Hello, my loves! Happy May/Mental Health Month/ “OMG-I’m-graduating-next-month!” I’ve been busy trying to get my life together, but don’t you fret now – a lot of big things are happening with my blog! I cannot wait to share my most recent experiences with you. This blog and I are nothing without you, so thank you so much for coming along this journey with me!
In spirit of Mental Health Month, I wanted to share something quite personal with you all. Since we are all friends here, I feel safe in being absolutely raw and honest with you. I have mentioned before that I unapologetically accept self-love in order to mend old scars from childhood bullying. However, unless you’ve read my collaboration with Wear Your Label before, you wouldn’t know that my strength gathered from self-love is to combat my struggle with social anxiety as the byproduct of said bullying. Although I am not diagnosed with social anxiety disorder per se, I do associate myself with the spectrum. For that reason, I have a love-hate relationship with blogging. I love the creative process where I gather my thoughts in solitude. When writing these posts, I am practically having a conversation with myself, which I feel safe doing in comparison to striking a conversation with a stranger. However, I hate (and I hate using the word) the social anxiety that comes from social interactions – let it be connecting with readers beyond this platform or collaborating with other creative individuals and brands.
I must admit – I have let a couple of opportunities slip away due to this anxiety in the past. I wasn’t ready then. I told myself that I wasn’t worth anyone’s time. In reality, however, I didn’t believe that I was worth my own time, so I didn’t want to invest in myself. It has taken me roughly three years of blogging to finally believe that I am worth investing in. Instead of being overly critical of myself, I changed my perspective and started to find worth in all of my “imperfections” as I celebrated them in each post.
Although I make it more obvious in some posts than others, I usually start the blogging process by dedicating an “imperfection” to each post as the theme. For me to truly celebrate these features that I call mine, I proceed by accepting them as I (or a photographer-friend) capture them in photos. I do not alter my photos beyond adjusting to natural lighting. Again, for me to really appreciate and accept myself as I am, I have to be completely honest with myself, or else there is no point of blogging. As for the writing/typing process itself, it is literally a stream of thoughts as I pour my little heart out. Last but not least, I finish the process with the most vulnerable yet satisfying step – clicking the “publish” button.
Unlike the past, I am finally ready to face my social anxiety head on! Although it is still difficult for me to adjust to social interactions, I do not want my mental health to hinder my experiences anymore. For that reason, I totally jumped at this recent collaboration opportunity to work with the very talented Russell Albert, who captured my creative process so well. And, to think that I almost missed this opportunity due to my social anxiety..
My Ten Cents #50: Self-love is an ongoing and never-ending process that will hopefully become a habit. Please, do not lose hope in the process. Self-love takes a lot of time and effort, but it is so worth it.