Last night I was going through my posts on Instagram throughout the years. I looked through a feed filled with happiness and awesome experiences and I thought about the certain times of my life where I didn’t feel good about myself or I was struggling. I really was my own biggest critic. I thought to myself wow I really looked great, why did I feel so insecure about myself at the time? I went through so many photos of my memories and experiences over the last few years and I was amazed. I didn’t look back and think about the hardships, I looked back and saw all the incredible times in between and how much I’d experienced and learnt about myself.

I was flabbergasted going through old photos at times where I knew how self-conscious I felt, and I just thought to myself “If this wasn’t me I would love the way that she looked”. Why are we always so quick to judge ourselves? No I’m not trying to make this about outward appearances. I just found it crazy reminiscing through the years of memories that I know I didn’t necessarily feel good about myself, know what I was doing with my life, or always felt like I needed to improve and better myself.

Make the most of the little things because overall life really is about the journey, and you only realize the extent of truth in that quote when you take a step back from your daily life and learn to appreciate everything you have and everything you’ve accomplished.

When I looked back I thought about all the memories I hadn’t thought about in months or years and how I felt at certain points of my life. Reflecting on the last few years I thought about all the incredible times I’ve had, the amazing people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen. Yes there have been struggles, but when you look back your journey it should be something you can be proud of. Something that you achieved throughout the years when it wasn’t always easy, but you overcame it with a smile.

I loved looking back, feeling proud and amazed of myself and the sum of unbelievable but also difficult experiences that have made up my life so far. It’s like a photo journal and I get to see how I was feeling by how I captured and captioned my life at the time. Life seems overwhelming at times, but scrolling through your Instagram pics almost forces you to see the good in your life. Yes, it is a filtered version of our lives. But by focusing on the positives and knowing how far you’ve come is way more important than dwelling on the hardships you decided to not highlight in your life.

Appreciate life. Appreciate the little moments that become days, that become weeks, that become months, that become years. Because ultimately: it’s your life and you want to be able to look back, remember the good times and think ‘I really did live life to the fullest’. No matter where you are in life, no matter how tough it seems to be, you will overcome it. I’m not saying life is always rainbows and butterflies, but everything is a lesson even if you don’t know it yet.

It can’t always be great or else we wouldn’t truly value the great times. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Work hard, stay focused, be healthy, keep reaching for your goals, and make time for yourself. The lows make you appreciate the highs and when you look back throughout the years even though it might have seemed really rough at times, you just have to be grateful to be alive and healthy, for your family and friends, for the experiences.

Travel. Meet people and actually talk to them. Learn from people older than you. Learn from people younger than you. Learn from people different to you. We all get wrapped up in living our own lives and finding something better, that sometimes all it takes is a scroll through your Instagram photos to make you feel incredibly grateful and lucky to have the life you have. It made me realize that I’m my own biggest critic and even though Instragram only highlights a tiny portion of (some of) our lives, it’s important to reflect on those little memories that made us happy at the time.

Feeling Insta-grateful ❤