Tuesday, 6 September 2016

People are strange when you're a stranger, faces look ugly when you're alone


I've felt completely stagnant and a bit lost with my social media for quite a while now, definitely for well over a year but probably longer. Before it was just a dull nagging that I couldn't put my finger on, a vague feeling of dissatisfaction with everything I was putting out. It's really come to a head these past few months of feeling completely uninspired but at last things have begun to click into place to help me realise exactly what it is that's wrong: it's me.

I've had mental health issues for a long long time, but it's gotten worse as I get older. Because of that, I'm left feeling exposed and self conscious and like I need to filter everything. I get so used to wearing a mask I feel like I don't know how to even be me anymore. I’ve struggled a lot throughout my life with lack of confidence and feelings of inadequacy, largely due to a lot of abuse I suffered growing up. I’m not trying to throw a pity party, it’s just a fact that it shapes who you are when you grow up under constant scrutiny. So if I do something and others seem to approve, then I feel validated and that becomes all I feel I'm allowed to show because I feel like that's why people like me, and presume no one is interested about anything else I may have to say. And I inevitably get bored of that and loose interest, constantly trying to outrun myself.



I really feel like through blogging I've completely lost sight myself by trying to force myself into a box. Maybe that sounds silly, but to me blogging has always felt like an extension of myself through creative expression - or at least it used to! I've always had eclectic taste, changing my style to fit my mood. Blogging has made me boring and cookie cutter, like I have to be just like everybody else and fit the mould people were following me for and believed I was. I can't tell you the amount of outfits I've documented that don't feel like me, and I feel like online culture has helped feed into my insecurities even more: this blogging notion that you have to put yourself into a particular box by way of a “theme”, as well as the vintage subcultures ideas of having to look period accurate. Fuck all that.

It's not that I don't like vintage anymore - I do with my entire heart, it inspires me massively and always has. But it's never something I used to be all about all of the time, and I've found myself becoming much more toned down and reserved. I now look at things I used to wear four years ago and think I could never wear that anymore. Why??? It's not just clothes, I feel like I've lost sense of my own identity and don't even recognise myself anymore.

When I think about myself a few years ago, I used to wear what the hell I liked with complete and utter confidence and didn't even notice the gaze of strangers. Any negative comments I got I'd simply laugh at their ignorance. Now I scuttle around in the background, too scared to draw attention to myself. I visited Liverpool over August bank holiday weekend (a write up of which is coming very soon!) and that was when it really became apparent to me how much I'd changed, how scared I was. As I was packing I literally put things aside with the thought "that's too eye catching, I don't want to be noticed." Realising I felt like that made me feel like I'd died inside. Why am I not worth noticing? Why have other people's opinions of me become more important than my own? When did I begin dressing for other people instead of myself?

Dressing how I want makes me happy, and also helps with my paranoia - if people are staring at me I can comfort myself a little by telling myself it's because of the way that I'm dressed instead of anything sinister. So I’ve been going through a bit of a wardrobe overhaul, being what feels more throughly me and trying to be unapologetic about that. Which basically means being more honest on here and social media instead of filtering my life under the bits I presume people are only interested in (even posting this feels scary, but I'm still doing it). I want to stop caring so deeply, stop worrying about possible criticism before it's even happened, to be less harsh on myself and not be scared to show my personality. Maybe then I'll have a blog, YouTube channel, Instagram, etc I can be proud of because it's a true representation of me instead of who I think I need to be in order to be liked.

I'm not sure all of this makes sense as it's emotional word vomit, but nor do I care as I wrote it for me and I'm trying to stop feeling like I have to justify myself over everything. But basically I've looked at myself and realised I don't even recognise myself anymore, and that's got to change. For the first time in god knows how long, I'm really excited for my blog and YouTube channel in the upcoming months. I'm going to Disneyland Paris for Halloween, I'm going to Japan next Easter. After a reflective summer, I'm really feeling confident I can make positive changes into the direction I want.

8 comments

  1. Hey Freya

    I literally have a blog post saved in my drafts as a message to myself that is so similar to this. Go for it!
    I get what you mean about blogging and social media. They are such strange places because you feel the pressure to give the people what they want, sometimes at the expense of your self expression, and at the same time people are so fickle, that it's better in the end, for yourself, to just to do you however that manifests itself and whatever changes that brings.
    I stopped writing about fashion and posting regular outfit posts, not because I'm no longer interested in those, but it did feel a little forced, and my interests sometimes didn't fit the 'theme' and I was, like you say, trying to outrun myself. My readership dwindled, I even lost followers, but I'm happier saying what I want to say and having the freedom to move the blog in whatever direction I need to.

    It sounds like you've come to a real revelation and I'm rooting for you!

