“I was having this conversation the other day with a friend about Instagram and how everyone thinks everyone else’s life looks perfect all the time, when in reality it’s not.
I’ve written about this before, but I think it bears repeating.
None of us can truly tell the whole story. It’s just not possible. We pick the best moments, sometimes the most real ones, and we put them out here, in the ether. But they don’t tell the whole story. They never do.
Maybe they tell the version we most want to see. What we hope for, what we cling to, what we want to be real.
But we can’t pretend to think that what we see here, online, is the whole truth. It never is.
The other day I took this photo of Vera having a tea party on top of her bed.
It’s a sweet photo. And it gives the impression that perhaps I’m sitting around in my life having tea parties with my kids (and going to the beach and drinking wine with my friends, and all the other stuff I post photos of all the time). And I really am doing all of those things.
But those photos don’t tell the whole story.
What you don’t see in this photo is Greg lying on the carpet, sick with the stomach flu, just home from a business trip, annoyed with me for letting Vera sit on her bed like this. You don’t see Jules with snot running down her face because she has a cold and is teething. You don’t see my messed up hair, the bags under my eyes from four nights of sleep interruptions.
You don’t see me walk away from this scene and into the kitchen where I made dinner and felt tired and stressed and sick, as little instagram likes streamed by on the screen on my phone.
But this photo captures the very best moment of all of that. This photo is me trying desperately to hold onto what is good, what is pure, to hold it to my bones as if my life depended upon it.
Because it does.
“The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.” — Oscar Wilde