To The Girl Who Thinks Too Much, I Dare You To Live

To The Girl Who Thinks Too Much, I Dare You To Live

There are songs you haven't sung and people you haven't kissed and memories that are waiting for you.
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As I cozied up in the booth of a dimly-lit restaurant across from my new girlfriends, I was suffused with warmth and happiness and the realization that this is what it's all about. Jazz music and genuine conversations and laughter that makes you throw your head back in joy. The moments that fuel your soul.

I have an impressive track record of being unable to let go and enjoy the moment in front of me. I couldn't believe what I had been missing this whole time. There was so much life and beauty and happiness that I had let slip past me because I was too preoccupied with stress and heartbreak and the things that have no right to take over our lives.

So here's to living.

I dare you to go out after a long week and flirt with that stranger from across the room and dance until you feel nothing but sheer bliss, even though your heart's still sore from the boy who didn't text you back.

I dare you to wake up early on a Sunday morning and put on your sundress and laugh over sunshine and mimosas with your girlfriends, even though you've got too much on your plate and the dread of that seven-page paper you have to write for your least favorite class has been following you around all weekend.

I dare you to grab your jacket at five in the morning and sneak up to the roof of the tallest building on your campus and watch the sunrise, even though the thought of heights scares you and you could probably use the sleep and the very thought of leaving your room once gave you a panic attack.

I dare you to go out and live, even though you always have too much on your mind to be fully present, and you're always expecting the worst, and you tragically believe at your young age that happiness never lasts.

I dare you to live because there are songs you haven't sung in the car and people you haven't kissed and memories that are waiting for you.

I dare you to live because this world will not love you until you start to love it.

I dare you to live because you deserve to.

So here's to living. Here's to being here, in the moment, and being alive.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Young Girls Should Stop Sexualizing Themselves On Social Media

Your validation shouldn't come from your body.

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Junior high and high school are hard, there's absolutely no doubt about that. I still deal with scars from that period of my life even today as an adult. But when I was 13, 14, 15...even 16, I had no desire to post scandalous pictures of myself on the internet for all the world to see. In fact, when I saw other girls sharing things like that, it scared and genuinely confused me. Why would she post that? I thought. I didn't understand. I still don't.

When you're that young, you're still a child. Legally, yes, but mentally as well. Our brains don't stop developing until our late twenties, even early thirties. That's crazy. Do you have regrets from your early teenage years? I know I do. And if you're like me, it's probably partially due to the fact that you weren't mature enough to make logical, rational decisions. Such is the case with young girls who post hyper-sexual pictures of themselves on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat.

The world of social media is so toxic in so many ways, one of them being that every day young girls are inadvertently bombarded with pictures of gorgeous, skinny celebrities (e.g. the Jenner/Kardashian family) who have seemingly perfect and unattainable bodies. Most celebrities pride themselves--nay, obsess over--their outward beauty, which convinces young minds that they need to look a certain way to be accepted in society. Not only is this a toxic lie, but it also leads to the comparison game.

We've all played the comparison game. I especially used to play it in junior high and high school, but even in college I still find myself comparing my image to public figures and saying, "If only I looked like that..." Even amongst my friends or mutual friends that I discover on Instagram, I compare my body, my face, my friends, my life--everything. The fact that "likes"--a simple, meaningless click of a button--can mean so much to us as a society is mind-boggling. The saddest thing is that pictures of women in revealing swimsuits, sensual poses, or other scandalous pictures always seem to get the most likes and the most attention in the world of social media.

As a young girl in high school, acceptance is everything. Validation is your world. You have to be liked, you have to fit in--if you don't, you're branded as "annoying" or "weird" and no one associates with you. I know, I've been there, and it's really, really hard. So if teenage girls see that they can find acceptance and likes on social media by posting images of their bodies, most of them will do it. And it's the saddest thing in the world.

Sometimes I come across 15 or 16 year olds' pages on Instagram, and I double take when I realize their age. They're that young? I ask myself. Their page content is so mature, it's like I'm looking at a 20-something year old. It blows my mind.

Girls, listen to me. You don't need to flaunt your body to know that you are loved and that you are enough.

Let me say that again for the people who need to hear it twice:

Your body does not define your worth as a person. You. Are. Enough.

This world is so screwed up that there most likely will be people who only like you for your outward appearance. But that's so shallow! Don't cater to those kinds of people. They aren't looking out for your best interests.

Be a kid while you still can be. The world is waiting for you, don't rush your entrance.

Stop buying into the lie that you need likes on selfies to be worth something, or to have beauty. So what, you didn't get a lot of likes on a picture of yourself. When you look in the mirror, what do you think? Do you base your self-worth and self-image on how many comments your pool picture got? Or do you know that social media does not define you, and that you are beautiful and worthy regardless of anything your notifications tell you?

Please, please stop finding validation in your body. Looks are fleeting. Beauty fades. Eventually, all of us will be old and wrinkled and look nothing like we once did. Instead, find confidence in yourself as a person and the things you know you're good at. Invest time in bettering yourself personally, so in turn you can better society. And maybe, hopefully, if enough people adopt this mindset, young teenage girls will stop posting their body to gain likes on social media and instead focus on enjoying the ride of growing up.

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