 100k followers, you need to remember that YOU ARE ENOUGH. Your worth is not determined by numbers. As long as you’re doing what YOU love, it is enough.
If you’re unhappy with who you are, what you look like, or where you are, I highly recommend digging down deep within and figuring out why. I say this because trying to change who you are or what you look like doesn’t always bring happiness, in fact, chances are, your feelings will remain the same. So choose to be happy now, not “when I lose 10 pounds,” or “when I get that promotion.” Embrace who YOU are and recognize your unique self and remember…
You are not your wrinkles, age spots, acne scars.
You are not the number on a scale.
You are not your pant size.
You are not your grades in school or your degree.
You are not your job title.
You are not your mistakes or shortcomings.
Your worth is NOT determined by the amount of followers you have or the number of likes you get on a post.
You aren’t less worthy if you “fail.” Choosing to put yourself out there and be who you are is a brave action. Vulnerability is not weakness.
The most delightful surprise in life is to suddenly recognise your own worth. ~ Maxwell Maltz
I had an epiphany a couple of days before my birthday (which is what sparked this blog post) and it was literally as if someone finally turned a bright light on after being in the dark for years. I felt a sense of freedom that was indescribable. Rather than living in a state of fear or walking on eggshells, I am now able to approach social media with a new mindset. New eyes. New confidence. I used to fear what others would think so I would hold back (filter) what I share. This last year was a whirlwind of emotions and struggles with health, creativity, relationships, love, loss, and change. I learned to follow my heart, my gut, and listen to my body…and ignored what others said was the “right” way. Through this journey, I have lost a few friends (real and online) because they didn’t agree with my path. And that’s OK. Hundreds unfollowed me on social media in a week’s span and while it stung at first, I count it as a blessing. I’m being aligned with those who truly matter; those who accept me for who I am…all of me. I learned the difference between true friends and those who only “liked” me when I was either making their recipes – only “supported” me when it was convenient or only talked with me when my life was positive (when I kept my struggles to myself)…a handful of those people unfollowed me on social media and while I’m grateful for what I learned from them while we were “friends” I am also grateful to not have artificial friendships in my life. I have grown because of them. I have learned that I AM ENOUGH no matter what. If I’m in a creativity slump…I AM STILL ENOUGH. I believe in supporting my friends wholeheartedly, even if their path doesn’t align with my own. Even if I am unable to make their recipes or buy their products, I support them with my words and energy. Realize that YOU ARE ENOUGH and if for any reason you doubt your stance with someone, it is time to let go and recognize that you should not have to fight to be heard by a “friend.”
I’ll share one last bit before I end this loooong ramble 😉
Becoming a mother opened my eyes in more ways than one. I’ve grown more than ever during these almost five years and have come to really recognize my strength. During these years, I have also been criticized more than ever – whether by random strangers on social media or family. Everything from diet, choice to not vaccinate, homeschooling, and me being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). I’ve been told that I need to do research, or I’m depriving my child, I need to listen to doctors, or get a part-time job. Yep. That last one really irks me. Get a job?? I may not punch in my hours on a time clock or receive a paycheck, but I hold many “job” titles and work 24/7. As with everything else, I’ve come to grow from the criticism or negativity. Why? Because I realize that my worth does not depend on what others think of me. And as far as being a mom, sure I have my bad days and moments of doubt, but I know deep down that I’m doing a pretty damn good job.
I think we all need to remember that we’re human. We might make mistakes, fall down, fail, do things we’re not proud of, but we are ALL WORTHY.
To anyone and everyone reading this, I’m sending you LOTS OF BIG hugs. Thank you for taking the time to read this to the end.
My tears are dripping on my phone! Tears of joy, understanding, relating, appreciation are all mixed up! I’m in awe of your ability to express such deep thoughts and feelings. Isn’t life such an interesting journey? I love being older and wiser and at peace! Probably would’ve gotten here sooner if I’d read essays like yours when I was younger! I’m so proud/honored/blessed to know you my dear friend Mandy.
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Awwwww!!!! I LOVE YOU, friend!!! You’ve been a HUGE support and your words of encouragement have helped me so much over these last few years. It really does feel like I’ve known you forever and the fact that we haven’t met in real life (yet) is crazy to me…but also goes to show the power of connection. I consider you one of my absolute dearest friends and feel so blessed to have you in my life…such a wild and interesting journey for sure ❤ XOXOXO
I love this so much! Though I do still struggle with all of it, I agree with every word! (Side note: that follow/unfollow crap on IG drive me batty. I would never play game…I don’t care if “it really works”. Numbers are just numbers and don’t guarantee people actually caring about or engaging with your page.)
