The Social Media Reflections

As a true millennial, I have adapted to TikTok but still love Instagram with all my heart. Unfortunately, the recent changes on the platform are having me question if we are done with the photo era and left with nothing but short videos.
My name is Lucija, and I love to take a good selfie. Also, a good photo of what I ate that day, my friends together, and places I’ve gone to. Gen Z is not letting us have this moment anymore. Among the Reels becoming a massive push from Instagram, to the point of not seeing what any of my friends actually post, it has become overcrowded with spam accounts. Instagram was working on cleaning up for a while, but it is obvious now that they’ve given up and don’t know how to compete with the TikTok era. Among the random reels and discover accounts and the shopping tab on Instagram (who even uses that?), I am posting photos and videos for myself and only look at Stories of my friends rather than the posts they make. Mainly because they don’t even show up in my feed, but the algorithm is so aggressive that I will witness more ads than the actual content.
TikTok is the king of social media. I heard people still use Snapchat (which we should’ve left in 2016), but TikTok is the social media winner. I will admit that I love making them, watching them, and interacting with them. But it misses the critical element I loved about Instagram or Facebook – more interaction with our friends. It is now more interaction with strangers and famous tiktokers than genuine interactions.
This isn’t the end of the world, but just like we left Facebook to our parents, I don’t want Instagram to die with Millenials. I am still not over MySpace and the simpler days or even Tumblr from when I was in college.
Maybe I am too nostalgic, but it is hard for me to grasp the speed at which everything is changing especially social media.
This post is more like a rant, but I had to get it out of my system. I want to share my life with my close friends and the occasional stranger. I know we all feel similarly about the Instagram changes, but @instagram, can we do something about this?

How “The Summer I Turned Pretty” Turned me 16 again

I wish I was kidding, but I will explain further.


I started watching “The Summer I Turned Pretty” on Amazon Prime a few days ago. A teen drama is something I enjoy, but it does get awkward at times, considering I am a 28-year-old woman.
The reason I even got intrigued was through TikTok. Clearly, I am easily influenced to watch something. Especially if it’s an easy watch.


I don’t want to go too deep into the storyline, but if you ever get in the mood to watch or read, since there is a book based on it, a teen summer love story, be my guest. I was not disappointed. It brought me back into my high school days, feeling myself turn pretty after the awkward puberty shift. Those awkward middle school years, when you slowly start turning into a man or a woman, only the gross and weird things about you begin changing. Pimples, hair, etc.


Not saying pimples are gross, I still get them (same with hair, obviously), but it is awkward when you are faced with these things for the first time and have to talk with your parents and try and figure out what to do next. Shaving your armpits? Discovering a mini skincare routine? Talking about sex??


Not the best topics, but the beautiful part is once you bloom past that. And we all do; for the most part, someone’s personality is different. We are speaking purely physically. And you start discovering a genuine attraction to those around you. That boy you have known for years? He is looking at you differently now. You are slowly turning into a woman. That girl that has been hanging around you and the boys? Wow, she changed. No more braces. The hair looks shiny. Again, this can go any way – a boy sees a boy, a girl sees a girl, and so on. But, there is attraction. There are butterflies. We have now entered a zone beyond friendship.


So, I am watching this show and thinking of my high school days too. Especially the summers. I am grateful for those experiences, but I can feel what a challenging time that was.


In high school, I started wearing concealer and some blush because a boy told me I looked pale like a vampire. Little did he know I was anemic, so technically I did look like a vampire. You tell me this now? I am honored to resemble characters from one of my favorite teen books, Twilight, but it was harder to swallow back then.


Trying to curl my hair, I started discovering Sephora. It was a CULTURAL RESET. Completely. Finding love just by making contact with someone, literally thirsting over a senior that graduated from my high school even before I started it. All of these things were a beautiful part of the experience. It’s much softer in high school. Or at least it was for me than what Euphoria on HBO shows us. I didn’t know much about drugs, except that they were terrible for us, and we sure did drink, but it felt safer than in American movies.


Keep in mind that I was in Croatia then, so the environment was different and much healthier than in the US. Especially for a high school kid.


I just wanted to write this to reflect on a few fundamental changes from my summer when I turned pretty, and the show has provided me with an accurate memory of the sweet awkwardness and the feeling of my first love.

The Doubts and Sabotage of Our Brain

Yesterday was an exciting day in my life. I made my first big girl purchase. Big adult girl purchase. Can you guess what it is?


