There is No Good Instagram Filter for Crying in the Shower

I was at a party a few weeks ago talking to a friend that I hadn't seen in a while. We were catching up and she said - I feel like I don't even need to ask you how you are doing because according to social media things seem to be going awesome! You have the book, you're going on all of these pretty walks, you are smiling in all of your photos, you're doing these talks!! Everything looks so awesome, so just tell me how fabulous you are doing!" I looked at this sweet friend and I blinked, hard.

Is that how people think my life is going? Jesus, I am really not telling the full story - at all.

"Oh, love bug, the only reason why my life looks so good on social media, is because there is no good Instagram filter for crying in the shower.

She laughed, but then saw that I was serious, and I started to explain to her what had been actually happening over the last few weeks.  My position at the non-profit where I had worked for over 5 years had just been eliminated, so I found myself staring down the barrel of not having a job for the first time in years. What's worse is that I wasn't sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. Or maybe I was totally sure of what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I was so terrified of failing that I felt paralyzed and I couldn't make a decision about how to move forward.

Also, I was feeling sorry for myself for getting let go, so I was eating complex carbs for comfort, I was using the bad weather as an excuse for not working out, I felt frustrated and out of control, so I was fighting with my boyfriend, isolating myself from friends and family and generally being a version of myself that I had trouble having a crush on.

But, apparently, my Instagram game was on point.

I hadn't been purposefully trying to make it seem as if my life was going well on social media, but what I had been trying to do was to find small moments of beauty and happiness in days that felt overwhelming and sad.

Part of the reason why I post joyful and beautiful things is that I often times have trouble focusing on the right things. Too often I put all of my attention on the things that can bring me down.  I push on the bruise of that sadness thinking it will make me tougher, that somehow if I think about it enough I will create a callous - and in doing that I forget to look closely the lovely parts of my life: the strikingly gorgeous sunrise, the perfectly poured latte, the laughter with friends. I use social media as a record of those joys for me to review when I am about to push on that bruise.  But in talking to my friend, I realized I was the only one who knew that.

To other people my highlight reel, was perceived as my everyday - and my darling friends - it isn't.  It is ABSOLUTELY my highlight reel.  Because I will tell you, right here and right now, one Saturday a few weeks ago, I took three showers in one day so that I could cry in there and not feel weird about it. Please don't question my logic about why I was only ok with crying in the shower, because I have no good answer other than I like steam, the water doesn't make it as obvious that I had been crying and that my body wash is a goddamned delight!

I am telling you this because I want you to know that:
1. I think that you are awesome
2. Crying in the shower is totally acceptable
3. Nothing looks as good in real life as it does on Instagram
4. I am going to try to be even more honest - in my real life and online.

I am going to try be more honest about what I want from my life, the person I want be, and more open about the person that I currently am. I'm going to try to write more, post more, speak more - and I want to thank you for being a part of the things that give me joy and hope and also for being one of the things I focus on, when I don't want to push the bruise.

Its a new dawn, its a new day - and even if I was weeping tears of pure joy while taking this photo - I'm feeling good 


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