[deleted.]

So today I decided to take the reins.

I deleted all of the social networking sites off of my phone, barring one: Snapchat.

My reasons behind this?

I got tired. It was beginning to get to me. I mean, research has even proven that social media is a trigger for depression. After watching people day in and day out… post their lives, take pictures just to post later, sit on their phones with other people around {guilty as charged…}

It just
Made me realize what a huge lying trap it is.

I have felt so unhappy lately. And while part of it may not be directly related to social media, I think subconsciously, some of it was.

And I just grew sick of everything being so fake. On my Instagram, I’ve tried to keep it real… I posted pictures of what I loved, things I found funny, people I loved, and capped them off with clever captions. I detested “basic” posts or the “typical” Instagram routine, but I was just falling into it. The same went with Twitter.

But then it hit me.

Why on earth
Do I have to prove my life to people?

What is this, a competition?

I want friendships and connections, not likes on a screen.

So I just decided to let it all go.

Deleting things was easier than I thought– A few taps and temptation vanished.

Afterwards I decided to clean my room, and get rid of all negative and cluttered energy within my space that was subconsciously causing a booby trap of a life style.

It was funny– On Halloween I went with a group of German students for a state-wide organization meeting at Busch Garden’s Hall-O-Scream. I ended up losing my phone.

LOL I recovered it though, by some miracle… But even when I got it back, I didn’t take pictures or use it all that often. Mostly because I was lacking space on my device.

However, it made me realize
how much better it is to just experience. You don’t have to record/snapchat/post EVERY FRIGGING THING around you.

It’s soooo much more enjoyable that way.

Another reason I decided to abandon Social Media ship is because of excess expectations and judgement.
It’s like
Dude, I’m on my own track of life now.
I don’t need you
Or anyone
Judging
My life decisions
My favorite things
My dreams
My goals.

So I quit.

And I was left with Snapchat. I was debating whether to delete it when I created a 4 minute long Snapchat story basically illustrating my lack of time for things I love anymore due to a social media vaccuum. {I may post that story here once I figure out how to convert it to a usable vid file….}

***{I think I got it!}***

 

But anways.
Because Snapchat is fleeting in nature and not permanently hanging around for people to see forever, I think I’ll keep it. But everything else? Gone.
It’s the free-est I’ve felt in a while, and honestly, I think I won’t turn back.
xoxo

[deteriorating]

Ever feel like your head is about to explode?

That’s me as of late.

I don’t know why everything decides to crash in all at once, but it does.

I haven’t written since August… that makes me sad ): I just wish I had time. Well, I do have time.  I just… spend it elsewhere. It’s always elsewhere. When I wish I could spend it here. Sometimes I wish I could just take a breather from all the deadlines and the grades and the activity and just come here, and pour a bit of my tension and soul here on the screen.

Right now, it seems like a conflict of interest. College applications (early action, anyways) are due at the end of this week, rehearsals won’t stop, homework won’t either… I’m plagued with social issues that I wish I could get over, I feel like I barely talk to J, and my mother seems to be guilting me every chance she gets. (typical teen girl thing to say, right?)

And it feels like one more sleepless night, one more breakdown of the outer shell, one more person criticizing my every move may do it in for me.

As much as I try to stay afloat, my life preserver drifts away from me. She says I never smile any more. I’ve noticed, and it’s like I’m losing touch with all I used to love. This year is bear, and as I write this I dread waking up tomorrow.

I should sleep, I need to be places early.

But I can’t.

I feel like going on a rampage through my assignments, completing them with little care and throwing them aside in a massive DONE pile. But when the TO-DO pile is larger than I am…

And re-reading this I feel like a messed-up, angsty teenager. Rebellious and nervous and angry and jealous and sad and unworthy and reckless.

I just got home from a night out with friends. On a Tuesday. *insert mother criticism here*. I should be happy. I was happy.

What happened?

Since when do I spend more time in solemn silence than in laughter?

I just want to know that this numbness isn’t permanent, that it’ll go away, that I’ll be able to leap over it and turn around and laugh at it later.

Is that too much to ask?

