#10encouragingdaysproject // on stopping the glorification of negativity.

about two months ago (also known as: this post is long overdue), i created a project i decided to call the "ten encouraging days project". each day, for ten days, i posted an encouraging note on social media (instagram: @cate.marg) that was on my heart that day. i tried to also make them somewhat creative and not written just on normal mediums, making it fun to experiment with type on something other than a white sheet of paper. i used the hashtag #10ENCOURAGINGDAYSPROJECT on each post along with a short caption sharing a little more behind the few word phrase. 

i created this project because i have realized in the past year or so that we as a society glorify negativity. we complain just to fill silence and always find a way to pick one dislike out of a situation. "i can't even" and "literally cannot deal right now" surface a majority of the conversations i hear at school, as girls dwell on the one unfortunate aspect of a circumstance at hand. i think that people (myself included) complain for one of two reasons, one) just to hear yourself speak or two) to find a way to relate to those around you. if you find yourself under the first reason, then i'm sorry i cannot help you. learn to be at peace with silence every once in a while, sista friends. but, the latter is more common in our lives, i think. i find myself at times desiring to keep a conversation flowing by giving in to the temptation to talk about a common negative thing both me and my company are undergoing. "can you believe that mrs. so in so assigned us that paper and expects us to get it done by tuesday?! that's ridiculous", "ugh, this weather puts me in the worst mood", or "i wish there was more [fill in the blank] here", the list goes on. these are just a few of the ways i find myself focusing on negativity. yet, let us be brave enough to start a conversation that matters. not that it has to always go into the deep parts of our lives (though there is much beauty in those moments), but that it goes beyond the weather, beyond the gossip, and beyond the present complaints. because, let's be honest with ourselves: it is easy to gossip, complain, or talk about nothing (except for us introverts; small talk is pure pain). yet, what good are we doing (for ourselves, for others) if our words are only devaluing people? it makes our words cheap and undependable. let's challenge ourselves to take genuine interest in others and not default to what is easy to talk about, when we can instead relate to others in love and light and truth.

likewise, i simply wanted to use a platform as self-focused as instagram for something other than glorifying myself and my life. at times, i can get caught up in what my life appears like via the internet (which is so, so silly-- but maybe some of you can relate) instead of what really matters. so, i took an active step to not focus on myself, but others.

i will try to stop rambling here, and let my photos speak for themselves. below each is the instagram caption i added to the photographs when i posted. 

day 1 / September 22:
"often times, it is so easy for us to get bogged down in our inadequacy, failures,  even our mundane routines that we forget how amazing it is to just be alive. so, for the next ten days, i will be sharing a daily note-to-self (equally for you as it is for me) that hopefully renews our lives for life & others & ourselves. i will try to be more meaningful than "you go girl", but no promises. here's to what I'm going to call the #10ENCOURAGINGDAYSPROJECT !! (so, if you hate excessive encouragement, plz unfollow)"

day 2 / September 23 / first day of autumn:
"don't underestimate the beauty of new seasons & changes in life. (and, the literal changing of season-- aka happy FALL, you guys!)"

day 3 / September 24:
"it's true. You really are. (i on the other day, am capable of devouring 3+ cookies in 0.0983 seconds)"

day 4 / September 26 / after i took a day break:
"in the spirit of forgetting to post yesterday...: perfection only steals joy, beauty & creativity. (plus, being perf is SO last year anyways)"

^^ my second favorite of the ten ^^

day 5 / September 27:
"repeat this to yourself daily. (especially when doing statistics homework.)"

^^ my third favorite ^^

day 6 / September 28:
"a lyric from Sara Bareilles' new song, "She Used to Be Mine": "she is messy, but she's kind". thankful for friends to share the messy & authentic stuff with. because, in our flaws we are loved & cared about, and THAT is the most beautiful thing."

day 7 / September 29:
"the three magic words-- treat. yo. self. (you deserve it.)"

day 8 / September 30 / also, the day i got new shoes:
"mid week pick-me-up. (also, pun was definitely fully intended.)"

day 9 / October 1:
"late night encouragement/inspiration from my mag of choice-- Darling. because, while I'm a big advocate for expression through style, we are more than what we clothe ourselves with & overall more than what our "outward-self" deems us to be. and, to me, there's a lot of power in that."

day 10 / October 2 / also, my birthday:
"and to conclude, 10/10: CELEBRATE! celebrate the little victories, big accomplishments, the good days, the bad days, & everything in between. it makes life a lot more fun."

^^ this was my very favorite^^


i know most friends have already seen these photographs and read these captions due to their existence on instagram, but i decided i wanted to share it with more of the world. and honestly, i am quite proud of this project. i have always been impressed with those who can follow through with day-to-day projects, and though 10 days does not even compare to a full year project, got to start somewhere, right? anyways, this project was not only fun for my creative-self, but good for the soul. sometimes it is crucial to refocus our mind on the positive things, even amidst negative circumstances.

so, how have you been encouraged recently? and, who in your life needs encouragement in this season? let's overflow with optimism, friends.

yours truly,

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, I love this project so much! I may have to borrow your idea;) Your first paragraph is so true. I complain all the time, and often it really is just to keep the conversation going. Definitely something to work on!


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