“Reel Life” vs. Real Life 

So, here’s the thing: you look at the world around you and wonder where you fit in. You ask yourself: Who am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to do? Why am I here? Will I ever be successful in life and love?

…what’s my purpose? 

Any of those questions ring a bell to you? Maybe you’ve asked yourself these questions a time or two or ten thousand in your life. Maybe you’re asking yourself these questions right now, and you can’t come up with a solid answer for any of them. 
These questions started popping up into my mind recently based upon conversations I’ve had and things that I’ve observed lately. And do you know the main thing that brought up all these questions in my head? 

Yep, that’s right. SOCIAL MEDIA.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “oh this girl is going to talk about how bad social media can be, yet here she is writing on a social media platform.” Yes, I do, in fact, get the irony, but, for me, writing is more of a creative outlet. An escape from the chaos of everyday life. It has been since I was about 15. I write because it helps me ease my mind. I don’t really know how to explain it. In all honesty, these posts always start off as random arrays of notes on my phone when I’m trying to fall asleep at night (and clearly failing miserably at it), and if I feel its worth sharing with people, then I’ll post it. If someone happens to read it and it helps them, great! If it doesn’t, that’s fine, too. At least I got it all off of my chest, out of my mind…however you want to say it. At least it’s given me some clarity. A chance to allow me to do some serious self reflecting and healing.

I lie awake some nights because my body just won’t rest until my mind does, and my mind has been telling me to become more in tune with myself. To start doing little things to improve my self happiness. You see, I’ve found myself consumed lately with scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, Facebook, etc. and just comparing my life to the filtered “highlight reels” that I see of my peers and their lives. Or the lavishing lifestyles of the rich and famous. It all just seems so enchanting. 

“Wow, their life is so much cooler than mine.” 

Yeah, it all seems so incredibly amazing…until I stop and really think about how ridiculous my perception of it can be. How ridiculous it is to compare myself and my life to others, strictly based upon what they post online. Now I don’t know if all these thoughts are flooding though my mind because I’m adjusting to life in a new city, in a whole different state, well over 500 miles from home. It could honestly be because of my most recent Netflix binge on 13 Reasons Why. I don’t know. Could be anything putting these things in perspective for me, but I’m just gonna chalk it up to one of life’s never ending lessons. I think it’s also because of the fact that I just miss when life was simple. When I truly didn’t have a care in the world. Back when I was just a little girl with ambitious hopes and dreams for my future. 

Now, I think I’ve come a pretty long way since being that little girl with ambitious hopes and dreams for my future. Yet, I know that I still struggle now as an adult, especially in regards to loving myself. It can be really hard, at times, and it worries me for the young children of today. Those young children who learn how to use apps like SnapChat at the age of 3. By 12 or 13, they value their self worth strictly by the amounts of likes that they get on their Instagram pictures. It’s no coincidence that bullying rates and suicide rates have sky rocketed in recent years. Shout out to technology for making us all such disconnected individuals who can’t always put our phones down to actually get out and do things that bring our lives meaning and feed our hungry souls. 

Honestly, it’s a damn shame. The world we live in today. I often talk about my disdain for the amount of hatred and cruelty in this world. I’ve been told before that I can be a very old soul. There are times when I’m convinced that I was born in the wrong generation. Guess you can’t expect much more from a girl who put “world peace” on her Christmas List when she was 11, right? I’ve always tried to live my life somewhat optimistically because it’s never really made much sense to me to be a constant pessimist. And believe me, I’ve had my share of being a constant pessimist myself, and I didn’t like myself for it. Not at all.My disdain for hatred and cruelty goes hand in hand with my disdain for pessimism. Those miserable people in the world who can’t seem to find happiness within themselves, so they’re just downright mean and judgmental for no good reason. It’s quite sad, really. 

Now, I can only hope that I, along with others, can be positive examples for those young children in the world. Although I am not yet a parent myself, I often think of my younger cousins and all that they’ve experienced so far in life. I strive to lead by example and show them that they can be anything they want to be in a world where society tries to dictate who they should be. Show them that kindness and love can get them far in life. That loving themselves is one of the most important things that they can do for themselves. That no one can define who they are. To believe in themselves till no end. That being perfectly imperfect is amazing, and that they deserve great things in life, but they need to expect to work hard to achieve them. To understand that their acceptance and self-worth in this world will never be defined by an Instagram like, a boy, or a job.

The “reel lives” are bullshit. Our real lives are the ones that need to be lived to the fullest because our time here is only temporary, so we might as well make the best of it. So go on out and do things that give your life meaning. Feed your hungry soul, and do so with absolutely no regrets. 

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