I look at social media feeds when I’m sitting in a waiting room for an appointment. I scroll through instagram during commercials when I watch TV. My biggest source of news comes from push notifications on my phone from Time, CNN, or Fox. Frankly, I’m engrossed in my phone for a lot of the time. It’s so easy to find yourself falling into a hole of mindless scrolling, effortless likes, and too many re-tweets.
Somewhere, during this mindless scrolling, a small voice in the back of my head starts waking up. It starts offering suggestions, like lose five pounds like that pretty instagram model. Why don’t you have a more organized desk? How come you didn’t go to a horse show last month? There aren’t many pictures of your friends… that might mean you’re boring. Is your job really enough – you do a lot of writing blog posts and sending emails. Someone is more professional than you.
It says things that encourage to find discontent in my life. It says things like she’s so much more put together than you, he’s so much more professional, they’re so adorable together. You know what I mean.
You can click unfollow, you can disable notifications on your phone. You can even get rid of your Facebook so you stop looking at all the marriage proposals and cute engagement pictures. There’s no reason any of us need to check Snapchat so religiously… face it, we all do it. At least at some point or another. But at the end of the day, I’m not so sure this is the cure we’re looking for.
“You always look so put together,” says the barista at my favorite coffee shop. “How do you fit it all in? I don’t know how you do it,” Says a struggling friend. Each time I hear something like that, I want to laugh. Not because it’s funny, but because what they see isn’t always my reality.
Ask anyone who has seen my closet, my car, my tack trunk: I am a human wrecking ball. I leave things everywhere, I wear the same jeans days in a row, and I often find myself agonizing over how to make sure I get everything done in a day. There aren’t enough hours in the day sometimes to control level 5 Hurricane Rebecca. Anyone who has lived with me refers to me as Becca the Wrecka. I forget appointments, I try to fit in too many rides in one day, and I often don’t manage to get my to-do list anywhere near finished. And yet, someone sees me as put together and on top of things (more like underneath piles of laundry I didn’t fold).
I’m willing to bet that model I saw on instagram works tirelessly to be as fit as she is. I’ll wager that the guy who looks so professional has to work day and night to satisfy his boss. He might even be questioning his job, or if he’s really professional at all. The girl juggling what seems like forty five different clubs or positions could be struggling to stay afloat because she’s worried she isn’t doing enough. And yet, you don’t know how she does it because you’re unorganized or you’re only in one club.
The doctor is in, folks. The doctor is willing to prescribe you a cure for this. This feeling of discontent with your life, this feeling of wanting more but being unsure of what more is. This feeling of less, of not enough. Pretend you’re leaving the doctor’s office and they give you a little piece of paper. It reads: “You are to stop comparing your inside with someone else’s outside. Take as needed.”