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I think I’ll always struggle a little with it, but I’ve gotten a lot better! It’s hard sometimes to not get caught up in the comparison trap or doubting yourself. Right??? Seriously drives me crazy! I currently have this account/page that keeps following and unfollowing me (not even kidding, she’s done it least six or seven times) and the only way I know this is happening is because I’ll get a notification that so and so is following you. ha! You’re one of my favorite pages, Jenn and it’s because your authenticity shines through and I can absolutely tell that you’re doing what you love! Thank you for taking the time to read this post! ❤
Glad you have found your happy place! Willow needs to see that in you in order to find it in herself. These kids notice way more than we think! Leo’s new phrase is “Oh, mommy working so hard!” Which both makes me laugh and makes me a bit sad, because the truth is that I have not been as good of a mom as I usually am throughout this book writing. I am ok with that because I did this book for me so I put myself first right now, and putting me first sometimes is not a bad thing. In fact I think it teaches them a lot and I hope they see it and realize that mommies are humans too and one day when they have a wife (or husband) allowing them to put themselves first is a positive thing that only helps them to be better moms/dads. But I do know that once I am done (very very soon!) I look forward to going back to being mostly a mom and enjoying my blogging on the side. I love to create recipes and I really love the photography. Side note, I don’t have a fancy camera or fancy set up. I fact my dslr is borrowed from a photographer friend and is super old and one of the lowest on the totem pole, but I have learned to work around it’s deficiencies and bought a nice lens and figure that if I can teach myself on that then one day when I buy my own then my photos will be even better! But I have come a long way with teaching myself how to photograph well, mostly because I love it so much. And you’d die if you saw my set up. It’s all based on random wood pieces friends have found me, trays I have found at homegoods or on sale other places and paper that looks like a background! Plus I guide the light with $2 foam boards from Micheals and pieces of fabric. I use an old greeting card or aluminum foil piece to reflect light on the side away from the window. LOL Anyway, not sure if it’s because I got into making a little money from blogging by accident or if it’s because I did it for myself and my inner love to create and photo, but I don’t really pay attention to all the negative aspects of social media. I mean, I know what they are and realize about all the fakeness and games played, but it doesn’t really ever get to me. I don’t get many rude comments but when I do I either delete and ignore or sometimes if I’m in a snarky mood I actually think it’s quite fun to reply and beat them at their own game. LOL I have always said that the day all that comes with blogging begins to stress me out, I’m outa there. For now, I want to finish my book and then go back to focusing on my kiddos and blogging on the side. Because I do truly love it! But I also really love being a mom and all the fun stuff that comes with it for us like volunteering in their class, sports, mommy and me classes with the babe, etc etc. Big hugs from here and now back to work! Thanks for the nice break 🙂
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Wow, thank you for this comment, Sophia!!! I hope I didn’t offend or generalize/stereotype too much. I know that a lot of bloggers use makeshift tools/props/etc., and I so appreciate when they share that they do because it helps a lot of people see that you make do with what you have…that there isn’t a need for those flashy, expensive boards/backdrops (again, nothing against those who use them)! We run on a very tight budget, so it’s nice to hear what you use….makes it seem a lot less intimidating. Speaking of intimidating…while we’re being honest, I was once SO intimidated by you! You’ve got this amazing confidence about you and you say what you mean (don’t sugar coat anything) and you’ve got a take-no-crap attitude that made me a little envious. BUT you are incredibly genuine and kind and it’s crazy to think I’ve been following along your journey for a few years now. Amazing how fast time flies. I wanted to say a big thank you for being supportive of me and for not treating me like I’m beneath you – I appreciate you always taking the time to read my posts and leave comments – I know you’re a VERY busy mama!!! Thank you for being a good friend and I hope that our paths will cross in real life one day! ❤ Big hugs to YOU!
