Being Kind To Yourself

OKAY ANDIE | Being Kind To Yourselfhow the hell do we do that?

I shot these awhile back, and until recently, I wasn’t really sure why I hadn’t gotten around to sharing them. Aside from me not totally loving all the images I took, I also found myself being hyper-critical about my appearance…which seems to be my way lately. I have come to learn I am so mean to myself. I never find myself thinking horrible things about the people around me, but for whatever reason, when it comes to me, I am downright nasty. I am certain I am not the only person who does this to themselves.

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Where you invest your love, you invest your life

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To be totally honest, I was very hesitant to post this. I often find myself struggling between whether this space should just be light-hearted, or a space that I can share my thoughts and feelings. My final conclusion is that it can be both. In writing about former insecurities, I became insecure about sharing them, hence the hesitation in posting. But constantly being insecure is self-defeating, and I have never really felt more confident in my life than this time right now. So no better time than to reflect on things that I think a lot of women (and maybe some men) can relate to.

I try to remind myself often how lucky I am in this life. I expect a lot from myself, constantly. When it came to school I was never a person who did very well, I was far too angsty, living in a dream world, that I just didn’t care for the mundane (screw you high school, man!). But everything else in life I wanted to be perfect at. I always wanted to be the perfect dancer, I wanted to be the most original/creative when it came to the way I dressed, I wanted to be the prettiest, I wanted boys to notice me most, I wanted to be funnier, smarter and blahblahblah, the list goes on. It felt like there was always someone one step ahead, in each of these categories. I think it’s hard to be a girl, growing up. I think we are taught to compare ourselves, rather than to love one another.  Instead of really looking at yourself, and seeing how beautiful you are, for being the only you, you try to fix what is not even broken. There is probably papers upon papers written regarding this school of thought. I spent many years, probably from ages 12 to 18 trying to fix all the things that I really, could not fix. And then one day, kind of like the flick of a switch (it most likely spanned a few years actually), I started to really accept myself. I let my hair be the colour it is mean’t to be. I stopped wearing pounds of makeup so I could transform myself into this weird doll-looking girl. I accepted that I don’t have huge breasts, that I get zits, and that just being yourself is far more interesting than trying to be this unattainable version of a girl. I look to my dearest and best friend Kristen for a lot of this acceptance. When she came into my life, she taught me about this whole other type of woman. She is a woman who taught me that wit wins to beauty, and that maybe one only exists with the other. Now, I’m not saying that I was some sort of shallow human before I met her, but I wasn’t embracing who I really was. I didn’t see that my quirks (we shall thank my father for my weirdness), was the thing that made me beautiful, and the thing that kept me happiest.

We live in a beautiful time now. There are so many strong women, with a voice, coming together, loving eachother and reaching out to the rest of us (especially young girls). These things didn’t exist, or I didn’t know about them when I was growing up. Maybe life would have felt easier. Maybe it would have been the same. Maybe it’s a rite of passage, to feel sort of mediocre in all aspects of your life when you’re a teen. I’m not certain on any of these things. But it’s so heart-warming to see women loving, instead of hating and comparing themselves to one another. There are so many wonderful women in this world that can make you feel whole, but it is impossible to see if your eyes are not even open, and your heart is not genuine.

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Dress: 69 Vintage
Blouse: thrifted
Bow tie: TLO