self-

today makes 3 years of blogging

I think I completely missed my anniversary last year, it happens lol

but here we are, reading my 79th post. what a wow

my content’s had a funny flow to it recently

I still journal occasionally, and a poem will pop up here and there. but when it comes to the ideas that I can execute, that I’m excited to execute, they’re usually best suited for a video format. it takes a lot more work to get a final product, but YouTube has a certain jenny say kwa to it. it all started in the Valley though, so this platform isn’t going anywhere. here’s what I’m thinking:

my latest YouTube endeavor has been a series called “Gist + GRWM”. the video shows me doing my makeup, but the audio is me gisting, talking about whatever it is that’s on my mind. I like the set up a lot, because if you just want the face beat, mute the video and put on a playlist. or you could go about your chores or something and pretend you’re listening to a podcast. I feel like I’ve cracked the YouTube code tbh. 

now, my last video was only 20 minutes long, but I had 16 terms I wanted to talk about. that didn’t happen.

in comes VV. if the video is the trailer, the blog post is the movie. it’s a different platform, but it’s still what I know best, so I hope that those who are really looking to learn will make their way here. because I’ve learned a lot these last few years, including the fact that I like to share. that may sound pretty “duh”, but it’s very easy to get self-centered when blogging.

centered: fixed, stationary

stationary. in one spot, usually with my laptop in front of me. the idea comes, I write about it, I hit publish. will someone read it? hopefully. but it’s been very easy to think nothing of it. it’s become a simple process, of doing something by myself, for myself.

meanwhile, YouTube is loud and in your face. I was honestly blown away by how detailed the analytics are, but I already learned the hard way not to get too caught up with the numbers. still, YouTube requires a lot more effort. you need a cute thumbnail, a banner, a description. you have to spend hours looking at your face and listening to your voice while you edit. somebody’s going to be looking at you, not just your thoughts. the whole process makes you very self-aware.

aware: watchful, vigilant

the funny thing is, there are multiple kinds of self-awareness. internal, which looks at how well you know yourself, and external, which looks at how well you know how other people see you. these definitions come from a book I’m reading called Insight by Tasha Eurich (very nice lady). I’m not done with it yet, but she’s made an important point by saying that the internal and external aren’t necessarily related. you can be good at one and not the other, or good at neither. or both. I’ll touch more on stuff that relates to the internal later, but the external is pretty related to self-presentation to me.

presentation: a placing before

“what do they think of me? do they like the outfit I picked for this video? was my tone too harsh when I responded to them? how do I come across to them? how do they see me?”

they. them. we spend so much time putting ourselves before others. in the metaphorical sense, but also literally. we curate our faces and our feelings in ways to get the most views and likes, because the algorithm tells us there’s a science to it. but the algorithm doesn’t follow you off the platform. you can’t use a quick story post to get everyone’s attention at a social gathering. there’s no redo function during your big interview. authentic doesn’t mean perfect, but if you spend too much time on social media, you’ll probably end up thinking it does. and that can make your self-esteem take a big hit.

esteem: to value, to determine the value of, appraise

“self-esteem” was probably the buzziest buzz phrase out of the whole bunch. it’s literally everywhere, often presented (no pun intended) as the perfect cure. if you have good self esteem, you can do anything.

wrong

with self-esteem, you have determine how much something is worth. with self-acceptance, the worth just has to be there.

acceptance: action of taking or receiving what is offered

this concept was really hard for me. it’s very “take me as I am”, but in a “me @ myself” kinda way. there’s always a “but”: “but you don’t have”, “but you aren’t”, “but you can’t”. clearly, the loudest voice in my head is very self-critical.

critical: inclined to find fault

it’s funny how all of these words can hold their ground without the “self-” in front of them. to replay that transition sentence, “the loudest voice in my head is very critical”. it’s coming into play even now, making me wonder which sentence is more accurate. am I just this hard on myself, or is this a part of how I see everyone else? it’s easy to see how it could get in the way of self-esteem–if you’re never “good enough”, if some flaw is bringing your value down, you’re essentially a goner who’s simply unworthy of being accepted. just imagine projecting that mindset onto the people you come across, people who need compassion.

compassion: to suffer with

y’all already know I have a lot to say on this one. if this isn’t your first time on my blog, you’ve probably read a post or two from my 3-part series on compassion. why’d I spend so much time on it? because it was worth it. it actually started with a Bible study on the word patience, because that root “pati-” means to suffer. and guess where pati- comes up again? compassion. com pati.

to suffer with.

like I said, people need compassion. they need someone to be down in the trenches with them. but if you can’t be there for yourself, how are you supposed to turn around and support someone else?

the idea of self-compassion came up when I was listening to a podcast as a bedtime story (it helps). before I knocked out, I listened to them describe self-compassion as being willing to have your own back. you know that you’re going through it, and you’re willing to give yourself support. but being the Vessel that I am, I had to flip this on its head.

