Being Self-Conscious Is More Toxic Than You May Believe

Being Self-Conscious Is More Toxic Than You May Believe

Everyone feels this way at some point or another, but it doesn't make it any less unhealthy.

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I get in my own way more often than anyone else ever will. I can never explain exactly why, but all of my hesitating, doubting, and revoking participation can be boiled down to having made completely unsupported misinterpretations about social situations.

I always tend to paint myself in a negative light right off the bat: the things I do and don't say are always taken the wrong way. The way I answer questions in class. I mean, even the things I tweet aren't immune to my own overanalysis. Dumb, right?

But the complete truth of the matter is that those who aren't already going through this straining process in their own brains would certainly never spend the time doing it to you. In the best way possible, they don't care… about the silly things, of course.

Though this certainly and unfortunately doesn't hold true for every single person you'll engage, the majority of people aren't actively looking for what you (and only you) perceive as "bad." Maybe I'm just an optimist in saying that I believe people are good at heart and naturally want to see that in others before anything else. To be perfectly candid—and frank—it's just exhausting trying to do anything else.

And you know, maybe I really am the only one who is this inhibited. My intuition tells me that there's absolutely no way this can be true, but isn't that the exact thing I choose to ignore every time I question myself? This self-isolating feeling only becomes stronger when we fail to see the humanness of other people who we hold highly in our lives.

It's hard to imagine that they could also ever feel insecure about anything so seemingly trivial, but it's likely they're thinking the same thing about you. I can't say that this more astute social awareness is going to sweep unjustified self-consciousness and insecurity from the individual's mind so effortlessly, but it makes for a more understanding, empathetic, collective consciousness that tends to be more forgiving to oneself.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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To The High School Senior Wishing She Could Fast-Forward To Graduation, Careful What You Wish For

Don't wish this time away.

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As the last stretch of my freshman year of college stands before me, I've been thinking a lot about where I was a year ago today. I've thought about how fast the time has gone, but also how much has happened in that year.

A year ago, I decided what college I was going to and was getting ready to graduate, and honestly counting down the days until graduation. Senior year was almost over, and I couldn't wait to walk across that stage, get my diploma, and FINALLY get to start my real life. However, now that it's a year later I honestly barely remember all those little moments and it feels like literally a world ago when I was in my high school and making my Senior Board full of pictures of my childhood. And part of me wishes that I hadn't wished all that time away.

So, to my high school seniors out there — I encourage you to cherish all the memories you are making. I encourage you to spend time with your parents and savor the meals you have with them and enjoy the conversations where your mom asks all the mom questions about your day, and your dad tells a story from his childhood that you've heard a million times before. I encourage you to appreciate the friends you have, and whether or not you plan to stay friends with them after graduation, be grateful for the time with them in this season and the role that they played in your life.

I ask you to look around your high school, stop and stare at the walls that you've probably been praying to get out of for a few months now and appreciate the memories and times you've had in those buildings. Whether or not high school was a great time for you or a bad time, it was a time of growth and the place where you matured and made mistakes and succeeded.

Seniors, enjoy these last few months because before you know it you'll blink and it will be a year later and you'll be miss those days that you complained about, those teachers you rolled your eyes at, and those friends that you shared that time with.

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