So, my blog has existed for a couple months now and, despite how hard I tried to ignore it, I kept feeling like there was something missing from it, like a fundamental piece of me was missing and stopping me from really getting to know you guys. The “why” behind creating this blog is the first thing you should know but for some reason it was hard for me to articulate.
It begins like this, my whole life I’ve had two sides, a side of me that is overly ambitious, driven, disciplined and strict. The other, is completely self-indulgent, easy-going and well, a little lazy (I hate that word but I swear, it’s how it feels!) If you need a reference, think of that Mary-Kate and Ashley movie “New York Minute”, it feels like I have both of their characters living in my head. I started to loathe the easier-going side because it wasn’t the “successful” side or the side that I thought was ever going to do anything beneficial for me or my future, and it didn’t oblige to any of my “rules” or obligations. Frankly, I was ashamed of it and tried to get rid of it any chance I got.
Through lots and lots of work, a few self-help podcasts and time I’ve began to really cherish and love that part of my personality even if it is the one responsible for Netflix binges and splurging on my skincare addiction. But making peace between the often-conflicting sides took me understanding why that side came to exist in the first place.
My self-indulgent side exists as a result of my “a-type” side running itself into the ground with responsibilities, obligations, overworking and constantly giving more of myself to the people around me than I have to give. I learned that my self-indulgent side’s sole purpose for existing is to keep me alive, really, and to help balance the crazy tyrant that occupies the other side that would have me work and give of myself forever if it had its way. Learning this allowed me to have patience with that side, and I now know that having it isn’t an inconvenience but actually the only part of me that ever says time-out, it forces me to pause and recharge, and that fact gave me a lot of peace.
Understanding, and in turn embracing both pieces of my personality gave me a surge of confidence and granted me so much freedom to be a more unapologetic version of myself. I learned to find time for both the militant type-A side, and the face-masking, couch-potato side to shine because I learned they were equally important and one simply cannot exist without the other. After the years it took me to learn this, my mission and vision were very clear: through this blog, my sole desire is to find ways to help us all honor and connect to the side that takes care of us, makes us slow down and puts us first. I want this blog to help us find ways to embrace the side of “self-indulgence” through the joys of skin, clothes, and some good, LA wellness, too.
I’ve come to believe that self-indulgence, despite its negative connotation, is the most rebellious thing you can do in a society that essentially promotes the opposite. To say “I matter” in a society that constantly tells you that you don’t, to me, is the most formidable and powerful weapon a person can have. I read a quote a few months ago that forever changed the way I thought from a woman named Audre Lorde, it said “Caring for myself is not an act of self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
Isn’t that revolutionary and yet, somehow so obviously true? And to bring it back to this post, even things like fashion and beauty that are written off as silly “self-indulgences” are actually some of the greatest “self-preservers” that exist to make you find joy, feel good and feel more capable of handling the outside world. There’s nothing more powerful than someone taking their happiness into their own hands and demanding, through the smallest things like looking at outfit inspo’s on Instagram, doing your skincare routine and trying that new makeup trick you saw on Youtube, that today, you’re going to be your own champion and create your own happiness in this life, even if only for five minutes.
Vanity is often first thing to go when someone is going through a hard time financially, emotionally, physically, and I can totally understand why. But what I can tell you from experience is it’s an act of defiance to stay connected to yourself, your pleasures and your joys when you have every reason not to. I’m a firm believer in the airplane rule of putting your own oxygen mask on before helping others. We’re so used to putting anyone and anything before our own wants and needs and never paying attention to ourselves. We somehow expect to be everything to everyone without ever being recharged or cared for.
Taking five-ten minutes out of your day to do a skincare routine of any kind, or buying yourself a new pair of leggings, just to have something to get excited about, are examples of quiet acts that, in reality, scream ‘I matter, I am worthy of care’. Those small acts eventually add up and have far bigger psychological benefits than we give them credit for. Putting on makeup, curling your hair, wearing your favorite shirt are often the only part of the day when we’re actually kind to ourselves, when we take a break from letting our brain come up with the thousands of reasons why we’re failing in life and decide that despite all that, we deserve real, quality attention.
There’s hope in skincare, fashion and makeup, there just is, and I don’t care what anyone says! When you buy a new lipstick there’s a piece of you that’s saying “tomorrow could be better”, it’s a physical representation that everything is going to be ok and a reminder that we’re worthy of this little luxury, which you just can’t get as easily anywhere else.
Recently I’ve seen, as I’m sure you have the new trend of “self-care” on Instagram, there are communities dedicated to skincare, fashion bloggers are everywhere, endless videos of makeup tutorials and that, to me is the best part of this whole revolution, the fact that we’re taking our best self-care practices and then going out and sharing them in hopes to make someone else feel as good when they try it. I love this emergence of people banding together and sharing secrets, tips, and tricks to help others care for themselves, it’s beautiful, really not to sound like a total geek.
I’ve created the Highest to be the world I always needed when I felt disconnected from myself and paralyzed by the fear of the world around me. A place where you can find inspiration and ways to unapologetically practice whatever version of self-care your soul needs that day. You come first when you come to this site–because that’s just about all I have control over–but, even if it’s not true anywhere else in your life, what you want, how you feel, and what you think are first priority on this blog and always will be. Through skin, fashion and wellness I want to help all of us become better at indulging and preserving ourselves and feel proud about doing so.