I have a confession. We had breakfast for dinner and I finished the bag of chocolate chips.
I’m writing to you today in the midst of a revelation of sorts. My life is not perfect. I was never under the impression that it actually was perfect. I just had this idea that somehow it was supposed to be perceived as perfect. That I needed to present to you my most perfect recipes, my clean house, happy baby, and carefully decorated house and hide the rest under a rug.
Now friend, the struggle is real.
I had this idea that no one should see or hear me struggle. No one should know that I’ve become Jerry Seinfeld and eat cereal two meals a day, that way I actually get lunch by 2:00. No one should know that I no longer buy chocolate chips with the intention of making cookies, but that I actually plan on eating them. Stashing them away in the cupboard for an afternoon when the baby doesn’t nap (every afternoon lately- which is why the chocolate is gone) or for when the crying gets to be too much.
I had the idea that because I share a part of my life with the online and social world, that what I shared had to be perfect. The pictures had to be perfectly posed and well lit. I had to post the delicious things we ate for dinner, the perfect outfits I wear, and how every evening is charming and a walk in Central Park, not the fact that I’m burnt out this week and my husband has had some crazy work days so we had breakfast for dinner (again).
Lifestyle blogging and social media have become a showcase for the ideal, the perfect, the unobtainable. I fell victim recently to the comparison test. Where I compared my life, the life I love very much, to pictures, blogs, and people who are far different from me. I held my own life up in comparison to what I frankly can’t and won’t obtain.
What is me is that I’m sitting here writing to you holding a baby on my lap with barf on my leg. I’m snacking on dry cereal with my hair in a ponytail. Yes I write and share a lot of recipes but there are nights more often than not that our meals are plain, unblog worthy, and often resemble breakfast for dinner. The vacation that I have planned is to go up the canyon and camp, to eat pancakes and roast marshmallows. It’s not quite as tropical as a cruise or the Mediterranean. But its me. I’m me, all that is all I’m required to be.
I haven’t given up on life, and not every day is so far away from perfection that I would change anything. Rather I’ve come to embrace that this is my life. That my life isn’t the magazines or the Pinterest boards. My house probably won’t look like an add from West Elm, and my child won’t have a time capsule to open on his 18th birthday.
I decided to find me again and to find what I really want in my daily life. To find myself, to find what I like, what inspires me and makes me happy without being told, I deleted my Facebook App. To live life without as many constant influences as to what I ‘need’ in my life or what I’m ‘missing out on’. And you know what? I don’t feel like I need much and I’m not missing out on a thing. In fact I’m getting more out of life than ever.
I want to have a life that is lived. A life that is my own. A life I lived for me, not to impress those around me. I want to forgive myself for mistakes and things that I do wrong, like eating a bag of chocolate chips, without the guilt that comes from trying to ‘keep up’ or be perfect. I have learned to really accept me. I have learned to accept the perfect and the imperfect, and that this is life.
I’ve learned I can share things with you that I enjoy and that are important to me, but I don’t have to always post the perfect. There is a lot of really good things in my life but a lot of not so perfect. Especially what you don’t see. I don’t want to live behind a facade or a wall that presents my world as something that it is not. I don’t have to have it all, but I have more than enough. What I have is glorious, makes me happy, and is the life I truly want.
I’m afraid that too many of us feel this need to achieve something we see online. And because we can’t, our lives aren’t perfect or worth sharing with anyone. Everyone has challenging weeks or days. Days where you pray no one shows up to your house unannounced. We all faces challenges of sorts. Instead of only presenting the perfect and the things worth celebrating we should be real human beings. Be real with yourself and those around you. I find that often people are more accepting of me than I am of my self.
Maybe together we can end this idea of social and internet perfection and just live lives that are rich and meaningful to us. So I end this post with the same way I started it, but no longer with the guilt that comes from failing to be perfect and needing to confess.
We had breakfast for dinner and I finished the bag of chocolate chips. I’m real, and I’m human, can we be friends?
And in case you still think my life is perfect, here are my dead strawberry plants from my patio garden