Can we get real about being personal today? I don’t think that sentence makes sense, but I’m not sure how else to say it.
The other day, I was getting so frustrated with Instagram. It started with me checking my battery usage on my phone and realizing that I spent far too much time on the app. (I’m not sure that I’d feel comfortable with my daily time as my weekly time… it was that bad.) I used to find the app so inspiring, but lately, it’s been so blah. So much of the same over and over again. And I’m just as guilty!!!
I was on Tumblr a few hours later and saw a post from an account I follow that was brutally honest about something she was experiencing. I spent a few minutes reading, and it was, well, so refreshing. It was refreshing to read something from a stranger that just spoke to me. I understood her, and that made me feel understood as well.
The two experiences in such a short period made me want to reevaluate what I’m doing on here. But I ran straight into fear. Ugh!
It was a lot easier to share personal things when no one read here! It’s challenging to know my family is reading. How will what I say affect them? It’s uncomfortable to know that my family’s friends are reading. How will that make my family feel? It’s difficult to know that my friends are reading. Will they be offended by a post shared publicly? It’s weird to meet a stranger who already knows me. Will their expectation of me match reality?
I fear all these things and more that’s harder to put into words. Some of the fear I have is how I feel about it– mostly about being judged because, hey, I’m human. And a lot of the fear is how it relates to other people in my life. The bottom line is that it’s complicated!
If I could, I would love to sit down and discuss everything with each of you over a cup of coffee. The thought of having a permanent public record of what I was going through at a particular moment is terrifying.
Now I’m just rambling, but it’s just something that’s been on my mind lately. I want to get more personal. To scrub some of the polish off and get down to the nitty-gritty. Even though it’s a hurdle for me to get over, I do want to clear it. I think it can be helpful just to be honest about things I’m going through and experiencing and figuring out and failing at. Isn’t that one of the best things I can do for a reader going through something similar? Even if it’s just offering a “you’re not alone” and a virtual hug.
I hope you’ll bear with me as I navigate how to do this in a non-vague way that I feel comfortable with and, probably most importantly, the (real) people in my life feel about it.
As I’m re-reading this, I don’t think I actually said anything personal. Which is a giant pet peeve of mine when bloggers announce they’re ~getting personal~ in a post. So here we go:
I’ve been getting so many of this one particular kind of well-meaning comments from friends and followers. Sometimes it’s in person, and other times it’s an actual comment on a post. It’ll be something along the lines of “you look so happy!” Technically, I feel like it’s literally my job to put up smiley Instagrams and I prefer to keep things upbeat across my social. (Who wants to follow someone who’s constantly complaining?!) Those comments have been weighing so heavily on me though because it focuses on how I look. How I appear in a photo that was snapped in a split second.
I’m not saying that I’m unhappy. I’d say that I am, generally, pretty happy! But I have bad days and worse nights still. Dealing with anxiety is a daily struggle for me, and there are times when it’s so unbearable that getting back into bed is the only thing I can do. So while I may look happy in a photo, it’s not a perfect representation of what’s happening. It’s not inaccurate either. It’s just not the full picture.
It’s actually been a pretty good reminder for me to not assume that someone’s happy looking Instagram grid means that they aren’t fighting their own battle off the screen.