In April, I decided to take on a small project I called Fashion Revolution month, where I posted daily content on social media mainly discussing second hand shopping. This project gave me an amazing opportunity to encourage others to make the switch towards ethical fashion. I turned to this blog as my main platform for sharing this project, as it’s the place I’ve always chosen to speak about things I care about ever since I first became interested in activism.
After the first few days of the project, it already started to lose its appeal to me. However, I decided to keep going with it because I had a vision of this project and it felt important for me to make it a reality. In the end, I was glad that I was able to share my passion for thrifting with the world, but I was also feeling pretty unhappy with my work. Because of lack of time and energy, I wasn’t able to truly invest myself in writing good content and taking quality photos. Soon after the month of May began, I removed the link to my blog in my Instagram bio because I was feeling so embarrassed about how bad it was.
While all of this was happening, I also happened to be in a pretty shitty mental state where there was a lot of self-hatred going on. I had been stuck in this cycle of putting myself down about everything for weeks and I couldn’t seem to get out of it. After a particularly shitty meltdown, I decided to go back and re-read a blog post I wrote about self-love in November 2014. Reading words from my teenage positive living phase was weird, but also exactly what I needed in that moment.
Another reason I had removed the link to my blog in my Instagram bio was because I was embarrassed by my early content. I don’t necessarily agree with some of the things I used to believe in (a.k.a. I realized Frozen is definitely not the most feminist Disney movie to date.) Yet reading that self-love post two and a half years later left me feeling surprisingly empowered. For once, I wasn’t cringing at myself but I actually felt comfort from reading my own advice. I realized in that moment that my blog doesn’t only serve as a place to share my passionate rants, but also as a sort of time capsule of my teenage years.
Change and leaving my naïve, angsty teenage years behind me are really important to me in my process of growing into a young adult. There’s a phrase I often repeat to myself in my head “Things change, people change, and I’m not the same girl I used to be.” And yeah, in a lot of ways I’m not the same girl I used to be. But I’m also still as angsty as I was back then, still have no idea what I’m doing or where I’m going, and still have a lot to learn about myself and the world. I’ve realized that growing up doesn’t just mean leaving my past self behind, but also being able to look back, especially in moments of weakness, and be reminded of the important discoveries I made and how those shaped me into the person I am today.
I’ve never been good at taking my own advice, but I think 16-year old Sarah has some good words that are worth sharing again:
“…There is no one I can be more intimate with than myself. There is no body, no mind, and no spirit I know better than my own. At the beginning of my journey of self-love I knew that I had to take a really hard look at myself. There was no hiding. I had to put myself out there: flaws, strengths, everything… I found the freedom to be myself by living in that vulnerable place where there is both everything to lose and everything to gain. It’s a state where anything is possible… Self-love is the hardest kind of love. It’s the easiest to lose touch with and the hardest to regain. It’s also the most important kind of love, because at the end of the day, all I have is myself and there is only one of me…”
At the time when I wrote that post in November 2014, I thought that once I had figured out the key to self-love and happiness, I would be set for life. Unfortunately, that’s not really how things work, because even though I recognize the importance of self-love and know a little about how to steer myself in a positive direction, I’m also a human who’s insecure as heck. I know this probably isn’t the last time I’m going to be stuck in a shitty cycle of self-hatred, and that’s sort of okay because that’s just life and I know that these moments come and go.
The urge I used to get to write for this blog is pretty non-existent now, so you probably won’t be hearing much from me on here for a while. However, I will keep the link in my Instagram bio until I have something better to put there because at the end of the day, I’m glad this little blog is still here to serve as a reminder to myself about who I used to be and how I can learn from my own words, despite how embarrassing they may be. Thank you for your wisdom, 16-year old Sarah, and for being there for me when I needed you the most.