Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cropping Out the Sadness

Is anybody else a fan of Portlandia? Maybe it's just because I lived in Portland for two years, or because I live in the Pacific Northwest, but I love this show. It's totally over the top and exaggerated, but it doesn't get much better than the skit about the couple asking about the chicken, Colin, that they were going to eat for dinner.. "Did he have friends on the farm?"

Anyways, this clip definitely describes something I've been thinking a lot lately... How and what we present to other about ourselves to the public.. whether it's on Facebook or in person. Do we always put on a happy face and pretend like everything is perfect so that everyone else can think your life is perfect? I'm talking about these people that are like, oh my gosh, look at my cute kids, our awesome family traditions with my perfect little family, and my creative and amazing Pinterest parties and crafts. There aren't any weaknesses or imperfections in my life! Every day is a blessing!

Honestly, I have never been that kind of person. I can't stand this need to appear perfect for everyone else. It's just so fake. So annoying. In college at BYU, my theme song was "I'm Real" by J. Lo (the realest person on the planet, I'm sure). I met so many girls there who just put on a front for all of the boys (oh, look at me, I love football, video games, and camping!), and it drove me nuts. I'd totally shut down in response to these people, so I'm pretty sure people thought I was totally rude or a hermit at times (which may have been partly true).

But now, this front that people are putting on is more in my face because of social media. Sometimes, Facebook is the worst place to be when you're feeling vulnerable and depressed. You're just bombarded by all of these psuedo-happy status updates about people's perfect relationships and lives, and it just makes you feel worse if your life isn't as exciting, fun, or happy as the people say their lives are. I understand, you don't want to air your dirty laundry, or maybe you're not as open as I've been about my life and problems... But there has to be a happy medium.

Let me tell you what my life is really like. It's not exciting. It's not perfect. It just IS. I get up at 6 AM, get ready, wrestle Carter in/out of bed/clothes, work, pick up Carter, work out while Carter watches a video, make dinner, force/bribe Carter to eat dinner, possibly go to the gym if I haven't worked out, put Carter to bed, and then go to bed by myself after doing some chores at 9 PM. That is life. It's often humdrum and full of very ordinary events. It's sometimes made more fun by what Carter says, or maybe we do something extraordinary like stop at Taco Bell on the way home.. And yes, my life is full of problems. We're in plenty of debt, my marriage isn't perfect, we don't own a house, my husband's car is a POS (he has to hit the starter with a hammer if it doesn't start), Carter throws a fit every day when he hears he has to get dressed, I have a tendency to stress shop, and I live in a rundown townhouse in not a great town. So the F what if people know I don't have a perfect life.. It's REAL life.

I have had to learn more and more about how to care LESS about what people think.. I'm sure people still think I'm crazy for getting back together with my husband. But, whatever.. it's my life. And now, because I've been open about my problems with my spouse, I feel like everyone's views of me and my family are tainted. I feel like people can think about Graham, "Oh, so what if he did something nice for you? He still lied to you and you guys were separated for like nine months!" Yes, that is definitely a downside of having gone public about some of my problems. But, if people around me think those kind of mean and spiteful things about me, then I don't need them in my life. And, with my problems at work and my integrity being called into question, I really have to apply this principle to myself as well. I know what my morals are and what my actions have been, so it shouldn't matter as much what people think about me.

Anyways, these are just some of my rambling thoughts lately.


Shannon said...

I love your blunt realness Sherri! I think it's what draws people to you. It's refreshing and funny and completely relatable. Hugs!

chelsea proctor said...

I love it. My alter ego wants me to think I am one of those people that doesn't care what others think, especially when I'm in line at the grocery store with a bottle of wine (I cook with it) but I'm not. More praise to ya for doing what you feel is right and sticking to it.

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