Tag Archives: semi deep thoughts with theodora

The Most Perfect Life, Ever.

Last week, I got an email from a friend.

It was in the context of us emailing back and forth about various insecurities/first world problems. “I totally admire your life,” she said. “…I feel like we all need to see what everyone else sees, because it’s pretty damn cool!”

It was a sweet email, but it also made me cringe a little.

When I first started using social media often a few years ago, I’d often fall into the trap of thinking everyone’s life is The! Best! Ever! My life is not The! Best! Ever! and if I made the mistake of comparing myself and my life to those sunshiney photos of those Perfect Lives, it wouldn’t usually measure up.

As I got older, I learned a few things:

  • My life ain’t bad.
  • A blog is not a full snapshot of anyone’s life, but many people just put their best selves out there.
  • Dude, if you are feeling down on yourself, step away from the Internets for a little while. You will always be able to find someone whose life is seemingly way better than yours.

The day after I got that email, I saw Carla post an article on Facebook about Instagram’s Envy Effect and everyone’s lives looking perfect on social media. I commented on her Facebook, “but, really, who wants to post an ugly Instagram photo?” but I think it applies  generally over social media.

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Just one of those awful Instagram photos

 

I also know that I—and other women—have a tendency to downplay my achievements, especially on my blog. (Well, except for running. Dude, if I get an amazing PR, no, I will not be downplaying that.) Who wants to be seen as bragging?

This is all a long-winded way of saying: I try to be as real as possible on this corner of the Internet, because painting some perfect picture of my life isn’t doing me—or you—any favors. I celebrate the awesome, but I let you know when I’m frustrated with myself, or when I’ve failed. Obviously I don’t share *all* of my struggles on the Internet, because that is what family, friends and a good therapist are for, but I also hope never to portray some super-awesome-amazing-with-no-problems life. Nobody’s life is perfect.

And: beware the Instagram effect.

 

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On Acceptance

In yoga the other night, the instructor said something to us about just letting go and letting go of our New Yorker tendencies to keep butting our heads against the wall until we can make things the way we want them.

I smiled and nodded my head, and understood what he was saying, but it took a day or two to really process his words and let them set in.

I looked in the mirror this morning and saw the lines on my forehead and under my eyes that I’ve noticed a bit more since hitting the big 3-0 last month. I’ve furrowed my brow at them as I slather on moisturizer, but this morning was different. I saw them and thought, “you know what? I’m not 22. It’s okay.”

As women, we have the tendency to focus on what’s not right in our lives. On what we can fix. We see these tendencies or issues as glaring imperfections in our lives, but often we’re the only ones who do.

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Source: jlrey.tumblr.com via Theodora on Pinterest

And at the ripe old age of 30, I’ve realized that there’s really only a few people whose opinions I really care about, and people actually generally think more highly of you than you’d expect.

I’ve definitely struggled with keeping emotions bottled up and putting on a happy face, but my therapist has helped me realize how this causes things to snowball…and how that ended in panic attacks for me.

So for today, I accept myself for who I am and embrace what I like about myself and move to grow in the other areas.

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