You know how you scroll through Instagram, or Facebook, and you see just a bunch of awesome photos of your friends/celebs/people you follow for whatever reason doing amazing adventures, or just always smiling and having the best time of their life?
And sometimes you just wonder-what else is going on in their lives? We all know life isn’t just filled with ups, there are ‘the downs’ too.
But you know what-looking at my own Instagram, you’d think I’m some princess who rides ponies, travels, has an amazing partner, best friends, and that’s all true-I DO get to live an amazing life; I do get to go on incredible adventures (NYC for 10 days doing whatever my heart desired?! Who lives like that?), I do get to ride horses whenever I have free time(trust me, I know it’s a very privileged sport) and I honestly have the best relationships with my best friends and partner through life.
Not denying any of it. I have so many ups to my life, I’m truly thankful for all of it and cry about the amazing things I have and I cherish it all, so, so much. There was a time I couldn’t have dreamed about any of this happening for me.
But. There are things no one but Brian and my best friend know about me and my life. There are things I would never willingly share to social media, things that still affect me because things in the past don’t just go away. No matter how much my current life looks like a dream I never thought I’d have, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t dark moments that I still have, or memories that I don’t share. There were times in my life when my idea of happiness was just simply not crying for a day.
Not going to get into it further than that, because well-that’s my point. It’s private, personal things that I do not want to highlight to people that seriously have not reached that level of friendship yet (Sorry, there’s a few moats and walls you gotta cross until you open up that gate). And, Instagram is a tool to post memories that I want to share with people, memories that make me happy. And the point I’m making about me, is the point I’m making about EVERYONE. Everyone wants to highlight the good, no one wants to share the bad.
You’re scrolling through the feed, and you just see photo after photo of incredible things-and since that’s all the glimpses you get of your friends’ lives, somehow you think you just see exactly what their days are like, and that you understand them. It’s not that we do this on purpose, it’s because it’s all we see and it’s all our brains picture when we imagine these people. And sometimes, I think we forget that we do the exact same thing when we post about our own lives-we ALL know we have struggles we don’t want to share outrightly to everyone, even when sometimes maybe we should.
I’m not saying to post your darkest memories to social media-not at all-it’s a great place to relish in happy moments in all our lives. But, realize that you’re not seeing the whole picture. You don’t know these people just from the posts you like. I’m saying make more time for real life interactions, make sure your friends know you’re there for them, because even though you’re seeing them hike the grand canyon, or get a new amazing job, or have a baby-get married-or just simply smiling with their animal friends, more than likely this isn’t the only thing going on in their lives.
Because a lot of us, if not all of us, are going through or have gone through something that’s really difficult and painful, and yet we put on a show that everything is fine. We don’t reach out, we don’t want people to know, or we simply don’t want to highlight a negative part of our lives-we highlight the good. But sometimes, I think we need to point out the bad. Not to revel in it, or get stuck in a bad state of mind, but to just simply ‘hey, I’m struggling with this’, so more people realize they aren’t alone when someone responds with ‘hey, me, too’.
Feeling alone is one of the worst feeling in the world, and feeling like other people understand is just so comforting, that sometimes that’s enough to give you the strength to conquer whatever it is that you’re facing.