The perfect life…

…doesn’t exist.

You’d never know it, though, judging by most of what people put on the internet. I love the saying, “Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes footage to someone else’s highlight reel.” The world wide web is an incredible venue to create and display the version of ourselves we wish existed. Even though we are aware that what we read or see isn’t the whole truth, sometimes the GOOD of other people can make us feel BAD about our own messy reality.

That’s the topic of a post I read today from Elizabeth over at Delightfully Tacky. She nailed it. Here are a couple of lines that I enjoyed:

“Like… it’s weird to me that we have to clarify that our lives aren’t perfect.  I suppose it can become hard to see that, when we’re bombarded with beautiful photos of fun parties, macarons, fancy cocktails, pretty dresses, and craft projects that always turn out wonderfully.  But in reality you don’t know a single person with a perfect life, so why does the internet make you think that such a person exists?”

Also:

“Hi, I’m not going to instagram my migranes or my cry-hangover puffy red face, because ew.  That doesn’t mean those things don’t happen. Of course those things happen because I’m a real person and you’re a real person and so is everyone else.”

And a line that struck a nerve with me personally: 

“Some choose only to share positivity, which can have the effect of making a person look like they have a perfect life.  But before you harbor jealousy, envy, and even hate in your own heart towards a person you perceive to have a perfect life, remember that they are a human being just like you.”

Do you remember when I wrote about “keeping it real”? Someone had made me lose confidence in my writing by suggesting that focusing on the good stuff is somehow fake and insincere. Afterward, as I wrote that post, my resolve in my perspective only strengthened:

The point of the usual bliss is not to pretend my life is perfect, or offer a façade of what I’m like or how my life really is. I’m a mess, just like everybody else! I think by now, my readers have gotten to know more than just the shiny side of me. It’s my choice to focus on the good stuff.

Do yourself a favor and read Elizabeth’s post. It’s a fabulous reminder that no one is perfect, regardless of what they write about or photograph or share with the world. For every perfect batch of cookies, there’s a pile of burned ones in the garbage. For every photo of a laughing child, there are 20 in the “deleted” folder of a tantrum. I am guilty of sharing a lot of blissful moments here, but I know that the messy parts make the good stuff BETTER. The missteps along the way make the victory sweeter in the end. I share a lot here. Sometimes I let you in on my failures and fears, and sometimes you’re only going to get my smiles.

On the eve of another weekly batch of extra shiny happy BLISS BITS, I hope you choose to seek out what makes you smile, too- even if it’s not the whole truth. Cheers to burned cupcakes, unmade beds, blurry photos, and a happy life.

ImageImage

**images from Pinterest**

28 replies »

  1. Amber!! I love this for a lot if reasons, the first one being the fact that I agree with it 100% I have felt the weird guilt of maybe focusing too much on the positive, but I think it’s a delicate thing to share the really messy moments that we ALL have in a public way. Pain is private, and is best shared with the world like letting light through blinds into the night time. Just enough to let people know you’re real and someone’s home, but not opening those blinds completely while you’re butt-naked and changing into your pajamas (who knows who is looking and judging.)

    You have to protect yourself a little bit and focus on 98% of the good.

    I like your sharing. I like your joy.

    Sincerely,

    Another real human being 🙂

    • I love the image of letting light through the blinds. And the changing your pajamas analogy! HA! Some hard stuff is personal, more personal than I feel is right for me to share completely. But I think that being honest and real can also include being optimistic and happy in general. At least I try.
      Thanks for your sweet comment, Jessy!

  2. Love this, Amber. So true. Headed off to read Elizabeth’s post now. Always a welcome reminder to remember that we are all human and experience all of life’s ups and downs, regardless of what our Instagram feed or blog might look like! 🙂

    And for the record, I love that you focus on positivity and blissful moments. There’s a lot of negativity in the world already and I personally enjoy reading something upbeat and uplifting in my spare time.

    • How great was Elizabeth’s post? Everyone has ups and downs! It’s just not always appropriate to share ALL of it with the world.
      Thanks for the support, and for reading, Jorie! 🙂

  3. I love this post. When I started my blog, I decided it would be my happy space, so I post pretty, happy things. It doesn’t mean there’s no bad stuff, it just means I would rather focus on the good things. I think of my blog as a kind of journal and photo album. When I look back, I want to remember the moments that made me smile, not the ones that made made me angry, sad or upset. I like your blog, it brings a little sunshine into my day!

