IT'S NOT REAL.
As I flicked through instagram this morning I received an unwelcome reminder that, almost a year ago, I'd made a commitment - an all-in 'I'm going to blog every week' kind of commitment to putting myself (& my thoughts) out there more.
Not only that, but I was reminded how, as with most other commitments I'd made in a flurry of 'I'm so motivated right now', I'd bailed.
You see, this 'putting yourself out there' thing - it's super uncomfortable & all kinds of vulnerable. Given enough thought, it's amazing how adept you can be at finding a million and one excuses as to why you have nothing of any value to contribute anyway.
And do you know what? Sometimes you genuinely don't.
✖️ Some days, your life isn't interesting.
✖️ Some weeks, you have NOTHING noteworthy or inspiring to say.
✖️ Some seasons in life are just too emotionally complicated to be summed up in a perfectly curated blog post.
If you were to scroll through my instagram, you’d see a life full of travel, exciting projects - a meticulously curated highlight reel of my favourite work & the most visually pleasing moments of my life. Hell, you’d probably even assume I was happy. Living the dream. Successful. Right?
Want to know a secret?
This year has been really fricking hard.
but… you wouldn’t have known that, would you?
And THAT, ladies & gents, is the reason I’m sat on my sofa writing this blog post.
it’s not real.
What you think you know about those people you follow on instagram is only the tiniest part of the story.
The girl whose glamorous, jet-setter life you measure your own up against has depression.
That model with the perfect body - she photoshops her photos.
The guy who looks like he’s killing it in business is only showing you what he wants you to see.
The current world demands a display of perfection from us. It’s one big, beautiful, visually pleasing lie. And we WANT to believe it.
We want to believe in fairytales, the beautiful, the ‘MORE’ to life. It’s the same reason we all obsessed over those Disney films when we were kids.
So, humour me. I'd like to play a game.
✖️ Hands up if you've ever quit the instagram app feeling a lot worse than when you opened it?
✖️ Hands up if you've ever compared your life to a stranger on the internet.
100% of you.
✖️ Hands up if you've ever felt like you've had to pretend that you're life is more interesting than it is online.
✖️ Hands up if being on instagram has ever made you feel like you will never be pretty enough, never cool enough, never fashionable enough, never earning enough, never achieving enough. Never ENOUGH.
*cue the greatest song of all time :
All joking aside, what if we got really honest with ourselves?
What if that illusive ‘more’ we’re chasing after is actually always going to be made up of 99% normal. Mundane. Washing our clothes and forgetting to take them out of the washing machine. Doing the dishes. Brushing cat fur off our clothes 😩.
There came a day when we had to stop believing in the proverbial Santa, right? In the handsome prince on a white horse waiting to sweep us off our feet. (No, not all of us got to marry an actual prince okay, Meghan?)
If we spent our adult lives clinging onto the dream of marrying into ACTUAL royalty - 99.9% of us would find ourselves sorely disappointed.
And that’s just it. In the same way, there has to come a day when we stop setting ourselves up for disappointment and recognise just how NOT REAL the instagram dream is.
If it costs you your peace - it's too expensive.
Is it REALLY. WORTH. IT ? The answer has got to be a resounding ‘NO!’.
Now do with that as you will…
As for me? I’m putting my big girl pants on and doing what’s best for my mind. Not what is fun, or what is easier. Social media is bad for my mental health, and yours, for that matter.
What does that look like?
Noooo, I’m not throwing my phone into a lake in a fit of rage, and no, I’m not quitting instagram forever.
I’m unfollowing anything that makes me question myself.
I’m limiting my time mindlessly scrolling through meaningless content.
I’m giving myself a break, putting my phone away, and focusing on the here and now.
This weird and wonderful thing called ‘life’ is so much more beautifully complex and worth SO MUCH MORE than a beautiful feed, a gorgeous image, a cute outfit or the number of followers on your instagram.
Whatever it LOOKS like - none of us really know what we're doing, we're all confused about what we want, and we most certainly DO NOT have it all together.
And do you know what? I think there’s actually something pretty beautiful about that. The unfiltered messy; the getting it wrong and picking yourself up again, the emotions inside you that you just can’t figure out, the untidy home, & the nights in with a dinner on your lap watching the U.S. Office for hours, upon hours, upon hours.
It’s beautiful, it’s kinda uninteresting sometimes, but it’s mine.
And I like it.