A car! In this economy??? I had no choice BUT I have been preparing for this moment.
This beautiful Hyundai Venue SEL 2022 (or, as I like to call it, Vecna) will be in my arms at the end of August. I don’t want to go too much into the process, but used cars are more expensive than new cars, and new vehicles are not in inventory right now. They are somewhere in the middle of the ocean.


This fact is acceptable to me, and I also had no choice.


But, that is not the topic I wanted to write about today. I don’t want to brag; I just wanted to preface my feelings as last night crept in.


I am lying in bed, about to fall asleep, and my brain starts running, and no, not running, SPRINTING. Jumping from one point to another, about nothing really, just pure sabotage. This is kind of what it sounded like:


So, I bought a car. I can afford it. Amazing. I am so glad. I have a significant savings plan to enjoy myself while still saving money. I will visit my sister in this car and my boyfriend. Wow, I am just doing this now at the age of 28. It took me so long. Wonder when I will move out and own my very own place. My boyfriend was cold today. Maybe he doesn’t love me anymore. Perhaps he is with me because it’s convenient. Wow, how old will I be when I own a home and succeed in work, start making enough money, get married, have kids, and…


WOW. STOP. BREATHE. CHILL.


What was that?


I know you, the reader, must’ve felt some variation of this at some point in your life. I haven’t experienced it in a while, and it is a moment when the brain cannot accept good things but needs to find everything wrong in every moment in your life, which is not the truth. At least not for me.
I wouldn’t know the medical term for this or genuinely understand how it works, but you feel hungover when you wake up after it. Drained. I immediately had to text my boyfriend to get it out of my system. That alone made me feel better.


Do you know what he told me?


“Being with you out of convenience? There is nothing convenient about having a girlfriend.”
He is not wrong. Especially me. I’m very needy but nice. 🙂


So, long story short, doing a few breathing exercises, turning to the other side, understanding I just made a big step: all of this helped me fall asleep. And today, I felt much better. More put together. The start of a new week always feels good and fresh.


The lesson from this is: It is normal for our brains to get into a moment and try to sabotage us. It is about getting past that and understanding you are not behind in life! Everyone is moving at their speed, making their process, all at a different time and pace.


And me? I am looking forward to riding my Vecna around beautiful Miami sometime soon.

The Writing of Me

For years I have been committing and stopping myself from writing on a blog. From fears of failing to not being sure of the topics, there have even been doubts from those closest to me. This time, I am writing only for myself, for the joy of the written word, reviewing whatever I care about, and just going on about specific topics.

I consider my general theme to be “lifestyle,” which is not very niche, yet it provides me with space to do whatever I want. Maybe one day, I want to talk about a fashion show and then rant about the overcrowding in Miami. Perhaps I want to share a great restaurant or interview someone I know and share them with you.

You.

Whoever you might be. I am happy to have you here, reading my words. They might not be much and silly at times, but I enjoy this art form more than most others and appreciate you taking the time to read them.

Let’s start simple: I will write once a week and possibly more often if the inspiration strikes. That way, I am not pressuring myself or those who want to read to have an excessive amount of material. Please do not hesitate to contact me; I am happy to connect with anyone willing to read my words. At this point, I won’t be sharing much about this blog on social media but will write to write.

To clarify my re-commitment to writing: In the past 12 years, I have enjoyed journalism, art & design forms. These have been my guiding ideals. Although at this point in my life, at 28 years old, I cannot pursue writing entirely, I can still appreciate all of these art forms and find a way to show how much I care about them: a blog. I have tried writing a blog repeatedly, and one lousy comment or lack of inspiration stopped me from simply writing. But here I am, 12 years later, still trying. 

Hope to see you around soon, reader; until then, stay safe in this summer heat.

The Freshest Nails of Summer 2022, or Not?

There aren’t many articles that will excite me but bring some fashion and beauty, and I am ready to go!

Today’s topic is thanks to a post on Allure regarding nail trends, and I want to start by saying that this will be very opinionated and highly subjective. But, also kind of fun. Why? I bite my nails, so I wish my nails looked anything like these, yet I still have thoughts about how they should appear. Please take no offense while I have some fun. Cheers!

Exhibit 1. Quintessential Hourglass Manicure or the Wiggly Long Legs. Yes, I am childish.