I don’t want to have my own back most times. I want to tell myself to get over it and keep it pushing. I want to act like nothing ever happened, like I’m too good, too grown to be bothered. but that’s a whole lotta false. I’m sensitive (see: not soft) so I’m always feeling all the things. and Somebody knew that.

(I was trying not to plug any of my old content but I don’t think I can help it. let’s just say it’s part of the brand)

while I’m busy trying to reason myself out of needing a shoulder to lean on, God’s already providing it. He’s already made a way to me. We’ve been reconciled through Christ, and now I’m the apple of His eye, front and center. He knows when I suffer, and He’s there as I go through it. if this is what my God will do for me, who am I to say I won’t do it for myself? and seeing as I can be lacking in the self- department, how am I supposed to turn around and give it to someone else? it takes practice. and pruning.

loathing: to be hateful or displeasing abhorrence, revulsion; hatred

defeat: to overcome with sorrow or anger; undo, destroy

absorption: a swallowing up, disappearance by assimilation into something else

with or without self-, all of these things have got to go. Exhibit A is me realizing that I used the wrong etymology for loathing in my video. if I was self-absorbed, it’d crank up the self-defeat and let self-loathing do me in, because my stellar self-critical skills have found a flaw in me that is clearly fatal.

in reality, it’s not that deep. the flaw is in what I did, not who I am. and I’ve made a lot of mistakes lately, some of them conscious bad decisions. there are probably a couple typos that I’ll miss before sharing this post. it’s life. it’s authentic.

now, there’s always room for self-improvement.

improvement: profitable use, management of something for profit

accepting this is really helpful for accepting self-acceptance. read that again if you need to. but self-improvement is a lifelong journey, and there will always be something to work on. it’s a bit of a balancing act to make sure that this act doesn’t lean too far to one side or the other, but to balance at all requires confidence.

confidence: to have full trust or reliance

full. entire. whole. throw a self- in there, and now you’re putting all the eggs in your basket. you wanted to talk about 16 different words, and now you’re talking about 16 different words. you’re trusting yourself to do what is necessary. it’s a bit self-serving, but in a good way.

serving: action of serving; to render habitual obedience to

how does being confident in yourself serve you? honestly, it just saves time. I knew I’d have less than 48 hours to write this post, but if I’d let that trip me up, there wouldn’t be a post at all. it also motivates you, because I didn’t have to write this post. I have content ideas all the time, but I knew it would be worth it to sit and commemorate my third anniversary. I have 78 posts (and 20 drafts) full of proof that I’m a good writer. not even being cocky or anything. if you’re doing anything to serve yourself, make sure it’s worth the weight.

worth: significance, value

self-worth seems pretty redundant once you compare it to self-esteem. really, the biggest difference is that esteem is a verb, and worth is a noun. you esteem your worth. you determine your value. it’s all grammar. but even when you break it down, it’s quick to get in the way of self-love.

love: cherish, delight in

to be honest, I had this phrase on my buzzword list. like self-esteem, it felt overused, so I assumed that once I put it in its proper context, I’d be slower to use it. but love is acceptance’s cousin. if you’re loving something, that means you have it. you’ve accepted it into your possession so you can cherish it as your own. cherish. it’s such a sweet word, as is delight. if it weren’t 3:58 in the morning I’d stop and get the etymologies for y’all, but I don’t know if they’re necessary. think about holding a tiny baby, or if you’re not a baby person… idk honestly. nothing beats holding a baby.

but anyway, this baby is making you very happy. you’re delighting in the fact that you’re holding them, and that they exist. you’re cherishing them.

you can’t physically hold yourself in the same way, but can you still show yourself that kind of love?

last but not least, self-preservation.

preservation: protection from disease

the phrase is an afterthought, one I added the day after I made my initial list. that means that it doesn’t really fit into the flow.

I take that back actually.

self-preservation is an act of self-love. if you’ve accepted that you’re worthy of protecting, you’ll do what’s necessary to make that happen. now, much of life isn’t in your control, but where you have influence, use it. whether it be from disease, past traumas, bad influences–you have too much value to leave yourself exposed. cover what you can, but know that you don’t have to do it all by yourself.

thanks for making this a great three years y’all

be blessed bbys ✨

Author: Iyaniwura Olarewaju

† | naija | nj | Cornell

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