Last night I posted a [before] picture of my first attempt at making kale chips. 10 minutes later I pulled out something that resembled burnt seaweed, and looked nothing like the crispy, curled lovely chips seen on the recipe’s website. I immediately chalked it up to the fact that Guatemala kale must be different than kale in the states.
However, I was not about to post an [after] picture of my failed kale attempt because some how failures and mess-up don’t seem Facebook and Instagram worthy.
I sometimes wonder if the danger with Facebook and instagram is not what we do post, but we don’t.
Next time you’re scrolling through instagram or Facebook notice what do you and I tend to post pictures of? Cute kids and smiling couples, gorgeous landscapes from recent travels, fun weekend outings and our pinterest inspired recipes success, right? And I believe all of these things are true and worthy of celebrating and sharing, but I have to remind myself that it’s not the whole story.
I think the whole story is that most of us have some hard days and some lonely days and some days where nothing goes as we planned- like burnt kale. But we don’t usually post those pictures. Now, I am not advocating that Facebook become a confessional for venting every lonely, angry or frustrating moment. But I do wonder if sometimes we find it harder to admit and acknowledge these small daily failures or feelings when it seems like everyone else’s instagramed and facebooked life doesn’t have them.
I’ve mentioned Shauna Niequist on here before, not because I’m a slightly stalkerish, but because I really like her willingness to share the whole story. She spoke at her church this Mother’s Day and talked about “taking off your fancy facebook self – because no one’s life is as good as they make it appear on Facebook.” And then my friend and writer, Lesley Miller wrote her reflections to that talk and what it means as a new mom and wife of cancer survivor. The hope in writing or sharing the whole story is that someone else will feel less alone.
I appreciate both of them for their honesty and their bravery to share the real story of motherhood, of less than perfect families and less than perfect recipes.
Facebook and Instagram don’t tell the whole story, and maybe they are not meant to. But I do believe we need people in our life who do see the whole story. Other writers, friends, moms, mentors and couples who see and tell the whole story. It makes me appreciate the kind of friends who are committed to telling the whole story:
When the recipe works and when it absolutely fails.
When the adorable baby is nothing but joy and when she is cranky, spiting-up and won’t-sleep-for-more-than-three-hours.
The beauty of when you promised, “I do” and the difficulty of keeping it three years later.
When you’re planning an exciting vacation and when you are tired of traveling by yourself.
When you purchase a new home and how you struggled to get out out of debt.
These kinds of friends inspire me to want to do the same: to share the whole story….
What keeps you from telling the whole story?