I must admit.... I've had a bit of Blogger/Pinterest/Instagram envy going on lately. It's not that I am dissatisfied with my own life, exactly, but it seems to be paling in comparison with the lives of everyone else.
I know, I know. Us social media creatures tend only to post the rosy, glamorous parts of our lives and even when we have the best intentions of sharing a balanced view of both the good and exciting and the bad or mundane, the bad or mundane tends to get left out. I know there is a lot more to everyone's life going on behind the scenes. I know that I have a tendency to only share the sunshine and flowers in my life as well. It's not that we don't want people to know about those times, I think it's more that when we are going through a blah patch, we don't feel like sharing anything on the internet anyhow.
So it's easy to look at how stylish other bloggers are, the beautiful photography they are doing, the fun places they are traveling to, the adventures they are having and then look at my own life and feel like I am falling short. It's hard to look past the filtered Instagram photos and the cute Facebook posts and see the difficult part of peoples lives that are hovering behind them.
I try to remind myself that, as a culture, we don't like people to know about the struggles we are going through. It's considered impolite to tell people how we are really doing, unless we are very specifically asked. We want to put on our best face, we don't want anyone to see what is going on behind the scenes.
It is hard to remember that though, and to keep myself from looking away from the blogs and social media and look at everything that I'm not. I'm not stylish, I'm not losing any weight. I'm not crafty or artsy, it's been a long time since I've done any sort of creative writing. I haven't traveled outside of the United States. I haven't done anything great or exciting with my life. I haven't worked all these neat jobs, or met all kinds of fascinating people. I'm not exceptionally talented at anything.
I doubt anyone would ever look at my life and go "Oh wow... I wish my life was more like Amanda's!" My life isn't terrible by any stretch of the imagination, and that's not what I'm trying to say. Its not that I don't value the life I live or appreciate what I have. It's that my life is just - well, ordinary.
I think when you are focusing on all the things that you aren't, you are supposed to take a step back and look at the things that you are, and that is supposed to make you smile cheerfully and say "Well golly, I guess I'm pretty awesome after all!" That's what I've been told, anyhow, but that doesn't mean it's easy to do or that if I do try to look on the positive side, that I'll even find anything the first twenty times I look.
It's much easier to scroll through Instagram and Pinterest and my blog feed and feel a little twinge of jealousy because I want to be like that. And it's hard not to turn life into a competition, to not take photos and heavily Instagram everything so that I can make it seem like I have a Pinterest-worthy life too. It makes it hard to just enjoy your life as it comes, without thinking "Oh, what meaningful and inspiring blog post can I turn _________ into? And I'd better be ready in case something comes along that I can Instagram!"
I suppose if anyone out there has ever read my blog or scrolled through my Instagram and had that kind of envy, I am trying not to laugh at the thought of you. This post isn't going to wrap up with some attempt at a profound recollection of what I've learned from my emotions and envy, because I haven't learned anything yet. This is, I guess, my shot at showing the side of my life that doesn't have an Internet filter applied to it.