A few months ago I started writing this piece for the annual Elle Writing Competition but predictably I got distracted by real life (most likely a Keeping Up With The Kardashians marathon or some sort of baked good) and didn’t submit it in time. The subject was ‘Relationship Goals’ and this is the egotistical outcome…
I have a wonderfully supportive family, effervescent and inspiring friends and a loyal and loving boyfriend. I am lucky in that I am surrounded by positive people who enrich my life in so many ways. For me, the relationship that takes the most work is the one I have with myself.
At 28 I feel less like myself than ever. I can be plagued with insecurities and irrational anxieties. At school I was smart, at university I was partying and now, in my late twenties, I sometimes feel lost.
The older I get, the more self-critical I become. It’s easy to doubt my talents, question my purpose and criticise my body. Once a bold and confident clotheshorse I now find myself in loose fitting black clothing or baggy boyfriend jeans. I don’t feel sexy or pretty, so I cover up, which in turn makes me feel less sexy and less pretty.
And it’s not just the superficial things that lead me to a semi-schizophrenic war on myself: I no longer believe my own hype. Back in the day I’d fake it till I made it, but now I regularly work myself into a tizzy desperately trying to impress.
I don’t think that the humble hashtag is helping. Social Media makes it easy for us to worship false goals: the ultimate bikini body, the Pinterest-perfect abode, the sexy, shiny social set. We now constantly compare our apparently mediocre lives with the carefully curated snapshots of others. At what cost?
I’ve decided that in 2016 I will work to maintain my marvellous relationships, take each day as the glorious gift that it is and above all, be kind to myself. This is not a goal, it’s a mantra.
N.B. #RelationshipGoals has a whopping 2,031,388 posts on Instagram. Let's stop posting our ambitions on the Internet and instead work on making them a reality.