the Instagram version is not real life.
Hello dear reader,
How was your summer? I do hope you have had moments of fun, rest, relaxation and different scenery. Hopefully you’ve had a holiday or a break of some kind.
Catching up on social media from friends and loved ones, I have been festooned with beautiful photos of holidays, beaches, fun, joy, laughter and merriment. I do love a seascape on instagram, and I as much as the next person am inclined to show my best photos representing my best life. But, as I scrolled through, it did get me thinking how far and away social media holidays are to the actual real thing.
That doesn’t make them any less fun or beautiful, but, the Instagram version is not real life.
And we need to remember this. Social media holidays, selfies and filtered photos are not real life.
Real life is what we are experiencing the rest of the time. The beautiful moments need to be captured, remembered, appreciated, yes. But when that’s all we see, we start to think that that is what constitutes real life. And then we look at our own life, our own experiences, and they don’t quite match up. Everyone else is doing it better. Having more fun, doing it more perfectly, more beautifully. Except, dear reader, I reckon they’re probably not.
Here’s a few real life moments from my summer.
What others saw: Surf lessons, wetsuit, waves.
IRL: the waves were enormous one day and pretty intimidating, I bite my tongue and the instructor thought I was seriously injured as I hadn’t realised I had done so and there was blood pouring down my face. Another day I was hit by someone else’s board.
What others saw: Seaside stroll, cockerpoo by the side, music in my ears.
IRL: I lost my headphones. Turned the holiday cottage upside down looking for them. Was convinced I had lost my memory, was therefore surely beginning the menopause, which made me both hugely frustrated and highly emotional. Headphones found by hubby under the car. They’d been run over.
What others saw: Three boys and their dad surfing, enjoying the waves in Devon, not a care in the world
IRL: Husband’s phone sent an SOS message to me (I was elsewhere) resulting in immediate and excessive levels of panic and anxiety. The police called me too, to see if it was a real SOS. I aged about ten years in the process, thinking my entire family had been swept out to sea. Said watch was actually in boot of car all along. Goodness knows how it managed to send an SOS signal of its own accord. Tears of relief followed as boys and their dad casually appeared where I had parked the car.
What others saw: Stone-baked pizza on the beach + dramatic beach sunset
IRL: Took us three evenings to actually get pizza. Sold out two previous evenings, and on the night we finally got it, we nearly didn’t go to get it because boys had been so argumentative. We finally *did* go to get the pizza, had to wait *an hour and a half* for it to be cooked (we got the last 5 pizzas hooray) and then when we did get it, the spicy hot one seemingly had all the leftover jalapeños and chilli on, and was too hot even for my boys. Mouth and face and throat on fire and all a bit underwhelming.
So, my friends, here’s just a few examples to hearten you. Real life is not the same as the on-screen version.
It’s not perfect. My life isn’t, and I hazard a guess neither is yours.
Real life is not how it looks on a phone.
It’s worse, it’s better, it’s real.
Be encouraged. We are all just doing out best with a mixed bag of scenarios. Breathe in the wonderful, peaceful moments.
But know that messy, disappointing, imperfect moments come with the territory too.
Here’s to us all being as real about life as we can.
P.S. I just want to mention that I managed to stand on the surf board
P.P.S. If you’re wondering about a sense of purpose as you head into the Autumn, feel free to try my new purpose scorecard, completed with a personalised pdf report.