I’m Not Who I Appear to Be on Facebook

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I was deeply disturbed by a Facebook memory that popped up on my feed the other day.

It was a gushing post (of mine) about gratitude… complete with photos of a gaggle of girls smiling…. eating something fabulous, of course.

It included hash tags about laughing and emoji hearts.

I remember that weekend well. But not because of the laughing.

It’s seared in my mind as one of the more painful weekends I can recall.

Several of my closest friendships were disintegrating. My core beliefs about myself and the world were quickly falling apart. I was promoting an event I felt super conflicted about. And every other meal ended up with salty tears doing the major seasoning of my food.

In all that confusion… I appear to have put on a great big smile, added emojis and told a surface level story instead.

Sure, I do love that city. Sure, the food there was great. But I was also miserable on that trip.

I see that post and my heart breaks. For me. For the image I was so carefully defending.

But also for everyone else who saw that post. One more post that perpetuated the bubble of half truths and refrigerator magnet joy, so often seen bouncing around the social media world.

The truth is… I couldn’t have captured the whole story in a post, even if I had wanted to. It was complicated. And messy. And not actually appropriate for mass consumption at that time anyway.

I don’t judge that I put it up.

But it was only, ever, a small part of the truth. I think we need to remember that.

Two people have written on my wall recently that I remind them of a Disney princess.

This is not good.

If I give this impression.

It’s lovely. But it’s just not real.

And thus, I think, it’s worth expounding upon:

The reason I post about my animals so much lately, is not because I think I am an amazing princess animal whisperer.

It’s because the phase I am in right now is so deeply raw and human and tender that I have nothing much else to say.

So I connect to you through the creatures around me. Who happen to be quite cute. And who do indeed bring me joy.

This post is not to invoke sympathy. I’m fine. I’m growing. In many ways, I’m great.

But if I have ever given you the impression my life is perfect…

It’s just not.

It’s full of questions,

and uncertainty,

and sadness.

Full of simplicity, and surrender, and unused drive.

Full of beauty and growing authenticity and the grittiest kind of love.

But slim on answers,

on direction,

And (hallelujah, finally, even) advice.

It was not my intention to turn this phase into having the appearance of a fairytale. I have just required a lot of solitude. A lot of reflection. A lot less sharing. A lot more grace.

I get it can be so easy to scroll through a feed and think you have a sense of who is living the good life. And why.

I suppose I just wanted to remind us all, that a smiling photo, matching family Easter dresses, a trek through Spain, whatever it may be…

All that we share…

… is really only, ever, always,

one part of the truth.

It’s all it can be.

We are complicated.

As you scroll… tread lightly on judging yourself.

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