We strive for perfection. We create an idea of the person we want to be. We have all these thoughts in our head of how we want to make ourselves different or better. We do things, we say things, we write things. What better place to do that than the internet or within a group of people you’ve never met before? Or maybe you can appear a changed person at your ten-year reunion. We have these profiles and images and clothes selectively chosen to show only parts of who we are. And for what? To change how others look at us? To trick people into thinking we’re someone we’re not? To gain acceptance? To make us feel better about ourselves? To let others judge us based on appearances rather than who we really are?
I grew up wishing I could transfer to new schools every year so I could re-create myself. I was never able to figure out exactly who I was, so I wanted to be each persona. I still can’t figure out who I am. I don’t fit in with any stereotypical group. I know what I love to do and how much my interests clash with each other. I only let certain parts of me leak out to certain people. Sometimes I’m afraid of what people will think of me. I wonder if anyone is really as wholly accepting as they say they are. But that’s silly. I shouldn’t be afraid. I’m a very accepting person and I know I can’t be the only one. People will either hate me or love me and I just have to focus on those who think the latter.
Sometimes we can be perfect in some areas of our life, but often we slip. It’s OK. We don’t have to be perfect. Being perfect is exhausting. Creating someone that isn’t you is time-consuming. Just do what you need to do. Lead the life you want and allow yourself to indulge in that pint of ice cream once in awhile. Moderate yourself. Live with intention. Just be. Being you is the easiest thing you can do. Who cares what other people think?
So, you know what?
I’m not going to pretend I’m a strict vegetarian because sometimes I still have cravings for hot dogs (this is Chicago!) and I act on those cravings once every few months.
I’m not going to pretend my home is completely clear and minimalist because I still have four bags of random items in the closet and no clue what to do with them.
I’m not going to pretend that I’m very social because sometimes, I just want to stay inside away from the world and curl up with a good book and ice cream or truffles.
I’m not going to pretend my life is simple, because I spend days feeling very overwhelmed with all the changes going on in my life and expectations from others.
I’m not going to pretend I watch every word that comes out of my mouth because sometimes hurtful words unintentionally slip out.
I’m not going to pretend I’m a completely faithful follower of Christ because doubt does swim around in my head constantly, despite everything I have read or heard.
I’m not going to pretend I am friends with everyone because there are some people in this world that don’t like me for something I have said or done in the past.
I’m not going to pretend I only shop at the farmer’s market because sometimes the chain grocery around the corner has exactly what I need in a hurry.
I’m not going to pretend that I never buy new clothes because I bought new shoes last week for the first time in two years!
I’m not going to pretend I hate all cars because I really want to own a 1967 Chevy Corvette convertible and a sexy, shiny, black Harley Sportster.
I’m not going to pretend I’m excited about the wedding when all I can focus on is the marriage itself and how I feel about taking such a huge step in my life!
I’m not going to pretend I work out because days go by without a single push-up.
I’m not going to pretend I never go to the mall because sometimes I go just to look.
I’m not going to pretend I can hear you because sometimes I just can’t.
I’m not going to pretend I’m tough because I do cry.
I’m just going to do the best I can.
Those are my secrets. That’s who I am. I’m human. This reality is me.