Me being the crazy person I am, I know the trends of today like the back of my hand. The trending hashtags. The trendy words or phrases to say. The trendy ways to act. The trendy people. We are all surrounded by them 24/7 on social media. My question is always, am I being myself or am I acting the way people want me to be?
The truth is, I tend to act a certain way when I feel far from who I am. In life today, we are connected to so many different people. Whether we follow famous celebrities, YouTubers, or friends, we are impacted by each and every one of them. Growing up I never thought that I would turn into or act as someone I am not. I have always been pretty set in my ways and in who I am, so I figured no one can change that. But lately I have noticed that I get influenced by people every single day.
Being influenced by people can be such an amazing thing, like if you get inspired by someone. But if you end up wanting to act like them or turn into them, then that is where influence turns bad.
Many influencers of my generation today are not true influencers. For example, the Kardashians/Jenners. The amount of children that look up to people like them is sad.
I have always looked up to singers like Stevie Nicks and Janis Joplin. Wanting to dress the same or act the same. But when I really think about it, do I really want to act the same as someone who died so young from drugs? Not really. Do I love them? Yes. But I do not have to be the same as them.
You do not have to change yourself because you feel that someone you adore is who you want to be. You are you. There is no possible way to change that. So next time you see an Instagram Kendal Jenner posted of her modeling and think to yourself, “I am gonna lose weight so I can look like her.” STOP. Look at yourself in the mirror. And pose how you would pose. You are the only person that is you in the world. And I am sure there are people who would wish to be you because you are just as unique as each face on this earth.
Throughout my time in the partial hospitalization program, I wrote poetry. It was grounding. It helped me put how I feel into words. I decided that I was going to share the feelings I had then versus the feelings I have now. My poetry journal became a sea of poems that when from dark to light. I hope whoever is reading this finds the light I see.
“I sat in the chair
of my therapist’s room
my mother sitting next to me
“do you have any dark thoughts?”
my therapists interrupted the silence
I looked at mom with ocean like waves falling from my dark eyes
I grabbed her hand”
“the sun laughs
as she hides beneath the clouds
yet I still cry
at the grey of the sky”
– please shine
to ice bruises
we get on our skin
but how do we fix
on our hearts”
– black and blue
“I am a storm and a rainbow at the same time
beautiful but confusing
necessary for growth
but hard to travel through
I have realized
the colorful glow
after lightning hits”
“I am picking up the shards of glass
and putting them into their right form
for I am fixing my own self
rather than letting others do so”
“I just do not know how to talk to Skyla anymore”
my name has not been changed
my laughter is the same tone
why do you not want to hear
my high-pitched giggles
my heart is the same
my soul is the same
why do you not want to see them
my heart and soul shines more than ever
I am the same
just not as torn apart”
-I am not broken
I learned that I was never broken. That the darkness doesn’t last. So when you feel like you are shattering into pieces, remember you aren’t. You are strong and put together perfectly.
If you know me, you know how worried I get when people say “kms.” It is a term that is used too often that I do not think people even realize the hardness of those words put together. “Kill myself.”
Me, being a seventeen year old girl growing up in this crazy society, I am on twitter constantly. Twitter honestly has the funniest/stupid things in the whole world. But that is the exact reason I go on it. For the funny videos or tweets. As I go along my feed waiting to find the hilarious conversations that go on. There are always tweets that I would never want to see.
On twitter, it is trendy to hate on yourself and joke about how if you do not have perfect skin and a skinny body you are just going to “kms lol.” This is a trend I wish the world would see as soul killing. It is so normalized to joke about killing yourself, yet the world cannot handle when someone does. Thinking it is selfish and ridiculous.
I get so confused every time someone says this. I have been there. I have actually wanted to “kms” so when I see this will “lol” in front of it, it makes my heart-break into a million pieces.
Believe me, I am a person who has tweeted something negative about myself. But with you guys, I am going to challenge myself to focus on the positive. Instead of saying “kms” lets say we want to live. With everything wrong with our lives. At least we are still alive. Instead of saying how ugly we are lets talk about how beautiful the world is. Lets take on a revolution. A revolution of radical living. Radical together.
Lately I have been struggling. I have been trying so hard to not end up in the place I have been before. But one day this past week, I was almost there again. Instead of doing all of the things I have learned through my journey, I sulked. I scared myself and allowed myself to be dragged further into this darkness on my own. I was petrified.
The day after I was down, I had a doctor’s appointment. I was so mortified by the feelings I had the night before that I did not think I could get through without more help. I met with my therapist and we discussed whether or not I need more support.
