I try to share a happy marriage of the good and bad to keep it real. On one hand, I love social media because I love to see the happy moments in everyone’s lives. I love to see the babies and the vacations and the new homes. I love to see when you are doing well, living your best life, and making life your you-know-what. Social media is a highlight reel, and I love that. The world is ugly enough without seeing everyone’s personal drama. I – personally – don’t want to see your personal business, your problems, your drama online. I like the highlight thing. It’s happy. I don’t like the drama thing. It’s awkward.
I’m aware that social media is your personal platform to share what’s important to you, what’s on your mind, what’s happening in your life. I just prefer the good to the ugly. I know your life isn’t perfect because I know mine isn’t perfect. Do I love to hear your parenting horror stories? Yes, yes I do. Do I love to hear you chime in with the fact that your husband, too, cannot find anything that’s staring him right in the face like 60 percent of the time? Yes, I do. Because Craig is guilty, guilty, guilty! And I like to know I am not alone.
Believe it or not, based on my social media presence, we are private people. We keep to ourselves, we spend time with a very small group of people we love very much, and we just live our lives. You see the pretty pictures. The highlights. The good stuff. But you don’t see the best stuff or the worst stuff. You didn’t see me crying and in bed for weeks the first time we lost a baby. You didn’t see me yelling, screaming, acting like a petulant child whose world was falling apart when our doctor told us Ava was a girl and handed us pamphlet after pamphlet of information about termination at the halfway mark. To give us “options”. We waited three weeks to find out if the echogenic intracardiac focus on her heart was Down’s Syndrome, or if she was one of the 3 to 5 percent of babies with an EIF and no health issues.
You didn’t see me cry myself to sleep for 2 hour stretches of time every single night while my husband held me and cried with me when our twins were born early and very, very small. They lived in the NICU, and we lived in the NICU. The hospital staff let us keep our room for an entire week after we were discharged so we could be with them while they lived there. But that meant not living with our girls at home. We didn’t even get to see Ava on her third birthday because it was a rough day for the twins and for us, and our moms decided to give Ava a fun day she’d enjoy rather than bring her to see us in such rough spot. Those are the worst moments of our lives.
You also don’t see us on Wednesday nights every week for 10 years laughing so hard we can’t even finish telling a story. You don’t see us every night at bed time playing a game of football with our kids upstairs before we tuck them in. You don’t see us on weekends when the kids sneak downstairs and into our bed to wake us up. You don’t see us grab them and pull them into bed with us to cuddle. Those are some of the very best moments. Those very little, very simple, very insignificant moments – those are the moments that mean everything.
It’s important to me to share a little of everything so that you see who I am as a person (reference “trainwreck” in the dictionary for further clarification), but I still prefer the good. And I want to share why. I want to share why I love to share the good so much. I want to share why I love to share how amazing my husband is (because, well, he is) or how sweet our kids are (most of the time…sometimes they are kind of assholes) or how much fun we have (we have a lot of fun).
When I scroll past your Instagram or Facebook – well, Instagram…I see mostly ads, time-suck articles that want me to check out the most unbelievable fill in the blank here I’ve ever seen, news updates, and political updates….I don’t see anyone I actually love on Facebook. Unless I’m tagged, of course. Whatever. Anyway, when I scroll past people living their best life on Instagram, it inspires me. Your happy words make me happy. Your fun photos make me smile. Your great outfit inspires some future outfit I might wear. Your cute kids make me smile. Your accomplishments make me feel proud, even if I don’t really know you! I love the feeling I get when I see people loving their lives.
It’s impossible not to feel happy when other people are also happy, which is why I love to share the good stuff. I want you to be happy, too. I know it’s hard for me not to smile when I see a couple on date night have the best night, kids at home, no care in the world. I hope that scrolling past my stuff lets you feel even a small moment of happiness. Or inspiration. Or motivation. Or whatever. I also hope that when I tell you my kids are being jerks and I’m ready to pull my hair out or that Starbucks K-cup boxes with only 10 are like a one-day joke, you also smile a little. Because you get it. And you’re not alone. Your worst day might also be someone else’s worst day. Your best day is someone else’s best day. Your happiness is everything important in the world, but your bad days are just a small blip in your personal radar compared to what else is going on.
I like to share with you. The good. The Bad. Never the ugly. Sorry, y’all. I’m not posting any makeup-less selfies or anything I don’t feel I look good in. It’s not going to happen. But two out of three isn’t bad, guys!
In all seriousness, there’s a lot of sadness, a lot of comparison, and a lot of dark places most of us will never see you go through. I would encourage you to do one thing for yourself today. If you are following someone who makes you feel sad, who makes you feel you’re not good enough, not pretty enough, not fucking amazing as hell every single day, click the unfollow button. Don’t do that to yourself. Follow people who make you feel good, who inspire you, who leave you with something that makes your life a little brighter or better.
There’s so much sadness in the world, and so many people are suffering by themselves. I know social media doesn’t help. No one should ever make you feel insecure about who you are. Be proud of yourself. Be proud of your successes, your kids, your spouse, your marriage. Shout all the good stuff right from the rooftop and don’t worry about anyone who tries to downplay your happy. They’re dealing with their own personal issues, and what you say obviously resonates with them negatively. You can’t worry about that. You can only worry about yourself and your own positive vibes. If you’re unable to find the positive in someone, just remove them. And always, always remember it’s a highlight reel. It’s the best of the best, and the bad days, the ugly hair days, the imperfections; they’re there. You are not the only person having a bad day.
It might not change the world, but it might change your world. And that’s pretty darn important.
PS: You are a badass.