My friend sent me a link to THIS blog post the other day, and I loved it. The blogger talks about how social media is a highlight reel of our lives. It’s the rose-colored montage at the end of a 90’s TV special rather than the . And even if everything you post on social media is authentic, it doesn’t tell the whole story. (And often, that’s a good thing. Discretion and privacy are underrated these days.) For better or worse, social media posts can only give you a glimpse into the lives of others, not a panorama.
But today, I thought it would be fun to widen the lens and give a bit of a more realistic look at my Instagram feed. I do my best to be pretty authentic on social media – my captions are fairly blunt (if not bordering on oversharing), and I post more than my fair share of “no makeup” and “no filter” photos (although I typically don’t tag them as such because 1) it makes me feel like a major douchenozzle, and 2) you probably don’t need a caption to realize there’s no eyeliner or lipstick on my squinty little face). Even so, the blog post that inspired this was too good not to replicate my own version. So lest my Instagram activity give anyone the impression that my life consists solely of fabulous workouts, delicious food, and big hair (ok, the last one is true), here’s a little peek at the panorama behind the pictures.
What you see: We are excitedly getting ready to run a 5K-that-turned-into-a-10K (full story on that HERE), because we’re athletic and we’re patriotic and we live in America and that’s just what we do on Memorial Day. I also have a really rachet-but-effective phone case made out of a sock shoved in my sports bra (more on that HERE).
What you don’t: My grey leggings that most definitely do not hide the crotch-sweat action that would start happening approximately 5 minutes into the race. It’s 93°F and rising at 9:00 and I have no idea who thought it would be a good idea to plan the race course in the middle of a mostly-shadeless wildlife preserve. You also don’t see all the really inspirational people running, like the man who was a triple-amputee and raced in his wheelchair…and he finished before us, which means he’s clearly a badass
and I’m clearly more pathetic than you thought.
What you see: I’m doing yoga in my office, because I’m cool and zen and yoga-y like that. #namastebitches
What you don’t: Me scurrying to the window between poses to make sure my boss isn’t walking into the building about to catch me getting my asana on. You also don’t see me checking twitter and reading PubMed for 20 minutes before deciding to do a little crow pose and some handstand practice because OMGi’msoboredandthisjobsucksthelifeoutofmyverysoul. So glad I don’t work there anymore. Otherwise I might have turned into Voldemort by now, from the whole soul-got-sucked-out-thing.
What you see: My cute dress and my 12-pack of bro-beer. I’m just one of the guys, but I’ve still got that cute girl-next-door vibe going on.
What you don’t: My makeup-less face, air-dried hair, and unpainted toes. Also, the fact that I did not end up drinking any of this beer – I was bringing it to my dad (per the request of my mother, who seems to think all males speak the same love language called “booze and nicotine”…she’s not too far off base, I’d say). Also, the fact that I had to take four different shots to get one where my hand didn’t look like an old-man-hand clinging to the case of frat boy juice.
What you see: Look at all my goodies for recovery day! I have a foam roller and a yoga DVD and a yoga mat and a croquet ball and a whole book on trigger points and self-myofascial release techniques…I’m recovering so hard, because I’m, like, an athlete or something.
What you don’t: I’m scooching around on that croquet ball like a paraplegic walrus, and swearing like a sailor the whole time. That sh*t hurts. Plus, I didn’t even get to the yoga DVD that day. I did about 10 sun salutations before I got hungry and decided breakfast sounded better than bhujangasana.
What you see: I’m balancing on my head and forearms like the graceful human that I am, with my toes pointed and legs quite artfully splayed out.
What you don’t: It took my sister about 2 straight minutes to get a decent photo that wasn’t horribly backlit, didn’t have my dog running through it, and actually caught me doing something that looked like yoga. My face was redder than a tomato from the bloodrush of being upside down for that long. Also, I still have a bunch of outtakes on my phone that look like this:
What you see: I have big hair, and I clearly like big buns. And this moment deserved documentation because I was all decked out and actually wearing eyeliner. Look who’s a grown-up now!
What you don’t: The enormous fuzzball of hair that I had coerced into a somewhat-spherical shape a few minutes earlier, and the enormous fuzzball of hair that would erupt when I took my hair down later that night. Also, the part where my hair permanently smells like coffee now. It’s really cute.
What you see: My fake-pregnant belly. No baby inside, just bloat. This one’s pretty real. A little too real, according to some. Yes, beans do make me look fat.
What you don’t: I was still semi-bloated like on the right for two days after that…and during those next 48 hours, I wore those yoga pants every second I was not at work. No shame. (Just another reason yoga pants are man’s best friend!)
What you see: I’m up in the (garage) gym just working on my fitness.
