I saw a video on Facebook today that I found inherently disturbing. It illustrated how people’s lives on Facebook aren’t really as good as they seem, and that people save their best (pictures, events, ideas) for Facebook and hide the worst. While that may be true of many, it’s not true of me. My life is exactly as awesome, and exactly as hard as you see on Facebook. I say that not to brag or be rude, but to be honest. And thankful.
I am thankful that I have a wonderful husband, who helps me with our home and our life. Every morning, he gets up and makes the kids breakfast while I get ready. He takes out the trash, helps with the laundry, and mows the lawn. Most evenings, he cooks while I finish up work and pick up the kids. I love him and I’m grateful for our life together.
I have two beautiful, smart, and fun children, who I love watching grow. I get frustrated as can be with them on an almost daily basis, but I recognize that they are testing limits and learning. I am close with my parents and my in-laws, lucky to be able to spend time with them, and even luckier in the places we get to spend time with them… the beach and the lake. They’re both still happily married, and have always modeled good relationships for us and shown us how to be good parents and good people. I don’t have a lot of friends, but I would walk through fire for the ones that I do have. And I’m pretty sure they would at least walk over hot coals for me.
I love my job. I have found something that I’m not only good at, and plays to my strengths, but that I love doing. I’m fortunate enough to be able to make a good living at it and work for myself, so that I can spend time focusing on the things in my life that really matter. I love to write, speak in front of groups, and teach. I haven’t figured out how to get paid for any of that yet.
I appreciate a great pair of shoes, helping a turtle cross the road, and excellent customer service. I believe that people are inherently good and want to be the best version of themselves that they can be. I believe in freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of choice – in all things, and freedom to be who you want to be. I also believe that if you’ve been fortunate you should give back. I believe in helping others become the best version of themselves, whether it takes a smile, a little help, or a little money. I believe that animals provide unconditional love, and that they are the families of many. I believe we should be good stewards of our earth, and protect our natural resources for the generations to come. I believe in great food. As such, I constantly struggle with my weight, and I get down on myself for my shape and size. But I am thankful that I can walk, and whenever I get too down, I remember the day the doctors said I’d never walk again. And how I proved them wrong.
I remember each person who’s helped me along the way, and I know that my success and my happiness are due to many. I do my best to help others in the same way.
I take blurry photos, and the lighting is never quite right. But I still capture as much of my life in pictures as I can, because I know it’s fleeting. I find social media to be an outlet for my many thoughts and opinions, and I play Candy Crush and pretty much anything by King in my spare time. I like books, but never seem to have the focus necessary to read, and I have a stack of Glamour magazines going back to January that I haven’t read. I’m cheap and I love coupons and free stuff. I take advantage of pretty much anything like that I can, and as a result, I’ve gotten to use some pretty neat products. But also as a result, I have no style and wear pretty much the same thing every day. My bathing suit is falling apart from overuse, and my clothes have holes in them and my shoes barely resemble footwear. But I don’t have time to go shopping, nor do I want to. I wish I could travel more. I love seeing different places and trying new things. I’ve been to Europe once and I’m dying to go back. I’m jealous of people who travel a lot more than I do.
I am a happy person, and I take pills to stay that way, because I have struggled with depression and anxiety pretty much all of my life. But I don’t let it define me. I’m a deep believer, and I believe that pretty much anything is possible within the boundaries of scientific possibility. I’m the daughter of a physics and mathematics genius and a highly literate, deeply spiritual, gregarious inspirational woman. I believe there are likely other beings in our universe, that angels are real, and that there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a solved Sudoku puzzle.
Life is simple, and life is hard. It is good and bad. I love how Facebook allows me to stay in tune with all of that. I’m perfectly happy bouncing from a post where I give a new mom some much-needed encouragement to a silly quiz where Buzzfeed is no doubt collecting tons of information about me. My posts range from the pedestrian “checked in at Chow” to the desperate “is it bedtime yet, my kids are driving me nuts.”
I share photos of the kids on the beach and of bumper stickers I find funny. I read politics and occasionally comment. I engage in discussions with my friends, neighbors, kids’ teachers, and political opposites. I share what I write and what I’m proud of.
For me, Facebook is a living representation of my life; the good, the bad, and the ugly. I don’t sanitize it (unless I’ve accidentally posted something hurtful) and I don’t limit it to just the good. You, my Facebook family, see the real me. Don’t be afraid to share the real you.
I’m betting, Jenny, that you have a lot more friends than you think or realize. Givers generally do.