So here’s the thing, we don’t live in a perfect world. We know that we, as humans, as individuals, are not perfect. Whoever we are, wherever we’re from, whatever our role, our title, our job, our passions, our downfalls- we are flawed. Unmistakably, intrinsically flawed.
We all know it, if we are questioned we admit it and yet many of us come to Facebook, Instagram and all the other conversation killers and portray that everything is rosy. We have it all in hand. The house is clean, the dinner is presented to restaurant standard, the kids are spotless and in their room reading or writing their own book. We haven’t a care, a problem or an insecurity in the world.
Therein lies the biggest problem. The fake-ery! Since when did these social media platforms require the portrayal of sheer perfection? A place of ‘Martha Stewart’, ‘Brie Van De Kamp’ and ‘Stepford Wives’ bliss, where there is never a speck of dust, a cross word, a questionable clothes stain or a soggy bottom (baking related, of course). Since when did it become less of a “If only, but no chance!” sentiment and more of a “Clearly I’m not good enough so I’ll devote my online life to the pursual of all things unrealistic.”
That’s the key word here… UNREALISTIC! I mean, I credit myself with being a fairly decent cook, I can bake, get creative, paint a room, heck I can even build a mean flat pack, but some recipes/Julie experiments don’t work out. Some of my baked goods have had the arse burnt out of them, paintings or craft projects have ended up in the bin, some of the wall paint has ended up on the crisp white ceiling and various flat packs have required male back up.
I would love to be perfect, and it frustrates me when things go wrong, but for crying out loud, by a law of averages, by sod’s law (whoever he is) and by the nature of my own clumsiness, some things I turn my hand to will go *its up! (I could never say that word, let alone type it!)
Even the days that feel perfect, aren’t. They’ve just been better than most. Those are the days we will hear about, see pictures of and immortalise in the gallery of ‘The Gram’.
But then there are the days we don’t see. The days where it’s just one arse up after another.
Take today for example. I woke up and proceeded to write a strongly worded email to Debenhams, to complain about the nature of the service I received at their Urban Decay counter when I tried to return a pre-used, damaged Naked Heat palette. It was succinct, carefully worded, firm but not accusatory. Just honest. Then I realised, I have never owned the Naked Heat palette, I haven’t been to the Urban Decay counter in months and I have never needed to return a single thing. I had dreamt the entire episode! That started the day well- the realisation that my brain is about to succumb to the mush of being 30. That’s what my father tells me anyway.
It didn’t end there though. I then decided to check some flight details for an upcoming trip, only to discover the hotel and car hire dates didn’t match the flight dates. Panic ensued, and I spent most of my morning trying to sort it out. Then I had work to do, dinner to make and now, as I sit here typing, I’m plagued with the puppy Momma guilt of sad eyes, that haven’t been taken for a walk today. My hair is a frizzy mess, my skin is oily, I have a beast of a spot festering on the great nose divide and I’m in my pyjamas. Dinner was thrown together, I’ve hardly seen my husband and I can’t even blame it on running around after children! My day was much, much less than perfect. So where are the photos?? Needless to say…
Of course I don’t want a picture of myself looking a mess, my house in ruins or a butchered bake on my social media.
Those things don’t look pretty or make for a ‘good looking’ gallery. I’m not saying that you, or anyone else for that matter should post those snaps either (unless that’s what you’re feeling, of course). I am saying that if the photos, the comments and surrounding chit chat are nothing but unicorns and rainbows, or if every post is set up, posed and staged with never a resemblance to “normal”, every day life, it’s a problem.
It becomes an even bigger issue when that one fake portrayal of life influences another, and the domino effect begins. Not only does “life” become inauthentic, but, among the influenced, it promotes self deprivation, a sense of inadequacy and the tendency to feel that nothing they ever say, do or wear is good enough, because it’s not as good as So and So’s.
How many times in a day do we look at someone’s blog, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and wish we were more like them? In appearance, style and outlook? For our home to appear as bright, as tidy and as well finished as theirs? For our bank balance to reflect the £££ they seem to portray they have with their clothes, their jewellery and their experience days out?
Literally, just seconds ago, when I took a pause to decide where I wanted this blog post to go, I saw this on a friend’s Instagram…
Wouldn’t that be a glorious goal for us all? To be happy with who we are, where we’re at and what we’ve got right now? Then take time to see where our own path takes us? Our own path. Not so and so’s or such and such’s because their life seems to be blossoming while yours rots by comparison.
That’s just the point…it seems to be. The internet is a dangerous place. No more so than today. We are at risk of making ourselves and others feel so hopelessly incompetent that we will never give ourselves credit for the little triumphs that a day can bring…
If you have been having a lot of challenging days, it’s a triumph when you get through them- still standing tall and feeling tired but, somehow, stronger.
If you’ve got small children and life just seems to run away with you, it’s a triumph when you manage to get everyone up, dressed, fed and out the door before it’s time for bed.
It’s a triumph when you finally conquer that fear that others may find irrational.
It’s a triumph when practice pays off.
It’s a small win when you make it there with time to spare.
You’re winning if you have a roof over your head and people who love you.
Your life is just as good, as precious and as flawed as everyone else’s, and don’t you forget it!
Having this blog as a venting space, a creative outlet and something I can put my own stamp on, means I could come across as whoever I want to be, or whoever I want you to think I am. I could easily bombard you with pictures and words that make you think “She has life altogether.” HA! I so don’t. That’s not real. My life is not like that.
So don’t live your life in comparison to others. Live in reality, your reality, and not in the internet.