Friday, May 14, 2010

What you don't see

One of my favorite bloggers recently linked an article that gives a fresh reminder that what we read online about our friends' (and friends of friends) lives isn't always the entire picture. I'll be honest, I don't find too many blogs I feel are that fake or that frustrating. I feel like a lot of the blogs I read can get pretty real. However, that doesn't stop me from getting frustrated in myself for lacking the talents I see others possess. I wish I could say so much in so few words like Katie, or take awesome photos and decorate my home so beautifully like Elise, or always be dressed super cute and be so funny like Reagan. I could go on and on about all my friends and their talents. And if you haven't noticed, I feel like all my siblings (and in law) tend to pretty much just have it together. I can find myself feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, and worrying that I won't live up to my potential.

Then again, I have people telling me how I'm so lucky to live such a fun and carefree life in New York. How I'm always traveling or doing something fun in the city. How I'm lucky to have the best job ever and can do whatever I want and take off whenever I want. I try to be pretty honest and paint an accurate picture of my life, but there's plenty you don't see.

Katie linked to a few other blogs whose authors posted "What you don't see" confessionals, if you will. I loved reading these. They remind me that no matter how great others' lives seem, we all have bad days. We all have bad things happen to us. We all have flaws. We all have insecurities and things we'd like to change about ourselves. So in the spirit of spreading the reminder that we're all human, I give you my version of "What you don't see":

What you don't see is how even though it drives me crazy I let the bathroom trash get a little more full than it should.

What you don't see is that I don't wash my work out clothes every time after working out in them.

What you don't see is that sometimes I get ready to go to the gym, and instead sit on the couch and have goldfish and a soda for dinner.

What you don't see is the part of my job where I clean out personal items of just-let-go employees to put in a box and ship to their home. The pictures of their kids and wives they have to go home to and tell they don't have a job anymore.

What you don't see is the pressure I feel to get a more prestigious job because I live in New York and everyone else does something really sophisticated.

What you don't see are the times I take bike rides or go to the movies or make dinner by myself, wishing it was shared with a significant other. (For the record, sometimes, a lot of times actually, I don't mind and even sometimes enjoy doing these things alone, so don't feel sorry for me if I blog about it later. I don't always feel sad about it.)

What you don't see are the moments I feel like an idiot because people at work are talking about the market and I don't understand 95% of what they're saying.

What you don't see is the fear I have that I won't ever have that desire to have kids so many girls talk about. So many girls say how they wish they were just married and having babies. Yes, frequently I wish I was married, but I don't feel that burning desire to have babies. I'm hoping it develops after marriage. But I don't ever hear anyone else say they feel the same, so I sometimes wonder if something's wrong. I adore my sibling's and friends kids, but I don't feel that little something at this point that makes me crave my own.

What you don't see is the dust on any flat surface in my room because even though I hate clutter and try to keep things looking tidy, I hate to dust and deep clean.

What you don't see is when I stress out over making ends meet because I took a vacation.

What you don't see is when I feel like a hill billy because I'm sitting at a nice restaurant, looking at the menu and I don't know what half the dishes are, and the other half sound disgusting and I find myself thinking, "I wish I was at Olive Garden."

What you don't see are the countless nights I've spent up all hours upset and fighting with boyfriends that should have been out of my life months prior. You don't see that I've never been someone who can break up once and cut ties. It always drags out, and that's usually my fault.

What you don't see is that I've always been the one more in love, and can't imagine being completely adored and how it would feel to receive the love at the level I've given it.

What you don't see is that even though I am ecstatic for my friends and so happy for them, and love being involved in their weddings, there's always a part of me that feels a little sad while I'm there that I'm still on the single side.

What you don't see is how I work really hard at accepting that marriage may never come to me in this life, and how I focus so much energy on making the most of a single life.

What you don't see is the anxiety I feel at parties, and the guilt I feel if I don't go.

What you don't see are the poor decisions I've made and make.

What you don't see is that most of the time I'm bored in Sunday School.

What you don't see are the times I gossip and speak negatively of others when I should be more positive.

What you don't hear are the curses that come out of my mouth way too casually now.

What you don't see is that sometimes the reason I'm on time to church is because I broke the Sabbath and took a cab because I needed those few extra minutes.

What you don't see (or do, if you're my roommate) is the food I've left in the fridge for weeks because I always forget about it.

What you don't see are the super easy to read books on my Kindle.

What you don't see is the muffin top over those skinny jeans that look like they fit perfectly.

All this doesn't take away from the fact that a majority of the time I do feel confident, fabulous, and happy, because it truly is a choice. I enjoy my life and count my blessings frequently. There's a saying that if everyone threw their trials in a big pile and could choose whose to take on, we'd all go back and pick out our own. I completely agree with this. However, that being said, there's plenty of super sucky days and weeks and months and we all have them. Let's celebrate our differences and lift each other up during those bad times.


Trish said...

Wow Rach--what a powerful post. I'm not sure I could come so clean about my dirt but your honesty is really refreshing. And none of these things make you bad person--so I hope you don't feel guilty over ANY of them!

We all have our "what you don't see".

Reagan said...

Yay for Rae! I love this post. And I'm so flattered to be mentioned in it in such a nice way!

I have to say, I love your blog. Don't feel guilty that you don't write about the dirt, because your blog is such a positive and happy read without feeling like you are fake or trying to impress people.