What you don’t: My ghetto attempts to keep my yoga mat wrapped around the bar while I get it up on my hips, or the part where I made the mistake of sitting all the way down with the bar still in my lap. It took me a full minute to unpin myself from under the bar. You also don’t see the bruises on my hip bones from where the yoga mat was clearly insufficient padding for such a heavy weight. Or maybe I’m just hip thrusting too enthusiastically. I don’t know. Now this is getting weird (sorry, Dad, if you’re reading this…).
What you see: My tired little eyeballs blinking under the florescent lighting at 4:00 while I stand there in my skivvies. Also, serious bedhead that I was too tired to fix, but I’m assuming that’s a forgivable offense.
What you don’t: I tried about 5 times to get a photo where my hands didn’t look like raccoon claws, and nothing worked. I gave up and counted myself lucky that this was not a close-up photo, so at least no one will see the pillow lines on my face. But still, why do I have such large claw-like paws?? This is such an issue for me.
What you see: A kitchen full of delicious, healthy food for the week, because I am clearly a domestic wizard. Think Gandalf in an apron, without the beard (or, sadly, the robe), but a bit more sassy.
What you don’t: All the panic beforehand as I tried to decide what I would be eating, and subsequently, pre-cooking, that week. You also don’t see the sink full of dirty dishes that I would dread cleaning, like always, until I actually started…at which point I would find myself, as always, belting out Broadway tunes and thoroughly enjoying myself.
What you see: I’m going on vacation and I have bikinis and a boarding pass and even a little straw hat, because I’m just cool like that. But whatever, it’s no big deal, I travel all the time. Isn’t everyone this sophisticated?
What you don’t: The usual panic attack I have anytime I have to pack for more than a weekend. Trying to cram everything I’d need for 9 days into one medium-sized suitcase was like some kind of high-stakes game of Tetris. My saving grace was that I banked on not wearing more than a bikini most days, and decided to be a carefree hippie and not obsessively pack food for the trip so I’d be guaranteed to have something “healthy.” This was a good thing because those dinners of chips + salsa + margaritas were pretty wonderful. Or the part where I had to wear that damn hat through the airport and on the plane so that it wouldn’t get smushed.
What you see: We’re at a Padre’s game because we’re the kind of broads who are into sports. You can also see that I have weird little hobbit feet that are pretty much like 2×4’s stuck on the ends of my legs, but that’s beside the point.
What you don’t: I have no idea what’s going on. How many touchdowns do we have? Where are the cheerleaders? Why the fraaack does a little box of trail mix cost SEVEN DOLLARS? What good are baseball pants if I can’t even see them from up here? (To be fair, we had good seats, I just had not brought my glasses.)
What you see: I have this glorious view and the whole pool to myself. Luxury is my middle name. I am like an upper-middle-class land-mermaid.
What you don’t: My sad attempts at lap swimming. It was more like lap dog-paddling. For all my extra fluffiness, I’m surprisingly un-buoyant. Also, this is not my pool. It’s the private community pool in my aunt and uncle’s neighborhood (they had generously let us stay two nights at their house). And also, because I didn’t have a key, I had to hop the fence to get in after I walked out the gate and realized I’d left my sandals behind.
What you see: Look at this green juice I’m drinking because I’m healthy. Doesn’t it look delicious? Am I not a cool kid for jumping on the juicing train? Also look at my cute dress (ignore the goosebumps on my knees, because I’m not the kind of peasant who gets cold from drinking a cold juice in February), let’s pretend I’m fashionable.
What you don’t: My dad treated me to that juice. I’m not one to shell out FIVE BUCKS for a 10 oz. cup of liquefied kale. Mostly because I don’t have that kind of cash (sidenote: now accepting sugar-daddy applications…), but also it just feels wrong to spend that kind of cash on drinkable vegetables when it could be spend on something like…oh, I don’t know…gas? sports bras? Lindt chocolate? ridiculously expensive German power-steering fluid for my ridiculous German car? And don’t worry, the cute dress was balanced out by the bright yellow sweater I was wearing on top. I looked like the lovechild of Mr. Rogers and Big Bird.
What you see: My very clean and very wet hair. I’m like a shampoo-scented mermaid. With legs. And I can’t really sing. And sadly, I don’t know any talking crabs, drug-using seagulls (what, you really think Scuttle was sober?), sinister gender-flexibile octopi, or dashing princes named Eric. So mostly you just see that my hair is clean, and, as my caption says, this is the first time in 5 days that it’s been so.
What you don’t see: What my hair looks like 8 hours later, air dried and finger-combed a bit as I tried to fling it out of my face. The bangs might be grown out, but my hair is apparently still trying to channel Catherine Hicks circa 1998. Really, it’s like I have panda fur growing out my head.
Well, it’s all in the open now. Go ahead and judge me. But let’s still be friends, ok?