Perfect Illusion

I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile the other day and the first thing he said was, “You always look like you’re so happy!”  (He follows my social media)  I smiled but inwardly was thinking I’m glad it looks that way because it doesn’t feel that way.  I looked through my instagram pictures and, I gotta say, that girl definitely looks like she’s got it all figured out.  Well I’m here to assure you that she’s a hot mess, don’t be fooled.

My social media is full of moments that made me smile at one point or another.  Moments that make me laugh.  Moments that bring happiness into my little piece of the world.  I document things I WANT to remember.  What everyone isn’t seeing is what happens in between those moments.  Let me tell you, A LOT goes on and it isn’t all fun and games.  In between those pictures and posts are tears, disappointment, boredom, rejection, failure, depression, jealousy, breakups, mourning and sorrow.  Not to mention my resting bitch face (RBF).

I don’t post pictures of myself when I’m feeling down, unworthy or ugly.  I don’t post pictures post-workout because I’m a sweaty serial killing looking nightmare.  I don’t post pictures of me eating takeout, which I always over order because I like variety, while watching Netflix by myself.  Think Sandra Bullock in Two Weeks Notice.  Bad hair and fat days, which are pulling about 5-7 days a week as of late, definitely don’t make the cut.  In fact, you even attempt to take a photo and I’ll break your device.  I don’t post on the days when the tears keep coming and I feel like a failure and I’ve done it all wrong.  When I see women my age married with kids and homes, I don’t think about snapping a selfie of my perplexed face wondering if that could have been me if I had made different choices.  These have become inspirational quote days (insert sparklers and a handful of confetti).

No one documents the actual birthing process (thank you for that) or talks about what state their nether regions are in.  They post when the baby is all swaddled up and their flushed cheeks have faded.  I get it, it’s your baby, you love them…but how are you REALLY doing?  No magazine features the hundreds of unedited pictures they didn’t choose.  We don’t see the picture where the supermodel was attacked by a wave and is now spitting out mouthfuls of sand.  No couple is taking pictures of themselves in the midst of an argument whether it’s about finances, Donald Trump or how to slice a tomato.  No one posts the empty chair at the dinner table or the empty side of the bed when a person is working late or doesn’t come home or can’t because of their obligation to this country or never will again.  The nitty gritty of life gets lost in this fictitious reality of social media.

If my Instagram was an accurate depiction of my life, there would be a whole lot more photos of me crying and empty pizza boxes.  I’m happy to post a new manicure but definitely didn’t post when I got stir crazy and ripped off all of my gels myself.  There would probably be a lot more posts about my dad but I know it isn’t uplifting and I hate that I’m knowingly projecting something that is going to make people either feel sorry for me or sad.  That’s not the vibe I’m going for but sometimes that’s where I’m at.  THAT is my reality.  We don’t post reality, we post what we want people to see.  This is the keyhole we allow people to peep through in our huge mansion of life.

I refuse to Google this for fact checking but I remember reading somewhere that Kim I-still-don’t-understand-your-fame-or-why-you-married-that-dude-on-television Kardashian-West takes an average of 45 selfies before deciding on the one she posts. FORTY-FIVE!!!!  I didn’t even take 45 pictures of the Grand Canyon when I went.  I want to applaud her efforts and be a true feminist but it’s really hard for me to validate the type of energy exerted for a bunch of likes on social media.  Or maybe I don’t know what it’s like to have millions of followers wildly anticipating my next selfie but, if i did, I hope I would have more to share with them than my face.

I want to be clear- I am not at all ungrateful for the life that I have.  I’m a self-sufficient woman living in LA with a closet and cabinets packed with clothes, a fridge that’s occasionally semi-full of food and a polite amount of booze.  I have a stellar support system and am surrounded by more love than a girl deserves.  I have a family that is 98% awesome 2% unhinged.  I work hard and I play hard.  But on that note, I spend 4 to 5 days a week wearing a bland navy dress with a most peculiar waist line that looks like I just stepped off the Mayflower while serving the Hollywood elite.  All I’m saying is if this were Downton Abbey, I’d for sure belong downstairs.

No one is putting their whole story out there… except for maybe Busy Philipps.  For whatever reason, I clicked on her instastory and she was drunk on a Disney cruise crying about her career and then eventually said goodnight cursing herself for signing up for a 5k the following morning.  I thought to myself omg she’s my people.  It was honest and relatable and mostly she’s hilarious and I want to share bottles of wine with her on the reg.

This isn’t to say we are all a bunch of fakes but to remind everyone that our perspectives of most peoples’ lives are filtered, edited and just a touch skewed.  We have a tendency not to share the dark sides of life but we all have that in common and I think it’s important to know.  Whatever you’re going through, you’re doing just fine and you’re not alone.  Not everything in life is photo worthy nor should it be.  There are good days and bad days, triumphant days and ALL THE WINE days.  Don’t be fooled by the perfect illusion that is a picture.  It may reveal a chapter but it rarely tells the whole story.

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