Self Validation

April 6th.

As you can tell I’ve finished my Photo 101 course last week, no longer posting every single day, I should go back to my original blogging schedule. This post will go into some deep stuff, so if you ain’t about that feel free to go to my other posts like my latest style post here.

Something I’ve been pondering on these past few weeks is about self-validation, especially after my breakdown a couple months ago regarding career paths. I was questioning a lot of things, from all the choices I’ve made up until that point to if I am too easily swayed by other people’s opinions. The university I currently attend is the one my parents picked out and urged (forced) me to apply to. The department I’m currently majoring in is the one that my mother strongly suggested. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my major. I find it very interesting and I love how math-y and science-y most of my classes are. However, I don’t really see myself on most of the career paths people usually go on with this major, thus the initial breakdown about what I’m doing with my life and if I had made the right choices in life.

Maybe some of you have noticed, this past few months is also when I started to get more into photography and graphic design, as well as putting more work into my Instagram account (check it out here). I’ve putting more tags in my photos to reach a wider audience, not just my immediate friends. This also meant I started to gain followers and lose followers at the same time. Every time the number in front of the number of follower changes, I would wonder why especially when someone un-follows. Was my photos not interesting enough, not catering to their taste, etc. I understand that the number of followers is just a number, and I should not get fixated on it. However, maybe because I am a STEM major, numbers make an impact on me. Thus, I decided to change the little bio thing on my Instagram profile to “tiles of things that make me happy” as a reminder to myself that I should post whatever that makes me happy, instead of thinking about if this is what my followers want to see. This is especially important because I see my Instagram feed as a photo journal, documenting some points in my life.

As I look through my past, the other two points where I really thought about what I’m doing with my life was during the time when I first immigrated to the states in fifth grade without knowing any English (this seems to be a theme for me… going to places without knowing any of the language) and the stressful time of college applications. When I first moved to New York, I remember wondering in the school yard during recess why I transferred schools. I didn’t know anyone at this new place (also seems to be a theme in my life) and everything was foreign. I was essentially being bullied for being the new girl during the last year of elementary school and for not knowing the language, although I did not realize at the time. However, I think the experience helped to shape my mental strength. Although I dislike it, I don’t mind moving to a foreign place and being alone.

That first semester as a high school senior was horrible. Trying to navigate being a senior while trying to get into good schools is hard, especially when my classmates are some of the most brilliant and amazing people I’ve met. The questions hit especially hard when I had to write those common app essays. I kept thinking, is my life that boring, why do I have nothing to say about any of these topics, although thinking back now I have so many things I could have talked about. In general, it was just a hectic time, which I should also save for another post since this one is getting a bit too long.

What I’ve learned is that self-validation is called self-validation because I need to get it from myself. I can’t be searching for it through other people.

Even though I keep this in mind, I have to remind myself every now and then to stop caring about what other people think about me and focus on what about I think of myself. It’s like the lyrics from Colbie Caillat’s song Try.

“Wait a second,
Why, should you care, what they think of you
When you’re all alone, by yourself, do you like you?
Do you like you?”

Alright, enough with the deep talk. Hope you’re having a great week!

Cheers,

Jenn

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