OD: The importance of preserving your energy
So I did a lot of thinking on what can I write about and honestly it was difficult because my mind kept bouncing back and forth on ideas. I legit wrote an entire blog post only to end up deleting it because it just didn't feel right. I was going to write out about friendships and talk about what makes a quality friend in the climate of 2020. 2020 as a year has been extremely complex. It took a toll on our social health because of the drastic changes we had to make in a short period of time. These drastic changes lead to the domino effect of poor physical, mental, and emotional health. So I wanted to talk about how to be a good friend and what qualities make a good one. So I was halfway through it when I realized that it didn't reflect the message I wanted to talk about. So here I am with another open diary to explain my thoughts and feelings of a subject.
I feel like since COVID-19, I've been taking a huge step back from my relationships with other people to start building one with myself.
Back in high school, I hated myself. I pointed out every bad thing from the mistakes I made in the past to everything I hated about my body. It took me leaving highschool to realize this person I was looking at into the mirror isn't as bad as I thought she was. In fact, I underrated her because she is still so kind to a world that was trying to break her, and in so many ways she could've turned as toxic as her environment. So I sat down with her during quarantine: learned about her goals, her dreams, her likes and dislikes, and realized that person was pretty great. I apologized to her for holding her past against her, for trying to minimize her voice to make others comfortable, for standing with others over her, for draining her, for belittling her, for making fun of her, for starving her and for making her feel less than human.
Did you notice that I used a third person narrative instead of describing myself in a first-person narrative? Here's why.
You're probably thinking that I'm insane but hear me out on this: Sometimes you get to step out of your perspective to see yourself for what you really are.
It's really funny that we see ourselves in a negative light due to the criticism of others and society but when we get complimented or praised its hard to accept that. Personally, I think it's hard to accept it because we are bullies to ourselves. We tell ourselves we are undeserving of positive things in our lives.
The purpose of my little story is to show the importance of supporting yourself and preserving yourself through respecting your own boundaries.
Why I decided to take a step back from many people I love
From quarantine started, I've been texting a lot less. It's not because I don't care about those people or because I love them any less, it's the fact that I felt like I have needs that had to be met that just wasn't getting as fulfilled when I would reach out to people. If you know me, you know how much I love creating, giving advice, and how much I hope to turn this into a big part of my future because of how important it is to me. The only thing that many creators don't tell you is how exhausting it gets. It's hard to come up with new ideas that aren't repetitive, do research on the topics to make sure you are including accurate information, editing your work (this one is especially exhausting if you do video editing), promoting your work through social media marketing, staying active on all your platforms to get more people to notice your creations, building relationships with other people (networking), keeping a certain aesthetic/theme for your photos, taking photos to promote your brand, etc. all while doing other daily life things. There are so many background things that people don't understand or see unless you are a creator in some shape or form and it's double hard for people who take on more than one project such as having an online store, a youtube channel, writing a book, running a blog, etc. Of course, I only am doing 2 of those things for now because being in college is a lot to handle with those 2 things alone but doing everything else is like a full-time job. I know it sounds like I'm complaining and your probably asking why don't I just quit. Some times I ask myself the same thing but the truth is I don't want to because it brings me so much joy and fulfillment. When I work on these things I just feel like I found my purpose regardless of feeling like there are so many odds against me going anywhere because I'm not what society considers beautiful or entertaining. It's discouraging but I am learning to be my number one supporter because no one is going to work for your dreams harder than you. My dreams take a lot of energy so I have to preserve in the sense of taking a step back from others.
I need to support myself because honestly, my family is pretty old school about social media or supports their friends more than their own relative. The only person in my family that fully supports me is my brother and he gets it because he makes music to buy, he has his own Spotify and tries to grow his Instagram. I try to support him as much as he supports me for that reason.
Then besides my brother, I have maybe 3 friends who support me the way I need to in order to grow. The first one isn't really in the whole media thing but he has supported me again and again without me having to ask him to look at my work or anything. He just shares it which is literally the most important thing to help a friend. I know he eventually wants to make a youtube or twitch and if he ever does, I'll stream it even though video games really aren't my thing unless it's cuter ones like Mario.
Then there's my other friend Vanessa who also shares my videos without me having to ask. She actually has a youtube channel called Vanessa Ashley and I'm so happy because I've been begging her and our other college friend to make one since April. Anyways she is currently posting every Monday in the morning so be sure to check out her youtube channel and subscribe because her channel is so aesthetically pleasing and big things are coming soon.
The last person while she doesn't share often, she still comments whenever she's not busy which still helps a lot because it influences the engagement. She is a freelance makeup artist so check out her online portfolio on Ninamariemakeup.com.
Not having to ask anyone to do anything is literally the best feeling in the world because that's how you know people really support your goal. Viewing is okay and I really appreciate my friends who do it but it just isn't as effective as all the other things listed above because it's not reaching anyone else doing that and that's the goal of anyone working in media is to reach as many people as possible. I'm saying this as a business major that is specifically planning to specialize in social media marketing as soon as I start my bachelor's program: views without engagement such as likes or comments make it ineffective because the algorithm won't pick up on it causing your creations to fade away in the already saturated internet. The goal of social media is really to keep people as engaged as possible. It's a newer way of entertainment in comparison to television and movies.
While I would like to go more in-depth in subjects such as marketing, I'm waiting until I complete my associates (my school is a 2+2 school meaning you have to apply for associates if you are going directly out of high school and reapply for your bachelor's degree).
It's okay no
I take a step back from people at times in order to have energy to do things for myself and you should too. Prioritizing your needs is a learning process because like I said before it's because sometimes underrate ourselves, convincing ourselves we are not worthy. Be your own friend first because at the end of the day that's the only person who is going to be around all the time who is capable of meeting your needs. The reason it's essential to cover yourself first is because no one else is going to because they aren't obligated to and that goes the same way for them. You don't have to fulfill everyone else's wishes all the time and anyone who really cares about you would know you need time for you so that you aren't overextending yourself to the brim of exhaustion. A friend who only likes you because you do whatever it takes to keep them happy isn't a true friend, they are manipulative and you deserve better than someone who doesn't use you that way. Of course, there are different types of friendships among people but minimum qualities that make a quality friend are someone who respects you and your boundaries, listens to you, trustworthy, honest and makes effort in the friendship instead of leeching off your good heart.
That's all for today and I hope this post helped you. If it did be sure to share it with your friends and family. Be sure to come back next Saturday for a new post. Thank you for reading and I hope you and your loved ones are healthy, happy and safe.
Until next time,
xoxo Lay 💋
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