On Perfectionism + Being Real

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

For as long as I remember, I've been a perfectionist. I like having things go the way I want them to, enjoy having control over the situation, and also, in some sense, like putting off the image that I'm able to do it "all" and make it look easy.

Definitely not the most perfect post I've shared on the blog but it fits the theme for today's post!

I think a lot of my struggle in creating content here on the blog is that I want it to be perfect. Blogging can be a strange world at times as it gives you this peek into someone else's life but the blogger chooses what to put out there. When my life isn't perfect (when is anyone's?), I feel like it's harder for me to blog as this isn't an online diary or space for me to just complain about problems but it's also hard for me to paint everything as sunshine and roses when it just isn't like that in real life.

Then I find myself not blogging and comparing myself to high school Katie who had time to get it done and create content. In all honestly, yes I was more consistent in high school. It may have seemed like I had it all together but quite honestly my high school years were pretty stressful. I would wake up at what felt like the crack of dawn for school (some days at 5:20 AM to squeeze in a Pure Barre class), go to school for 7 hours, go home and do homework, go nanny, then go home and do homework until it was time to go to bed. Don't get me wrong- I enjoyed high school. I'm so thankful for that time in my life and learned so much from it. But constantly pushing myself to be perfect, to do all the things, to maintain good grades while running a blog, being involved in multiple clubs, volunteering, working out, nannying was exhausting. My life seemed perfect from the outside but I was stressed, cried a little too much, and was overwhelmed.

Thankfully, college is a lot more balanced for me. I think the word balanced is pretty fitting as yes, I still care about school and my grades and being involved but in a much more healthier way. I love my education classes a lot more than high school classes like Calc since I can see how I will actually use them in life beyond graduation (which is approaching way faster than I would like it to). I'm getting enough sleep and leave room in my agenda for some sort of just for me activity everyday whether that's putting away my laptop to watch a movie with friends, being more spontaneous and saying yes more often to random, fun plans, or even letting myself go to bed early. In all honestly, I feel so lucky to be living my life and have found a really good balance between being a student and being a person. This past fall semester was definitely the most fun so far and I achieved one of my biggest academic goals so balance is definitely paying off.

The girl who created Chic in Carolina is definitely not the same one writing this post right now. I started Chic in Carolina when I was a 15 year old sophomore in high school who couldn't even drive by herself yet so it makes senses that I've grown since then (I would be worried if I hadn't!). I still love my agenda and organization but I've definitely grown up too. I'm planning on sharing a blog post on how my style has changed since coming to college but while I still love a good Lilly shift, more trendy and relaxed pieces have slipped into my closet too.

The crazy thing is I put all this pressure on myself to be perfect. No one except me cares if I show up to class in running shorts and a t-shirt or if I show up in a cute outfit with my hair and makeup done. That I have to push myself to eat better and workout more often not to be healthy but to fit into a pair of jeans from junior year of high school. Even though I love blogging, no one is forcing me to blog and post 5 times a week.

In my Digital Media class last semester we talked about the concept of digital storytelling and how through various social media platforms, we now have the ability to share with audiences much larger than we could without the platform. Before Instagram, I could print out pictures and share them with family and friends but now, you can share them with those people and more with the press of a button. While social media isn't horrible, it isn't always an accurate look into people's lives. I sometimes find myself looking through other Instagrams (both from my blog + personal accounts) and find myself jealous of how perfect that person's life seems. Then a quick look through my own Instagram tells me I do it too. My personal Instagram paints a perfectly rosy look into my life: fun football games, trips, curated Instagram stories that are "real" enough but have a pretty filter on top. We don't share pictures from the nights you sit in the library for six hours and are about to cry from thinking too much. Or from the days where you are arguing with a friend. Or when it seems like absolutely nothing is going the way you want it to.

The blog + Instagram make my life seem pretty great. Don't get me wrong- for most of the time it is. I have been blessed with the best family, amazing friends, the opportunity to go to college to study something I'm passionate about and to do it at one of my favorite places in the world. Am I guilty of sharing a more perfect image of myself online? Definitely.

This semester, I've had a few conversations with my roommate about different bloggers and Youtubers we follow on social media and how some used to be authentic and real but now come off as fake. As a college student, we know what a typical day looks like: going to class, studying, maybe going to a meeting for a club, getting lunch with a friend, etc. Everyday is different but it's not all fun and games as it can seem from some college bloggers/Youtubers/influencers. Trust me, I have fun in college. I do things with friends and think college is a million and one times more fun than high school was but my everyday life isn't always riveting or Instagram worthy so to speak.

I want to keep sharing with y'all here but I also want to be real and genuine in doing so. Thanks for sticking around here on CiC!

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