There’s something I want you guys to know. I’m a real person who goes through up and down times. I’m not a robot. And I’m also not good at faking. I don’t know how to not pour out the things I’m sad, emotional, and anxious about when I’m feeling them because I like to connect with the people in my life and let them help me and be there for me. I haven’t always been an open book, and saw facing challenges or hard times as imperfection. It wasn’t until I actually had some that I realized I don’t have to be perfect and I don’t want to be if it means I can’t open up and share who I am and what I’m going through with other people. Life isn’t meant to be lived alone and going through things on your own.
I’m telling you this because blogging and social media in general is a funny thing. People want to portray themselves as upbeat and happy all the time. They want you to feel good when you visit their site or browse their feed. They want to emit this illusion of perfection because their clothes, job, house, marriage, diet (except that rainbow colored box of macaroons – what? it got a lot of likes on insty) are flawless, dammit! They swear! And they are definitely totally happy! ALL. THE. TIME.
The reason I want you to know I have downer moments is because I get a lot of e-mails, comments, and messages that say my life looks amazing, I am SOOOO lucky to do something I love, and they wish could travel more, make meals that look as good, get that bag I just posted, or whatever it is that they suddenly feel inadequate about. We instantly compare our entire lives to a few photos from someone else’s and start adding up our shortcomings (I didn’t drink a cocktail on the beaches of Bora Bora today with my Chanel beach bag and perfectly ombre’d manicure, matte finish of course – FAIL!). There’s no reason that you should look at a great day I or someone else posted their blog and think you are shit and your life is shit and you might as well crawl in a cave and never come out since yours wasn’t that cool. Well guess what? Today was awesome but I didn’t post yesterday when I called my mom while driving with the messy, snot producing type of hysterical crying because I was having a rough day. And I’m not “lucky” to do what I love. I was super depressed doing something I didn’t love and had to make some uncomfortable and difficult decisions to change my circumstances and find what it is that makes me happy. I dropped out of law school and wasted a ton of money in doing so, lied to my parents about it, had no idea what I was doing, broke up with my boyfriend (and business partner) mid-way through, and barely slept for a good 12 months. It wasn’t luck – it was really hard work and it still is. But I didn’t blog any of that. So you assume I don’t have to go through hard times and only have supremely good ones. But I do and you’re not a freak for having struggles because we all have them, even bloggers who seem like they have sunshine coming out their asses 24/7.
So let’s tie this all together with a quote I came across that resonated with me. “Don’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside.” Social media is awesome, but it’s not real life. Embrace where you are right now and don’t apologize for it, beat yourself up about it, and definitely don’t feel “less than” for it. Somewhere along the way, it became not ok for things not to be ok. People don’t Instagram their financial struggles, marital problems, or family sicknesses. It doesn’t mean they don’t have them and it doesn’t mean you should feel bad that you do. Don’t feel the need to be fake about what’s really going on with you and don’t compare yourselves with people you don’t even know. Because that’s just it – you don’t even know.
Thanks for reading and I hope this sticks with a few of you the next time you fall in the dark hole of social media induced comparison.