Recently I traveled to the Dominican Republic to celebrate my homegirl’s birthday and bachelorette party. The 4 days prior to the trip I had been in Orlando for the Florida Realtors conference and I meticulously packed for the trip because I knew I was leaving directly from Orlando and meeting the girls in Miami. There are two items that I never leave home without when I am traveling: my sister Ashlee’s thumbprint necklace and my kindle. When I was packing my jewelry for the trip I noticed that the clasp to my necklace was broken so I decided not to take it this trip for fear of losing it. So there I am, just myself and my kindle and a carry on, ready for our next adventure.
The Florida Realtors Conference was awesome. Mind blowing and numbing actually. It’s so much information that when I got back to my hotel room I was even more happy to have my Kindle with me because it was a welcome distraction from the information overload. The last night in Orlando was awesome and of course the night I decided 3 martinis and a few glasses of wine would be a fun last hoorah!
My flight for Miami was the next morning at 7am. I left my hotel room at 4:30am, made it through the Uber ride without projectile vomiting, security, and the Starbucks line only to settle in at my gate and realize I forgot my kindle.
Dun. Dun. Dun…
I’m not a book snob by any means. In fact, there’s nothing I love more than to curl up with a good old book. The smells and feels of a book are all part of the experience but there is something to be said about having a practically weightless device full of thousands of books in your palm at any given moment. So without my kindle, once I got to the Miami airport I perused the book store and picked up Sophie Kinsella’s latest read, My (not so) Perfect Life.
I was initially attracted to the green cover and the pop of pink. I had read Sophie Kinsella avidly in my early 20’s (I mean, didn’t everyone read the Shopaholic series?) so I knew her style of writing would be the perfect beach read for the Dominican. Little did I expect this “sparkling, witty novel about social media… and the stories we tell ourselves” would lead to some humbling highlighting and extra epiphanies that week.
Sophie Kinsella’s latest novel is about a girl named Katie having a quarter life crisis while living in the city of London and pretending she has it all. I guess it hit home for me because I went through a quarter life crisis (more on that later). Hell, some people might think I just rolled that quarter life crisis right into a third life crisis and are wondering if I’m ever going to come to grips with reality. (Newsflash, my reality is awesome, most of the time.) The other reason that it hit home is because from this little 2×4 mile island I see how social media has effected & affected our society, everything has rose colored glasses.
I thought back to a few months ago when I posted a photo of myself and my boyfriend on Instagram and someone commented under it “you are living my dream life” or something along those lines. It got me thinking, why am I living their dream life instead of them? I guess from my social media feed it could seem like I have it all but there’s a saying, if we all threw our problems in a pile, and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back. And this is so true.
Everyone has and is fighting a different battle, even those who seem to have it all. My contributions to the problem pile would likely be cancer, drug addiction, debt, divorce, anxiety, death and dozens more. The point is that we’ve taken sugar coating things to the next level. Living in Key West I cannot tell you how many people I see putting on a show for their Snapchat story or posing for the perfect Instagram photo. It’s honestly funny sometimes, picture this: 8 girls pay about $1000 to come to Key West for a weekend of bachelorette festivities. At dinner every one of the girls is on their phone texting people who aren’t with them. Then one girl says, ok, guys let’s take a group pic. 5 minutes of primping ensues, girls who were scowling at their phone 2 seconds before have a fake ass smile plastered across their face as they tilt their neck up and check out, snap the pic, approve by all 8. One person doesn’t like it, retake, ok approved, now we can all post the same picture to let everyone that I’ve been texting the whole time how much fun we are having…
Admit it, you’ve done it. I have too I’m sure. But the fact that it has become the new normal is a little disturbing. Does everything have to be documented? Is it even possible to go out to dinner without taking a photo of the food you ordered (#doitforthegram #foodporn #blessed)?
This shit is intimidating and it makes others feel like everyone else’s life is perfect except for their own. Why do you think those no make up photo challenges are so successful on Instagram? Because it makes people relatable and normal. Only freaks of nature look Instagram worthy when they first wake up. Not that I wouldn’t want to be one of those freaks, just two days ago I had just gotten out of bed and was getting coffee and Ed, my boyfriend, said to me “What’s up Hagrid?”…
I busted out laughing because it was funny and true. I was looking a little Hagridish. Maybe I should have snapped a pic and used it as my no make up photo, eh, there’s always tomorrow…
I guess the moral of the story is that life isn’t perfect and that’s ok. Shit happens to everyone despite what is being posted on social media and if you find your self comparing your journey to others remember the saying, “if we all threw our problems in a pile…”
Things are good and life is good, I’m trying to be more present and instead of taking a photo or posting about a positive experience I’m trying to stay in the moment and appreciate it for what it is. I’m working very hard to not to compare my journey to others, to stay in my lane, and to keep shoveling sunshine.
Happy Monday, cheers!