    You might find this interesting: http://www.tropigalia.net/2016/05/22/messy-blogging-in-an-internet-wasteland/

    Aida
    xx

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    1. That was such a great article, thanks for linking it! I really enjoyed the articles it linked to as well, it's the sort of thing I'm thinking but more eloquently put. Thanks for such a long comment too, you always have something interesting and insightful to say and I really appreciate it. It's weird when I think about how much I used to open up on the internet and how closed off I've become as it's expanded. I remember having a blog in 2011 and was stunned when I discovered Bloglovin and that I had about 100 followers on there because followers just weren't important to me then. I didn't even have a follow button and never ever thought that people might be reading what I put out, I was just happy with creating it. I'm so used to censoring myself now I feel like I don't even know how NOT to anymore but I'm going to try and get back into the old mindset. I found my old blog and it's so fun to read back on, it's such a time capsule of who I was then which I can't say for my blog now.

      I noticed your blog changing, but it felt very natural and unforced as you've always used your blog for a lot of writing (your blogs is actually one of my faves, I really admire how honest you are on it <3) It's sad that people would unfollow you, it's strange how people expect people on the internet to never evolve as humans and change interests. I hope I can reach a similar point to you though in feeling I can say what I want.

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  2. I'm really proud of you for wearing what you want to wear, and trying not to care what others think. It wasn't until I started making YouTube videos that I realised how many black, baggy clothes I wore, and how unflattering everything was. I hope you are able to return to your previous sense of style soon, or even create an even better one :) x

    alicered.co.uk

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    1. Thank you! I never used to care at all, so it's so alien to me to suddenly realise that now I do but at least I can begin to make changes now.

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  3. I use to be really self concious about standing out with what I wear. Most of high school was being afraid of standing out. It was pretty obvious since I went to a small school and everyone wore the same boring preppy stuff (Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Uggs with Mini Skirts) Sadly my pleated plaid skirt and doc martins were a pretty bold statement at the time, but there were so many items of clothing I just wouldn't wear out of fear of people staring. It helped when I moved to a city where there just too many people to have everyone stare at you. Either that I learned to ignore people because of all the awful catcalling that happened in the city I was in.

    I also get what you are staying about getting pigeon holed into a fashion type. I remember Annika (The Pineneedle Collective) talking about that on her blog. She has done a total 180 with the clothes she wears, and to a certain degree doesn't care. But she has stated she does feel like she has let her readers down when it isn't the same cute style as when the blog started. Same with Scathingly Brilliant. I can say I follow LOTS of fashion blogs. Well, the styles vary drastically. And I like seeing everyone wear whatever they want, so if a person wears pastels 75% of the time, then switches it up to something very 80s randomly, I usually still love it. I hope you find your old fashion preferences, and feel more like yourself again.

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    1. See I was always the opposite. I got badly bullied at school and never had many friends, and that actually spurred me on to just do and wear what the hell I wanted because it didn't make any difference. I think I've had kind of the opposite situation though. Whereas you moved to a city, I'm from a city and moved to the country. I'm from London and have been anonymous my entire life, whereas now I live somewhere strangers stop you to chat and everyone remembers you and it's weird, I don't like it. I'd love to move back to London but I just can't afford to unfortunately.

      Thank you! I think I feel bad because I've always positioned myself as a vintage blogger so I feel like I've falsely advertised if I dare post about something else, which I know is a bit ridiculous but I still get that interior voice saying "no one cares about this!" when I try and write about anything not vintage. I feel as well there's this pressure to always be upbeat and positive which I can't always cope with too. Not that I'm a negative nancy, but I'm not naturally chirpy by a long shot. Hopefully I can eventually get back to blogging like I used to. I found an old blog I used to keep in 2011 and it's so raw because I didn't know anyone read it as the idea of followers just didn't occur to me and I hope I can get an element of that back.

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  4. I've found that blogging about fashion can turn into a really strange thing.. For me it started out as occasionally putting together an outfit I liked, and wanting to share it, and then it turned into intentionally putting together outfits JUST to post about and it became like a chore. Maybe one day I'll post outfits again, but I'm not sure, I am still trying to find a style of blogging that really feels like ME.

    I really like when bloggers post whatever is on their mind, instead of what they think people want to read. I find it so much more interesting and way easier to connect to,they seem like a REAL person that way! Good luck with your blogging quest, I've always really liked reading your posts and I am looking forward to more!

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    1. Yeah that's exactly how I feel right now! Blogging my outfits use to be fun, but it began feeling like a chore and I felt like I had to buy new things to wear just to photograph which is ridiculous! I've been blogging for so long, but I really feel like I'm still trying to find my feet with it too, my trouble is I think too much about everything instead of just doing it.

      Blogging about whatever is on my mind is really the type of blogger I want to be, I hate it when blogs feel too curated as it becomes so impersonal. It's actually one of things I admire about your blog, that you just post about your everyday life. Thank you! ♥

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