University Decision: Post-Making My Choice

Dear Diary,

I’ve chosen a course that in part surprised me. I know that I can excel at it and I am genuinely excited to get started!

Of course there are the wriggling doubts, the fears, the nagging voice in the back of my head whispering that I’ve made a huge mistake – which sucks but is also normal. I got into a fantastic course that may not have been my ‘dream course’ but is something that I love and can’t wait to begin.

So yes with the celebration comes slight mourning – mourning for a S1 girl’s dream and mourning for the countless other opportunities that every choice we make in life limits you to.

But despite some sadness and anxiety; I feel relieved. I have a clear view of what I’ve got to do and how I’m going to do it and that feels really good.

I am very happy and I think that this course will not only be badass, exciting and that guarantees a career; but will also make me happy in life.

Only time will tell but today is a good day and it requires a celebration – one preferably when I’m neither sunburnt or exhausted from adrenaline. One thing is for sure; I can’t wait to get started!

Take Care.

Medusa.

Comparing Yourself To Other People On Social Media

Dear Diary,

Social media has positives. It allows us to communicate with family and friends for free. But it does come with a lot of negatives…

Whether it’s mother’s competing over whose child can make the best macaroni rocket picture or teen girls obsessing over other people’s appearances – social media has made an enormous impact on millennials and generation Z.

Something a lot of girls do is post pictures of themselves with friends. It fascinates me how most of the time the photo isn’t a memory, an event or because they’re having a good time – it’s done with fake smiles to tell their followers that they are friends and are having a great time. When you’re a teenage girl and you see two of your friends hanging out without you – it can really hurt, but at the same time many people feel obligated to post these pictures. Of course you should never not post a selfie with your friend just because you’re trying to make others feel included – all I’m saying is be yourself and don’t feel obligated to share pictures that are simply there to show you have friends – if they are true friends they’ll like you even if you don’t tag them. Also if you are one of those people who feels hurt when they see other people in massive group selfies – ones where you are neither invited to be nor part of – remember something: However happy they all seem in that photo, they are seldom that happy and friendly when the camera is off.

I’ve noticed that many very young girls’ Facebook/Instagram/Twitter profiles are of them doing the “duck face”. Young girls as young as nine are seen pouring in a provocative manner and it is really bizarre. There is something very wrong with our society when little girls are pouting on their public profile pictures.

Being a teenager is hard, growing up is hard. Growing up with social media – is terrible. I used to have Instagram (a personal account that followed my classmates etc) but all it did was make me miserable. I never even realised how miserable it made me until I was forced to take a break from it by my Mum. It had become an endless cycle of seeing other people’s perfect lives, bodies, friends and lifestyles and it made me upset. I saw the girls in my year with friends out together and celebrities looking stunning.

But when I took a step back from Instagram, (don’t get me wrong the first few weeks were frustrating, my thumb was aching to like the latest posts and scroll through my feed) but after a while, I felt relieved. What you don’t know can’t hurt you and whilst I wasn’t up to date with who was dating who or which Kardashian posted which naked selfie – I was happier.

I still look at social media but I do it either through my blog or anonymously without following anyone I know in real life. I don’t use Instagram at all other than for my blog-though I barely use it for that either – because it just makes me upset.

Talking about looks and appearances, whether they’re celebrities or classmates one thing is consistent across social media, most people look perfect. Despite the irrational idea that these celebrities really look that good at every angle at every moment. In short, no, they don’t.

To prove how easy it is to manipulate the way we look online I’ve done a little experiment of my own. I took a few pictures today of myself – not looking my best. I gave myself 25 seconds on each photo to edit or use a filter and this is what I did. Bear in mind this was in 25 seconds, imagine what someone could do with professional assistance and time spent on getting good lighting and angles.

I was wearing some light mascara today so my eyelashes are darker than usual.

So my advice: put your phone down, take a break from social media and do something fun. Whether it be listening to music, reading a book or making a scrapbook-just stop comparing yourself to those fake pictures.

Medusa.

Perfection and Wanting To Fit In

“I’m not like other girls” is usually said by edgy teenage girls with perfect makeup, hair and clothes to their hot love interest in a teenage movie but, I am actually not like other girls. I’m autistic so fitting in was never really in the cards for me and I longed to be the same as the other girls in my class – or more like the way I thought they were. My ocd basically consisted on “I’ve never seen a celebrity or person I admire do this” therefore doing it is “contaminated”. I washed my hands till they bled because I was half convinced the other girls and celebrities never had sticky fingers, never spilt food on themselves and never touched their belongings when “contaminated”. The girls that my autism, my ocd and myself want to be like is the perfect girl. This made up Disney channel character who never has ear wax, snot or any other human functions. The girl that is perfect on every social media platform and never has acne. Of course this girl doesn’t exist – I know that, I just wished I believed it as I still yearn to be her.

My ocd is centered around my desire to have friends and be accepted – something that is a result of being autistic and being bullied when I was young. I can remember the first time that I washed my hands before touching one of my belongings because I was worried about ‘ruining’ it. That way of thinking is still with me. I feel like I am the problem.

I still have the juvenile dream of being this perfect person with perfect things. I want to be perfect and “clean”. But I can’t. And whether I believe it or not, the truth is no one can. Of course as much as I know that no one is perfect, there is a big difference between knowing and accepting.

I’ve got OCD and instead of accepting that I was bullied by mean girls in primary one, instead of accepting that I have had problems making and keeping friends because I’m autistic, I have created a narrative where I think I must be, look and feel perfect in order to be accepted and liked by the other girls. But the sad thing is no matter how many times I wash my hands and avoid touching my belongings as to not “ruin” them; it doesn’t solve the impossible problem. That I am me. I sometimes struggle to make friends and I will never be able to be in a romantic relationship, get married or have kids because I’m not that type of person. *(Both of these things are not due to my mental health problems or autism- people with one or both can happily sustain relationships – this is a me thing.)*

So perhaps it’s time to stop lying. Perhaps it’s time to accept that I’m autistic and I’ve got OCD, depression and low self-esteem. Perhaps it’s time to realise I’m genuinely not like other girls and can never be. I am autistic; I am a blogger; I am a teenager; I am a good friend; A hilarious family member; Lover of jewellery and books and tv; I have back acne and weird toenails; I’m a scrapbooker; And I’m spotty, smelly, often have a uni brow and my social media, my work and my life are not perfect. Perhaps I need to start accepting this and perhaps one day I will.

No filer. No makeup. No good diet – No joke I’ve eaten my entire body weight of chicken McNuggets over the past month.