I used to imagine my future as being this perfectly balanced life, where I would have a successful career, clean and organized house, home cooked meals every night, weekends filled with fun activities for the kids, regular date nights with my husband… and the list would go on and on and on.
Why did I have those images in my head? What made me think that this was not only possible, but the norm?
The answer is probably the same for many people. It all started in childhood. I grew up in a culture where keeping a perfectly clean and organized house and having home cooked meals were the top priorities, especially for women. I also remember watching movies as a child, where the main characters always inspired me with their picture perfect lifestyles. And then. just as I was starting my own family, came social media, where pictures and posts of perfect family lives are constantly being featured on my feed.
I kept comparing myself to my friends or complete strangers on social media and think… well, I wish I had her body, or I wish I could afford to go on those exotic vacation like they do, or I wish I was as organized as this YouTube influencer. I basically took the things that were done by different individuals perfectly (at least that was my perception) and combined them into this one perfect life that I should be living in order to be happy and fulfilled.
But what that comparison has done is made me feel inadequate! Their lives seemed so perfect and I kept asking myself: what am I doing wrong?
But over the years, I have come to learn that I have something in common with all those individuals that I used to compare myself to – imperfections. We are all living imperfect lives. Nobody’s life is perfect – even (or especially) if it appears to be perfect on social media. It is simply impossible to have it all.
That friend that has a body that you wished you had is fighting a depression behind closed doors and is too ashamed to open up about her problems to her family. Those wealthy neighbors who go on exotic vacation every year spend the reminder of the year in high stress level jobs and don’t get to attend most of their kid’s sporting and school events, which fills them up with guilt on daily basis. That super organized woman you are following on Instagram is struggling financially to support her family as a single parent.
We all have problems and imperfections: some big and some small. Some visible to others, but most guarded deeply inside for the fear of judgment of being flawed and imperfect. So most of us are acting like we do have perfect lives and make each other even more miserable as we try to live up to each other’s (fake) perfections.
Your life is just as imperfect as theirs – just in its own specific way.