Thursday, August 2, 2018

Living My Best Life

I recently started attending a women's therapy group, and last night we discussed how social media affects us.  Seeing people who portray their perfect lives (#livingmybestlife!!! under the photo of a 21-year-old girl with a perfect body in an exotic vacation destination).  I feel like I am pretty good about reminding myself that most people only put their best foot forward on social media, so I don't usually feel envious.  But then it made me think about which foot I put forward on social media. 

If you look at my social media, you'd probably think a few things:  (1) this girl drinks WAY too much; (2) this girl can't possibly work a full-time job with all these adventures; (3) this girl must hang out with her family pretty much every day; (4) this girl does yoga poses everywhere she goes.  And the truth is, I don't.  I may over-post when I'm drinking but I actually recently parted ways with a social meetup group, partially because I was starting to indulge in alcohol way too many nights in a week.  I want to drink twice a month, not five times a week.  I don't have an off button, so once I get started, it's ON.  But if I don't get started, I'm fine too.  I do work a 40-hour-a-week job.  A job I enjoy and think I'm pretty decent at.  I do make my family a priority.  Two of my brothers and their families live about 25 miles from me, and I do make Sunday afternoons my time for family.  I won't even deny number four.  I do like to do yoga poses everywhere I go.  It's fun for me.  And, yoga in general is a priority for me. 

But the bigger theme is, I look like I'm happy all the time.  Summer has been awesome, so I'm spending time at the pool, and I have a decent tan.  I'm hitting up the movies.  I'm hanging out with friends.  I go to nerd conventions and drag shows.  I have been to a couple of concerts.  I go to pole and lyra classes.  I'm doing yoga three to four times a week.  I've made it out of town a couple of times (less than I'd like, but I'm trying to stay on a budget).  I apparently hang out with celebrities.  I started a freakin' brunch club to discuss all the dick pics we get from online dating.  There is always a reason to have a smile on my face. 

In 2012/2013, I was having a really rough time.  I hated my job and commute.  I was unhappy in my relationship.  I had gained a lot of weight and I was uncomfortable.  I was facing foot surgery.  And I unleashed my rage on Facebook.  I ranted probably every day (Facebook memories reminds me often).  I was miserable.  And probably miserable to be around.  In recent years, I've tried to be more positive.  It's not to put out a fake social media front.  I just think people don't want to hear you complain constantly.  At some point, if you're complaining non-stop, you have to take responsibility for your life and make some changes.  So I did that. 

So I see these posts on social media, people exclaiming that they are living their best life.  They are on amazing vacations, or going to exclusive clubs, hashtagging their day spa experience so they can get more likes and followers.  It's not real life.  You don't know if they went into crazy debt to afford that stuff.  Or if her husband constantly gives her flowers because he feels bad for cheating.  Or how, after that oh-so-adorable family photo was taken, a fight started and no one spoke to each other the rest of the day.  Social media is a literal snapshot of the face we want someone to see in that single moment.  But it's not real life. 

You've seen my theme lately.  You can read my posts about Eager Anticipation or Living an Exuberant Life.  They apply here.  Sure, it is completely awesome that you went to Greece.  I imagine it is pretty fun to drive a $100,000 car.  But that doesn't make my life.  My life is made by me every single day.  And yes, I mostly only share the good stuff on social media, but it doesn't mean I don't have bad days.  Sometimes I'm self-conscious about being chubby.  I face anxiety and depression (although not as much as I used to).  The adorable kids in my photos do sometimes throw tantrums and cry.  I have tried to keep on top of my budget and spending so I can continue to live without a roommate in the crazy San Francisco Bay Area, which causes me stress because I love to shop and travel.  I get my feelings hurt if someone I'm dating rejects me.  I let myself feel, then I pick myself up, dust myself off, and move on down the road.  If my social media posts make anyone feel less than, I apologize.  I would never purposely put out a fake side of me to make people think my life is only awesome.  But I also don't want to overwhelm anyone with my dark thoughts. 

So, yeah, my life isn't perfect but I am living my best life.  And I continue to be excited about the path I am on.  Thanks for coming along with me!

Here's me living my best social media life:








































5 comments:

  1. I all but stay off social media because I've lost interest in connecting with people through a status update that they made to no one in particular (like IG or FB). I want interaction, whether it's text or FB messenger, I don't care. But I'm no longer interested in seeing people's status updates. If a friend wants to engage with me, great. I'll make attempts to engage with people. But it does seem like people get enough social interaction through online. It's fake, though. It's not real human interaction. And I no longer have patience for it. I sound like a real curmudgeon, don't I?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not at all. I feel you. I get grumpy if my real life friends wish me a happy birthday on Facebook. Send me a god damn impersonal text! I’m over FB telling me when to say what to anyone!!!!

      Delete
    2. I've gone so far as to have my birthday hidden from facebook...if they can't remember, that's on them. I have all my friends' birthdays memorized or written down. I don't need facebook to remind me.

      Delete
    3. Yeah I have them in my phone calendar. I should hide mine!!

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete