Selfie For Self-Confidence

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Hate to break it to you, but NO it was NOT your favorite celebrity who invented the “selfie.” While most of those who take selfies are seen as vain, shallow, attention-seekers, the rest of us are trying a new approach, self-confidence.

History of the Selfie:

 [The] word of the year for 2013 to be “selfie”, which they define as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smart phone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” Although the rampant proliferation of the technique is quite recent, the “selfie” itself is far from being a strictly modern phenomenon. Indeed, the photographic self-portrait is surprisingly common in the very early days of photography exploration and invention, when it was often more convenient for the experimenting photographer to act as model as well. In fact, the picture considered by many to be the first photographic portrait ever taken was a “selfie”. The image in question was taken in 1839 by an amateur chemist and photography enthusiast from Philadelphia named Robert Cornelius. Cornelius had set his camera up at the back of the family store in Philadelphia. He took the image by removing the lens cap and then running into frame where he sat for a minute before covering up the lens again. On the back he wrote “The first light Picture ever taken. 1839.” –Public Domain Review

As we all know, there are body shamers, those who mock the appearance of others, for whatever twisted reason. Those of us on the receiving end, well, it’s been a very bumpy road in the self-confidence department.

It makes it hard to go out, being worried about what others think of what you’re wearing, how your hair is, your body shape. Even TRYING to keep fit is a challenge because when you go somewhere to work on yourself, you can be mocked there too.

Just getting out of bed can be a tough battle. But today, I managed to roll out of bed at 5:15 am for a 6 am Zumba class at Casa Loca Fitness. Where I think I’ve found my fitness family, with lots of support, fun and movement. I did back to back classes. I went to Pound yesterday afternoon, where I got to use Ripstix (drumsticks) to hit the floor while moving around. Great for your physical AND mental health!!

Now, you’re wondering what the hell does that all have to do with selfies? Well …

This one was last night:

20171214_192602These are from this morning, right after the workout, and right after my shower.

 

I recently got a new phone, which means more gigs, which means Snapchat and Instagram! I decided to play around with the filters and post even my most goofy looking pictures.

Feel good about just being yourself no matter what you look like, and even how you feel inside. You could be having the worst day of your life, but taking a goofy selfie can help release some of that tension.

 

Each tiny thing you do for yourself becomes a victory. Even if it is just a silly photo of yourself. YOU HAVE TO BE YOU! That includes all the pain and suffering that goes along with it!

Find your own sense of self, wear what you feel good wearing, what you think looks good. Rock it like you’re the biggest rock star in the world! Easier said than done, but hey, that’s life.

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In a lot of my selfies I’m not smiling. You don’t have to! It’s not called a “smilelie.” It’s just to say, “HEY, I’M ALIVE! LET’S KICK SOME ASS TODAY BY BEING ALIVE!”

 

I even went so far as to take a selfie and draw a portrait of that selfie and stick them side by side. It shows strength, growth, self-love, and my inner demons, whom are a major part of who I am.

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Let’s change the way the selfie is perceived! Self love is important. If you can’t love yourself, it makes it difficult to love others. It’s a major struggle in a lot of people’s lives and by being able to look at a photo of yourself, you are able to look deep past all your flaws, deep past all your emotions, your inner demons, and see your raw soul that is YOU!

 

Take a selfie for your self-confidence. Get a friend or family member to take one with you! Show that you love yourselves and each other!

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A selfie can be anywhere doing anything with anyone anytime!

#SELFIEFORSELFCONFIDENCE

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Ripped Through to the Soul

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Shadows cast through the eyes 

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as pain pierces the heart

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a fresh wound as knife

slices  through

skin draws blood

hand reaches in to pull 

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rips out part of soul

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inner demons fight

to keep the rest in

it belongs to them

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numbness draws a smile

upon the face to fake

the battle has not yet 

been lost as there’s 

still hope for light

to mend the heart

and return the soul

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Do You Live In Your Head Too?

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Do you live in your head too? The dream you had the night before keeps playing throughout the day. Your escape from reality, your coping mechanism, your way of life.

It’s like a T.V. you can’t turn off, a never-ending movie, and you’re the star. Sometimes you can control the conversation, sometimes it takes over on its own. You never know what guest star is going to decide to take a role, and how that role will make an impact.

Sometimes there’s crossover. If someone questions your laughter, your tears, your anger… It’s not always fantasy. It’s like your demons put on a disguise, running amok in your brain, seeing what havoc they can create, what pot they can stir.

