I walked in the back door, turned the corner and caught a glimpse of my real life and let me tell you it’s not ‘post’ worthy. Mail on the counter, a few dishes in the sink, a pan on the stove. I walked a little further and saw a ball in the yard, a few weeds on the patio, some towels on the stairs, and dog-face imprints on the windows. My kids rooms, depending on the day, look like college dorm rooms and I’ll tell you a big secret but shhhhh don’t tell the big guy: my bed doesn’t get made regularly (nor do showers occur) until I know that he’s coming home at night. (I can accomplish a lot in 45 min.) My life looks more like Christmas Vacation than like Pleasantville.
As I sit here writing I see a dust bunny on the floor, a tilted picture on the wall, and some scratches that need fixing. All of these flaws are part of our/my external existence. They don’t even account for everything that is ‘wrong’ with ME both physically and internally as I compare to so many others I ‘see.’ (Like the fact that I'm wearing mismatched socks with Birkenstocks... you can't make this %&it up!)
The standards that we have placed on ourselves from a societal/social media perspective encourages us to paint a picture of each of our lives that looks rather flawless. It shows perfectly cropped, expertly highlighted, and beautifully lit snapshots of our seemingly perfect lives. Posing is a real thing people- but i have no idea how to do it! Our photographs have coordinated outfits, with flowing locks lightly blowing in the wind, and perfect smiles on EVERYONE’S face. Oops.... we didn’t post the one where the two boys almost drew blood over God knows what 2 seconds before. Or the time I was on the verge of tears… “Can this family take one picture where everyone smiles, please!” That was last week! Let’s not mention the fact that I think that I may be the only person on the planet with wrinkles and rolls! We are giving the rest of the ‘world’ glimpses into our lives that actually look less like reality and more like someone else’s fantasy. A Facebook Fairytale, if you will. Are we communicating the right story? Or is inauthenticity the norm?
I worry about our motives. Why do we do this? Who are we doing it for? Don’t we preach that the people who truly love you will love you for exactly who you are? Is that a lie? Are we putting ourselves out there in a filtered light for them…or for someone else to see? There are so many ways to tell our story or to be ourselves but if it’s not an authentic version then…what? Is it competition? Attention? Worse yet, envy or pride? What are we missing from real life that we need to be relatable or recognized by others by not presenting our real selves? You know, the parts that are flawed and raw. The parts that actually exist.
On any given day I may have clothes on my laundry room counter waiting for the fairy to fold, food in the fridge that probably needs to be thrown out, and floors that need to be washed- right after they just were. My kids fight with me and amongst themselves. I fail more than I succeed. My Christmas lights may come down in February (if it’s a good year), and we run out of toilet paper ALL THE TIME- and that’s kind of my job!
In our pursuit of presenting perfection I believe we make ourselves unapproachable for no reason, crazy because it’s impossible, or you’re a superhuman and I wish I had your powers. I can’t even pretend to be Pinterest Perfect. They don’t make a cape big enough- I lost size 4 years ago-for real though. Typical days are all about managing chaos over and over and over again. I keep looking at life and realize that although I love simplicity, life is complicated and messy. I’m complicated and messy- and so are the humans I happen to live with. Maybe it’s just us? I'm not sure. What I do know is that ours certainly does not look like a flawless post. These imperfections however make our story and I'd venture to say yours: a completely perfect, absolutely imperfect, REAL LIFE!