On Comparing Myself to Others, Blogging, Toxic Masculinity, and Current Favourites

I think that most of you know it, but I’m a full-time grad student, and blogging is just my hobby. Every so often, I get stuck – in blogging, in life – and for the past two months, the exact nature of the “stuck” is comparing myself to other people. As a result, I haven’t felt like blogging. So I thought I’d blog about it. (You can also skip to the faves if you’re just here for that.)

I thought that the second year of a PhD would be easier than the first, but as it turns out, it works the opposite way, and second year is actually two thousand times more difficult than first. I’m so over classes, largely because academia is such a male-dominated space and there is some serious toxic masculinity afoot in some of my classes. Like, literally-leaves-my-mouth-hanging-open-in-disbelief kind of afoot. I could write an entire post about it (should I u guys? Should I?), but for now, my point in bringing it up is to say that I feel excluded from academia, despite the fact that I’m certain that the work itself – teaching and researching – is exactly what I want to do.

I also find myself thinking that my research project isn’t as good – as developed, as relevant, as interesting – as other peoples’. In a world where we’re all competing for the same pool of funding, this is incredibly disheartening. This produces some serious writers’ block whenever I sit down to work on my proposal or on funding applications.

It extends to blogging, too. In the past year or so, I’ve been more involved in the (Canadian) blogging community, and although this has opened many doors to me, I’m also feeling pressure to generate content in a way that I never did before. Like academia, blogging is competitive – we’re competing for the same PR samples, sponsorships, readers – and again, comparing myself to other people produces a creative block.

I don’t like competition. I want us all to win, but that’s not always possible.  

The solution is to remember (or to convince myself, if I never believed it) that I have something valuable to add to the conversation. In beauty, in academia. Even when people talk over me, down to me, or interrupt me. Even when people blog more frequently, more consistently, more beautifully.

In that same spirit, here are a few things I’ve been loving this fall.

Fenty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 420 // I can’t say enough good things about this foundation, so I’ll just point you to my full review. It’s got good coverage, it stays matte longer than other foundations I’ve tried, and the shade range is killer. Rihanna can take all my money, you guys.

MAC Powder Blush in Sweet As Cocoa // This blush is my fave for everyday right now. It’s such a pretty rosy brown on dark skin, and I find the slight shimmer to it gives a luminous glow. Sometimes I even skip the highlighter!

Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin and Nails Gummies // I started taking these shortly after my last haircut, last December because I’ve decided I want inconveniently long curls. It’s getting there. A happy side-effect? My nails are stronger (despite the Shellac abuse I’ve been putting them through), my brows grow back in faster and thicker, and my lashes are longer. A less happy side effect? I find myself to shaving, plucking, and epilating unwanted hair more frequently. Eh – good and bad, right?

Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara // I’ve been enjoying the longer lashes the gummies have been giving me, and this mascara has been helping me maximize it. I still like the L’Oreal Lash Paradise, but this Essence one gives some serious length and volume!

DevaCurl Deep Sea Repair Strengthening Mask // Deep conditioning is a thing I do regularly, but some masks and conditioners are obviously better than others. This one is great because, even if I only leave it in my hair for like 5 minutes in the shower, I can see a difference in my hair. It’s softer, shinier, and clumps better. I’m in desperate need of a trim, so this has been my best friend!

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