Also, I totally get a feeling of envy now and then. I envy your silky dark hair and your freedom to travel. I envy other people's perfect healthy children or someone else's perfectly decorated house. It sucks, but I think it's normal sometimes.

Love ya,

lynette said...

Rae, Rae.... I love the way you express yourself. Reading this just makes me love you more... You're so honest and so real...You do have a way with words...both on paper and in person. It is writings like this that help you day to day. Keep smiling and laughing. Best medicine for all of us...

Michelle said...

Wow Rach. What honesty. It is refreshing to know (or be reminded) that we all have vices and always seem to think that the "grass is greener" so to speak.

I admire you in so many ways and have always considered you dear in my heart. I hate that time and life can make people lose touch, but you will always be the ding to my dong.

I can relate to more than one of your "what your don't see". I think a lot of people can. Yay for you! Love ya!

Brad Hope said...

You need to come to Boston. Period. How is that for overbearing family member?

maggie said...

You and I have so much in common it is scary. After reading your list of "don't sees", more than half are the same for me! I totally relate to the having kids thing,and have started to come to terms with the marriage thing, among the others you listed,the feelin is the same for me.....and I am a good deal older than you! :) Yet, I too am thankful for many blessings as well.

Debbie said...

I loved your post and that's one of the many things I've always loved about you, is your honesty! You are so very special and I love you more than you can possibly know! Miss you so very much honey! Have a nice weekend! Love, Mom

Sean and Becky said...

Rach, I freaking love you! I wished we lived closer so we could play all the time :( Oh, and I am/will always be jealous of your's just not fair for you to be that hot!

Elise said...

Okay first of all, Jason BUST out laughing at that picture of the nasty muffin top. I just saw you & even if you do have a teeny muffin top (who doesn't?!), I am willing to bet $1,000 it looks nothing like the one pictured.

And thanks for the nice compliments. You are sweet. But, what you don't see is...
- the two pictures I took that looked all wrong before I took the pretty one everyone sees
- the fact that 90% of the things in my house are copied from somewhere else


Elise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elise said...

I just re-read my comment. It sounds bad/mean. I meant to say:

I just saw you & you looked totally skinny. I saw nothing even close to resembling a muffin top. BUT if you did have one (which again, I didn't see even the slightest hint of), then of course it wouldn't even be half as nasty as that picture.

Make sense?! Sorry if it was weird or you thought I was saying that you did have a muffing top. I didn't/don't think that. I did think that you looked great. I was jealous of your skinny (& tan!) legs.

And now I am rambling...

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chelse said...

Rach! I think you're just amazing. I know what you mean about looking at people's blogs or even lives and thinking they're so much better than yours.... I do it all the time. But it's ok to just talk about the positive so you don't have to dwell on the bad/sad times.

But I will say that you don't have to wonder if you'll ever get married. YOU"RE YOUNG! And I know that's hard for me to say when I'm younger than you, but rachel there's a reason you are always asked to be a bridesmaid. It's because you're wonderful and because you truly care about people and you make the room brighter when you're there. I feel bad and annoyed that guys don't take advantage of that like us girls do. But I will say that waiting for someone to adore you and to love you as much as you love them is definitely worth the wait.... trust me I know. Even though I'm sure you get sad that things didn't work out with previous guys, (I was sad for 2 years with C...) Nothing compares to when you finally meet a boy who think you shine.
anywho, I just think you're great and miss ya lots

Katie McNeil said...

I loved this. You are awesome.

Cathi said...

You're amazing. Thank you for this.

Cathi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marcus and Amy said...

I am seriosuly glad that you did this post!! Ever since I had a baby (in December) I have felt oh so totally inadequate, imperfect, defective, unspiritual etc. at everything! And sometimes I found that reading other peoples blogs just intensified all my feelings and made me feel 100 times worse. I found myself saying (and sometimes still do) "why can't I do it all and how come I don't have it all put together?"

So it is really refreshing to know that I am not the only one that feels this way. So thanks for sharing in the "what you don't see"

And now that I am a working mother of a 5 month old and a wife of a husband who is working full time and going to school full time, what you don't see is that my house is A MESS! And I can hardly keep up on the dishes and laundry.

And you don't see that I come home from work at night and just cry it out for about an hour!

But you are right, its a choice to be happy and I am always reminding myself and telling myself that I am happy and healthy and this is just a small chapter in our lives!

Thanks again!

Marcus and Amy said...

Oh...and...I never got the "whole I can't wait to be a mother" thing either. In fact, even while I was pregnant, I didn't feel it and it worried me too. But now that I am a mother, I can't imagine my life without her.

(hope that helps to know your not the only one out there that feels/felt that way!)

Jamie said...

oh, rach, i love you!!! another one of my friends just did a post like this and it was so eye opening to me because i thought she was little miss perfect compared to me! i can relate to SO many of the things you wrote, haha. love ya girl!

Debbie said...

Okay, you need to tell people that is NOT your picture! SERIOUSLY!!!

Candice said...

I love this. There are so many things I relate to on this list! I always get bored in Sunday School, always forget about food in the fridge, and feel guilty if I don't go to parties. I could go on and on! I also don't have a burning desire to have kids. That's slowly changing though. It's nice to see someone be upfront and open on their blog...we're all human sometimes! :)

Brooke said...

Loved what you said. I have tons of things that are hidden inside.

And really, I have to say that I don't wash my work out clothes after every work out. Pretty sure I only have so many pants and bras. Tons of shirts though.

Love Ya!