It’s that time of the year…you know what I’m talking about, right? We all get to a stage towards the end of the year when we take a step back and remember all the happenings of the year that was – the achievements, the disappointments, the experiences, and the lessons we learned because of those experiences (good or bad). I usually only start to reflect on the past year towards the end of December, but for some reason I’ve been thinking about 2016 a lot these past few weeks.
It’s been a tough year – and based on the conversations I’ve had with other individuals, I know it’s been a tough year for most people. I still have the list I created in January of this year to highlight all the things I wanted to achieve during 2016 – some I managed to tick off, but there are a handful of goals that I still need to work on. To be honest, I never expected to achieve every single item on my list…I’m a realist like that.
One of the highlights of 2016 was working on a 6-month campaign with Revlon, as one of their #LoveSquadSA members. My journey with Revlon has come to an end (the campaign was only set to run until the end of November 2016) and so they’ve asked me to write one last blog post about my ‘Love Stage Story’. I think most people would have expected to see a blog post about my marriage, or about my relationship with Neal – and I considered it for about 2 seconds, but then decided that I wanted to go a different route. It’s not that I don’t have much to say about my marriage or my husband, I love him very much! BUT…a blog post like that wouldn’t be relevant to all my readers, and it has always been really important to me that my content be applicable to everyone.
One of the items on my ‘2016 Goals’ list was to not be so hard on myself (it was actually at the very top of the list). I think, at times, we’re all our own worst enemy. Whether I like to admit it or not, there’s a really nasty part of me that likes to rear its ugly head at least once a day. It’s very easy for me to focus on all the things that I don’t like about myself – whether it’s physical, emotional, or mental. In a way I feel like I failed myself during 2016, because I started comparing myself to a lot of other people around me. Not all the time, but sometimes I’d catch myself thinking:
“Why can’t I be a 25-year old blogger?”
“Why can’t I be as good as XXX at doing my makeup?”
“Why am I still not pregnant?” (read this blog post if you’re interested in reading more about this subject).
I am a work in progress (we all are), but I’ve decided that I really need to start working on my self confidence. I’m getting older (I’ll be 34 in February) and if I’m not careful, I can see myself getting to a stage where I am so obsessed with trying to be something I’m not, that it might be impossible to find any joy at all in the little things in life. I’m so critical of myself – I want every photograph to be perfect, every blog post to be interesting and helpful, every video to be impeccable, and every selfie to be flawless. And I know worrying about everything being perfect all the time, is keeping me from reaching my full potential. Blogging is my job, it defines me – and so if something doesn’t go the way I want it to, I always blame myself (even though most of the time, it wasn’t even in my control to start with). Unfortunately we live in a world where the number of ‘likes’ you get on a photo defines how interesting / successful you are, and the number of people who interact with you on Instagram or Twitter reflects how popular you are – ESPECIALLY if you’re a blogger.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s very easy for me to see the beauty in other people – it’s always their little quirks or unique features that stand out to me as something that is endearing. But for some reason, when I look at my own little quirks / personality traits / physical features, I kind of…well…cringe. And it bothers me, because at the age of 33 I really should have my crap together…right? I’m an adult, I’ve been adulting for over 10 years…at this stage I should be able to grab myself by the shoulders and tell myself to snap out of it. But I can’t. I don’t want to go into too much detail about this subject in this blog post, but if you’re interested in reading 2 very personal blog posts – take a look at this one and this one.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that my ‘Love Stage Story’ is a journey – I still need to learn how to love myself unconditionally. I’ll be putting ‘Self-Love’ at the top of my 2017 Goals list again, and I’ll working very hard in 2017 to be kinder to myself. I need someone to hold me accountable during 2017 (maybe one of you can do that for me?) because I really want next year to be the best year of my life – I want to be positive and happy, and I really do believe that it starts at home, with loving yourself first.
I recently discovered Jen Pastiloff’s website and her ‘Girl Power: You Are Enough Manifesto’. I quite like it!
Can you relate to what I’ve written in this blog post? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: This blog post is in sponsored collaboration with Revlon South Africa.