Today, Sunday, I realized something. I was not taking my own advice. Every week I write words for all to hear thinking I will help those who feel just like me. Yet I do not take this upon myself. I do not act on what I say. Every week I try to be my most authentic self on here. Writing what is true. What I believe.
I have been pushing myself everyday. Going places alone, talking to audiences alone, meeting new people, getting a job. I never would be able to do these things if I was truly struggling like I have in the past. I have been soaking in that one bad day instead of seeing how much I have done to strengthen all I am.
I am not that one bad day. I am not that night when I felt the darkness. Everyday is a new day. And everyday will not be sunshine. Some days will be storms. With lighting and rain. But it is okay to have different types of days. It is okay to have a bad day. And if you cannot pull yourself out of that day, getting help is okay. Do not punish yourself for getting the strength. But each day is a new sun. A new essence. I will not let one day ruin the rest of my days to come. I am here for a reason. I am here to bring light in the world. So I will believe in what I can do. I will believe in the strength I have. The power. I will not fall into my one weakness. For I am more powerful than it ever will be.
I remember the first time I posted an Instagram picture. It was a quote from Marilyn Monroe. “Imperfect is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” After I posted that picture I immediately wanted to post another one and another and another. But my friends told me that I could not post more than one a day.
Ever since the day I got part of the social media world, there were rules you had to follow in order to have people like you. “Post at night to get the most likes.” “If you do not get a lot of likes just delete it.”
One day a couple years later, I posted two pictures in one day. I got ridiculed for something as dumb as putting a picture that I loved on my own page. Many times I would get nervous to post a picture on social media because I didn’t know if it was “insta worthy” or if people would not like it. If people would make fun of me. FOR ONE PICTURE. I would get myself so worked up over a simple task. I cared so much about what others thought that I could not make social media my own world. It was adding to all the anxiety I already had.
When I finally realized that I was getting controlled by the internet, I stopped caring. People are not their posts. Their usernames. They are real people. I post as much as I want. As much as I feel. I post whenever I want. I post whatever I want. And the world is still turning.
YOU DO NOT have to be someone different on social media. You do not have to hide your true self when others are looking. No one is as happy as they look on social media. There is always more to the story.
So look beyond the screen. Use what we have for good. For creating. For art. Social media is not the real world. So make it your own. Be true. Be you. And if people don’t like what you post, then they don’t need to be your follower. Remember you are the one in control. Do not let social media control you. Do not let others take away your soul. Especially online.
The things I tell myself when I realize I am in a dark place:
You got out of here once, you can do it again.
People love you.
Look at your legs, arms you have skin and bones for a reason. Love them. Love you.
Put down your phone, it makes everything worse.
Look up at the sky, we are all under it, together.
You are a boss, it is just a small second that hurts, not life.
Stop worrying, RIGHT NOW. Just live.
Laugh. For no reason. It feels good.
Get up and dance, YOU ARE ALIVE.
I know how hard life is with mental illnesses. But for me, I would much rather be living with them than not living at all.
I tend to feel uncomfortable when I say I have a blog. “Bloggers” are usually the people who have the perfect Instagram and look like they have their life together. My friends always joke saying, “So Skyla when will you be selling tummy tea and only be taking pictures in front of white walls?” Believe me I do love me some green tea but I do not think I will be posting a warm up of green tea on my Instagram anytime soon.
Many people see those Instagram famous bloggers and think that they will be happy if they have just one sip of that tea. In our society the way to love yourself is going to yoga, doing face masks, and binge watching Netflix. But let me tell you, I have tried doing all of those things at the same time and I am still struggling. So what I am here to tell you today is that self-love does not come from materials in life.
Self-love. It comes from your soul. Your passions. You need to find what you love in life. Do that. You need to know what you love about yourself. Focus on that. You do not need flat tummy tea or whatever that magic tea is to be healthy and beautiful. Do yoga because you love it. Not because you think you might feel like a “blogger.” Love yourself while you eat a big-mac. Because sometimes you need to go to McDonalds and veg-out. That is okay. It is okay to not always feel your best. It is okay to eat donuts and burgers when you want to. It is also okay to only have green tea. But you do not have to do what others do to be happy. You do not have to have the perfect life on paper.
You should do whatever makes you the happiest in order to love yourself truly. Be whomever you want to be. Look however you want to look. There is no right way to live your life. And there is no right way to love yourself. So find your own path and walk it each day.