We choose

Being 23 comes with its battles. Questions such as, “Is this skirt too short for work? How do I go about cooking meat that isn’t frozen chicken tenders? Is it bad if I want to go to bed at 9 p.m.?” have become routine as I cross the bridge between college student and adulthood. But the question that is the most invasive, the most constant, and the most pressing, is this one:

“Am I doing enough for my future?”

I spend a lot of time worrying that I haven’t accomplished enough — that I won’t accomplish enough. So much time scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, staring at perfectly filtered photos reflecting exactly what my friends want them to say. That sunset-lit proposal on the beach? 151 likes. The status announcing admission to grad school? 24 comments. The company you tagged on Twitter — your first “real job?” 7 retweets.

Usually, the photos and status updates are thinly veiled versions of bragging, and that is why so many twenty somethings feel they haven’t accomplished enough. We get notifications (literally) of every little achievement of every one of our friends, and that is a lot of achievements that aren’t our own. Panic becomes default when you are bombarded with things you haven’t done yet.

I am guilty of this, too. I don’t tweet about my bad days or the days I spend worrying about work, family, and the future. We choose how the world perceives us. Unfortunately, that is not always how we perceive ourselves.

This summer (and long term, but this is a good time to start), I want to change how much time I spend scrolling through other people’s lives and filters. I don’t want a filter on my own life — the one I live really, not the social media me. It is so easy to forget that life does exist even if you haven’t told all your followers.

Life happens even if you don’t tweet about it. 

I wish more people chose honesty in the world of social media and internet communication. Maybe then, we wouldn’t feel like we aren’t keeping up with the crowd. Stacked up against the achievements of everyone else, we are never enough. Lately, I have noticed myself doing this more and more, too.

So here are a few things about me, #nofilter.

1. I’ve started doing yoga because maintaining calm is not a skill of mine. I tweet sarcastic things regarding flexibility and savasana, but the truth is I started doing it to worry less.

2. I truly hate driving. I once drove into a pole in a parking garage.

3. My guilty pleasure is the TV series GrimmI started watching it in December of 2013 when my boyfriend became my ex-boyfriend. It is weird and addicting in a fiend-fantasy kind of way.

4. I have a 9-5 that is my first full-time job. On Facebook, I would say, “I am so excited for this new opportunity! Can’t wait to get started.”

On Twitter: “Starting my first full-time job today! #cantwait #adulting”

On Instagram: *a picture of my new desk with lo-fi filter* Caption: “My first real desk at my first real job.”

But here, in this space, I will say that sometimes I come home too tired to pick up a pen.

Sometimes I hate that I still live with my parents.

Sometimes I eat nothing but a Hostess cupcake for lunch because I slept in too late to make a sandwich and I am too cheap to spend $10 on a meal.

Frankly, I am exhausted of the filters. A goal of mine is to spend less time comparing and more time doing. To spend more time with notebooks, mountains, and my dogs. Real things. Not the things I choose to announce as real.

Social media — and yes, blogging — have given us all a way to publicly display who we are to the world. On this blog, I choose myself. #Nofilter.

12 thoughts on “#NoFilter

  1. This is truly beautiful. I try to keep it positive in my social media usage, but I am afraid sometime that is just an excuse for putting up the best version of myself. We tend to go out into the world of social media in our “sunday best”, yet still pretending that that perfect portrayal of our lives is somewhere close to the real thing. Social media is rarely an accurate portrayal of a person. Let’s stop comparing ourselves to the manicured and edited version of others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen! Thanks for the comment 🙂 I totally try to be positive all the time too, but I fear it comes off as bragging or fake. Thankfully, blogging is a place where it is acceptable to be “less than perfect” because we all certainly are.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Inspirational post. As a twenty something year old as well, I always look at my FB friends’ achievement statuses and wonder if I’ve done enough with my life. But I realize it doesn’t matter what you put online, as long as you are going out and doing something meaningful for yourself. Thank you for sharing with us. 🙂


  3. This is a great lesson to learn. The best thing to do for our happiness is to simply live unfiltered and never compare. I don’t know you, but I am positive that you are doing enough, simply from the fact that you care! Continue to just do your best and things will fall into place how they should.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just turned 36 and still find myself wondering if I am doing enough for the future… I am just as susceptible to the social media bragging as the bright eyed, bushy tailed 23 year old. Keep being you because you sound like an amazingly insightful woman. And….. don’t feel bad about living with your parents… save money and smile. I wish I could move back in all the time but the truth is that I would probably kill them if I did. lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment ❤ it seems like no one is immune to the powers of comparison, no matter how old they are. Haha, some days I want to kill my parents, too! Other days I am purely grateful. I will keep on smiling for sure, you do the same 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What powerful post for someone your age. I remember when my boys were little and I was struggling so hard, seeing everybody’s posts on Facebook about how much fun their children were just made me feel worse about the struggles I was going through. My mom said to me don’t worry about what everybody else looks like on the outside, for all you know they smash all their dishes when the door is closed. You are very insightful. Great job



    1. Thank you, I appreciate the thoughtful comment. I think we all smash dishes once in a while. Although I tend to prefer eating things off dishes rather than smashing them when I am upset LOL. Your mom gave good advice.

      Liked by 1 person

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