Today I decided to add a more detailed “About Me” section to the blog and while doing so started thinking about the interesting ways we edit our lives for people. When I share something here on the blog or on Facebook I only share what I want people to see and know–the funny stories, the deep thoughts, the best pictures. I don’t tell people the stuff about me and my life that I don’t want them to know. I don’t post the pictures that are unflattering, or heaven forbid me without makeup. Nope, it’s just the good stuff. If my life were just the stuff I present here on the blog and on Facebook, then it would appear that life is pretty perfect. I mean, I have this great husband, I live in this beautiful place, we go do fun exciting things together, I have a great job and lots of independence–life is perfect–or is it?
I really can’t complain about life, that much is true, but it’s certainly not all quiet dates and exciting adventures; most of the time it’s doing the laundry and sitting in an office working. It’s dotted with excitement and the dots are the parts you see. You don’t see me when I roll out of bed in the morning looking like a sea monster, you don’t see me when I’m having a bad attitude because I didn’t get what I wanted or because I’m just in a bad mood. I never make my Facebook status something like, “Just said something hurtful to the husband because I’m self-absorbed and don’t care if I hurt him” even though that’s exactly the truth far too often.
What I tell you about myself is true but it’s not all the truth; it’s the edited version–the version I want you to see.
I think with all the social networking we do these days, it’s more important than ever to remember just how much our lives are edited. If we don’t remember this then we might look at other people’s lives and envy how perfect it all seems. We might think someone else’s life is so beautiful and happy and full of excitement and mine is full of dirty dishes, crying babies, or long days at the office. Instead of seeing the simple beauty of my own life and realizing that all I have is a gift from God, I might start wanting what someone else has–and never even realize that what they have is only a small part of the story–the part of the story they let me see and nothing of the hurt, sadness, or monotony that is kept tidy and quiet away from the world of Facebook.
There is a girl in my life that intimidates the heck out of me. She is beautiful and charming and everyone loves being around her. I look at her sometimes and feel like a complete loser. I feel like I will never be as put together and wonderful as she is. I’ll never curl my hair every day or always show up in high heels looking amazing like amazing just follows me around. Nope, I’ll be the dorky girl with the ponytail and boat shoes because that is the extent of my fashion ambition. My inner monologue is horrifying when I’m around her. But then on days like today I remind myself that I’ve only seen her in public when all is well and she is in her best clothes. I haven’t seen her when she’s only with the people who know her best and she feels safe letting her guard down. I haven’t seen her flaws because she isn’t showing them to me. If she doesn’t have any flaws then I will poke my eyes out but for now I’m just going to assume that she is actually as imperfect as the rest of us and is just good at editing the bad stuff out in public. I can’t be her–and truth be told, if I saw the whole picture, I probably wouldn’t want to be.