Hugs and light to you 🤗✨❤
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Love you, sweet friend! You’re the BEST!! ❤
I love all of these beautiful photos of you and Willow, they make my heart smile!! You know we have discussed this exact thing sooo much, so you know how much I agree with all of it. I find Instagram hilarious to be honest. It seems to be one big showoff competition. I love blogging and I create for my blog and post my pics from my blog posts on there (IG) and then I’m out. I don’t create food specifically for IG. I don’t have the time. My passion is blogging and sharing veganism with my readers and spreading that message. If you start comparing yourself to everybody on IG, then you will go nuts. I agree with you, I greatly limit my time on there because of it all. I’ve thought the same thing many times, “how do they have the time to post so much and do all of this?” and then I remember, they are young teens or twenty something with no kids. Life is SO different when you have children!!! I’m juggling this blog with my child, our house flipping biz, taking her to and from school and dance class and the constant errands you have as a mom. It’s a whole different world and it’s so important to not compare, it’s pointless.
I laughed out loud about the messy house…omg, ever since I had Olivia, my house has become soooo much more messy. Blogging and being a mom has prevented it from being so clean. I love, love cleanliness, so it’s a constant battle, but I’ve loosened up some and tried to just be better at organizing so I don’t go insane from the mess, lol.
Everybody has a different reason for why they use social media or Instagram, etc. I personally do not have a personal IG page. I strictly got an IG account just to reach people for my blog, since my passion is creating recipes and sharing them. That is the only reason I use it. I do, however, have a personal FB page which is where I share my personal family real life photos. I swear though, if it weren’t for needing my Vegan 8 page for my blog, I’d probably shut it all down altogether because there is so much negativity on it now. I try to stay away from it. You have to make a conscious effort to stay away from that crap.
Anyways, thank you for sharing your beautiful words Mandy, you are a beautiful and amazing person and I love you!
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Awww! Thank you!!! I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoy our conversations – you help me to feel so much more normal! Now I wish I still had a Facebook account because I’d love to be friends there and see more of the personal side of your life…hope that didn’t sound creepy! Ha! I completely understand and respect your reasons for social media – it really does suck how negative and toxic it has become. BUT there are so many wonderful, supportive people on there that I never would have ‘met’ – so I’m definitely grateful for that. I really do hate the competitive feel of IG, but I’m learning to tune it out and adjust who I’m following. I still occasionally struggle with the pages and bloggers who won’t even give me the time of day – they’ll completely pass up my comments and only respond to the “well known” or popular accounts. But that is why I have tightened up my circle and engage with those who matter. Gone are the days of browsing my feed…now I typically just go directly to the pages/people I love!
Ha! I swear I used to be obsessed with a clean, organized house, but I definitely loosened up when I became a mom. Although, i totally appreciate and love when it is clean!
Thank you SO much for being such an amazing friend! I LOVE YOU!!!! ❤
I love this whole post so much. It is like a big, cool glass of water, and I’m gulping it all down. Thank you.
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That is so sweet of you, Cadry! Thank you!!! I really appreciate you taking the time to read this and it’s always so nice to hear from you! ❤
Mandy!! Good to know that you’re happy now my friend. Lets do a virtual group hug with sweet Willow 💕💕 Sending you lots of love 😍❤️ & light ✨✨✨
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Nora!!!! Thank you!!! I’m sending big hugs and lots of love your way! ❤
I love this so much❤️. Mandy, you’re wonderful person, I hope one day we can meet in person ! 😘
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Poppy!!!!! We absolutely will meet one day and it will be amazing! I love you, friend. Thank you for always being so supportive and kind to me and my family. XO ❤
Love all the happy photos in between! 🙂 You are both definitely more than enough.
I can’t understand the rabid follow/unfollow games. Or the people who try and lure you in with compliments to follow and then unfollow. Or all the “like my page!” posts. “Likes for likes”… “Want LOTS of followers… ” Really takes the fun out of social sharing, when the “social” part is filled with cold self-promotion.
I sometimes imagine that type of social gathering taking place in real life… o.O Imagine you’re at an event and instead of saying “hi” and “what do you do/like/value?” all you get is “do you like me?”, “can you please like me back?”, “I won’t talk to you unless you talk to me…”, etc.
I think sometimes we really lose ourselves, our identity, and a sense of reality while typing away behind a screen…
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You are so sweet, thank you, Audrey!! ❤
Right?? Definitely takes the fun out of social media when you're constantly being bombarded by spam/fake accounts or people. OMG! Hahaha!!! That would be hilarious!!! But like you said, when you're able to hide behind a screen and not show your face or who you really are, it makes it easier for people to filter and also be cruel. My parents always taught us that if you wouldn't say it to someone's face, don't say it at all…I try to keep that in mind when I'm typing my response or leaving a comment on someone's post. But I think, in a way, we all lose ourselves a little while typing away behind a screen.