Your dream catcher might catch some nightmares, but it doesn’t catch the borderline. The dreams that really should terrify you to the core force you to be numb instead.

It’s amazing the conversations inside your head don’t surface through the loudness of your mouth. Some may catch you talking to yourself, but it’s mostly an occasional mumble.

Creativity comes from the mind. Would I have the creativity I do if I didn’t live inside my head?

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Is this normal? Not that I’m aware of. But does this make me who I am? Would I be the same person without my endless dreams, my demons running wild?

Waking up to the weirdness, knowing that when it turns weird, it must be time to get out of bed. Attempt to control but still far from reach.

Even in meditation, you close your eyes and are supposed to focus on one thing, while your mind “dreams” of the meditation trying to focus on the one thing.

You look stoic, surrounded by others. Not very talkative in the outside world. But inside your head, you’re already having an engaging conversation, whether or not you want to.

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When the depression first surfaced and buried itself deep inside me, my mind decided to swallow me whole and created a home for me, in which I’m never allowed to leave.

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Dare we try to escape our minds? Or shall we accept the home inside our heads?

It’s the Little Things that Make Love Grand

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Father daughter relationships can be messy and complicated. Like mine. My dad isn’t a cuddly type. He wasn’t around much, but yet still lived in the same house until I was 16 when my mom and I moved out. Only when I became an adult he seemed to be there for me more.

But, I’ve realized that every small thing he does for me is his way of showing his love. It is the only way he knows how. The good memories are the ones you need to hold onto, no matter how painful the bad ones are.

Like getting my baby teeth pulled out in the garage with his pliers. Or the fact that he BUILT me my own swing-set and playhouse, which had a working doorbell and lights!

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When I needed something hemmed, I went to my dad. I mean, how many men do you know (that are straight, and not a designer or something) that can use a sewing machine?

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The only moments that I have together with him, are from when I was really young. As I grew older, they faded, and with all the negative things in my life, I became a lot more numb to the meaning of “family.”

Some say that people don’t change. But I believe that people can grow in small ways. It might take a lot to notice.

My dad married a Chinese woman, close to his age, very sweet and caring and what he needed, and makes him happy. He shows affection with her and she’s helped him grow in many ways.

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The Chinese culture of Family has really dug in its heels. They believe in family being close-knit and a lot of entire families live in the same house. This email he sent really made me cry, but it shows how much he’s grown.

“I AM SORRY MY DEPARTURE WAS UNSCHEDULED AS IT HAPPENED . AS YOU KNOW YOUR DAD IS NOT MUCH FOR HUGS OR KISSES BUT YOU ALSO KNOW I LOVE YOU AND HOPE FOR THE BEST IN YOUR LIFE . KEEP TO YOUR GOAL PLANS AND BE STRONG AND AS LI WEI SAID TO YOU MAYBE YOU WILL COME TO CHINA AND VISIT ALL OF US .WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT I WILL HELP YOU TO COME VISIT . LATER LOVE DAD”

I’m still having trouble finding the words to respond. It shook me to the core, as he’s never expressed himself this way ever before. When you’re so used to not having that kind of thing expressed to you and then all of a sudden there it is right in front of you, it’s like my heart shattered a bit more. But, I feel it slowly trying to fuse itself back together, and it will in time.

Of course, my way of coping with this was to write about it. To dig out those photos and know that I’ve always been loved by him.

To anyone who may be in the same situation, know that it’s every little thing that makes love grand. You have to find your own way of coping with unexpected expressions, with unexpected departures, with any and all unexpected things.

Holding home
Up in my soul
I am in control
Born on my own

Break down the walls
That keep us all
Flames in waves
So beautiful

Born On My Own from Silent So Long by Emigrate 

I am my Daddy’s Lil Monster. I’ve embraced the darkness that has enveloped me and used it as my light. I am weird, a warrior, a beautiful young woman, intelligent, with dreams, goals and aspirations. I’ve beaten a lot of bullshit, and continue to fight great battles.

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Mindful Anxiety: Anxiously Mindful

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To suppress is not the same as

acknowledging and putting aside for later

But sometimes the body gets

tricked into thinking it’s acknowledged

the bad feelings although really it’s actually

suppressed and

your mind and body become heavy and drained,

weak and sore

You breathe and try to smile, but

it hurts immensely

All you can do is try to breathe and

smile as each breath seems to push

the feelings further into the endless

black pit hidden within the body

You want to go back to bed and sleep it off —

but you have responsibilities —

like work…

Then you snap out of it

your co-worker comes over and

gives you a BIG HUG and tells you to

take care of yourself

You feel a little better knowing

you do have people who care and support you

even if it doesn’t always feel like it

You try not to cry,

as you REALLY needed that hug

A split second anti-depressant

 

Singles Awareness Day

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Single this February 14th? NO BIG DEAL. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and start living it up.

