So I know I said I was going to post every Friday night/Saturday morning but maybe midweek
Selfies from this week (lol): left - me, my sister & grandad going for a walk around the park/shore and right - me and my friend Becca taking selfies to remember the first time we've spent a study period walking around the school trying to look like we were meant to be walking around. A life experience really.
Something I wanted to talk about in this post that has been on my mind, well, I was going to say all week, but really, my whole life (long story.) Long story shortened: perfect older sister = seeming impossibility of doing anything remarkable.
Something I'm told over, and over, AND OVER, on a daily basis is this, "Wow you have such successful siblings! How are you going to live up to them? That's SO much pressure." And I'm not trying to call out anyone who has said this to me because if I was in their position I'd probably say the same thing. I get it. It's pretty black and white. I just find it really annoying. Can't I just admire, appreciate and respect my family for their successes and pursue mine as something completely separate? Is there some kind of rule of human nature I'm violating by doing that? I insist on believing otherwise. Although I have a lot of times, bad days, where I completely agree with what probably runs through people's minds about how I haven't achieved a tiny fraction of what they had at my age, and that even if I tried, I wouldn't, so what's the point in even trying? I could win a competition after working towards it for months and then be told "Congrats but it isn't that impressive. Your sister won that 3 years ago without even trying."
This is a toxic mind state I was in in my life for a sadly long period of time and on bad days it lurks back. But I always remind myself, and I need to write this here so I can come back and read it next time I need to, and also for anyone in similar situations:
You are your own person. You do not exist to please others you live to please yourself. And to do so by doing things that make you happy, achieving things, spending time with people who make you feel better about yourself and not people who try to get you to believe your natural self-doubts. Do not compare yourself to anyone else because you are different. Maybe you wish it weren't so but you shouldn't because there has to be something greater to your life than spending it fawning over others. Appreciate others, admire them for their strengths and let them motivate you to work harder or see things differently. You are going to do great things in this world and the movie-like happy endings aren't just for the lucky ones.
“Life on earth is a whole, yet it expresses itself in unique time-bound bodies, microscopic or visible, plant or animal, extinct or living. So there can be no one place to be. There can be no one way to be, no one way to practice, no one way to learn, no one way to love, no one way to grow or to heal, no one way to live, no one way to feel, no one thing to know or be known. The particulars count.”
- Jon Kabat-Zinn
I really don't want this to sound like some blind motivational speech you could find on any website or cringe-worthy youtube video, although it inevitably kind-of does, I mean all of this.
The dresses I was describing in the last post! Awkward mirror selfies - the best type. I will have better photos after actually going to the wedding though, promise!
Another thing I wanted to discuss is something somewhat related, the idea of 'being who you are.' This has always slightly annoyed me. I mean I get it, obviously, but it is still so ridiculous to me. Firstly, how do I know who I am? How is it defined? By where I live, who I spend my time with, what I spend my time on, what I like/dislike? If so then some of those things change daily, or weekly, or monthly so how am I meant to sum everything up into a statement I can use to answer the questions that float around my head constantly like, "What kind of person am I? If I was a TV show or book character how would I be described? Would people like the character? Would I like the character?" And yet people can change their views on 'who someone is' if they simply start dressing a little differently, as if that's a definite symbol of the only things that person likes. Example: Someone meets someone who wears ripped dark jeans and a leather jacket and subconsciously (or not) presumes their music taste, the type of people (another term I have problems with) they're friends with, etc. You can see how annoying/interesting/infuriating this is for someone who wears band t-shirts and ripped jeans one day and a cream lace dress and brogues the next.
I have so many more thoughts on this but I'm too sleep-deprived to put them into words. I'll come back to it. Basically: like what you want to like and dress how you want to regardless of what labels other people put on your for it because at the end of the day you're the one who has to look in the mirror and wonder if you like yourself. I guess if you're doing what you love and saying the things you want to say and achieving the things you want to achieve then whether you realise it or not you have found who you are. That kind of thing can't be labeled.
“The first question she was asked was, "What do you do?" as if that were enough to define you. Nobody ever asked you who you really were, because that changed. You might be a judge or a mother or a dreamer. You might be a loner or a visionary or a pessimist. You might be the victim, and you might be the bully. You could be the parent, and also the child. You might wound one day and heal the next.”
― Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes
Okay, on to a lighter topic: me and my good internet friend and incredible artist Kara Della Valle (please please please check out her youtube and subscribe, she is the absolute best. Her original songs are my life.) decided to be PEN PALS! I know. Truly the best idea ever.
So a few weeks ago I prepared a small package for her, it contained (if I can remember): A letter on both sides of an A3 piece of blue card (don't ask, I like stationery), a bracelet and two red ceramic stars all hand-made in Kerry (my favourite place) and I thought these would be cool since she lives in Canada and so it's like a little piece of Ireland to send her, a poem I've never shown anyone else (although it is on one of my tumblrs that no one looks at - so that doesn't count), a page from my journal covered in my favourite lyrics of hers, as well as other cute things.
And a few days ago she messaged me that she RECEIVED them and I WAS SO EXCITED. She instagrammed a picture of the contents which you can see here and her response was so lovely and I'm so excited to read her letter. The moral of this story is, 1. Penpals are FUN 2. Writing letters/preparing cute little gifts for someone is fun and makes you feel like a nice person 3. Kara is the best 4. I'm just really excited about all of this.
Next topic: TAYLOR SWIFT'S NEW ROLLING STONE INTERVIEW. NEED I SAY MORE.
Taylor's last 2 Rolling Stone covers. I think the left is my favourite but the new one is still so amazing.
It is glorious. She is everything. I am going to resist analysing/fangirling over every line or even talking about it much because I will never stop and I am falling asleep right now. Basically: read it. She is a great human being. I have been in awe of her for so many years and that is not going to change.
I think for the midweek posts since my music/book/tv favourites can wait until the weekend, I will just post a must-listen-to song and a must-watch youtube video or a must-read article.
Must-listen-to song of the week: Reflections by We Are The In Crowd (totally fitting for the content of this post, too.)
Must-read article: Ahhhh so many rookie ones but you probably all read Rookie so I'll just say the Rolling Stone one. It is the definition of must-read.
Must-watch YouTube video:
This is (of course) a Ted Talk because I've been really obsessed with watching them before I go to sleep for months. This one in particular I re-watched this week. It really cheered me up. I don't know why. Maybe it's all the physics-related TV shows my dad and I watch.
Anyway, it is midnight so good night. Even though it could be any time when you're reading this. I'm not even going to check for spelling/grammar mistakes which is a terrible decision. Good night.