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annie in bloom--is that supposed to mean something?

"Your life is like a movie, I love it."

The text message that started it all. My friend Malia sent it on the bus ride to our senior sluff activity. I was singing Taylor Swift in the back of the bus, while everyone had their phone flashlights on like it was a concert.

It really did feel like a movie. It was mostly a joke but genuinely one of my core memories of senior year. At that moment I realized that moments in our life are just like the ones in the movies or in the songs. Like when a boy showed up to my apartment in the pouring rain with flowers for my roommate (How You Get The Girl - Taylor Swift), isn't that so cute?

The more and more experiences I had--or I observed--that were "just like a song," and how interesting my life was to other people, the more I realized I could make this something real. Like a blog.

This blog is supposed to be about my life, as told by songs. This post's "song" is In Bloom by Neck Deep, hence the name Annie In Bloom. Music can tell really compelling stories and lessons, that's why people love it so much. We love anything we can relate to or learn from. For me, a few of my defining personality traits are my style, traveling, mental health, college, and of course music. My world basically revolves around them.

I like to think my life is pretty interesting

and that people actually care what I have to say. The truth is, my life isn't very different from anyone else's and nobody really notices me. I'm not a teenage superstar like Charli D'Amelio and I'm not the child of a super well known celebrity. I'm very normal. More and more often we see influencers like Kirsten and Erica Titus be thrown into the spotlight. They're normal. The reason they become so influential and popular is because they're so real and transparent with their audience.

Being real, giving real advice, showing what a real person's life is like, that's what this is about for me. Showing what "real" is. Girls grow up with supermodels all over Instagram and constantly seeing the highlights of people's lives. This is not my highlight reel.

Of course I want to share the exciting things I do, but my life definitely isn't all sunshine and rainbows. I'm going to show the gut-wrenching stories of losing the people closest to me, the reasons I hate meeting new people, and why I can't get out of bed some days. People need to see real.

My name is Annie McNeill. I grew up in a small town in Southern Utah. My graduating class had less than 70 students. There was every small town stereotype you could think of. I loved it though. The hardest thing was the drama. No matter what happened, the entire town was involved. The root cause of this was how fake a lot of people were. Experiencing that, I realized I never wanted to be like them. Most people secretly hated each other, and everyone knew except them. It was terrible. Now I heavily value transparency and honesty.

One time I fell on a surfing simulator and gave myself a black eye. That's real. I sleep with socks on and I like it. Also real. One time I ate a dog treat because I thought it was normal jerky. It was not. I've made mistakes, some very embarrassing mistakes. Some way worse than the ones I just confessed. I'm not going to pretend to be perfect like every other content creator. People like the fake because they wish it could be them. People like the real because it is them.

My life might be a little more exciting than the average teenager, but I'm no Hannah Montana. The most I can do is exhibit what it's really like to grow up as a fairly average teenage girl with slightly above average experiences--show what it's like to progress, mature, what it's like to be 'In Bloom.'

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