Live Real. Live Well.

I do not have it together. Not one bit.

I used to worry about this. I'd get up in the morning, look shamefully at the sink full of dirty dishes and think about my great aunt who once, a million years ago, said she always did her dishes after dinner so she wouldn't have to see them in the morning. I'd hear from my friend who was flying all over the country for her amazing career, and I'd think about my boring commute to my boring job that was decidedly not what I wanted to do when I grew up. I'd scroll social media looking at all the smiling families in their beautiful homes with their 2+ kids and their fancy date nights, and I'd think about my lonely single kiddo who usually tags along on our faux dates where we end up ordering pizza and playing board games at the scratched up kitchen table in our 2-bedroom bungalow. I used to wonder how everyone else had their lives so zipped up with perfection while my own metaphorical fly was always falling open, failures tumbling out for all the world to see.

I learned I could make my life seem a lot like everyone else's. I figured out how to angle a photo so my entire living room looked like just a corner of it. I could fake a great smile and bribe my kid with ice cream to look happy because the lighting on the beach was perfect and just pretend to like your mother for a picture so you can go back to having fun in one minute! I posted selfies with people I barely knew so it looked like I had a lot of friends. I put on makeup and brushed my hair to go to the grocery. I was a full-on case of undignified fakery.

It was exhausting and ridiculous, and it made me aware of a few things. Every perfect person whom I was basing my "less than" feelings on, was probably just as capable of posing as I was. Every person who looked at social media as a measuring stick for success, was feeling more beaten down because of this same foolishness. I may not enjoy every part of my life, but I was ruining the best parts to make it look like I loved it all. I needed to focus on the good stuff; to figure out what was real, and stop trying to make myself more than anyone else.

I would rather play board games or read a book than clean up after dinner. My job is not what I want to be when I grow up, but the hours are great and my whole evenings are free. I wish we had an extra bathroom and I wish my laundry room wasn't in my kitchen. I love my fifty cent sunglasses from Kroger, but I also *gasp* don't feel bad about spending money on myself. My husband will straight call me out on my drama, but I really, really like that guy and haven't met anyone with whom I'd rather share a bungalow - or a lazy faux date night.

Listen. You can't live the good life if you're basing your ideas of quality on someone else's Instagram photos. Comparison is the beheading of your individuality. Be you.


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