This week we talk about self-love and how the monster that is social media can negatively impact our perception of ourselves.
There are topics that I knew I wanted to write about since I began Dear Diary, but I wasn't exactly sure how to approach them. One of those topics is how social media negatively impacts how we see ourselves because I feel like it is something that heavily impacts our generation, especially right now. I recently caught up with an old friend from high school, @katiefarrell13, to talk about her account, @catchingradiance on Instagram. At first glance, Catching Radiance is a dream for a foodie like myself, with beautiful and colorful meals, but once you start reading the captions it becomes about so much more than just photos, it's real and raw commentary. I am continuously blown away by my friend Katie's ability to speak about healing, health, and wellness on a public platform. Catching Radiance and @katiefarrell13 both made me realize that although I have been unsure how to approach this Conversation Corner, I knew that it was important.
*Trigger Warning: Eating Disorder Discussed*
As our constant disclaimer, the Conversation Corner has one rule: it will always be real. No B.S., because quite frankly there is enough of that already on the internet.
So here we go...
DD: Quote you live by?
KF: "'Que sera sera, whatever will be will be.' I used to think that I had to plan for everything, that I had to control everything. But time does what it's supposed to do, beautifully, and I am okay with that now."
DD: Explain that a little bit more for me?
KF: "My mom used to say that (quote) a lot when I was little. I mentioned it the other night and I realized it's so important to me. For so long I tried to figure out how to have everything in my life perfect. 2020 really shifted my perspective and offered so much healing... I really believe that what’s meant for us, little by little, will always find its way."
DD: Tell us a little bit about the background of Catching Radiance? (@catchingradiance).
KF: "Back in February, I took a long look at myself in the mirror and decided it was time for a change. This period of reflection and growth was painful. But I learned things about myself that I never knew. I got to a point where I felt okay, even confident, sharing my story. I began seeing my battle with anorexia not as a flaw within my heart, but as a tragedy of my control. I had anorexia. I was not anorexic. It was something I went through, it will never be who I am. When I began to believe that, I began to share pieces of my story on Catching Radiance. I want people to know that we are not what we go through, we are how we decide to push forward."
DD: Goals for Catching Radiance?
KF: "My main goal for Catching Radiance is to inspire others to accept their story. Everyone fights battles in their hearts and these struggles don't need to be something we are ashamed of. They are part of our story, they make us who we are. Acceptance is a powerful thing, and often with acceptance comes openness, hope, and so much love."
DD: Tips for post-grads struggling with social media and personal wellness?
KF: "I was thinking about this question and I know it’s so cliche to say 'unprecedented times', but that’s the reality of where we are. I would tell someone struggling to give yourself grace. I think everyone struggles at some point with body positivity. I don’t always love what I see in the mirror, or how I look in some pictures. It’s hard to love ourselves and our bodies regardless of what they look like. We are so hard on ourselves! I think everyone can take a step back, and look at their bodies and appreciate them for all they allow us to do. Listen to our bodies, nurture them with good food and good exercise. Tell ourselves that we are beautiful and that we are enough. That is giving yourself grace."
"Everyone always puts the best version of themselves out (on social media). A lot of times we equate eating the healthiest and being the thinnest as the healthiest version of ourselves but half the time it’s not."
DD: Now for our final question of each interview, what now?
KF: "I'm not sure what is next for me. I’ve always said happiness is the most important thing in life. Cliche, I know. Maybe I’ll get a job that keeps me in Pennsylvania, or one that brings me somewhere else. Maybe I’ll take some time and travel, see some beautiful cities and art; learn more about life. Maybe I’ll put a greater focus on Catching Radiance. I want to have an impact. Even if it’s just on a small scale through Catching Radiance. I want to put my head on the pillow each night and know that I made someone’s day easier. That is what would bring me happiness."
Talking with Katie was a breath of fresh air. I have struggled with loving myself for exactly how I am for as long as I can remember, and that is only heightened by social media.
Don't get me wrong, social media allows me to promote a platform I am extremely passionate about and accounts like Catching Radiance, but everything that is wrong with social media is also why I created Dear Diary.
We only show the good parts of ourselves on social media, which is why a huge goal of mine with Dear Diary is to normalize talking about the not so "pretty" things about life, such as transition periods.
Although I have never been through the exact struggles that @katiefarrell13 has been through, her strength shows me how I want to move forward with Dear Diary. I want Dear Diary to not just be about the "pretty" stuff, but about all the not so "pretty" stuff in between, because the moments that aren't necessarily "Instagram worthy" are probably the moments most worth living.