You know that girl you went to high school with who now has the perfect life? She has a gorgeous husband who treats her like a princess every single day, lives in a house straight out of the latest West Elm magazine, has the most well-behaved and adorable children, manages to work out regularly and is in incredible shape, and she cooks meals that would put Paula Deen to shame.
I think we all know someone who at least partially fits the bill here. We all scroll through Facebook and Instagram peeking into other people’s lives. But you know what? That’s all we’re doing. We’re peeking. And we’re not even peeking at our leisure. We’re peeking at their leisure. We’re not peeking in when her kids are wreaking havoc on her beautiful home. We’re not peeking in when she’s skipping a gym day and opting for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s instead. We’re not peeking in when money is tight and she and her husband are deciding what expenses to cut so that they can pay their mortgage this month. We’re peeking into a carefully curated, edited, filtered highlight reel.
The truth is that everyone has issues. Most people (not all, but most) choose not to blast those issues on social media, so we don’t know about them. But they are there. They live behind those pretty filters and emoji-filled captions.
I’ll be the first to admit that I create a pretty little Instagram grid, and I have a good time doing it. I’ll also be the first to admit, though, that my real life is no where near to being as perfect as my Instagram feed. I run around like a chicken with my head cut off most days trying to figure out how to balance it all. I feel like I’m never caught up. I try desperately to work out three times a week, but I’m lucky if I make it twice. I get actual baby poop on myself multiple times a week. I can’t quit Ben and Jerry’s Milk & Cookies. My husband and I have the occasional disagreement, and I’ve ran on less sleep than I ever thought humanly possible since my son was born 10 months ago.
I love my life, but it is by no means perfect, and I’m really just scratching the surface here. Life is messy and complicated and unpredictable, but that’s what makes it beautiful, and that’s what makes us want to share those beautiful parts. So the next time you see that person with the perfect life pop up on Facebook, don’t play the comparison game. You have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. Instead, focus on all of the beauty you have to appreciate in your own life. It may not be the same kind of beautiful that her’s is, but I’m confident that it’s beautiful in its own way.