Anyone else feel lied to?
I feel like the whole human existence is kind of a big, fat lie. I know.. dramatic. But hear me out:
I remember as a child thinking that the kids in high school were so cool. They “just had their life together.” They were going to college and they were going to pursue careers. Their parents were proud. Shoot, they were proud.
Plus they could drive. The world was literally their oyster.
Then I remember sitting in high school and thinking “wow, college kids REALLY have it all together.” They are on their way now. They have goals, they have ambitions. They are creating and constructing the building blocks of their future.. and what a beautiful, picture-perfect future it was going to be.
Then after undergrad, all I could think was “oh my god, look at all these young professionals, paving their particular path in the world” whether it was through their career or grad school. They were organized. They were disciplined. They were making a difference.
Even now, any time I see a peer in a new house or with a second, third, fourth child, I’m struck by how “put together they are.” They have achieved at life so well that they are bringing more life into this world. They are so put together, they could write an instruction manual on how to properly “life” and “raise life”.
However, I have never, once, in my tenure of being me, thought to myself “damn girl, look at you go, you are organized, disciplined and really have it all together. People are probably looking at you as the pinnacle of human existence.”
In fact, I would argue the opposite. I spent high school scrambling for good grades and good deeds to get good scholarships.
I spent undergrad switching from one major to another – until I settled on English, because it was easy for me. Never mind the fact that there aren’t a lot of careers that demand an extensive knowledge of William Shakespeare’s works (if they are even really his?).
I went to law school, amongst all my driven, disciplined, and determined peers, because I wasn’t sure what to do next. Law school seemed like a good (albeit expensive) way to postpone the inevitable “oh my god, I have no idea what I am doing with my life.” At the time, I remember thinking “at least this is forward movement.”
And I have spent the last 20 or so years, flabbergasted on when everyone got their shit together and wondering why it seemed the “shit-putting together” fairy missed my house. Presumably, I was out of town when she stopped by, but I most certainly, do NOT, have my shit together.
I think social media can give you that impression though. I know it has given me that impression of my fellow human beings. Happy, happy all the time – at least, that’s what Facebook says.
I’d argue the opposite (again). Life is messy and hard. We are all floundering, just privately. No one wants to show the bad side of life, or hardship.. or really even anything that hints to them having things even slightly less that “totally put together.” It is just not our nature. To be completely transparent – even my social media is a gigantic, curated, glimpse into only the brightest moments of my life. And who can blame me? No one wants to hear about how many times I have checked that the oven was off, because my OCD is out of wack.. again.
I’m tired of the facade. I want to be authentic and I want to have authentic conversations and friendships.
So, I’m coming to you live, from my bathtub, to tell you that yesterday, in the middle of a packed restaurant, I slammed face first into a wall of windows, thinking it was the door. The windows were the type to not be trifled with.. and I kind of bounced off, rebounding, as the reverb echoed in this restaurant. Everyone went silent.
The door was right next to the wall of windows, of which, I threw my face. And food. And drink.
Here I was, a young, presumably capable, attorney, on her lunch break and I have no doubt that I was giving off the aura of complete control. I am sure I looked like I had it all together, but in reality… I body-slammed a window.
She is beauty, she is grace. She just fell flat on her face.
So, step one to authenticity: admit you totally missed the door, caused a scene in a busy restaurant, spilt your food all over yourself, shook it off in front of everyone like it was fine.. and then cried about it in your truck. Because, life isn’t so picture-perfect all the time.
It doesn’t get much more “not put together” than that.
Sunny daze ahead, my sweet friends. Be well 🌞