I am but a mere speck in a grand sea. Ever since I was a child, I’ve yearned to be more than that. To fit in, to blend. I have traveled down worn paths, trudging behind others. Following. I have adjusted myself to move with the waves as they come, letting them carry me to new oceans. I have looked in the mirror, consistently pointing out each and every flaw in my reflection. I have been knocked down several times, each blow harder to resurface from. I have dug holes deeper than my height; losing myself in the darkness. And now I’m here, stronger than ever.
I don’t have all of the answers, but I have learned a few things in my short twenty-two years of walking this Earth. For a great sum of my life, I’ve been chasing the “ideal”, a mold that was created through a mixture of society’s norms and high expectations. I have been trained to constantly reach higher, climb faster, and do better. And because of this, I have always considered my accomplishments, big or small, never good enough. Which then led me to believe that whatever I do will never be good enough. It is extremely tiring to be placed on such a high pedestal, or at least expected to be at the level of one. The expectations soon turn from achievable to impossible. The blood, sweat, and tears that accumulate do not amount to anything “worth being proud of”. And soon, all successes are deemed failures in one way or another.
That is not an acceptable way to live, but some of us unfortunately live out this role. Stuck in a place where they feel the need to impress others, to jump higher, and ultimately keep everyone happy. But it’s wrong. We are human. We make mistakes and we fall, but then we also get back up, learn, and move forward.
In this past year alone, I’ve seen myself grow exponentially. I’ve had several mental breakdowns dealing with personal situations and health concerns that had me spending a great deal of time in medical care. I have suffered many falls and scrapes along the way but I have finally revamped my mentality. I’ve learned to accept that some things cannot be planned or changed. I’ve learned to cope with my newly formed limitations and daily stack of meds. I’ve chased new hobbies, binge-watched new shows, and put aside more “me-time”. I have come to appreciate myself more and it has seriously changed everything. You are your own biggest enemy, so once you learn to love yourself, you will conquer. I am extremely proud of where I am right now and I know that with hard work and dedication, I will keep climbing – at my own pace, of course.
Never in a million years would I have dreamed that I’d be right here, sharing my thoughts to an audience that has supported me. Whether it was from day 1 or today. I want to thank you so so much for all of the love and support that I’ve received going into this. I was extremely hesitant in starting a blog, diving in head first with no real direction. I was afraid of what people would think, whether I’d be a failure, or a joke. I pushed everything off, from days to months to years. And then one day I woke up and I said screw it, I’m going to do it. Give my 110% and if I fail, I fail, but at least I tried.
February 28th marks the birth of Jennsemble, a curation of my own. This name was created as a play on Jenn’s Ensemble, or an ensemble of Jenn. An ensemble is described as a group of items viewed as a whole, rather than separately. That is what this site is: a culmination of my style, perspective, thoughts, and ideas. Every bit and piece that makes up who I am as a whole.
Five months later, I’m astonished at my journey thus far and can only imagine what the future holds. I have befriended many people, opened my eyes to such amazing accounts, and worked with brands to further their outreach. Becoming a digital content creator has really opened so many doors and opportunities. I have met incredible individuals and I am forever grateful for getting the chance to do so. Over the span of these months, I have increased my self-esteem, gained confidence, and opened up in ways I didn’t think I could. It’s hard to believe that the socially awkward girl I once knew is now here reaching out to others, planning meets, and having a voice.
If I could provide any advice for what I’ve learned this past year, I would definitely advise the following:
Be selfish and put yourself first.
I cannot stress this enough. In this world, you can’t please everyone. There will always be someone that puts you down, who is unsatisfied and never happy. But you should always keep in mind that there are people who appreciate what you do and push you higher. Give up the role of keeping everyone satisfied, especially if that means sacrificing your own happiness. Take the time to love yourself. Self-love and appreciation is utterly important. For the longest time, I put others before me and convinced myself that their happiness equates to my own. And yes, it’s great to see others that you care about happy, but that does not equate to you being happy. You are wielding the pen to your story, not anybody else. So make sure the journey you’re taking is one of your own choosing. You’ll be forever thankful.
Stop caring about what other people think.
It’s hard, because the pressure of conformity is just something that is difficult to ignore. You want to fit in. I get it. I did too, but sometimes the best thing to do is to stand out. Whatever makes you you is what counts the most. There will be haters anywhere you go. But you know what? It’s good. It means you’re doing something right. They’re sippin’ that haterade for a reason. Keep going.
Cut people out who do not support you.
Saving room in your life for people who only bring you down or who do not wish to be there, don’t deserve a place in your heart. Surround yourself with people who lift you higher. They will be the ones who will stand by you and catch you when you fall.
Just because someone puts you down, doesn’t mean you should stoop down to their level. Killing them with kindness is the best method (thanks Selena!). Stick to positive vibes only. You never know what someone else is going through. A little kindness can go a long way, for them and even for you. Spreading the love never hurts.
Even when you face darkness, and you’re lost, just know that without it there would be no light. You just need to find it.