Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Hi lovelies! I don't honestly know where to start with this post, it's a very broad topic and something that I have a lot to say on, but instead of thinking it all over, writing notes and figuring out exactly how to word this, I'm sitting here, on my laptop just letting my thoughts guide my fingers!
This year has been a monumental year for me, first, I made a huge lifestyle choice back in February and went vegan, I totally changed my diet and lifestyle to adjust to the knew information I had learned and ethics and morals that I have gained. Later on in the year, Darren and I got engaged and are now in the process of planning our wedding for next year, which is so, so exciting! And also, Green Day (aka my first loves) are releasing a new album and UK tour dates, which is of less serious but very nearly equal importance to everything else mentioned. Just throwing that out there.
So two (three) big life events for me, both of which have totally changed the course of my life and made me a million times happier than I've ever been. That said though, for both of these things, I sometimes feel very judged, which is something I've never really had to deal with before. Sure, I've touched on topics like skinny shaming, which has affected me in some ways, but in a less direct way than what I'm talking about today.
As for getting married, I'm 22, yes, that's young. However, it's very much legal and therefore pretty much nobody's business. While I've not had any kind of judgement whatsoever from Family and Friends who have been nothing but supportive, I have had comments from strangers, be it in the internet, in person (just mention weddings and everyone you talk to has an opinion!) on how young we are. Never necessarily in a malicious way, but more in a backhanded, smug, 'I know better than you' way. The reason that not one of our family members or amazing friends have commented on our age is because they know us. They know that we've been together for five years and love each other completely and better one another. They know that this wasn't a rush decision (despite a totally out of the blue proposal, granted!). With that in mind, I don't see what gives anyone who knows nothing about us to make comments like; 'God, but you're so young!', 'Aren't there things you want to do before getting married??' and my favourite 'If my boyfriend proposed now, I'd throw the ring down the sink!' (a swiftly deleted Instagram comment).
More so than marriage (which the vast majority of people have been amazing about!), is Veganism. For some reason, when mentioning that you are vegan, a lot of people are suddenly hugely concerned about your health and feel the need to tell you how humans 'need' meat to survive (despite literally standing before a vegan who is very much alive). I don't mind one bit when people ask me questions about my lifestyle, I expect that. People are curious and that's fine, I work in the beauty industry and chat to interesting people every day and ask them a million questions about their lives, families, jobs etc. However it's when people who don't know much about me or veganism in general, tell me that I must be deficient in iron or that I must miss chocolate and bacon or that that has just has to be sooo hard when going out to eat, or that it must be such a pain for my family and friends (who, once again are all absolutely perfect and support my choices and even make amazing vegan brownies - shout out to my best friend, Zoe!). To pretty much tell someone they're wrong for believing in something and doing something that benefits their health and the animals and environment is not okay.
I'm not saying what I'm saying for sympathy or validation, I'm self assured enough to know that I'm making the best decisions for myself and my life. However the point that I do want to make is that unless someone asks for your opinion, or you know that someone truly values your opinion, you have no right to judge them based on choices they make that doesn't have an impact on your life. The internet is very easy place to judge people and it's a normal, human thing to do to form an opinion on something you see, however you don't always need to share it.
I'm not just writing this post for me either, I see this sort of thing every single day. Comments on instagram pictures, tweets, blog posts, facebook updates, telling people that what they're doing, wearing, saying, eating or even feeling is wrong.
On the flipside though, I also see a lot of this from the other side too. I've had girls compare themselves, saying that they're jealous that I'm 22 and engaged and living away from home and yet they're older than me, living with parents and don't have a boyfriend yet. This honestly bothers me even more. I don't get a lot of this, but I see it a lot online, girls comparing themselves to those in better jobs, or with bigger blogs or a larger instagram following, girls who they think are prettier than them, I've even seen girls comment on engagement photos (not my own), tagging their boyfriends, literally getting mad that they aren't doing the same.
It is so easy to compare yourself to someone else. It's also unfortunately just as easy to judge someone else and put yourself above them, but in both cases, you shouldn't. Everyone does things differently, everyone's situation is different and there's always someone that would love to be in your position. For example, my (twin!) sister still lives at home with my parents and she's single. However, this is because she's incredibly hard working and has just finished 4 years at University and is now back home to start her very first teaching job, a career that she's worked so hard for and is massively passionate about. Her life is taking an entirely different path to mine and we're both completely happy. I didn't go to University, which, back when we were 18, made me feel like I was somehwhat inferior to my sister. Now though, I'm living alone with my Fiancé and our gorgeous dog, I run a business and I'm getting married next year. Neither or us, nor one of our friends or family members thinks one of us is more or less accomplished than the other, in fact, our huge differences make life a lot more interesting and exciting!
What I'm trying to say is, it's very easy to place yourself above or below somebody in your own mind, but the reality of it is, we're all here once, we've all got one life and if we all lived it in exactly the same way, life would be insanely boring. Imagine meeting your friends for a drink at the weekend to all chat about your identical jobs, only to then chat about your holidays that you've all booked in the same place and the same handbags you all bought out with you - yawn!
In life, you create your own journey and it doesn't always go smoothly, but it's impossible to please everyone all the time, so do you, make choices that make you happy. Whether that's going vegan, changing your career, getting married, getting a tattoo, going to a Green Day gig (pray for me) or whatever, it's easy to be consumed by what others are doing and I think it's about time we just tried to stop caring so much.
I really hope this made at least some sense, please feel free to discuss in the comments - I'd love to know your thoughts on the topic.