I took this photo earlier, during lunch, when I got up from my desk and wandered outside, through the garden and onto the yard. And woah! The leaves and the Autumnal colours and the way the logs are all stacked against the wall caught my breath. My first thought was how grateful I am to live where I live. To have chosen to be here, despite all the fears and doubts and uncertainty about selling up and not staying on the London property ladder. My second thought was, “I’ll take a photo of this and put it on Facebook”.
Why? Because I want to let you in on my life. To give YOU reading this, a snapshot into my world. To feed you an idea that my life always looks like this so that you will think a particular way about me. All orange and browns and leaves and country life farmyard bumpkin perfectness.
And hey, some of my life IS all orange and browns and leaves and country life farmyard bumpkin.
But another part of it isn’t.
I did not choose to take a photo of my ‘I still need to do my tax return’ face. Or my frustration at trying to feed my eight-month old kid to eat some soup without him giving me soup-y high fives. I didn’t choose to take a photo of me cleaning the toilet or being bored out of my mind the other day when I went for dinner with 8 German people and I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. I didn’t choose to take a photo of me yesterday when I couldn’t be bothered to go swimming or when I lay awake last night worrying about something that I had forgotten by the time this morning arrived.
You wouldn’t want to see any of those photos, would you?
(Well, maybe you would).
But I wouldn’t want you to see them. Because then you would think things about me that I wouldn’t want you to think.
Which, ha, is a real load of horseshit. Because I know you know that my life isn’t perfect.
Now, normally, I dismiss my ‘put it on Facebook’ thought, because I’m really aware of how and why we do this. And I’m all for honesty and less of the bullshit. But I still sometimes feel drawn to doing it. I believe there’s something implicit in all of us to only show a certain side of our lives. Maybe it’s the media and advertising and what we see on television, but I also think we all have a tendency to avoid being vulnerable and showing it. Especially when we purposely show our vulnerability through a no-filter photo that peeks into our lives. Warts and all.
The thing is though: Life is NOT perfect in any shape or form. We’re not kidding anyone. Including ourselves. And yet, huh, we ARE constantly kidding ourselves, thinking that if we pitch our lives in a perfect way, people will think that we’re perfect, and, by some magical miracle, we’ll maybe also start to think the same about OURSELF: That we’re perfect!
But we all know, deep down, that perfect doesn’t exist, right? That we’re all imperfectly perfect, living our imperfectly perfect lives.
(And there’s nothing more beautiful than that.)
Here’s to fucking off the filters and accepting our lives in all their perfect imperfectness.