When I was a little girl I would often visit the bank with my mom. I would stand in line and stare at the women around us. They were always put together; they had business suits on, well groomed hair and brief cases. Their makeup was perfection and they always wore heels. I imagined the cars they drove. Black exterior with leather interior. The music they listened to. Classical. They lived in high rise buildings overlooking the ocean.
In my 7-year-old eyes they were all I ever aspired to be. I didn’t know their struggles. I didn’t know if they had children or if they were married. I didn’t know if they were going through a divorce or if they had just been laid off. I was clueless about who these women really were and what their lives entailed.
But what I did know was I wanted to be them. In my eyes they were powerful. They knew who they were, where they were going and they were owning it like a boss!
They were tough! They were women on a mission and I idolized them!
All of this was dreamt up in a matter of 10 minutes in the teller line at the bank.
I can only imagine what little girls, or grown women for that matter, think now. Social media has taken over and so many women have created these false lives that look perfect. They don’t show you the bad, only the good. They have the ability to take a thousand pictures before picking the perfect one to upload to their Instagram using hashtags like #livingmybestlife or #nofilter. I too am guilty of seeking that social media perfection.
I too am guilty of limiting the posts of my real life struggles. But why? What are we afraid of? Real life isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always perfection. It isn’t always covered in makeup. Our marriages aren’t always perfect and our children aren’t always well behaved.
That woman you are idolizing on Facebook may be struggling behind closed doors. Her marriage may be failing or she may be struggling to conceive. That fashion blogger you love to follow is spending her every last dime on the latest trends and has no real savings. That travel blogger you envy has no one place to truly call home, nowhere to feel safe and at ease. That business woman who seems to have it all together panics at night because she has no idea what she is doing or how to run a business.
Their lives look… perfect… but are they really?
As an adult I look back on that teller line and question what I was missing. What did I not see? Now that I am older and have had certain life experiences, what I idolize has changed.
Who do I idolize now?
The women who are honest.
The women who aren’t afraid to cry.
The women who aren’t afraid to ask for help when things get tough.
That women who desperately need a girls night out.
The women who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable.
The women who always push forward and never give up.
These women are brave! They are fearless! They are strong! They are who I aspire to be. They are who I will teach my daughters to be.
When you are afraid to speak up. When you are embarrassed of a situation you find yourself in. When you are creating a false life because you think those brave women have something you don’t, because you are scared of what people will think. I need you to remember that even those strong girls quiver!
Even strong girls quiver!
Even those brave women second guess themselves. Even those fearless women are scared. Those perfect moms are quite often imperfect. That beautiful and impeccably clean play room looks like it got hit by a tornado on every other day.