Friday, September 27, 2013

The Backstory of My Perfect Life

Earlier this week, I blogged about my kitchen. I had pretty pleasant feedback on Facebook, much to my liking. Comments like, "Omg I LOVE LOVE LOVE your kitchen!! I want the same one!!" were meant by me with self-satisfaction.

But tonight, as I was scrubbing that same kitchen, I had to laugh at myself. Of course, in my opinion, it's still a beautiful kitchen tonight, it's just much less... perfect. There are wet pots and pans drying on the counter, a lime sitting on a cutting board, a Keuring waiting patiently to be of service, and bills reminding me they need to be paid. 

It's a much less fanciful picture I now look at as I mop. And even less so is the story behind that kitchen. Behind the whole house, really. Six long months of searching in our ideal zip code, only to end up with a beaten up, weathered down piece of crap with a Texas flagstone on the patio, and a missing toilet in the master bathroom.

The house was so bad we had to gut the entire interior, remodel it all, add on square footage, and redo the air conditioning, electricity, and plumbing. It was a ballsy project for two youngsters to take on in their second year of marriage and we couldn't have done it without our parents. 

Frankly, all of our lives were put on hold for months. I will never forget how we spent my husband's birthday that year- sleeping on the cold concrete floors of our doorless shell of a house- in order to protect our kitchen cabinets that hadn't been installed yet.

When you see a picture like the one below, you don't see any of that there. You just see a pretty kitchen, one you may or may not want yourself. You can only judge it for what you see there, and maybe by the title I might include with it, something like, "My Kitchen Remodeled."

Friends, therein lies the problem with social media. Most everyone can paint a picturesque picture of their lives when they are choosing what to share and what to keep private. There is logic behind this- you do not want to hear me complain, nor do you care about all the mundane tasks in my day- and I don't expect you to. Although some people disclose everything on social media, many take a more private approach.

I would never share with you when I fight with my husband, but I'll gladly post a picture of us smiling together, all hunky dory like. And I'll post when I'm at so and so place with my friend so and so because I'm having a good time, but you won't hear about when I'm scrubbing the floor (except for earlier in this post). 

All Hunky Dory Like

I follow some of my favorite bloggers/Etsy shop owners on Instagram but I should stop, really, because it's messing with my silly head. It's hard not to see keep seeing these artistic pictures of these stylish girls, mostly mothers with perfectly clothed babies, and captions that read like, "Play Date at the Park," and not feel a little tinge of jealousy that they must have it all together better than me.

The pictures are always whimsical, candid-like, and charming. They rack up hundreds of likes on Instagram so as I imagine them shutting down the server. I see exactly what the taker of the picture wants me to see. But what I don't see is the back story on the picture- this same child squirming saying something like, "Mommy, I want to see the duckies!" as she tries yet a different angle, asks the child to take just one more picture, and snaps another one, her fifth outtake of "Play Date at the Park" and then spends ten minutes editing it as her child scrambles off to climb the jungle gym, before posting it for all her Instagram followers, like me, who are mesmerized that her life is so... effortlessly perfect?

I recently read an article that explained how all of this social media filtering is affecting us. It either a). causes us to get a little egotistical (like I momentarily got with my kitchen posting) or b). makes us feel lousy about ourselves compared to others (like I do when I look at my Instagram too long). 

I enjoy social media but I do not enjoy the above two affects it has on me, on most of us. I love that I can share a small portion of my life with others, and they can share a small portion of theirs with me, but when we forget that it's only a small portion of who we are, that's when social media stops connecting us and brings us instead to a place of opposition with one another and ourselves.

If you're anything like me, you don't want to go out that way. Friends, start living and stop dwelling on how awesome everyone looks, or doesn't look, compared to you.

 photo d48c7431-e323-4487-bced-ddef520a8f52_zps6720ebdd.jpg

1 comment:

  1. I've never even heard of Jnco jeans! We could have not worn them together had you stayed on my side of town! But glad you're back ;)