You Are Going To Be A Bundle of Contradictions, And That’s Okay

Culture & Society, Learning To Love Yourself, Miscellaneous Musings, Re-framing Your Thinking

You'llBeABundleOfContradictions

“You’re too sensitive.”

“Don’t be so dramatic.”

“Just get over it.”

 

Sound familiar?

 

I think if we all were paid a dollar when someone said those things to us, we’d be filthy rich by now. Kids and adults can be cruel.

Okay. You might not think that those things are cruel, but even the smallest things can destroy your confidence, especially if you’re a hypersensitive person like me. I don’t care if you’re Jennifer Lawrence or your neighbor down the street. Everyone goes through those moments when their confidence is ground in the dirt.

And in those moments, it’s easy to look to the person you idolize. Yes, you know who I’m talking about. Those people whose Twitter accounts you stalk, whose magazine covers you buy the second they hit the newsstands. The ones you want to be.

Sure, they may look like they have everything, but that doesn’t make them immune to pain. Despite their “perfect” image (thank you very much every news outlet ever), the truth is that they’re far from perfect.

 

 

 

See? Case in point.

 

Social media has allowed us to filter our lives so much that it’s very easy to think that we are the only ones in the world who suck at life. We have become so gosh darn obsessed with the number of likes, tweets, and followers that we judge our value based on those superficial numbers.

 

You don’t have to be Taylor Swift, Emma Watson, or Selena Gomez to say something in today’s world that you’ll get flack for. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best singer in the world since sliced bread: Anything you do or say will be picked apart. You can’t please everyone. If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up becoming a doormat. And becoming a doormat is the easiest way to lose your sanity.

 

The only thing you can do is to try to please yourself. Just because you’re a little dramatic doesn’t mean that you have to put duct tape over your mouth every time you come across the person who called you a drama queen.

 

So what if you don’t think that One Direction is the best band to hit the radio waves since The Beatles? You don’t have to bend over backwards to memorize their names and listen to all their albums in one day just because you want to appease your friends who happen to spend their hard-earned money on concert tickets. You don’t have to justify your decisions or tastes to anyone.

 

You’re still young. We will always be students of life. You can believe multiple things. Your tastes will change and grow with you. You can be a drama queen and still be a mellow, relaxed person. You can like the Beatles, Patti Smith, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift & Demi Lovato all at the same time for different reasons, no matter what anyone tells you. You don’t need permission from anyone.

 

Finding what you like and what you believe is a process. Believing in yourself is not an easy, straightforward thing. You will always be a bundle of contradictions, there’s no way around it.

 

I’m going to try my hardest not to pull a Louise Hay on you, not because I have my doubts about the self-help industry, but because when you’re young, it’s really hard to believe that your flaws make you interesting, when all they seem to do is help you dig your own grave. Yes, your favorite celeb can help, but no matter how many times you listen to their songs on repeat, you’re the one who has to believe that your quirks make you who you are. And it can be really hard to turn Negative Nancy’s voice off.

But who else but you thinks the way you think, likes what you like, and does what you do? All of the stuff (good and bad) that you’ve been through has made you who you are. You might not be able to just shake it off (thank you, Taylor Swift for getting that song stuck in my head). You might let things change you, but that doesn’t mean that you’re any weaker than the next person. You can make the choice to use the obstacles and changes you go through as fuel. Or you can let them remain walls.

And we know what happens with walls.

 

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Image Credit

 

It’s a lot better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you are, anyway. I’ve tried being something I wasn’t; it was by far one of the most painful things I have ever done. It was a lot of lying. A lot of crying. A lot of pulling my hair out. A lot of filtering. A lot of hiding.

It took me more than ten years to realize this, but if you just put yourself out there, and KEEP doing it, the right audience will find you.

When you shed your mask, share your story, and be yourself no matter where you are in life, you encourage others to do the same. People will see their flaws in you and realize that it’s OKAY to be flawed, that you DO NOT have to have everything figured out, that you DO NOT have to hibernate like a bear waiting for spring. You can be a role model for others without going on American Idol or winning an Olympic medal. You can do that by living your life, quirks and all. Yes, you heard me. You may be someone else’s Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift, or Emma Watson. You just might not know it yet.

