I have a big fat, mind blowing, earth shattering, life changing reality check for you. It’s something that took me a long time to realize and even longer to embrace. It’s also something I have to remind myself of on a regular basis!
Are you ready for it?
No one has their shit together. Not me, not you. Not your pastor, banker, mayor, doctor, librarian or hair dresser. Not your neighbor across the street whose entire yard and house make the homes from the latest edition of Home and Garden look sad and pathetic. Not the president of the PTA who is on every committee, and at every bake sale. Not your college roommate who just landed their dream job. And not even your brother’s, girlfriend’s, cousin’s, neighbor’s uncle that just won the lottery.
Newsflash! Everyone has something in their lives they want to be different. Just because their lives look great on the surface, doesn’t mean they have it all figured out! That neighbor with the perfect house may be struggling with overwhelming anxiety and OCD, and their spotless home and yard are how they cope. (Or may be a sign they AREN’T coping!) The PTA mom might be throwing herself into volunteer work because her marriage is falling apart. Your college roommate may have gotten their dream job, but also just got diagnosed with cancer. And let’s be real here, when has winning the lottery EVER actually solved all of someone’s problems?
It has taken me YEARS to get to the point where I no longer have to fight the urge to laugh in someone’s face, when they tell me that I inspire them or that they look up to me. My internal reaction is still “Oh honey, if only you knew!” Now, however I am able to step back and see what they see. A strong, capable, single mom with special needs kids, who works full time, finds time to volunteer, goes to church (albeit irregularly), gets to the gym (also irregularly) and manages some semblance of a social life. What they don’t see are the days that my anxiety is overwhelming, the times I lose my temper on my kids, the fact that my housekeeping style is best described as “there appears to have been a struggle” or the fact that I quite literally live on caffeine and carbs most days because I honestly can’t remember the last time I woke up feeling rested.
The more you start really connecting with other people, the more you realize that their lives aren’t as perfect as they appear on the surface. The stronger the person appears the rockier their past usually is. What you see is someone strong, and brave. What they feel is broken and defeated. Every time someone tells me they finally feel like they have their ducks in a row, they get hit with a life changing curve-ball. Heck, the entirety of my last few years has been one huge curve-ball after another!
Don’t get me wrong, by no means am I saying not to try! What I am saying, is cut yourself some slack. Stop comparing your journey to other people’s, and start appreciating the life you have. Stop striving for perfection and start being proud of your progress. If you aren’t satisfied with a certain aspect of your life, find a way to change it.
So, go out there. Grow. Heal. Learn. Embrace your beautiful disaster of a self. And most importantly, remember no one really has their shit together. We are all just winging it.
Embrace your perfectly imperfect self,