For the last 4 days now, I have been crying consistently, sometimes hysterically and I couldn't even tell you exactly why. For the last 9 days I have been tired, all day, everyday, even when exulting zero physical energy and even on top of 10 hours plus sleep. I've woken up tired, I've gone to sleep tired, my muscles have ached to the point where I can hardly even move them and I don't want to get up. I don't want to get out of bed. I don't want to leave my house and I certainly don't want to 'talk about it' because I don't even know what I'd say.
The reason I'm telling you this is because I realise more and more everyday how quick we all are, me included, to judge people based on what they show us on social media. What they CHOOSE to show us. We think we can make an informed opinion on the levels of somebody's success or happiness or personality, merely through 140 word phrases and a mixture of carefully composed and candid photographs.
The thing nowadays is that nobody wants to be a 'negative nancy'. Or should I say, we're all afraid to portray anything other than happiness because apparently nobody wants to see the rest. The down sides of our lives. The times where we're at our worst. We must always project positivity. Nobody wants to know that you don't always spew sunbeams and radiate light. You're moaning. You're being depressing. You're bringing everybody down.
So we post pictures of our friends, our family, the beautiful gifts we've been sent and the beautiful places we've gone to visit. We show love. We show luxury. We show contentment.
But then it's not 'real'. It's an 'ill representation of actual life'. It's fake. So which is it?
Yes, I post pictures of me smiling, pictures of my outfits that I've roped my ever-patient and ever-supportive sister and boyfriend into taking; I post selfies when I've just done my make up and am actually feeling good about myself, I post pictures of the things I'm so kindly gifted and I post pictures of the magical places I've been so lucky to see. Yes, my wonderful, selfless and loving mother did recently get married to a man who's been such an important part, through so much of my life, that I am proud to now be able to call him my step dad. But all of this is not my entire life.
I was once told by someone, someone whom I had a lot of respect and, dare I say, feelings for, that they unfollowed me because something I posted on Instagram was depressing. It was depressing because I was depressed. Because for one, tiny square of that social page, I had broken my 'secure' front and posted something that most accurately reflected how I felt at that moment in time. But it wasn't enough. It wasn't enough to bare my soul to the entire internet and it wasn't enough to be completely honest and show that my life isn't all sunshine and flowers.
For some, social media is an escapism. We post beautiful pictures because, essentially, they make us feel better. They make us feel proud and for a short but highly significant amount of time, they make us forget. Replacing feelings of despair, loneliness or anger with something much nicer: Memories. Hope. Pride. These images are a true reflection of our lives because they are a part of our lives. They are just not our lives in their entirety. Seeing my life reflected in that way shows me what could be. And also what once was. It reminds me of all of the good.
If you were to meet someone for the first time, shake their hand and tell them your name, would you follow it with your life story? Would you tell them every difficulty you've faced in life and give them reasons as to why you're unhappy, straight away?
That's how I like to think of social media. People ask you if you're okay and for a long while you reply with "good thanks, how are you?". You tell them you're fine when you're not always fine. But then you get to know the person. You begin to share more with each other, bit by bit, because you feel comfortable doing so. They learn about your background, your personality and how you spend your free time. But they can never truly know your entire soul...your entire mind, because there's simply not enough time in the world for you to show them. And I don't believe we can ever fully comprehend something unless we're in those exact same shoes. We just have to be sympathetic. We have to be aware.
We have to remember that not everything is black and white and that an opinion based on an assumption can't ever really be valid. We live in such a complex world, it would pay to encourage a little less prejudice and a lot more communication (This coming from the girl who likes to bottle all of her feelings internally, hahaha!).
There's a quote by Wendy Mass which has been circulating forever:
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about."
And I don't think there's ever a truer time to share this than now...
I am wearing
Missy Empire duster coat (sold out, grey here)
Boohoo culottes (sold out, identical here)
Ultimate Collections sunglasses
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