the struggle is real

Image via Leysa Flores

You know, I find myself staring at this screen often trying to formulate some authentic version of myself to share with others. Last year I unintentionally took a bit of a blogging hiatus simply because I couldn't quite figure out the day-to-day logistics of life. This year it's been nice to be a little more proactive and in control, which has allowed me some freedom.

I love it, this blogging world, this social media world. And yet, it's partially destroying me in small ways. I've sat here writing endless amounts of posts that 99% of the time get deleted because heaven forbid I say something that is politically incorrect or hurts someone's feeling or is flat out rude. It's turned me into a whole heap of inauthentic. Why? Because I care what people think. I care how many likes or comments are on my posts. And let's not be too shy to say, you probably do too. I'm not ashamed to say that I compare my life to others, because I do. Everyday. You might want to tell me how unhealthy that is and how that leads to a path of self-destruction, but no need - because I already know it's true. My question is - how can we be emotionally strong enough to overcome those unhealthy habits of comparison?

Social media is not going away, it's part of our world. Simply leaving it all behind doesn't seem to be the answer for me because most of the time, people put amazing things out there. But when I sit down and scroll through Instagram and you have 200 likes on a picture and I have 30 or when I scroll through those blogs that make money off their blog and go to fancy conferences and are sponsored by great products or have the opportunity to rub elbows with the most talented humans known to man, it makes me question a lot about myself  - am I cool enough, pretty enough, funny enough, talented enough? And that's definitely not your problem, it's mine.

I know I'm not alone in this.

The thing is, I know I'm talented. Every picture on this blog is mine (except a couple) and they're damn near perfect. Because I'm a good photographer. And to those who have said "you take the picture because you have a high quality camera" let me say, the camera is nothing without the person behind it. My whole blog design was done by me. Not a template or custom design, no - I sat down and studied to learn how to code and design this blog to my liking. It took hard work and tons of hours. And so, this rant is to say - to you, who is struggling to overcome being average, you are talented and don't deserve to be brushed aside. People may not recognize you for all that you are, but that doesn't take away from your hard work. That's my real struggle - when I see all these talented people being recognized in different ways across social media, I wonder why it's not me because while I'm awkward and negative, I'm also talented and strong. How do we keep our sense of self and also applaud those with unending success? How do we continue to value ourselves when others seem to be managing their life 1,000 times better? How can we love ourselves without needing a "good job" or "thank you" or "you're amazing"?

PS... I almost deleted this whole thing - but no, I really want to say that this is my problem. I'm struggling with this right now... today. And I want to know what you're struggling with. What keeps you from loving yourself whole-heartedly? What keeps you from being the best version of yourself?
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