I’ve somehow bought into this Instagram life, this alternate version of reality, but I just don’t have the energy for it. I’ve never kept up with fads and trends like that. I’ve never had any interest in it. But somehow we buy into this ideal whether we live it or not and have a tendency to beat ourselves up if we’re not living according to some predetermined standard. We’re told who we’re supposed to be, before we ever have a chance to figure it out.
When is life ever what we’ve thought it would be? My guess is, fairly rarely. Nothing turns out the way we hoped it would. Some things fall flat on their face, other things work out far better than we could have imagined. So why do we buy into this ideal? Why do we live to impress others, when we lose ourselves in the process?
Isn’t that what it means to be real? To be whole, to be genuine, to be ourselves. To be in tune with the world and the people around us. To be present in that moment. There are children starving. People sold as slaves, beaten and poverty stricken. And we escape into our idyllic world pretending that our pretty things are all that exist. We turn away to a fabricated world and convince ourselves that it is real. Because what’s in front of us hurts too much to see.
I don’t want to buy into the world’s version of reality. It looks enticing and draws us it, but underneath it’s hollow; a flimsy paper mask that melts in the rain as we desperately try to hold it together.
I choose a different real. I am not a picture or a stereotype. I’m a human. And being human has value. All humans have value. My life is not just about me. It’s about everyone around me, every person I can impact for good. It’s looking into that homeless person’s eyes and seeing someone just as real and valuable as yourself. That moment. That connection. It’s not how our lives look online, but the things we do and who we are while we’re actually living. That is what makes us real.