    • HAPPY SPACE. I love that we have the power to create that! I’ve said before that this blog isn’t a DIARY where I share every piece of every day, good and bad and ugly. The best part is that even when I’m having to put a little more effort into thinking positively, it’s still my real life.Thanks for your sunshine-y space, too!

  4. Love this post Amber. My life is nowhere perfect, but like you, I like to focus on those things that bring bliss to my life…even among all those “burnt cupcakes!” Embrace the bliss!!! Hugs 🙂

  5. Mom always told me, “if you don’t have anything nice to say…” We’ll, that goes for blogging as well.

    Amber, you and I are similar in that we are naturally positive, pull-a-rainbow-out-of-a-mud-puddle kind of people, but you’re right. We are PEOPLE. No one can escape the normalcies of life (aka, not so glamorous stuff), but where we choose to put our emphasis is what separates us from the doom-sayers and energy-suckers.

    You may have noticed my lack of blog posts. It seem NOTHING these days is going well, and every time I sit down to write about anything, it comes across as Debbie Downer. Not my style. So DirtNKids is on a bloggy hiatus of sorts. If it wasn’t for the photo-a-day project you turned me onto, I might have nothing to present!

    Hopefully, things will return to semi-normal come October when we are back in our house, I’m back in the dirt (my love), and the kids are back in school. Til then, I’ll just come check out your bliss and keep my focus on the good in life.

    And there is so, so much good. Thank you for your bliss. Wouldn’t change a thing. Clicking over to the others now…

    • I’m sorry you’re in a lower-than-normal spot- I miss your posts. Things will come around- they always do! There IS so much good. I feel like I’ve been reiterating that more than normal recently because life’s been stressing ME out, too… but sometimes the tough stuff has a place here on the blog and sometimes it doesn’t.
      I have found that by sharing tricky times (in my own way) here, it’s been therapeutic and ultimately turns it all into a positive anyway. I think people like to be reminded that happy people get sad and the good life has bad days, not in a “misery loves company” way but a “I can relate” way.

      • You are too right about that. And you have succeeded! Thanks for the kind words and I wish you well always. Fortunately there is always sunshine after a good drencher. Hugs. 🙂

  6. Love this! For me, I’ve chosen to confront this by clarifying the language I use: no one’s life (my own included) is flawless; but it can be perfect and still flawed if what I mean by perfect is exactly as it is meant to be.

    And for the record, I love that you focus on the positive. Not because it’s fake or disingenuous, but because it reflects what you choose to deem important.

    • Thanks, Robin! I guess Elizabeth’s post rang true for me because I do sometimes feel like the image of life that comes across this blog is not as genuine as I intend it to be – focusing on one aspect tends to skew the picture a bit. I do appreciate the blogs that are “real” and hope that mine, while positive, still feels that way. Thanks for reading!

  7. Loving your post and love your blog – you are just living it and in sharing your photos and life it reminds me to focus on how lucky I truly am in the life I DO HAVE – love that:) I was really hesitate in adding CravesLife to my blog, but I went for it and it has been well received. I ams sure there are a few people out there that do not care for it, but I am okay with that. Here’s to LIVING IT & GETTING OUT THERE!!!

  8. This is entirely lovely, Amber. I fall into a pit of “my life stinks compared to theirs” if I get too deep into Instagram and Blogland – so I have to be careful of that, reminding myself that we’re all human. I really respect and admire that you bring the positive into your little corner of the Internet. I’m currently reading the book “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown, and she talks about the power of vulnerability. She specifically references blogs, and drawing the line between being vulnerable and sharing your pain/sadness/imperfection with the wider world when you haven’t fully processed the sadness yourself. She says if you aren’t in a space where you can laugh or be at peace with a situation, it’s best to simply share it with your trusted loved ones. It’s okay not to tear open the blinds in such a public space – we’re all here to support one another, but privacy is still ours to claim. You go, girl!

  9. Amber, what an excellent reminder. Perfection does not exist and it’s time for everyone to realize that constantly comparing ourselves to others and striving to be perfect is more stressful than we know. Let’s all just enjoy the imperfections and embrace the bliss in all that life has to offer.

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