There are moments I catch myself thinking about life, life’s meaning and my purpose on this planet. Sometimes those moments stretch into days, and sometimes it’s just a random moment in the middle of an ordinary day when I think: “What the hell am I actually doing here?”. I’m well aware of the fact that I intentionally chose to be a small fraction of this very polished social media world, which sometimes seems to tear people down instead of inspiring them, or lifting them up. Sometimes I’m thinking if this predominantly artificial world is really what I want to be part of…
It has recently come to a point that even some of my best friends tell me they’re thinking about deleting their social media accounts, because they feel like looking at everyone’s seemingly perfect lives does more harm than good. And to be honest, I totally understand that. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought lately, and came to the conclusion that I’d most probably decrease my social media consumption to a minimum by only following a small selection of people who I find truly inspiring, if I only used Instagram privately. Nevertheless, Instagram is part of my job and I still like using it, because there are some accounts who truly inspire me and which I would not want to miss. At the same time, it gives me nightmares thinking about the fact that anyone out there looking at my blog, my Instagram feed or listening to my podcast leaves with a bad feeling. Or even worse: Feels sad and like their life is less awesome than mine.
Because here’s the thing:
We are all in the same boat. We all wonder about the same things. We all have bad days, and better days. We all sigh at the mirror sometimes, are unhappy with our bodies, find flaws and wish that our butts were more peachy, our legs were more lean and our abs would show more. We all cry in bed sometimes just because we’re overwhelmed by life. We all tear up by the thought that our parents will be gone one day. We all dread the day our beloved dogs will die. We’ve all told at least one lie that we’re still ashamed of. We’ve all done at least one thing we regret, although we tell ourselves not to regret anything because at least it was a lesson. We all wish we had more play money to spend. We all want to travel more. We all hope to find true love, and once we’ve found it we’re all wondering how we actually know that it’s true love. We all have some thoughts we don’t dare to tell anyone. We all sometimes compare ourselves with others. We’ve all at least once envied someone. We all try to look as good in photos as possible. We all sometimes feel like we don’t have our lives together and are wondering if that feeling will ever change. We all sometimes think “what would have been if…”. We’re all frustrated sometimes, we feel like we’re not getting ahead and sometimes we don’t know which path to go.
Please know this:
I want you to know that if you’re obsessively looking for it, you’ll always find someone who’s got more money than you, who has prettier hair than you, who has a more toned body than you, who has a better career than you, drives a more expensive car, has a bigger house, who’s more talented, and who seems to be better than you. That’s life. But you know what? You’re enough. Close your eyes and let go of all the things that tear you down. We all have to let go sometimes, as hard as it is. No matter if it’s a friend who costs you more energy than brings you joy, or if it’s an Instagram account you follow which makes you feel unhappy and less self-confident. Self-confidence is something we have to work on every day. Some days it will come easy to us, and on others it seems impossible to achieve. And that’s okay. Self-confidence ebbs and flows like the sea, but our state of mind is something we can control. Life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, and our mood doesn’t have to be either. But life is always only as good as our mindset. Please know that no ones life is perfect. Although it may seem like some people’s lives are a never ending adventure, it’s just not. After all, life rather is a series of simpler pursuits, and it’s everyone’s own duty to find joy and happiness in those small moments.
I want you to know that I have bad hair days as well. I want you to know that my skin has lots of flaws when I take off my make up. I want you to know that there’s parts of my body I wish I could change. I want you to know that I’m very afraid of the future sometimes. I want you to know that I miss my parents a lot of the time and wish I could see them more often. I want you to know that I miss my dog when we have to give her to my parents’ place because we’re traveling so much for work. I want you to know that my photos are all edited before they are published. I want you to know that the things you see on Instagram are only a tiny selection of highlights I consider worth sharing. I want you to know that I’m working long hours at the office and that success doesn’t just come over night. I want you to know that my fridge is empty most of the days because I don’t manage to go grocery shopping before every store is closed. I want you to know that our laundry is piling up at home, always. I want you to know that although it might seem so sometimes, I don’t have this thing called life figured out at all. I want you to know that I’m just like you.
Here’s my wish for you:
From time to time, just close your eyes and take a deep breath. Be thankful for everything you have in life – not the material things though, but the things that really matter. The abilities of your body and mind, your health, your feelings, your family, your friends. Don’t worry too much about your hair, or your skin, or how your eyebrows look. The shape of your body doesn’t matter much either. Start loving yourself the way you want to be loved by someone else. Be proud of yourself, and everything that you are. Make sure you feed your brain with good stuff, and don’t neglect the power of knowledge. Make sure you watch more sunsets than Netflix, and read more books than Instagram posts. Be brave enough to walk away from anything that doesn’t spark your joy, and have the confidence to change your life if you don’t like it. Move away if the place you’re in doesn’t make you happy, go to the gym if you don’t manage to like your body the way it is, seek for eduction if the job you desire requires an additional degree. Whining won’t ever change a thing, nor will it make you happy. I wish for you to not judge a book by its cover and to critically think about all the things you see on social media. I want you to know that we’re all the same. I want you to know that we’re all perfect in our own ways. And that’s perfectly okay.