Life on Social Media

It’s easy to do. Other people with their new jobs, their shiny-happy families, their creative successes, all documenting their lives in a series of status updates, pithy tweets, and photo albums. If you’re feeling crummy, it can be tough to take. Especially if you’ve glued yourself to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

So, here’s what to do: First of all, DON’T do that.

Some people are super confessional by nature and want to share their ups and downs. Because some of my friends fall in this category, this is something I see a lot of and I respect it. It’s just one way to be. For me, personally, if I’m posting negative stuff, it doesn’t make me feel better. I’ve done it, and I don’t like it. It makes me feel worse, like I made a shit stew and I’m just, you know, stewing. In shit.

On social media, I usually share photos of myself, my kids, a stupid joke, my work or an article I like.

The other day I posted a picture of my students and I sitting in front of our beautiful school. The sky is blue, the sun is shining, we are happy and together.

This is how I want to remember it, because it was the true spirit of the day.

Not pictured: The fever I have, the cold one of my student is fighting, and the stress of keeping up with class assignments, the five times I woke up the night before to ease an upset tummy, the quiet regret of not meeting my writing goals or my Phd goals, and a million other worries and cares that are pretty normal.

It’s all the truth, all part of the picture, but I want to share the happy thing because it feels truest. I’d be willing to bet that even the friends whose careers seem perfect and houses look spotless have things they’re unhappy about too.

We’re all doing what we can with what we have, and trying our best.  That’s OK! Your job stinks? That’s OK too! Normal. We’re all normal, so quit stressing about the fact that your university roommate just gave birth to her fourth child early this year and is expecting her fifth. She just might have a really tough husband who has no interest whatsoever in family planning (yes, I am also trying to console myself). So, you know, you wouldn’t even want to walk a mile in those shoes.

This advice is for me too – I thought I’d have a baby now and I don’t. I thought I’d have my fourth book out, and I don’t. Bummer. But, it’s a process and I’m learning, so I’m not going to let it get me down. I’d have all the fun and adventures I can muscle before The Juniors arrive and I’m just going to keep fighting for writing time and creating new work. And the new stuff is better than the old stuff because that’s how experience works.

So for you and for me: Nevermind about anyone else’s schedule – you are right on time for you.

Oh, in my country, Nigeria, the military has stopped the admission of combatant female cadet…ridiculously amazing. My girls had a lot to say. Have a glimpse…

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