To Be Yourself…

to-be-yourself-in-a-world-that-is-constantly-trying-to-make-you-something-else-is-the-greatest-accomplishment-ralph-waldo-emerson

I am a social media addict. Seriously. Love it. Love Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, I even go for a little LinkedIn from time to time. Just for variety.

I put a lot of information out there. The good, the bad and the weird. There’s a lot of weird. And I don’t mind it being out there. As long as it’s in word form. Photos are whole other matter. You can be sure, I edit the crackers out of my photos.

For instance, the first day of school:

The whole photo.

The whole photo

What I posted

What I posted

What I made sure was cropped out. Like I'm gonna show you people my laundry piled all over the house.

What I made sure was cropped out. Like I’m gonna show you people my laundry piled all over the house.

Even when I’m not cropping photos to make my house look much tidier than it is, I’m making sure there are plenty of options for a kid who isn’t always cooperative about such things. None of these made the cut.
IMAG1004

IMAG1003

IMAG1005

Sometimes I wonder if it’s just me. Am I the only one who’s trying to edit the not-so-attractive parts out my life? Lord knows, I’m never gonna post a photo of me with a double chin. Although more than one “friend” has done such things…which is really super. No, really. Thanks for that. (You’re already dead to me, so there’s no point is naming names.)

Then two friends posted photos of their own out takes. These were the moments we all have, but don’t often own up to. Like corralling two small children for a photo with mom on a Sunday morning:

Final product. So sweet.

Final product. So sweet.

What life really looks like.

What life really looks like.

Then there’s trying to get your pre-teen daughter to just freaking smile at the camera for a family shot:

One of the few frame worthy shots

One of the few frame worthy shots

Most looked something like this

Most looked something like this

And this

And this

The thing about this particular situation: Mom doesn’t know what’s happened until the proofs come back. So it’s even more fun to hear her scream three weeks later. It’s like the joke that keeps on laughing. 

Those out takes are like someone let the light and air in the room. So real. So funny. So relatable. 

But it’s a delicate balance… how much we let others see of us. If you pull the curtain back too far, whoa! Didn’t need to see that. If you keep it too perfectly staged, the rest of us totally know you’re lying about how great your life is. There are cracks in everything and everyone. 

I don’t think I’ll ever get over loving photos of our family that make us look put together, beautiful, kind and well-groomed. I also think the cracks are where real life happens. My home is not always picked up. My laundry is rarely done the way I wish it were. My kid is 8, and on the verge of some really awkward years. Since my awkward phase doesn’t yet seem to be over, I don’t have super high hopes for his either. I don’t wash my hair and put on makeup every day. 

That’s who we are. That’s our true selves. Mostly loving and loud and messy, but sometimes angry and vengeful and creepy quiet. We are always at least a little bit crazy. I suspect most people are a little bit crazy, if they admit it or not. 

I’d like to say I’ll stop editing photos so carefully. But that would be a lie. I probably won’t change much of what I post. Mostly, because I don’t think I’m fooling anyone. 

Sometimes I take the attitude that I did when a former boss made me fill out a personal assessment of my job performance. I told him, “I’m the best employee you have, and you can’t pay me enough money.” Slightly annoyed, he asked why I wouldn’t cooperate with his plan. I told I knew full well what my faults were. And if he didn’t see them, I wasn’t going to point.them.out. for him. As far as I was concerned, he could keep believing I was the best employee he had, and he couldn’t pay me enough money. 

I got a raise that year. By being myself.

Advertisements

One thought on “To Be Yourself…

  1. Truth. For every decent picture I post on social media, there are usually at least four more featuring my children making ridiculous faces, my own unflattering chins, and/or piles of laundry or paperwork in the background. I feel obligated to occasionally post a “full disclosure” picture, lest everyone think I’m perfect!*
    *For those who don’t know me, please read that last sentence sarcastically!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s