2018 Top Nine- How 9 photos lead me to feel far from the top
I didn’t want to post my Top 9 of 2018 For brief moment I was embarrassed, I wished there were other people in them, it was lonely. At first, I compared it to everyone else’s. Thankfully, that state of comparison passed rather quickly but as usual it gave me an opportunity to look closer and ask myself a few questions.
When I first looked at my photos, I judged my life. Why don’t I have a husband yet? Why don’t I have children yet? It’s like I had seen all the photos of everyone else’s life and then when I saw mine I was surprised at what showed up. There was no engagement photo or me and my husband on traveling adventures. No baby bumps or babies born. There were no dogs.
I saw the lives of so many people I follow and at some point stamped those images in my mind as what my life is supposed to look like. And that’s where the surprise came from.
I saw *my life right next to someone else’s (maybe you reading this) and all I saw in mine was the difference from yours. *My life- for a moment was equated to a few “top” photos based on the # of likes they got.
And THEN I thought of ALL of the people who show up in real life, real moments, when it really matters. All the people that Instagram doesn’t see. Somehow for a moment, lost in comparison I forgot all my own big, amazing and life changing moments. I forgot momentarily how FULL my life is because it didn’t look like someone else’s full life. I didn’t see the photos in my top nine were all attached to something incredible that I am grateful for. Lost in comparison, I forgot all the things that weren’t and can’t be captured in photo. Sometimes I try in my writing and all the people I love (and lost) are hidden in every word of the photo caption.
The embarrassment was silly and the loneliness wasn’t real. I’m more comfortable with who I am/where I’m at in my life than I ever have been. It’s amazing how that can all be put into question following a simple thought. I’m grateful it allowed me to remember the wonderful things Instagram didn’t see, especially because it was triggered by silly comparison.
Please don’t stop letting us see your happy big moments. Let’s not make ourselves small and hide our joy to try and make other people happy. We will fail if go that route. I’ve seen some posts saying to stop following people that make you feel like you should be someone else. And although I do get that, some things we are subject to reflect social norms that we need to grow up from but in some cases, like what I just experienced- Feeling less than has nothing to do with what you are looking at and everything to do with needing to take a look at yourself. With patience, forgiveness and softness of course, but taking a moment to see where the feeling of inadequacy comes from leads us to a place of true healing. From there we can begin to love ourselves exactly as we are.