It’s been a real reflective week for me. One thing I’ve been thinking is I’m really lucky to have been raised in the time and way that I was. A time where, at 10 years old I had my head buried in books instead of in a phone or running after boys. Teenage years where I could make my dumbest mistakes in real life and not digitally where evidence remains forever in the form of regretful Facebook pictures, and no one sent nudes or commented the word “slut” or “ugly” or “haraam” on anyone’s pictures. I’m grateful for my parents not being interested in my school playground squabbles because it forced me to pluck up the courage and tell someone face to face when something was wrong, or right for that matter.
But for the most part I knew when it was reasonable for me to tell someone what was on my mind and when it wasn’t, and when to apply simple manners. I’ve never unapologetically and directly attacked anyone publicly online just because the way they lived wasn’t up to my standard, but to say I’ve never subtweeted and regretted it after would be the biggest lie ever. Nonetheless, being a keyboard ninja doesn’t make you smart, or brave or cool. Quite the opposite really. And this isn’t just a message to everyone else out there from my high horse, but a reflective message to myself too.
I’m by no means a bastion of integrity, but if you want to talk about #lifegoals, integrity is one of my greatest aims, because as cheesy as this sounds, in the long run love will always win. Love and kindness won’t cost you a thing and you know what? When you consciously acknowledge your bad traits, then stop yourself from spreading negativity when you’re tempted and replace it with love instead, you will feel SO good. Because when we choose to be the better person eventually, however flawed or late, is always smart, and brave and super cool.
Ray-Bans from Sunglass Hut, bandana bought in a New York souvenir store, overalls from Cotton On, cardigan and heels from Zara, satchel sling bag from YOURS.
Photographs by Lisa Gabriel