~

Honesty Hour: Free of Filter

Hi guys. So I’m thinking I may do this feature… just because let’s be real, the world does need more honesty.  I’m… feeling that more than ever.
A few minutes ago I watched this video of a makeup tutorial… but it was so much more than that.  I personally am not much for makeup tutorials, mostly because I don’t have time for such extensive makeup in my daily life… nor do I find it that interesting to watch other people do it… but this one was different.  (I’ll give a shout-out to VICKYLOGAN, you can check out her YouTube channel here) The vlogger, Vicky, touched on a ton of topics during a “get ready with me” vid, (which you can watch here) But I just got to thinking about some of the things she said about confidence, society’s expectations, loving yourself, and imperfections. She starts the video tutorial with no make up on at all and I have to say… I appreciated that so much.  To see someone in their natural beauty, to see that not all people are somehow china dolls all the time, to see that someone is comfortable in their skin and that they only pop into another one out of personal preference and not pressure or obligation….. It was inspiring.
And she’s totally right about the fact that our imperfections make us…well, us. And that “perfect” isn’t, and should never be, a standard.
So where am I going with this?
To be honest (ha, get it? Cuz it’s honesty hour) I don’t really know. All I can say is that I have felt myself… get caught up in all of it.  It’s so easy to just hop on Snapchat, or Instagram or Twitter or Facebook, see the filtered snapshots of the seemingly perfect lives of others and just feel really, really down about yourself. Or, to just go out there and make you want to be like someone else, or someone you’re not. And, once you do feel that push to go out and completely change yourself… once you have, maybe, what you feel like has been “for the better”.. You can’t help but blast it out there for others to see.  The pictures flow, freely, leaking out to all the platforms screaming “hey! I’m normal!” or “hey! I’m cool!” or “hey I look good!” “wow I’m stylish” “wow I’m this” “I’m healthy” “I’m happy” “I’m in love”…
It all builds up.  To the point where it’s a bit much.  It’s hard to know what any followers think… They’re judging only on pictures.  Your analysis becomes geared towards likes, follows, and favorites. And your perceptions of reality are, well, filtered.
Why is social media such a monster sometimes? Does anyone else feel like it has robbed their soul in one way or another?
I do.
I have to admit, I love Instagram.  The pictures are so pretty and I like how they’re perfect squares and how the feed can be so colorful sometimes… But what I don’t like is that it’s so unrealistic at times. There’s a level of superficiality that comes out and just takes hold and makes it reaaaally easy to compare yourself to other people…

I used to hate “selfies” with a passion… (Just the word makes me cringe…still..) My first reaction is that it was kind of a vain thing to do.  But what do I say now when I post them myself? And even more, when the filters are just piled on?

I compare my older pictures with some from now… they’re different.

And somehow, in one way or another, they’re tailored to other people.  Which shouldn’t be the case.
Why do people seek perfection? Call it artsy or whatever with all the filters (though I can’t judge because I love filters because they can twist a photo so many different ways) but life isn’t… filtered.
And I think you can eventually become addicted. Not just to the platforms, but the content and the content posted to said platform.

I say this, because I think I am.

As much as I don’t wanna be like “oh, I’m addicted I need to stop…” When it gets in the way of my productivity or when it just starts to change your views on things just a bit… it’s a bit much.

That being said… while I don’t wanna take a hard-core hiatus (though that’d probably be a good idea with all of my unproductive-ness as of late) I do want to try something.
Similar to my waaaaaaay long ago post about going “Unmasked” for 3 weeks or so, I’m gonna go unfiltered.  All posts, no matter where, will be free of a filter  Just to gain an appreciation those things that do not need a filter.  Friends, family, nature, and importantly, yourself.
Like Vicky says, everyone has something or some things they don’t like about themselves.  But the crucial part is learning to live with them, embracing them and being aware of them. Because like she says

“…All of that [makeup, clothes hair, imperfections etc.]… at the end of the day, it don’t matter because we all go to sleep in the dark. …Well, most of us– some of us use night-lights…. But when it’s dark and no body sees you… Do you love you?” ~Vicky

She’s very funny and down to earth, I highly recommend her channel.

So, my friends! Head out into this filtered world and just rip the filter off.  Love you, what is raw, what is real, what is most important to you… And I shall do the same. Again, I’m not hating on filters or anything, I just… sometimes I wanna view the world without one for a while.  To keep it in check.

And you’re invited, too! Feel absolutely free to follow me on my unfiltered journey and join me in my #freeoffilter endeavors: @stephaniesaysxo on Instagram & Twitter.

Love always,
Steph xoxo

Decisions, Decisions.

Let’s just talk for a moment about these little demons, shall we?

I mean, if life is about choices, I might…be screwed.  I think I had a New Year’s resolution in there somewhere about prioritizing… In fact, I should just go look at my resolutions list,  come to think of it…

I feel like this whole summer for me has tested me with choices. Go to gov school or don’t go to gov school? Do homework or don’t do homework? Spend this money or save it? Hang with these people or avoid them? Think about the future or live blindsided in the moment? Just… a couple of the choices I’ve been facing.

I’ll start with the fact that for the first time in (foreverrrrr– thanks, Frozen..) about 17 years I won’t be going to the beach with my family this year. No sun, no waves, no boardwalk… No Thrasher’s fries… ): Thing is… it was my decision.  And it feels crazy, but also right…

I missed a lot while I was at gov school. Two jobs, time to do homework, friends, you name it I missed it.  I even missed gay marriage getting legalized in all 50 states. Soooooo I made an executive decision to stay home and use these two weeks I would be at the beach to make bank for college, and finally get my stubborn nose to the grindstone with these summer assignments.  It’s the first day in of my WOO LETS GO DO IT regimen and I have done barely anything… which is killing my “AHHH LET’S BE PRODUCTIVE” vibe. If any of you guys have tips on how to motivate yourself and be super productive… please share.  I could sure as heck use it.

Love always,
Steph xoxo