In the age of carefully curated posts and well-manicured social media feeds, the idea of perfection has become so ingrained in our modern culture that many of us live our lives chasing it. But what does it mean, really?
Up until a year ago, I used to compare myself a lot with my fellow bloggers and influencers, wondering how and why they’re so successful online. This pretty much guaranteed I would find a flaw to obsess over. I’m not tall and skinny enough; I’m not white enough; I’m not pretty and popular enough; or I’m not rich enough. None of those times ever made me feel good about myself, but I would do it over and over again in hopes of finding the magic formula. Sounds cruel, I know but welcome to the blogger world!
Throughout my blogging “career”, I have had several existential crises. But after countless late-night talks with my husband and some much-needed introspection, I finally began to see how far I’ve come as a little girl who dealt with so much trauma in her life.
I realized perfection is just a construct. Every day, we’re fed with images of the dream life, of people with #bodygoals. But the truth is, it’s all an illusion. What may seem perfect to us, may not be ideal for us if we look beyond the surface. I remember there was a point when I tried so hard to follow trends just to fit in with my peers, but in the end it only made me look ridiculous and feel much more miserable than I ever was because I wasn’t being honest with myself. I wanted people to like me for me, not for the person I was pretending to be.
On top of that, being perfect puts so much undue pressure on us that we often miss out on really living. Because being a blogger takes work. You need to maintain an image (or a brand, if you will) especially on social media. You need to update your Instagram page at least once a day, otherwise, you’ll lose followers. You need to make sure your feed is cohesive. Yada yada yada.
Every time my husband and I went out, I had to make sure I was well-dressed for Instagram. Then we’d spend about an hour taking photos so I have something to post. It made me sad because it’s taking away precious time that we could have used to explore hidden corners of a bookstore or just simply enjoy a cup of coffee while chatting – things I consider my hygge. Things that truly make me happy.
I’m not saying everything I posted was fake, but I felt they did not truly represent me – how I was feeling that day, what was running through my head, etc. You know, real stuff. All these social media “rules” stressed me out so much that I decided to temporarily quit being a blogger and influencer. I wanted to make sure that when I return – I’ve found my happiest, most authentic self.
So here I am. Back from the depths of self-loathing and dissatisfaction more content and happier than ever. I don’t know where this newfound state of mind will take this blog, but I guess we will all find out together. 🙂