Friday, February 14, 2014

On Peer Independence, Part 2

There's a lot of talk these days about the "artificial lives" we can all create with the prevalence of social media. We only post our happy moments on Facebook and Instagram. Even the ubiquitous selfies have enabled our artificiality... how many have you seen lately that look almost nothing like the actual person would if they were standing in your kitchen? Gone are the bags under the eyes, the double chins, the hair falling awkwardly in the wrong direction. You see only the carefully angled smiling face, scaled, cropped, and tinted into a phantom of the real person.

There's a lot of talk about being real, and there sure is a place for that. But that's not what I'm pointing out here. This blogger was being real. I believe she was wholly genuine in her desire to digitally scrapbook her life and minister to others in the process. I believe she presented her daily life truthfully in the post, without any judgmental intention. The problem was me, not her. My initial reaction as the guilt crept into my mind and then slowly flooded every part of my body was that this lady just needed to come off her high horse. Who did she think she was, making me feel this way? While's she's romping about in the land of eternal sunshine, I am hanging by a thread here in the snowy tundra of Rochester, so I just beg her pardon if I bribe my toddler with M&Ms and let him watch Barney so I can have a sanity break.

I ruminated and hemmed and hawed. One minute I was stoking the flames of absurd anger toward someone I've never met, and the next I was clearing out our medicine cabinet of anything ever purchased in a drugstore and googling the recipe for elderberry syrup.

I had lost myself.

In my place was a guilt-ridden, judgmental defender of what works for me and my family. When that didn't feel right I became a guilt-driven poser racing to the farmer's market to fill my freezer with one hundred dollars' worth of organic meat.

Finally, like a shard of sunlight breaking through heavy gray clouds, I was blessed with a tiny bit of clarity as I remembered this thing that had happened to me about three years ago...

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