Over breakfast with a friend recently, the topic of social media fakeness came up. “Have you heard from so and so?” I asked him, as I splashed more hot sauce on my hash. “Not really, we never hang out anymore,” he answered. “Well I see him posting on IG about his happy life, so he must be doing great,” I replied, and then moved on to my biscuit. A couple days later I learned this friend we were discussing wasn’t doing great, and in fact had been dealing with some serious life shit. But you would never guess that from his posts. And that’s just one person. I see many other people, who constantly complain to me about their significant others, children and friends, posting about how much they love them and are so lucky to have them. Why do we do this to ourselves?
I think it’s the pressure of watching all these other fake people having a wonderful joyous, perfect life, that makes us want to jump in on the action, even when things are less than perfect. And sometimes we want to pretend that things are almost perfect because we get a boost of confidence from seeing all those likes beneath our post. Although in reality many of the people who are posting about their wonderful job, life, baby, are just trying to compensate for what is really bringing them down. And I don’t blame them. Who wouldn’t rather be living a fabulous life instead of a basic AF one?
Look, I do it too. Often I daydream about taking off on first class Emirates to some exotic destination where I can #chill and blog every day. Live off of my residuals from that amazing Netflix series I created, if there is such a thing as residuals from a Netflix series… But that’s what I imagine sometimes when I’m bogged down by yet another problem to solve at work. Work, the 9 – 5 that keeps me brilliantly dressed and fed, and allows our party of three, (dog included), to live in a brilliant downtown loft, in the brilliant city of Columbus, OH. Which I will remind you is the 15th largest city in the U.S.! So, it is kind of a cool spot.
And I’m one of the lucky ones because I have flexibility. I can travel for weeks at a time and often I get to work remotely. Which you would think would be just enough. But it’s not. I seek to fly, constantly, and in every direction possible. Endless options are inspiring and crippling me all at the same time. Because I can’t seem to make up my mind about what I really want to do with my life. I am struggling to find a purpose. And I’m 33 years old. I should know better by now. Especially because everyone on facebook seems to have it figured out.
Ever since D decided to jump for his dreams and leave his safe and comfy career to play professional golf I have taken a back seat, and some people might think, “well isn’t that shitty?” But it’s not! I’m actually relieved that I don’t have to chase any dreams right now, because nobody forced me to accept this deal, in fact I happily encouraged him to do it, and that’s that. I have to be the one with the stable job and income for now. And that actually feels kind of liberating to me, because I don’t have to worry about what I really want to do with my life. Whis is???
I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that sometimes I show up to the office and want to close my door and spend the entire day crying in child’s pose. But my work is meaningful, and my job pays the bills, and we live happily and we carry on. But I still don’t love what I do. So that makes me crazy sometimes, and I think that’s ok. I am learning to embrace the crazy side and the sad and the overwhelming and all of the weird that comes along with being a real person.
Yes, I want to wake up like the champagne diet girl every morning and pinch myself because “this is my life!” But instead I wake up because my alarm goes off and I have to get out of bed to turn it off, since I don’t trust myself to have it next to the bed and puprosely leave my phone on the kitchen counter every night. And then I have to adult, and I don’t jump up and down with excitement or giddyness about it, because there is nothing glamourous about my life, except my closet. Instead I splash my face with cold water so I can actually wake up and do some type of a workout, so I don’t die of heart disease, and so I can continue to indulge in cheetos and still be able to tie my own shoes. And yet, this is my life and I love that I get to live another day. So after I drag myself out of bed, I try to remember that I am blessed to have another opportunity to figure this shit out and to be surrounded by so much love, support and grace. “I try to remind myself”, is the key phrase. But, sadly, I often forget.
So what is there to do?
For me, the challenge is to embrace the real. But also, to be more grateful, and stop taking things for granted. I also really want to feel genuine happiness for people who are out there grinding and doing what they love, chasing their dreams and being authentic. Not judgy or resentful because I thought of the same thing and “I can do it so much better, if only I did it”. Yeah, I am my own choir. That stuff I wrote earlier about action and doing things instead of sitting back and letting ideas and inspiration slip away? I wrote it to myself. And I am still trying to follow my own advice.
But since not everything is about me. I challenge you to embrace your real too. I challenge you to show your flaws and embrace the difficulty of being alive in a time of never-ending comparison. Your life is not my life, therefore we can’t always have the same experiences or awesome #brunch pictures, because we are different people. And we need to remember that. Different people = different experiences, but same photo filters. Which means all of our pictures have the same potential, just like our experiences, to inspire and bring joy to others.