It’s 7:07 on a Friday night.
I should be at the gym. Or hitting the town. Or out exploring and having some sort of adventure that will make everyone insanely jealous. Isn’t that what all the cool kids do?
Instead, I’m slaying on my stomach in my gym clothes, clean laundry in piles, dirty laundry…not quite so orderly. My hair is perfect but that’s only because someone was smart and invented a fake sock-bun device for those of us not quite talented or clever enough to use a sock.
My life is messy.
I tell people that life is like one giant exclamation mark right now and it’s true. But at this moment, it’s rainy outside and any motivation I had when I put on my gym clothes is rapidly being eaten away by the desire to make like a cat and curl up by my little fake fireplace and read a book.
But if I’m realistic, that won’t happen.
I have to clean the bathroom because in a few hours, I’m picking people up from the airport and it’s kind of gross to have a guests over and have a dirty bathroom. It’s not like you can blame the mess on anyone else.
So why am I writing this? Because I think sometimes, people need a reminder that bloggers are real. And messy. And wonderfully flawed and human.
In the age of social sharing, it’s easy to carefully construct an image of myself that isn’t reality. Social media can be personal PR and marketing all rolled up into one. I’ve had people come up and tell me things about myself that they believe to be fact that simply aren’t true. People ask me where I’m living or what I’m up to or who I’m dating or is it true that I want to be a career woman and by the way, what political affiliation do you have? Everyone has guesses and assumptions based on social media.
Sometimes I just smile. Other times, I cringe.
Tonight, as I lay in my very messy room, thinking about excuses why not to go to the gym, I decided to be real.
Life isn’t about being perfect. It’s about making mistakes, discovering grace, and finding beauty. It’s not about filters or followers. It’s about choosing forgiveness when you get punched in the gut. It’s not all about parties, it’s about crying with your best friend when her mariage is falling apart. Being there. Being Jesus in skin even when you don’t have the foggiest idea how.
It’s not about having all the answers because good gravy, it always scares me when someone tells me that they do. It’s about finding out that God is more than formulas and faint feelings, something much more muchy and real than all of those things, and feeling horrible when people use his name not only as a swear word but as an endorsement for all sorts of things that they really have no business to.
Life is about learning to walk again after you’ve fallen. About looking at your scars and not seeing a mistake but seeing a fingerprint of grace.
There’s so much more to life than the centimeter thin world we weave out of pixels. Problems come when we replace relationships with ideas and images. Flesh and blood teach more than pixels and paper.
Last week, I went downtown with my sister and her husband. We were doing the 20something thing of small plates and wandering down trendy streets. L took a picture of me and put it online.
It wasn’t flattering.
When I looked at it, I didn’t see someone who was enjoying being out with her loved ones. Instead, I saw the remnants of acne scars, thick eyebrows, and shoulders that were just a little too large.
She asked me if I wanted her to take it down.
I wanted to say yes but instead I said no.
It wasn’t flattering but it was real life.
Not photoshopped. Not filtered. The kind of every day existence where beauty and friendship is found. The moments that you read about in books and see stylized in magazines. The kind of slices of time where you are once again reminded that beauty comes from within, not from a filter.
Life is to be cherished, friends. All of it.