I woke up today feeling a little bit out of sorts. I take pride in the fact that I know myself incredibly well and was able to figure out rather quickly what it was that was bothering me.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy for me to snap out of it, though, it just means I can identify it and work to move through it.
I threw on my current favorite maternity sweater, the only sweats that seem to fit me (which, ironically are my cheerleading sweats from high school), and my beat up, need to be replaced Pottery Barn slippers, grabbed a cup of hot coffee, the baby monitor and my computer and came outside to write. It’s a little chilly this morning in Texas but being outside always helps to center me. The crisp air and hot coffee also do wonders for my processing and writing.
So, here I sit.
I will start by saying that I am, generally speaking, not someone that compares herself to others. I am fortunate in that I have always felt very firm in who I am and confident in myself. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen sometimes. I am human after all, and sometimes (especially with the help of social media), comparing myself to others gets the better of me.
I feel grimy when I do. It’s such an unfamiliar feeling for me. To compare my looks and my appearance to other peoples’. But today, I woke up comparing.
Our Oh Four the Love Instagram page has taken off, which I am SO excited about. Currently, we have quite a few people who are following along with Brittany and my journey. Like…. WHAT!? That is outrageous to me. But because we have so many people, I find myself on our Instagram a lot more than I ever have been (sorry personal page- that has gone almost completely out the window now).
And here’s the thing with social media... I’ve heard other people talk about this frequently, but the shoe never really fit for me. I’ve always been brutally honest with the things that I share, whether it be good or bad, and never really picked up on the “other stuff” because of that.
But social media are the best highlights of someone’s life. They are glimpses, perfectly curated photographs and captions that someone poured way too long over. They are real life, sure. But they are not the whole story. There are several people that I know personally, or that I follow, that have said that they find themselves comparing often, and not to fall privy to that trap because of just this. Because these glimpses don’t make up the full story.
I never fully understood the comparison game. I’ve never felt the need to compare myself, my life or my looks to others- you’ve got a beautiful house? You go girl, you worked hard for that! You have the perfect little family? I know how hard it is to bring life into this world, you celebrate and show that off sister! You have a closet full of beautiful clothes and shoes? Rock on mama, you look great!
But. It happened.
I woke up feeling heavy because of the social media comparison trap. Turns out, I’ve been doing it a lot more recently than I even realized, and it all came to a head at 7am on a Sunday morning.
Let me just start by saying that my sister is one of the most beautiful people I know, inside and out. There is a reason that I have wanted to “grow up to be her” for as long as I can remember. When we were in high school and college, I sometimes hated going places with her because people would always stop and stare at her. I didn’t ever feel like I needed those compliments or eyeballs on me, but I did occasionally feel unnoticed.
And that is no fault of her own. She is gorgeous. There’s no denying it. Sometimes I stop and stare at her too. She’s just pretty to look at y’all!
But I have never compared myself to her. I have always known that she was beautiful. I have always known that she is one of the most genuine people in this crazy world. I have always known that her heart’s beauty outshines her outer beauty tenfold. I have always loved these things about her and have been honored that she chooses to be my friend (because even when you’re family, it’s a choice).
But y’all, I get it now. Sharing a page with her can make it so apparent that the people who stumble across our page feel the same. They look at her and see her beauty… And they tell us. I don’t blame them, but I feel a little like that high schooler again.
I don’t find that I’m comparing myself to her, so much. I find myself thinking “why don’t people reach out and tell me that I’m beautiful?” “Why don’t my posts or stories solicit the same reaction?” “Should I get the heck out of sweats for a day?”
And as someone who has never EVER relied on anybody else to make her feel good about herself, this is not my favorite place to be. Heightened by the fact that I don’t recognize my growing body (for which I am UNBELIEVABLY grateful, if you’ve been following, then you know this), that my cheeks and ankles and features are starting to swell with the water retention that is third trimester pregnancy, that the clothes that I have don’t fit… None of it helps. And feeling like there is such a stark difference between the responses to the sisters on social media…. Well that really doesn’t feel good either.
Social media is brutal. And I wish I could tell you not to compare yourself to others because it really is just the highlight reel. I wish I could tell you not to take seeing other people being handed compliments personally if you aren’t also getting that outpouring. I wish I could tell you to just be you and let the other stuff roll off. And I will, I will tell you to do all of those things.
But some days, you won’t. You won’t feel it. And that’s hard and it sucks. But it also makes you human.
So… this is me. And it turns out social media can make me a little insecure.
I am reserved and perhaps come off a little snobby at first (my RBF doesn’t help, I know, but that’s just my face). I am sarcastic and raw and unfiltered, once you get to know me. I love deeply and fiercely. I show up for the people that show up for me. I will do anything for the people in my tribe, even if it means pushing things I need to the side. I rarely put on anything outside of sweats. Because let’s be real, I am a work-from-home mom who chases a toddler, is stupid pregnant and is living in a 2020 world, y’all. Where the hell am I going to go? I put makeup on, but infrequently, and the only days I do is because I either have work Zoom calls or I just want to wear it for me. I am a fantastic mother to my spicy little girl and my rambunctious fur babies. I am always exhausted and I probably cuss too much.
And it turns out, despite being one confident lady, I have insecurities too.
I am not for everyone, and that’s okay. Not everyone will think I’m beautiful, and that’s okay. My humor is not everyone’s taste, and that’s okay. My bluntness and honesty may be off-putting to some (probably most), and that’s okay.
But this is me. In all my wonderfully complicated beauty, this is me.