The intelligent side of me knows that what I see on television, movies, read in books and magazines, and what I view on the Internet isn’t necessarily reality. The other side of me can’t help but feel somewhat defeated and unable to measure up to the seemingly unattainable goal, no matter how hard I try. At least reality TV participants (I refuse to call them stars) have graciously allowed society access to their lives – we can all feel a little bit better about ourselves when compared to blatant stupidity, right?
When I think back to my teenage years, I am amazed by the lack of confidence and self-esteem that seemed to define me. As is the case with a lot of girls (and boys too), I thought I wasn’t smart enough, pretty enough, or thin enough. Thankfully I emerged from high school without engaging in anything too stupid and a clear direction as far as my future. And once I attended college far away from home and far from the insecurities tied to high school, my view of myself changed. I learned that I was smart, that I didn’t have a troll face, and that my body actually wasn’t that bad. My self-esteem has only improved throughout my 20’s and as I sit here as a 29-year-old woman, wife, and mother – I feel limitless as far as my potential and ability to accomplish what I set my mind too (this could be the three cups of coffee talking too…put too much caffeine in me and I feel invincible).
And you know what I have learned since my low self-esteem teenage years? Life isn’t always pretty. And that is okay. As the wife of an Army soldier, I have had my fair share of ugly moments, especially those associated with the reality of deployment. And there are ugly moments in regular life too; and they look nothing like the polished lives that appear on my computer screen.
Life isn’t an overexposed Instagram photo. And life isn’t always what we can see, especially in the media. Yes, this includes blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, and other realms of social media. Therefore, we must approach our portal to the online world with the same grain of salt we use when flipping through a magazine filled with enhanced images of what our lives are supposed to look like.
Let’s make sure that we recognize the not-so-pretty side of life that each and every one of us encounters. In fact, let’s go further and embrace the not-so-pretty side of life. We’re not perfect and we shouldn’t pretend to be. And besides, isn’t being real more beautiful?