I can’t tell if the length of the nail here is making me feel confused, but the hourglass shape in contrasting colors on a long rectangular nail is a bit distracting. So much so to the point of not even noticing this person wearing rings and some decorative flowers on the sleeve (is this prom night? It might be). There might be more appreciation from my end if the nails were shorter, but honestly, I love long nails as well (only fake ones for me, though, thank you, my anxiety could never let me grow them out myself), but my eyes here only see an optical illusion. Next!

Exhibit 2. Hourglass Wave Manicure or The Wiggly Long Legs 2.0?

As a professional fake nail user, excuse me, connoisseur, these are press-on nails, or I need my vision checked. There is nothing wrong with that, except they look three times the size of what this person’s nail bed should be. Besides that minor detail and the length + waves combo, I do not hate this. We are witnessing a stunning blue combination with some sparkly pieces on top. I would cut half the nail for myself, but otherwise, I don’t have much feedback. Please use smaller press-on nails next time. And now, next!

Exhibit 3. Sunset Hourglass Manicure or The Wiggly Long Legs 3.0 (are we done yet?)

At this point, I am immune to the size of the nail for the nail bed, and this hourglass example is probably my favorite. It could also be that we are on the third nail trend of the summer, and it has been the same in different ways. That aside, the sunset blend of colors is beautiful, so I must appreciate the art form. Is it fair for me to even complain about the length of the nail at this point? Not even. If the nail were in half its current form, it would no longer look like a delicious Tequila Sunrise Cocktail, but it might turn into a pink and blue dream. It doesn’t look as bad in my head as I initially thought, but it is nowhere near matching a fruity adult drink.

Exhibit 4. A Simple yet Shiny French Tip, or The French Done Right

I adore this functional yet feminine nail shape and am obsessed with the french manicure in color! It has been a trend for some time now and showing no signs of stopping. The little bedazzled pieces are a gentle touch while not being big enough to get stuck on shirts or your hair. Also, this baby blue/purple/gray shade is a genuinely sexy but innocent color. As I look at this image, I can’t help but wonder how long it would take me to grow my nails like this so that we might see some change on my nails soon!

Exhibit 5. Kitchen Sink French Manicure or Nail Maximalism

Would I get stuck to everything in my way, potentially cut someone by accident, and lose all the nail details? Absolutely. But am I intrigued by this wild, almost gooey-looking design? It almost feels like each nail is carrying its jewelry, so I wonder if, with these nails, there is any need for other details? I can see this ending well with the simplest outfit, which ensures the nails are the centerpiece. I see this has become an essential part of celebrities’ “outfits” as well, so we might be going in that direction even more than before.

Exhibit 6. Garden Party French Manicure or The Barbie Catalyst

Thinking back, we all might’ve had a stage where we hated pink. Don’t lie! But now? Oh boy, my eyes beg for bright pastels at any corner. These nails almost look like they smell like a Barbie doll. Somewhere between plastic and rubber and whatever other materials they were created with (or used to be made of, times are-a-changing). I wouldn’t dare wear these because they do not match my personality or energy well, but I would appreciate it if I saw them on anyone.

Exhibit 7. Circular Aura Nails or I am Now Confused Nails

Besides this shot, which looks like it has gone through layers of Photoshop, I am left almost speechless by this odd design. I can’t tell if the matte nude nail or weird “aura” circles freak me out more. So let’s leave this at I don’t like it. Next!

Exhibit 8. Aibrush Aura Nails or Not as Confusing but Weird Nails 2.0

This photo and the nails almost feel like what aliens would put on their nails if they arrived on Earth or if AI decided on the nail polish application process.

Exhibit 9. Mood Ring Manicure or A Sad Way to End This Nail Saga

This is a nail shape that has always terrified me. I am imagining trying to pull out a tampon with these Edward Scissorhands. Good luck! Mood rings are cute, or we’re BACK IN THE DAY, but not on a nail. And not with this aggressively sharp nail length. And I will stand by that.

So what now? From my end, I will work on trying to grow my nails out, so I can enjoy a french manicure and have some fun with my nails. The verdict of these trends, though, is that trends die so fast. By the time you blink, mood rings will be out of the picture again, and they might try coming back in two years since the length of trends nowadays is about 3 seconds. In the meantime, do whatever you want with your nails, find a nail tech that makes you feel like a badass, and don’t give a shit about trends! I will now leave you with an incredible song to match the energy of this post.