The Summer of Realizing Stuff

Kylie is more intellectual than you think

Kylie Jenner kind of had a point when, in an interview on her YouTube channel, she said that 2016 was a year of “realizing stuff.” Sure, her statement is vague and cryptic, but on a deeper level, the word “realizing” and the word “stuff” encompass a whole host of meanings that, when looked at closely, are not only deep, but also accurate.

For me, summer 2017 was a summer of “realizing stuff.” “Realizing” means not only coming to realizations, but also understanding, unleashing, and remembering. Due to a series of both fortunate and unfortunate events, I began to finally understand people who get irreparably hurt, and who have to pick themselves right up and sail through the shitstorm against all odds. With this understanding came an unleashing of strength, resilience, and an unparalleled will to push forward—people usually don’t know how strong they are until they have to empty their reservoir of strength and soldier on. Summer 2017 was also a summer of reminding myself of why I left certain places and people behind, and why I never want to go back. In her own way, Kylie showed me that it’s important to “realize stuff,” about yourself, your life, and the world around you. Once you do, you gain a little more: more strength, more resilience, more inner power, and most importantly, more clarity.

So what did I learn exactly? A lot of personal babble which I won’t bore you with, but also a lot of things I think many people need to be reminded of on a daily basis, especially as we embark on the new academic year:

1. You cannot please everybody. You will have to say no to people and opportunities, and it will break your heart, but at the end of the day you have to do what is best for you. I learned that those who truly care about you and value you will stand by your side, even if they do not fully understand the decisions you make. And from surviving these experiences comes a growth of respect and trust between you and those who believed in you enough to not turn their backs.
2. It’s okay to be weak. In moments of vulnerability, you show the extent of your strength. Many people I know sometimes forget they are still merely human, and that it’s okay to not be okay.
3. There will be people who want to hurt you, and who, even unbeknownst to them, will find pleasure in your unhappiness. Remember that it’s not always a “you” thing, but oftentimes a “them” thing. If selfish idiots bring you down to make themselves feel better about their own insecurities, pull yourself back up. Once you do, you must prevail and push forward for yourself, and not to prove anything to anyone else.

Cheesy cliches aside, I’ve decided to live my life a little more like Kylie. No, not in the sense that I’ll take endless steamy pictures in sunglasses and lingerie, or get pregnant at 20 with a guy I’ve dated for only a month. Instead, I’ve decided to stick my middle finger up at the world and be who I want to be. People criticize Kylie all the time—she was made fun of for her thin lips, yet judged for getting fillers; she was shunned for dating a man seven years her senior yet was endlessly pestered after she broke up with him; her status as a businesswoman is made fun of all the time, yet people keep asking her for more products. But what does she do under all this very public scrutiny? Shrug, pout, and continue being the person she wants to be.

On a less extreme scale, everyone is criticized for similar things on the daily. You either don’t eat enough, or you eat too much; you’re either too nice, or you’re a raging bitch; you either talk excessively about politics and healthcare, or you’re a vapid airhead who only cares about frivolous things. There is quite literally no in between, and if King Kylie has taught me anything, it’s to brush off the haters like the trash that they are and continue doing you. Because there will be people rooting for your failure, but there will also be the special ones who want nothing for you but success and happiness. It’s these people you must heed and gain strength from. And that is exactly what I did this summer—I learned that it’s okay to ask for help if you need it, and it’s perfectly normal to let yourself be taken care of from time to time. From these moments of weakness I gained a clarity about who and what were really important in my life, and this clarity gave me the strength to stand up, look life in the face, and be fearless once again.  

And so, much like the youngest member of the KarJenner clan, I’ve decided to stop apologizing for not being perfect. I’ve decided to do what I damn well please (within reason, of course) and stop worrying so much about what other people think. Life’s too short to dwell on the haters and the bullshit, and if I cannot change people and their actions, I can change the way they affect me. As long as I see myself and remember to like what I see, then who cares about the rest? I am the King Kylie of my world, and I am going to own it.