I don’t feel like myself.
Have you ever had a funk or a down period?
How often do you spend that funk comparing yourself to the biggest and brightest version of you that you know exists?
How much of what you share online is actually showing the authentic human experience you’re having right now?
Curated imperfection. What does that mean to you? I started to write this as an Instagram post and realized I had a lot more to say about this than I thought.
“Instagram is just a highlight reel” DUN*DUN*DUN* enter the dark evil twin.. CURATED IMPERFECTION.
What is this and why is it dangerous?
What does it mean for me personally and how am I going to try to combat it?
As much as the notion behind sharing more than just our highlight reel and letting followers have a glimpse at our struggles is beautiful, it’s still a choice. A choice to show which part of the struggle we share. Often we share struggles in hindsight, talking about the trauma in childhood, past relationships or former jobs. I want you to show you I struggle just like you, but with a positive twist at the end too. Curated imperfection.
It’s much harder to share in real time. I believe it’s imperative to keep parts of our life private but I also can’t pretend that everything in my life is all positive-happy-fitness-travel all the time especially during weeks, like this week where I’m homesick, my mind is a mess, my schedule is crazy and my fitness is my sanity and release but still feels like a chore. I am struggling with my mental health and have broken in to tears multiple times this week(not just because of This is Us and Queer Eye but seriously, tear jerkers, am I right?)
But the flipside is, it’s all of our jobs to remember this about the beast of social media itself. That’s the point. It’s great to be real and share struggles but you get to decide what feels right for you and what sucky bits you want to air to the world.
It hard when it IS your job to INSPIRE.
What if you don’t feel inspiring?
Does that mean you don’t have to go to work today? Of course you do. Does that make you feel fake? How can you share the struggles authentically without being negative?
It’s all of our individual jobs to stay immune to comparison-itis because otherwise social media won’t be the stimulating space of connection that it truly can be.
And when you already feel really low, I doubt your Instagram feed is going to be the place that gives you your ah-ha moment.
My brand & blog is called enSUSiasm. And do not fret, I have a lot of it! I can talk your ear off and will probably invade your personal space if we meet IRL. I think I might smile in my sleep.
I get compliments about how positive & smiley I am but I am SO MUCH MORE than that one personality trait and behavior.
My business is health & lifestyle coaching but I try to share the ins and outs of what helps me to stay healthy mind-body-soul. So I intentionally share about my mental health struggles, when I’m struggling with my business, work life balance or life abroad but… not too much. I usually share these more difficult topics with an intentionally curated photo because posting a photo of me sobbing on my bedroom floor or replaying an anxious loop of doom for hours doesn’t quite fit with the theme of my feed. But believe me, those moments happen for me. They are happening a lot lately.
And that is EXACTLY WHY I WANT TO SHARE IT! It seems unexpected. It seems raw. It may even seem shocking to some.
But the more truth I can shed, the realer I am with the ups and downs, the more I believe it empowers YOU to do the same.
The better I FEEL by just BEING me, beautifully broken.
I feel empowered by the fact that I can be a work in progress and inspiring in the same breath.
No one wants to be a complainer, a victim or a negative Nancy. I actually despise pessimism. BUT I’m here to say I struggle. I struggle a lot. I struggle a lot more than I ever share about. I have struggled more in the last year than I have since I was a teenager(or maybe ever.)
My blog and my Instagram is my brand & my business and I’m the boss here.
How will I combat curated imperfection?
- My posts about my struggles will become more frequent, because honestly I don’t want to just show you I’m human once in a while… *Newsflash* I’m human all the time and so is everyone you romanticize in those little squares.
- I will grant myself grace and space to feel my feelings, share what I am comfortable with and not place unnecessary pressure on constantly creating content. (I have 5 years worth of blog posts with ups, downs, travel tips, fitness, mental health, and interviews and I’m really proud of the work and resources I have available for you always)
- I will take intentional breaks from my devices, banish phones from the bedroom and stay unplugged for the first 30 mins of my morning & evening routine.
So if you’re reading this thinking you had a shitty day, week or month. Sometimes you don’t just have one bad day and dust yourself off tomorrow.
Sometimes there are huge, extended periods of grief, sorrow, confusion, financial stressors or mental health spirals. Sometimes you don’t just dust yourself off and wake up with rainbows and butterflies spewing out of your mouth.
And that is okay.
Transition is a huge part of my story and my life and it throws my anxiety into a tizzy. I’m making changes and a lot of them don’t feel easy. I’ve had a lot of hard days in a row. And of course, I get through it, I listen to those podcasts, meditate, exercise but sometimes I just cry, I feel like I’m moving in slow motion, I feel afraid and confused, I question myself, I question my career choices, I question a lot.
Curated imperfection is dangerous because we compare our “sucky week” to our favorite bloggers “sucky week” and somehow it seems a lot more dark and twisty from my perspective. I don’t have any crazy revelations or advice here, just that if you’re going through hell, keep going!
And now, the coach in me comes out, remember that is the time to lean into self care even more, lean into people who love you and the healthy habits and those positive tools in your toolbox when life is hard, because that’s when you need them the most. If you are stressed and busy with work DO NOT cut out your exercise and eating healthy, those are the very things that will keep you feeling sane and more energetic. And if you feel like your only coping mechanism is drinking a bottle of wine every night (I’ve been there too) I promise that is not helping your case.
If you don’t feel like yourself, I understand.
I don’t either.
I am saying this to you because I need to hear it.
Underneath the ups and the downs, that beautiful soul is still in there.
It’s still just as beautiful when you’re having a bad day, week, or month.
I’m showing up here saying, I don’t FEEL like myself but I know deep down, that big shiny version of the girl is still WHO I AM.
Even if you don’t feel like yourself, you are ALWAYS the one and only YOU and that is pretty damn wonderful.