I’m so glad I grew up when I did. No texting, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat, at least not in the digital form we know today. Texting was passing a note in class. Instagram was my Mom snapping pictures of us with her Polaroid camera. Facebook was your yearbook. Twitter was the bulletin board you posted your message on with a push-pin and Snapchat was basically yelling at your friends from the window of a speeding car. If they didn’t hear or catch it on the first pass they missed it. Oh, and by-the-way, those friends were people you knew in real life and hung out with every day.
If social media is all you’ve ever known, you may think my generation grew up in the dark. If you believe that, I would say you’re partly right. But only in the sense that we had no bright screens from cell phones or tablets to distract us. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy social media and at times I over indulge a bit too. It’s a fantastic tool. I just wish my kids could experience a taste of what it was like growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, minus all the screen time.
My generation picked up the phone and called each other, we wrote notes, planned outings and spent countless hours talking on the phone with one another. We didn’t carry on conversations through text or rely on an image to tell us how someone was feeling. We actually had face-to-face interactions that allowed us to truly see each other as a whole, the beautiful parts as well as the imperfections. And speaking of imperfections my childhood was filled with lots of bloopers. I repeat, lots of bloopers. The silver lining, if you weren’t there to see it happen in person you certainly weren’t catching the video later. And Lord am I thankful for that.
As I scroll along social media’s boardwalk, I sometimes feel I’m not enough. You may know the feeling. Not “young enough”, “talented enough” and not “all-put-together” enough. I catch myself saying things like, “Oh their home is so picture perfect.” “Wow, that Lettering is flawless!” “That project seemed to take no time to complete.”. Then I realized when you look through my Instagram feed you may be led to believe that I spend my days blissfully coloring and creating to my hearts content. No stress, just pencils, paints and smiles. Which isn’t 100% true at all. I’m so much more than pretty script, fun quotes and illustrations. I’m hustling hard both personally and professionally.
I have worries, bills to pay and obligations to fulfill. I’m a Mommy that works super hard to be there for my kids. With some days leaving me feeling like I’m failing as a parent. I cook, clean, shuttle, do laundry, pay bills, care for our dog son and scrub toilets just like you. Right next to me in all of this is my husband John, and together we’re keeping it together. We’re not perfect by any means. There are imperfections but we are so much more than our broken pieces. Realizing this about myself, my relationship with my family and life brings clarity and makes it a little easier to relax, forgive myself and be ok with being human. At some point we have to understand perfection isn’t possible nor is it human.
With that being said, the next time you are scrolling and find yourself here. I hope you remember that life isn’t always champagne and beautiful sunsets. Embrace your imperfections and rest easy knowing everyone around you has just as many cracks, bumps and bruises as you. We are all more alike than we are different.