I’m not saying for you to blast Shake it Off and let criticism roll off you like water; you can do that if that’s your thing, but I think there’s still a lot to be learned from criticism. The important thing is not to let it get to you, because your haters will ultimately make you better. They will help you grow.

Take in what you want to take in, improve what you can, and keep living your best life.

And for those who just don’t give you the time of day?

Shake ‘em off.

Screenshot Credit: YouTube

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The 4 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Avril Lavigne’s Hello Kitty Controversy

Culture & Society

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Yes, you read that title right.

 

My first reaction after I watched that explosion of pink and cupcakes was: Um. What did I just watch?

 

Yes, I was rendered speechless. Yes, I was mildly horrified at the fact that it was an actual song. The “Minna saiko arigato. Ka-Ka-Kawaii” made me raise my eyebrows. Yes, the cultural appropriation did make me twist my lips a little, but then again, she’s not the first artist to have done it. (cough, Gwen Stefani cough, Katy Perry cough, Selena Gomez, cough.)

 

So what can you learn from 3 minutes and 18 seconds of cupcakes, pink, and robotic dancing?

 

  1. It doesn’t matter what your career choice is; you’re not going to be able to please everyone.

 

Actually, this goes beyond career choices; we don’t have to be Emma Watson or one of the boys from One Direction to be judged by the public. We’re all being judged every day; I don’t care how many social media accounts you have.

 

But you’re also learning and growing every day.

 

  1. Everyone responds to criticism differently.

 

Avril Lavigne took to Twitter to address the backlash by posting the following:

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(Do I think there’s a better way to handle criticism? Yes.)

 

 

It’s hard not to be emotional when something you’ve put your time, love and energy into gets ripped apart. Getting emotional about it is easy. But the reality is that no two people respond to things the same way.

 

The trick is not to let yourself take the naysayers so seriously that you let it stop you.

 

I recently admitted that one of my biggest mistakes as I tried to get over a block was to take criticism so seriously that I treated it like it was blood on the Rosetta Stone.

 

It took distancing myself from my blog and distracting myself by doing other things (and a couple days) before it clicked in my head.

 

Taking criticism seriously is not a bad thing. It means you want to improve. It means you’re willing to grow. Personally, I’m not a fan of staying stagnant.

Some people won’t waste their breath (or brain) worrying about controversy, but I’m not here to tell you whether or not you should worry.

 

  1. Focus on the positive

 

Okay, I don’t have 20 million people following my every word on social media, but celebrities do have a point when they mention that for every spite-filled threat they get, they get more than 200 other comments saying that they’ve saved lives, asking for their hand in marriage, and other generally positive things.

 

This isn’t to say that criticism doesn’t hurt. I mean, come on. We’re all human. Sometimes we smile, but we’re not really happy. We say okay when we want to say no.

 

You get the idea.

 

Some of us may not have 20 million followers (raise your hand if you also hate that word, by the way) on social media, but focusing on the little things that make you happy, the things you’re grateful for, can help you make peace with the fact that your choices may not win you Best Child of The Year award.

 

I don’t care if you’re grateful for a birthday text, your adorable puppy, the roof over your head, the food in your stomach or all of the above. Start small if you have to and work your way up.

Try to shift your perspective.

 

  1. “Racist???”

 

Controversy is controversy. Not everyone is going to want to know both sides of any controversy, not everyone is going to believe everything you say. Avril said her video was not racist, but that doesn’t stop people from believing that it is (or isn’t).

Controversy gets attention. Your product doesn’t have to please everyone, and sometimes it’s not meant to. You just have to go to bed at night knowing that you believe in the product. And if you believe in what you’re doing, suddenly the weight of people’s opinions doesn’t feel like a boulder.

 

So ask yourself: Do I believe in what I’m doing?

 

 

Are there any other recent controversial issues that you’ve learned a lot from?

Screenshots are taken from Avril Lavigne’s official Twitter account and VEVO Youtube account. All credit for the images in those images go to their rightful owners.