You all know I speak long and hard about my weaknesses. My biggest issue (and the meat of this blog) is comparing my crappy self to my best self. I struggle when my actions are less than perfect. I hate when all of the things I have going on inside, like my thoughts, my prayer life and my feelings, are all out of whack . Outer appearance is usually the least of my worries. Until now.
I’ve heard some of my more honest friends say that social media makes them envious. They see how cute that mom dresses, how fun she is, how she does crafts with her children, how they take vacations. They see all of those bright and happy pictures and it makes them feel like they aren’t good, fun, fit or fashionable enough.
I never really related to that. I got off of Facebook because it consumed me, not because I wanted to be more like anyone. Lately, though, I have been beating myself up for not being the exact opposite of everything I am.
I am outgoing and opinionated and my main goal in life is making other women (specifically mothers) feel like they are normal and good enough. I want women to know that everyone feels what they feel and thinks what they think, most people just don’t say it. I say it because I want people to feel included. I want my friends to think I’m nothing spectacular. I want to be relatable. The heart behind this blog (and my entire life motto) is exactly contradictory to what a “lifestyle blog” is. So why am I scrolling these bloggers’ pages and wanting to be them?
Whose “Lifestyle” Is This?!
I’m so sorry if this is news to you people, but lifestyle blogs are just not relatable. I do not relate, at least. And recently, I find myself jealous that I’m not these people whom I do not relate to and who I don’t even really want to be. Makes complete sense, right?
I have absolutely nothing against lifestyle blogs or the people who write them, but I just need to know who in the HELL’S lifestyles these are? I mean, why are they called lifestyle? Why can’t they be called highlight blogs? That’s what they are. Highlights. No one’s “lifestyle” is walking the streets downtown in a perfect outfit with perfect hair and makeup. Stop. Maybe you do that here and there (I mean, I don’t, but maybe some people do) but that’s not your lifestyle.
That’s your highlight. That’s the peak of your day. That photo session you just had is the shiny part of you. And, I’m so glad that you’re sharing the shiny part. The shiny part is so fun to look at, and we thank you. We get makeup tips and outfit ideas and links to buy clothes so we can be shiny sometimes too.
You know where this gets all messed up? I mistake the shiny part of you for ALL of you, and we both know it’s not, right? When I see you and your shiny smile and your perfect fitting jeans I beat myself up. I beat myself up because I am rarely the shiny me. I have a baby who sucks liquid out of my chest. There’s nothing shiny about that.
I am packing lunches and wiping snot and doing homework and shuffling kids to and from soccer. And, you know what? I’m usually doing all of that in poor-fitting clothes I bought at WalMart.
My friends told me that social media created this envy and I never really experienced it until now. So, here I am wondering how I can fix this. And where it came from. And when it’s going to leave. Envy isn’t good. It’s one of the seven deadly sins. Deadly sins: that junk sounds serious. I don’t want to be scrolling myself into one of the deadly sins. Do I have to delete instagram now? Unfollow all the shiny people? What’s the answer? How do you beat envy?
I’ve prayed and apologized because how freaking selfish and ungrateful am I being? I’m spending valuable time and energy on wishing I was like someone else. Someone else that (here’s the kicker) DOES NOT EVEN EXIST. The women that I see and want to be are just shiny wax figures. They are the wax figures of their real self. Their real selves get bloated and have fingernail polish chip just like the rest of us.
What To Do About Envy
What is the answer here? I do not know. Maybe the Holy Spirit is making me aware that social media isn’t good for me (I’m talking me, specifically). Like I said, I don’t know the answer because this is a real blog. A blog that a real, honest, flawed human being writes. I cannot tie this one up in a bow because I haven’t figured out how to yet. I have no link. I have no fancy photographer to credit. I have only me, baring my soul, thinking out loud and probably over sharing because what else is new?
And, now, here is a real question, not a question to incite participation, not a question to get more viewers, just an actual human being question: How do you people deal with this? Or do you even deal with it? Has anyone found a tip or trick that keeps envy at bay? I’m seriously looking for some advice!
Want to read more on this topic?
- Here is a post I wrote (shortly after this one) about what you can do with that envy.