There seems to be a growing epidemic of needing to be positive 100% of the time.
My Instagram (I like to think) is a place of positivity, happiness, kindness and love.
I try to keep it as a relatively bright and engaging space where I can inspire others to feel positive.
A highlights reel of happiness as it were.
But that doesn't mean that I'm ok 100% of the time.
OR that I'm an all-singing-all-dancing Mary Poppins type creature who has a smile permanently affixed to her face.
We all have down days, down weeks, down hours and down months.
It's ok to not always be ok.
"Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won't have a title until much later."
I often wonder what it would be like if Instagram REALLY showed the realities of life.
Or social media in general.
Because if so, it would showcase the hormone induced snotty sobs I do when I've had a really crappy day and then snapped at my boyfriend because I'm moody.
It would illustrate the hideous bloated tummy I get after I eat something that doesn't agree with me, and then the subsequent hours spent poking my hard belly, wondering the bubbling gas inside me is actually an accidental baby kicking away in there. Because OMG what if I become one of those rare creatures who doesn't know she's pregnant until she nips to the doctors surgery complaining of stomach ache and discovers she's two hours into labour. I can't even cope with myself, let alone a small version of me.
Cue more snotty sobs.
It would also show the unglamorous time spent on planes, trains and automobiles where I frantically search for either my camera, purse, phone, camera and passport several times each hour, because one of my biggest fears is losing one of these items. Not only because they would cost a tonne to replace, but also because they are integral to my business.
And talking of business, a realistic social media would also document my huge fear of failure and my constant worry that this blogging thing is going to come to an abrupt end soon and leave me in the lurch.
And those are just some of the less-positive things that crop up in everyday life, I'm not even going to get started on everything else.
My point is, apparently everyone else looks like they've got their life together, but most of us are just as muddled as one another.
Some people are just better at pretending they have their life together.
Trust me, even the most gorgeously glamorous of Instagrammers still have stuff going on in their seemingly flawless lives that all of us are dealing with too.
Having a 'K' on the end of your follower number doesn't zap away all of life's problems, realities and insecurities. In fact, it probably heightens them.
I think even without the constant comparison of our lives to everyone else's highlights reel, we can even be guilty of comparing ourselves to what we THINK the best versions of ourselves actually look like.
I can flick from wondering whether I should plan the ultimate round-the-world travel expedition to 'find myself' to pondering why I haven't started that novel I so desperately dream of writing.
OR do I want to settle down and get married and have babies because OMG I can't wait to become a mum, but I still haven't created that high flying career yet.
When will I get my big break. Will I ever get my big break?
Maybe I'm not working hard enough.
Perhaps I'm not disciplined enough.
I wonder whether I need to write a watertight five year plan to implement.
Anyway, I think you get the idea.
The point is we're constantly thinking of the next thing, reading self-help books to improve ourselves and mapping out our futures that rarely do we give enough thought to being totally content with who you ARE now.
Be contented that life is a journey not a destination
We're all guilty of being caught up in the 'race' - reaching for our goals, working hard, achieving but striving for the next thing.
I am constantly asking myself 'What's next?' and while this is incredible at showing myself how driven I am, it's key that I enjoy, savour and praise the moment rather than constantly looking forward to what's ahead of me.
Because if I continue in this way, I'm going to miss the journey.
If I keep pushing for the next goal without appreciating the journey to it, I'm going to feel pretty unfulfilled by the time I reach those goals.
It's a catch 22.
The joy is not found in finishing an activity, but doing it.
The irony and paradox of the human condition is that we are so focused with reaching 'THE point' on our journey, a goal, or some happiness, that we seem to forget it's the journey itself where life happens.
It's the journey we'll cherish when we're old, not the completion of a momentary goal.
It's definitely worth having goals, but we should be contented in the fact that life isn't a one dimensional destination.
Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won't have a title until much later.
You never know what pages the surprises, twists and love will feature on until you start reading the book.
And it's the art of devouring of the pages of the book, not the feeling of completion, that is most enjoyable.
You don't always have to be your perfect self.
Or an all-singing all-dancing smiley creature.
It's ok to not be ok.