Selfies, selflove and hypocrisy.

I have younger sisters. Teenage sisters. It is like having a backstage pass to that Generations roller coaster ride of life. In between snapchats and crop tops, I tend to judge them A LOT. I don’t want to come across as a grandma and I love current trends and fashion, and have even been known to send an ugly faced snapchat or two but somehow watching my sisters walk around midriffs on display, iphone in hand, brings out the boring older sister in me. On more then one occasion I have had a stern word or two about the effects of social media and the narcissistic implications of all those selfies with an often vague and unrelated quirky quote underneath on their Instagram.

As with most things in life, I found myself relenting to their madness and becoming a hypocrit. I recently got myself the iPhone 6, and of the things I LOVE about it the main one is the camera! It is such an upgrade from my previous phone and slowly but surely my camera feed filled up. And slowly but surely when left with nothing to photograph I found that little camera pointed at myself.

Selfies. It is like a dirty word in my vocabulary. Yet if someone was to steal my phone right now I would DIE of embarrassment at the amount of pictures I have of myself. Although I do not post these pictures anywhere nor send them to anyone, selfies have taught me some valuable lessons.

1. Looking after yourself is important. Nobody wants a photograph of themselves with greasy hair and yesterday’s makeup plastered on their face. So often I find myself out and shying away from photos because I am not confident in how I look. The only person to blame for this is myself, a little effort goes a long way and at 23 it is far too late for me to be realizing this! I have always envied some of my friends for how perfect they look, yet have always felt it vain to get my nails done or spend time doing my hair. I don’t think I will ever manage to be a high maintenance girl, and my bookshelf will always be more full then my makeup bag. BUT the value of drying your hair properly and some mascara everyday goes a long way.

2. Self love is important. Not that I am advocating narcissism, but you need to be secure in how you look. First impressions can’t be based on your personality as much as that would be ideal. Humans judge, it is in our nature. Feeling confident in yourself is one of the first steps to being beautiful. Very few of us live in a world where plastic surgery is the norm (thank goodness) which means that you are stuck with your nose, or your dimpled chin. Embrace it, nobody else (barring if you have been blessed with a genetic replica of yourself by your parents- I’m talking twins here, not A.I level robots) looks like you on this earth. That is amazing, nobody has your exact eye color mixed with your eye shape and the shape of your face. I am sure Zoe Deschanel had a few moments in front of her mirror as a teenager fretting about her amazing big eyes, which she is now so famous for!

3. The mirror is a lie. No, it is not some conspiracy theory that makeup companies created so that you would hate yourself, it has more to do with the fact that the mirror can’t see you all the time. Your mirror can’t catch your face crumpled in a laugh or sneak a peek at the sparkling in your eye as you see your crush. You are more than your reflection, and more beautiful while doing everyday things than your mirror would like you to believe!

Coffee Shop Counselling

I have an addiction. Okay if I am honest I have a few addictions. And I love every single one of them. No, this is not my version of Amy Winehouse’s song Rehab, and by no means do I take addictions lightly. Some addictions are entirely debilitating and I would be the first to encourage a friend to get help, but as for my addictions I don’t think I need help just yet. Call me a nerd, a dork (wow I haven’t used that word in a while) or a loser but my addictions are slightly more soft-core than alcohol or drugs. I am currently fulfilling one of my addictions as I sit and sip on my Cappuccino with foam, listening to a religious debate happening on my left and watching an awkward coffee date on my right.

I love coffee shops. The quirkier the better. The more isolated the more I love them. This is not merely because I love coffee, or tea (though I do). Nor is it because I love not having to make the coffee myself or to clean up afterwards (though trust me I do appreciate this). It is because the introvert in me, loves being around people yet being by myself. Sometimes I write, sometimes I study, sometimes I just sit and people watch. Breathing in the company of others but enjoying my own thoughts.

Today in particular, I am using it as an escape, I sort of cheaper version of therapy. It is an emotional day for me, for various reasons, but let’s not get into that. The girls I live with have shown me support since I woke up, my family has harassed me with unconditional love all day. Yet here I sit, just me and my thoughts. This might seem like a cry for help- who on earth wants to be alone around others when upset. Well that would be me. It makes me feel alive, it makes me feel at peace. It somehow makes me feel more normal. More human.

In fact most of my therapy methods would be seen as unconventional. Other than coffee shops, another favourite is escaping into one of my favourite books. This is often Harry Potter (and on more than one occasion I have reread all 7 books before feeling normal again), occasionally it is Jane Austen that offers the most sympathy and every now and again it is AA Milne and my childhood friends that have the most wisdom. This therapy is often accompanied by another, which is a blanket fort, I dare you to feel sad or scared in a blanket fort. This is easily made and the more you make them the better you get at it. I have an emergency kit handy complete with battery operated fairy lights to set the perfect mood. The last one is for when I am sad. Go to your computer, type in “Baby laughs at ripping paper” and I dare you not to laugh at the squealing innocent laughter that peels through your headphones. Okay maybe babies aren’t your thing, try typing in “Post wisdom teeth operations, funny”. The  things those people come up with will make the most hardcore drug addicts jealous. How did that woman think she would be Nicki Minaj when she woke up? Or the boy that thinks he become Mexican while having his teeth removed. Or the other boy who can’t figure out why his eyes keep leaking and is absolutely amazed by clouds. Funny animal pictures, yet another winner. And actually animals in general for that matter.

And finally as the cloud has lifted and my therapy method has worked I venture back into reality, let my family love me, let my roomates support me and my friends take me out for a treat. Whatever therapy works I guess.