A few months ago, when I was conceptualizing this blog, my friend threw out the idea of an “anti-Instagram”. The premise of this idea was that my blog would highlight real people, with real life issues instead of the highly curated, only “positive” Instagram feeds that people scroll through wishing their life was that picturesque.
I loved this idea, and it formed the foundation of what became The Happy Project; but, the idea (and the conversation that followed) forced me to confront my own big green eyed monster.
That’s right. I am SUPER jealous.
I can spend hours scrolling through fashion and travel blogger feeds and the only thing I truly get out of it is this sad notion that “I wish my life was as great as theirs”. But, do I?
We all know that nobody’s life is perfect, but Instagram and Facebook are good at pushing hoards of filtered pictures in front of my face so that, eventually, I end up believing that everyone around me is living this amazing life full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The worst part is, I end up trying to fit into this stream of positivity. I have filtered my photos, I have fake laughed to make it look like I was having a great time, and I have gone to a restaurant solely for it’s Instagramability (is that a word!?).
Does doing all of this actually make me happy? Not really. It kind of makes me sad that I have reduced my life to what looks good to other people. The only positive thing my strive for an awe-inspiring social media feed has brought me is my willingness to try new things so that I can get a picture of me doing it. Upon this realization, I thought to myself, “Can I be willing to try new experiences for myself, instead of for Instagram?”. Yes. This is exactly what I am going to do.
My life needs to be about me, and for me. This is a stark reminder that I only do live once, and I want to choose my experiences to fit my needs, not the needs of my followers on Instagram (most of whom I don’t even know). I want to break my own limits, discover new things, open doors that were never open to me before. I want to outdo my own past– not outdo other people.
I do not have the best photography skills; my blog and my social media are not perfectly colour coordinated; my videos are sometimes blurry; I am not always smiling perfectly in every photo; and my limbs always look awkward. But all of this is ok, because this is exactly who I am: perfectly, unperfect… and I am ok with that.