Dear Old Souls: You Are Not For Everyone

Dear Old Souls: You Are Not For Everyone

Being disliked by some is simply a byproduct of authenticity.

One of the hardest things in life is to be mislabeled and misunderstood by a society that fails to see the beauty of its own kind, and unfortunately, the Old Soul is not a stranger to this. At worst, we're seen as the loners, the antisocials, the outcasts. As Old Souls, we struggle to find our place in a world that we never truly feel connected to. We yearn to be understood and loved so deeply and desperately that sometimes we even go as far as to attempt to cover the traits that define us.

"One of the most freeing things we learn in life is that we don't have to like everyone, everyone doesn't have to like us, and it's prefectly okay." —Author Unknown

You've probably heard this before, but it never hurts to hear it again: You are not for everyone.

There are languages your soul speaks that people will never be able to translate; songs your heart sings that people will never be able to resonate with; storms surging inside of you that others will never be able to weather.

And that's okay.

Trying to cater your life and decisions to everyone else besides the only person whose feelings matter — yours — drives you into an unhappy place in an impossible attempt to make everyone happy.

You are going to be misunderstood in the way you care, for the things you place value on, for the identity you have crafted for yourself. People are going to take you at face value. They're going to make judgments about you that will, in fact, be the exact opposite of what and who you are. And that's going to hurt. It may even make you want to prove them wrong. It may drive you to do things to make them like you.

Do not let these people cause you to falter. You are strong and you are wonderful and you are amazing and you are you.

You are not required to waste your precious time, energy, and gifts on people who need to be convinced of your value. As you "drive people away," you will only get closer to those who love you, who want to be close to you, and who truly value you.

Being disliked by some is simply a byproduct of authenticity. The more you unabashedly embody your true personality, the more incompatible people will pull away from you.

No, you are not for everyone. And that's beautiful.

It is my hope that you all will protect your hearts, your dreams, your passions, your inmost beings. It is my hope that you will not let the world condemn you for being too passionate, too expressive, too soft.

Refuse the world that demands you to be perfect and be real.

Cover Image Credit: theepochtimes

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You're Cooler Than Your Feed

Finding my own line of public and private in social media.

If you’re familiar with the Gaines Family of HGTV ‘Fixer Upper’ (my obsession), you’ll know that what once was a relatively low-key Texas family, is now a couple with their own empire.

The couple has two books to their name, a home goods line with Target, a successful show, and storefronts in Waco, Texas, where people from across the country come to get a glimpse of the design brilliance that is Chip and Joanna Gaines.

And, of course, they have a social media following with not only their personal accounts, but the accounts of their home design store, bakery, restaurant, and silos (if you know what I mean, you know what I mean).

I am baffled at how an unassuming couple from Texas, simply living out their own passion for creating homes, has been able to create a cult-following that has enabled a home design empire. I find the meeting of traditional fame (via television) with, let us say, millennial fame (via social media) utterly fascinating.

I am again impressed, but perhaps not shocked, by the fact that social media has yet again magnified two public figures into something of a new caliber.

The role that social media has played in creating my own personal identity with a public identity has been one of contradictions and confusion. (Read: "you don’t look like you do in pictures"). (Read: ...thank you?). I always hear, and tell people, to think about what their parents would say if they saw something you shared on Instagram or Facebook, when it comes to posting photos, statuses, comments, and articles.

Needless to say, I am intrigued to see how I will feel about my Odyssey articles in 10 years because, once you publish something, it’s never going away. Will I look back in horror of my writing technique, perspectives, or overall maturity? Perhaps. But, even if you delete it, it’s out there. Scary, and true.

This is advice to live by when it comes to material relating to drinking, partying, crass or vulgar language, etc. As a 20-year-old, this seems obvious to me now. This is no longer my concern. What I’ve struggled with, is finding the line between my private and public self when it comes to social media.

As a female college student, I have heard many a time about the obsession with your ‘gram aesthetic. It’s a valid thought, though people mock it. What we deem as ‘private’ is perhaps quite public. This aesthetic is the notion that your overall feed should have a certain vibe to it.

This means you only take photos a certain way, edit them a certain way, have an overarching color scheme, or an overall feeling you are trying to convey via your photos. I have been told in the past that my Instagram does not have an aesthetic, which is an insult or compliment depending on your view it. I have a belief that people who can achieve this aesthetic Instagram probably have a calling in media production, graphic design, or marketing because this is a feat of both artistic and branding capabilities.

