As a travel blogger, I realize that we do somewhat of an injustice to real life in this forum on the internet, we share gorgeous photos of incredible destinations around the world, the most beautiful corners of our homes, or unique views of our home cities. And while it may seem to everyone else that life is a beautiful little slice of paradise where nothing ever bad happens and everything is constantly picture-perfect, that’s a huge disservice to the world and to our communities and to ourselves. We’ve all been there, scrolling through our Instagram feed which feels more and more curated these days, where people we follow seem to be living a dream life without the huge to do lists, never ending errands and personal issues that plague most of us on a daily basis.
But here’s the deal: don’t believe everything you see. We have to be able to distinguish between real life and someone else’s highlight reel. And yea, there are moments in my life that feel like magic, times when I’m traveling or at home and everything seems to fit into place and I think to myself “this is amazing.” But that’s about 5% of my life – the other 95% is working late, to do lists that never seem to end, errand after errand, chore after chore, trying to keep up on my DVR and hustling so I can afford to keep traveling or chasing those dreams on the horizon.
For me, in all honesty, the past few months have not been a highlight reel. And while yes, we’ve taken multiple trips in that time and a lot of it has been wonderful, behind the scenes you don’t always see all else that’s going on. Between insane amounts of work and deadlines that have had me working very long hours in the evening and on weekends and while traveling, to family issues that I don’t always share, home maintenance issues costing more than anticipated and dealing with the IRS on some mistakes our old accountant made years ago, we’ve definitely not had a smooth ride of it as of late. And I’m not telling you all this for any other reason other than I’m right there with you. Real life isn’t always glamorous or easy or beautiful, sometimes it’s straining and tiring and feels like everything is flying at you at all times and you’re just trying to your best to not get hit. There have been moments when I really did seriously consider just selling everything I own and moving to a little horse farm in the middle of Iceland to get away from it all.
But here’s the thing – even in those times when we feel like our lives aren’t what they should be or what we’d like them to be, there are moments when I look around and realize how very beautiful this life is however chaotic or crazy it might seem or how un-Instagram it might feel. So the next time you’re feeling like someone else’s highlight reel is how your life should look, just remember that they aren’t showing you everything. And since I don’t think the idea of social media is changing anytime soon, we still have to make a conscience effort to not compare ourselves to someone showing us only 5% of their life and we have to remember that we’re all going to struggle sometimes, we’re all going to go through things in life but at the end of the day, if you can look around and take it all in, breath and keep going, that’s all that matters.
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