A few years ago, on Valentine’s Day, a couple of single friends and I decided that we were going to have an anti-Valentine’s Day and picked the most ridiculous comedy at the theatre and made a night of it.

It turns out there really is such a holiday. According to singlesawareness.com, it’s called Singles Awareness Day (or S.A.D.) and it takes place on February 15th. Obviously enough, the day was created by single people who were tired of feeling neglected and left out of Valentine’s Day. The goal is for singles to get off their sad lazy butts and celebrate with friends. According to the site, “Suggested activities for this day are sending yourself flowers, planning parties for other singles to mix and meet and to participate in some sort of single’s event. This is especially recommended if you don’t WANT to be single. Of course, for those who kind of like being single it’s a blessing and a reason to have some fun.”

What do You do With Your S.A.D.?

Alright people, here’s what you do. Grab a bunch of single friends. If you want, you can do all guys, all girls or mix em’ up. No, there’s not going to be spin the bottle and other lovey-dovey crap. If you want to do that then you aren’t celebrating the right holiday.

Grab your favourite snacks and head to your local film renting facility for a bunch of classic movies like “Ferris Buller’s Day Off,” “Top Gun,” and “Ghostbusters.” You don’t like 80’s movies? Well grab a bunch of movies you like instead, whether it’s blood and gore, or laugh your tushy off, or both.

If you don’t feel like sitting at home, then don’t. No one is forcing you to stay home and listen to how long your parents have been in wedded bliss for. Instead, make t-shirts with “Singles’ Awareness Day” on them and head to the bowling alley for some pin-crunching fun.

If bowling isn’t your style, pick a movie in the theatre where there won’t be many couples and enjoy. If there are couples, throw popcorn.

There’s lots to do in town too, like the art galleries downtown and on VIU campus. You might find some really good anti-love pieces you’ll “fall in love with.” How about the museum? At least you know you won’t be entering the “tunnel of love” when you walk through the coal mine exhibit. If you don’t mind a bit of an atomic wedgie, rock climbing at the Romper Room could really be fun, especially if you’re belaying for your best friend who is slightly afraid of heights. If you don’t mind some bumps and bruises and being careful of your tender tailbone, ice skating at Beban Park or the Nanaimo Ice Centre might be for you. What about taking a ferry over to Vancouver? You never know if your favourite band has a show. There is so much out there it would take a novel to describe it all. Check out the events calendar for some more ideas.

Don’t end up with a few friends? It’s not like you aren’t capable of doing things by yourself. You may even end up making new friends along the way.

Five Things to Avoid

Mix Tapes. You don’t need to be listening to any music that will cause emotional strain, especially if it’s a tape from an ex.
Chick Flicks. Just because you like them doesn’t mean you should watch them when you’ll be the only single person in the theatre.
Heavily wooded areas or any place near water. These can be considered make-out places and on this day, you do not need to be surrounded by couples. No one will hear your screams.
Your parents and any exes you may have. That’s just asking for trouble. Your parents, if still together, will tell you stories of how much they are in love. If separated, they will tell you stories of how the other hurt them or how much they love your step parent. Any exes you may have… need I say more?
Your bedroom. Yes, I said it: your bedroom. That is the one place that will drag you down the most. There is no way in H. E. double hockey sticks that you should sleep all day in your pjs, surrounded by darkness etc,. no matter what type of person you are. This is a HOLIDAY people. You are to get out and celebrate. It’s YOUR S.A.D.
Why it’s Great to be Single

YOU get to be YOU. Some people find themselves changing who they are just to obtain and maintain a relationship with someone. Whether it’s to get someone to like them or to please the other person. Take the time to figure out who you are and be comfortable with that, you will be happier for it and you will find someone in your life who will too.

Plus, you won’t receive any messages in the middle of the night begging you to bail them out of jail or pick them up and take them to the McDonald’s drive-thru for that cheeseburger they’ve been craving, disrupting your awesome dream with Samurai swords and unicorns.

By: Kristy

Disclaimer: this article was originally published for “The Mind’s Eye” in 2013 in print, blog and website. This youth paper no longer exists. 😦