But that’s just it - do I have to brand myself on something that is supposedly private? Can social media really convey the nuances of who I am as a person? Or perhaps just the facade I’d like to demonstrate?

The line of public and private in social media is developing into territory that is murky, for me. I have a belief that social media is inherently public, no matter how many privacy settings you enable. Masses of people are viewing, consuming, and hypothetically reproducing your social media if we take into consideration the notorious screenshot.

No matter how private we may want to be about our lives, people can still stalk your 2009 family vacation to Florida. Employers will still have their sneaky ways of finding that picture of you at a bar when you were 20, not 21. It’s the risk we take when we sign up for this stuff, and when we post something because we look good or it makes us look fun or, because, it goes with our aesthetic.

The obsession with the ‘Gram is something I’ve fed into, and something I’ve fed into hard at times. I’ve deleted a picture because it didn’t get enough likes. I’m ashamed to admit this fact but I’m just trying to say I’m not coming from a place of high ground. Social media plagues us all, in different ways.

I’m here to say, however, that I’ve come to a realization in the past year. However much we think social media is something we possess for others to view, it is ultimately for us. A reflection of us. Its existence is contingent upon our existence and our agreement to use it. (Excluding instances of Catfishing which is just a whole other ballpark I am not going into).

If you have your social media pages public and strategically post from your well-thought-out plan to ascend in the social media world as a fashion blogger or lifestyle influencer, then go you! Social media is an industry and platform for self-promotion nowadays.

But it is also that platform upon which your mom posts photos of you from your first high school dance to keep you humble. Everything comes in twos - salty and sweet, happy and sad, feeling like you have a bomb Instagram and then seeing photos of yourself from eighth grade on Facebook.

There is more to a person than their social media. It sounds redundant and superficial and shallow, but it’s true. I think we lose sight of that when we’re in the middle of it. Social media builds business empires, new relationships, and new personas. It has a lot of power when you give it. It can be super complicated and all-consuming.

I don’t have an argument, because the jury is still out, and will continue to be. But. Don’t post something dumb, but post stuff you like, because ultimately it’s for you, by virtue of you. And, I think you’re way cooler than you feed. I hope you think so too.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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10 Regrettable Things We Did Last Year We Need To Stop Doing In 2018

New Year = Better You

The new year is a time to start fresh and let's be honest, some things just need to come to a stop. "New year, new me" is a common saying at the beginning of each year, but maybe you just need to make a couple of small adjustments in order to achieve the best version of you in 2018.

1. Allowing others to bring you down.

This is the first rule on the list because as cliche as it is, don't let others control your happiness.

2. Dwelling on the past.

Everything happens for a reason. Focusing on your future and learning from past mistakes is how you grow as a person. Let go of the past and think positive thoughts for the future.

3. Caring what other people think.

This is way too common in today's century. The only opinion that matters is your own. Go with your gut and don't give others the satisfaction of controlling you.

4. Making impulse buys.

It's too easy. You're bored at home or taking a study break and start online "browsing." Before you know it you're on the Forever 21 website with 40 dollars worth of clothes in your cart (oops).

5. Going to bed with your makeup on.

We all have those nights where we get into bed, turn on whatever Netflix show we are binge-watching at the time, and fall asleep to that "Are you still watching?" notification. But taking the time to wash your face before getting comfortable will help show your skin some extra love and prevent pesky breakouts.

6. Following people on social media that you genuinely don’t like.

This year it's time to have a social media cleanse. Don't waste your time on those who don't have a place in your life or even worse, those who you dislike.

7. Just having 4 to 5 hours of sleep every night.

As a college student, we constantly stay up way later than we need to. On the nights we aren't cramming in the library for a test the next day, stop wasting time and start getting some shut-eye.

8. Leaving lights on in a room you are not in.

All of my roommates are guilty of this, sorry girls (myself included). But let's start flipping the light switch when we leave a room and saving some money on the electric bill.

9. Eating out.

When you are low on time it is so easy to just swing through the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru instead of going home and making a turkey sandwich. Eating out is fine when you want to treat yourself, but if you do it all the time it stops being a treat.

10. Worrying about things you can't control.

Between school, a social life, and everything in between we have plenty of things to worry about and balance in our lives. So let's stop focusing on things out of our control and start focusing on the things we can.

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