So, I finally did it! Sort of. I actually figured out how to use Instagram. I know. I know. Impressive, right? (HA!) I mean, I knew that it was for showcasing pictures and everything…but up until this week I unknowingly had the blog account set to private, which does not help me out at all. I also did not know the purpose of hashtags and their significance. Hashtags can actually help your stuff become more searchable?! #Whoknew?! I realized this week that I’m officially not as young as I used to be because of this. I was the whiz on the computer and now there’s so many new things to learn and keep up with…I’m no longer the young spring chicken I once was, but that’s okay. Now that I know how to use Instagram I’m kind of in love with it and have promised myself to use it more.
I’ve also started using the app Periscope this week and trying to learn it’s ins and outs…If you are looking for some great fitness motivation or inspiring messages you need to add Kelley Smith! She’s amazing and one of the women I look up to most! Username: @smithkelleyr ♥
In keeping my vow to become an Insta-pro I’ve been looking at pictures a few times per day and taking note of what some of my other favorite bloggers do, or don’t do, in order to keep on learning. (I swear I learn a million new things a day with starting this blog.) I found myself perusing Samantha from Batalash Beauty’s page (ssssamanthaa) and just being in awe of some of the amazing things she has done with her makeup. I just love her very straightforward “do-what-you-like” attitude in her YouTube videos. I clicked on one of her recent pictures she posted and thought, “She has the prettiest hair…And her face is perfect. She’s literally the most majestic and ideal woman I’ve ever seen…And my goodness is she talented! Her lipstick couldn’t be more on point. #nofilter? My God. I’ll never look like that or be that talented.” It took only a second for my admiration of her to turn into trash talking myself. This started a very long string of mental put-downs which eventually had me questioning all of my life’s choices. Why do we do this?
It started with thinking, “Man, I won’t ever be as good as her or look like a model like her. Why should I even try doing stuff like this? I just don’t want to fail.” This beratement went on for half of my morning and eventually led me to tears. Ah, the joy of over thinking everything. I decided to finally slow down the mental abuse by hopping on the treadmill and blasting some feel good tunes. As I started running I kept replaying the phrase, “I hope I don’t fail,” over and over. After about the tenth time of repeating it I stopped myself and thought, “If you’re so afraid of failing now, what does failure actually LOOK like to you?” I paused. “Not doing well? No. More specific. No one reading my stuff or my blog or everyone in the world hating it? Okay, yeah, that would suck.” Am I where I want to be? Not yet, but getting there.
I started this blog with a mission statement of wanting to be relatable and helpful to people. Last week I had several people reach out to me regarding my current makeup looks and possible looks they wanted to see in the future. I’m so proud to report that a few of our awesome lady readers tried something new this week and branched out! Shout out to Jenny for trying out fierce eyelashes and Mama C for wearing my Golden Summer Look for the 4th of July! Both of these made me so happy to actually see someone trying out beautiful things because something I did actually inspired them to take action! They were brave and tried out something new and I felt honored to witness it and be a part of it! I define this as my success. This realization boosted my mood tenfold. Sometimes thinking through entirely what is bothering me helps me out a lot. Actually defining our worries helps us realize that we are not doing as poorly as we think. Take your worries and think them through: What’s the worst case scenario for you? Normally not as bad as you believe or as likely.
When I began to think back on Samantha’s pictures I remembered that I, in fact, do not even know her and what she’s going through in her life when these pictures were taken. Maybe she’s having the best day of her life and carefree or maybe her dog died and she’s holding in a lot of pain. Everyone posts the highlights of their lives on social media, so it’s easy to forget people like her (or even people like the beautiful Jennifer Lawerence) are human too and have struggles that not many people in social media would see. This weekend for example: I was all smiles at the wedding we attended and took so many happy pictures…little did those pictures showcase the prior war I had trying to get into and out of a dress that just didn’t fit me anymore. You didn’t see the beads of sweat that developed over my layer of makeup due to my struggle. You didn’t see the red marks of where the dress didn’t give in against my skin. And you really didn’t see the small rip I made in it when trying to get it off. All you saw was smiling happy Anna, which was about 10% of my day. (Okay, you got me, that didn’t get me down TOO much. It was only comical after I got the dress off after a full 20 minutes of wiggling.) I guess all of us are almost perfect.
I took Samantha’s beautiful pictures, which were inspiring to me, and turned them on myself. To anyone that does that also I say, “No more!” I’m pretty sure that was not the intention. Plus, we shouldn’t compare ourselves to other people. We are not them and will never be.
To quote the brilliant Dr. Seuss, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
Women should empower each other and that starts with how each of us talks to ourselves. It’s so hard to do, but you really should treat yourself like you would treat a loved friend and try to stop the negativity.
The first week I made my blog viewable to the public I had such an overwhelming amount of support and friends that passed the word on, all of which I’ve saved to look at for when I need a smile, but one thing really has stuck with me. An awesome lady that I’ve only met a small handful of times sent an invite to all of her girlfriends to like my Almost Her Facebook page. She then emailed me and said, “Us awesome women have to support one another.”
Holy COW is she right! I believe that notion completely, but seeing her ACT on it truly touched me. Us women DO have to support each other and too often we don’t! Even small encouragements can do wonders. Her words of wisdom inspired me to try to be consciously supportive of all of the wonderful and talented women that I know. It may be as simple as complimenting someone to build them up and help turn their day around. It may be supporting a friend during a hobby or love, texting them something funny to help them laugh, or actually helping them when they ask for it. I also, from now on, want to look at pictures or read books from my idols and take it as empowering. I’ll look at them and think, “Man. Good for her. She’s amazing and someone to look up to and I strongly admire her,” and then just leave it at that. ♥
Check out my Instagram here: Almost Her
Facebook Page: Almost Her
Golden Summer Festival Makeup Look: Gold Summer Look
4th of July Look: 4th Makeup
Periscope Kelley Smith username: smithkelleyr
Samantha from Batalash Beauty’s Instagram: Samantha