Friday, December 28, 2018

2018: SOCIAL MEDIA vs. REALITY

hi, social media friends!

this was a really big year for me.

here's what i did in 2018.

i got my degree and graduated from a wonderful college.

i traveled to beautiful places like hawaii.

i got my first real job.

i got engaged to the man of my dreams.


these were all such happy and beautiful moments that i will no doubt cherish and remember for the rest of my lifetime. and i willingly shared all of these moments with you all, because that's what people do! they post the good things that happen to them. now, don't worry, i'm not about to hate on people that post positive things on social media. i, for one, LOVE seeing people's life monuments! (show me all 400 wedding pictures, i promise i'll look at every single one! tell me about that new job you got! please show me your adorable puppy. where did you get that cute outfit?) social media can be such a wonderful and happy place to show others what you've been up to.

but on the flip side, i'm a huge advocate for keeping social media realistic. i love posting before and after pictures to show people that nothing is as it seems. i try to pour my honest thoughts into captions about where i'm at in life. and i try to give people a glimpse of the things i go through- the good and the bad. with that being said...

this was a really big year for me.

here's what i did in 2018.

WHAT YOU SAW: 
i got my degree and graduated from a wonderful college.

WHAT YOU DIDN'T SEE:
the last few months of college i was so stressed out, i could hardly even enjoy it. i was taking my final course to complete my english minor and i had to talk to my professor about how bad my anxiety was so that he understood why i didn't participate much in his class. (shout out to dr.chapman who never criticized or asked questions). on top of that, grant had just received his job offer for a 6 month training program in north carolina that i was terrified for him to take. i didn't want to be long distance again and be 10 hours away from him. what was even more terrifying was the realization that after the 6 month training program was over that he could be located anywhere in the united states. the thought of being so far away was devastating and i didn't understand why God wouldn't open up any other doors. this being said, there were weeks filled with heated words, tears, and slammed doors. that, on top of finishing up school and trying to prepare for graduation, made my anxiety worse than i've ever had. (spoiler alert: he took the job, got located in memphis, and proposed. mental note to myself: trust God more, girl. he's got it all worked out.)

professional graduation pictures with hair + make up done, vs letting my anxiety get the best of me a few days later

(you can click on my photos to enjoy them in high def... if you want to appreciate them in all their glory)


WHAT YOU SAW: 
i traveled to beautiful places like hawaii. 

WHAT YOU DIDN'T SEE: 
guess what? i was too obsessed and preoccupied about my weight to even appreciate it fully. i made sure to have the lightest calorie breakfast as possible everyday so that i would look "skinny enough" in my instagrams. i did hours of cardio in the weeks leading up to the trip. i refused to enjoy any exotic food and stuck with caesar salads (no dressing, because #fats, duh) so that i wouldn't gain any weight. and i did lose the weight, i lost 10 pounds. wanna get really personal and honest? when i got home, i lost my period for months and messed up my hormones because i was doing such extreme dieting and exercise. i was more focused on myself and the way i looked and societal pressures to be as small as possible than enjoying the beautiful creation that God hand made. (oh, and i gained the 10 pounds back.)
i made my mom take at least 50 pictures of me to make sure i looked "skinny enough" instead of simply enjoying the view.  and this is me, having my 20th probably (no exaggeration) salad of the trip.

WHAT YOU SAW: 
i got my first real job.

WHAT YOU DIDN'T SEE: 
i struggled for months and months to figure out what i wanted to do with my life. i sent out dozens of applications and resumes to be rejected from every single one. i didn't get jobs that i wanted, that i prayed for, that i so desperately needed that i sent in multiple emails following up. everybody else was moving on from college and getting jobs and i was stuck. it made me feel left out, depressed, and panicked. what was i going to do with my life? i woke up every morning and immediately checked my email in hopes that a company would pull me in for an interview and i was disappointed for months upon months. i felt like the only person in the world that couldn't land a job and i was humiliated.


my headshot + bio on the company's website now vs my gmail 'sent' folder where i was sending every company emails in memphis that i could


WHAT YOU SAW: 
i got engaged to the man of my dreams. 

WHAT YOU DIDN'T SEE:
in 2018, i struggled with hormonal acne for the first time in my life. for as long as i can remember, i've had perfect skin. i can say this now that it's no longer clear and beautiful. likely due to extreme dieting and hormone imbalances, i had to deal with horrible breakouts all of 2018 which was a huge blow to my self-confidence. i didn't want to go to the grocery store because i was so afraid i'd run into somebody i knew and they'd think "what happened to her?" my face would be clear for a few weeks and then i'd be hit with another breakout. needless to say, my forehead was in the middle of a bad breakout the day grant proposed. although the day was honestly perfect and i wouldn't change a thing about it, social media didn't portray how bad my skin was. luckily proposal pictures aren't close ups😂
a far away picture of the happiest moment of my life vs a high def picture of how bad my skin really was

i'm posting this blog to show even just one person that my life isn't always what i portray it to be. in 2018, i experienced some amazing highs, and some horrible lows. 

this is to remind you, yes you, that 

SOCIAL. MEDIA. IS. NOT. REAL. LIFE! 

if you wanted to just scroll through my profile, you would probably think that i was happy the whole year and that everything worked out for me. but just because i experienced some extremely happy moments doesn't mean that i didn't still struggle with depression and anxiety. there were months that i felt lost, times i felt ugly, countless jobs i got rejected from, nights that i laid in bed and cried, multiple fights caused by long distance, and obsessions i let get the best of me.

 life isn't always as good as people make it seem on social media. and maybe, just maybe, it's not supposed to be. maybe life isn't always supposed to be happy. maybe life isn't supposed to be filtered. maybe life isn't only beneficial when good things are happening to you. maybe life isn't supposed to feel like a competition won by likes. maybe life is a beautiful mix of the good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly, the happy and the sad, and that's what makes it REAL.
  

"instagram picture of happy girl" vs the real me: no make up, bun, and most likely stressing over something small 
the picture i posted (flattering pose) vs a picture i took 5 minutes later

color editing, good posing + flattering angle vs unedited, in-between photos + unflattering pose
one of 20 pictures my mom took of me on christmas eve with fake lashes and face make up vs a genuine moment of happiness on christmas morning with a fresh face
make up vs no make up



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