I appreciate you and taking the time to read my rambles – I know you've got a lot on your plate, but it's always nice to hear from you. xo
I’m sitting in a puddle of tears right now – happy, joyful tears and once again so thankful for you – and to remember that I’m not alone with all my thoughts about this crazy world we live in!
It is so refreshing to read your thoughts and insight and to be reminded that life has way more meaning outside of social media and the comparison game and shame storms. And gosh I love that you love Brené Brown like I do.
This post spoke to my soul in a real and deep way and I am so glad to be your friend!! Love you girl!!
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Looooooooove YOU!!! I seriously thank the Universe for aligning our paths because you are amazing. Not only do I value our friendship, but I value your insights, what you have to say. We seem to be in the same space emotionally and mentally, so it’s always nice to chat with you and learn that I’m not alone.
It is so easy to get caught up in the comparison trap, which is why I either have to take a giant step back, limit my time on social media, or only focus on the people I know in real life. Every time I take a break, I’m reminded of everything I have in my life (friends, family, etc.) and I feel blessed.
Brene Brown!!! I just finished reading Rising Strong for the second time and her words just resonated so deeply…especially in line with all that I talked about here.
I am SO grateful for you and our friendship! I look forward to when we get to hang out again!
Before reading I had fully intended to start off this comment with an apology that it has taken me so long to read, but at this moment that feels like the least appropriate thing to do haha. So I am not sorry that this is late, and I am certainly not sorry that I waited until my mind wasn’t caught up in a million different things so I could slow down and fully take in what I knew would be a beautiful post. A post that I know will be on my mind all day. A post that I know I will come back to at least a few times when a thought strikes me or I want to recall a quote. Because this aligns SO much with where my head is lately, both in the form of struggles and the progress. It is insane just how many ways there are to compare and feel inadequate, all within a 5 minute scroll on instagram. The perfectly clean and decorated home one hadn’t even hit me, but you know I have found myself feeling envious even at those posts–and furniture and tidiness is not at all a priority to me!!! It is a huge shift to post what I want, not what makes my feed look or sound perfect. And even more importantly not caring when about the repercussions. It is so much more rewarding to be surrounded by just a handful of people who are truly supportive than thousands of judge-y strangers. And what a wonderful realization that is. A post like this doesn’t flow until it’s ready to, and I can absolutely tell that these thoughts are so real and ready to be shared. THANK YOU! For voicing it so well, and always keeping it real, and being an incredible friend, and reminding me that there are other ways to exist online than in the form of perfectly styled photos. Because this, this realness and in-the-moment photos, is the more 10 times more “perfect” than anything I’ve read on the internet all week <333
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Your comment was so beautifully written, Natalie!!! I so appreciate you reading this with a clear head and I’m so happy to hear that this post resonated with you. I’m finding more and more people feeling the same way – feeling like they’re not enough or that they should be doing more – and sadly, the trigger is social media. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about throwing in the towel…with all of it (blog, IG, Etsy) because I struggled with feeling worthy and I got caught in that darn comparison trap. But then I sit back and realize, “why would I want to be like everyone else?” I truly believe that all of us have something unique and amazing to share with the world…our own special gift and hiding it would be a disservice. Fighting against it and trying to be like someone else will only cause pain. I had to laugh when you mentioned feeling envious of those perfectly clean and decorated homes! Hahaha!!! I’ve been there SO many times and like you, that’s sooooo not a priority to me, yet I’ll see a beautifully decorated home and begin questioning my furniture and organization. It’s nuts. Scrolling IG can be dangerous! 😉
I have to say, it has been absolutely amazing to watch you and your page/blog grow and so organically. Your photos stand out to me because they don’t look like everyone else’s. I can scroll through my feed and instantly know, ‘this is Natalie.’ And to me, that’s everything. I feel incredibly grateful to call you my friend. Thank YOU for always being so supportive of me – in everything. I can count on you to always keep it real and make me smile. Thanks for being YOU! Love you so much, sweet friend!!! Thank you, again, for taking the time to read this! ❤ ❤ ❤