Monday, September 30, 2013

17 Visual World Soap Box

I wrote a post a few months back about how I think all things social media have created an impossible bar to live up to. For some reason, I can't get my mind off it again. What is it about human beings that makes it so incredibly important to be the best at everything? And someone please tell me why everyone is making their blog a fashion blog?

My mom and I have chatted a lot recently about what a visual world we live in. You can be riding your bike or home playing the piano and with one picture and in one second, 400 of your closest instagram friends (hardy har har) know what you're doing.

In just the last 5 years, things have changed. You can't look like a hot mess 2 hours after pushing out a baby anymore, now you just have to straight up look hot so you can post a picture on instagram.You can't throw a simple pot luck dinner with friends. You now have to decorate the whole house and have party favors because you know everyone in the social media world will see it.

There is a tremendous pressure to live this fabulously trendy, perfect life!

Now, I will admit, there is nothing I love more than planning and executing a really over the top party. I would not be critical of anyone else who is just doing something they love. I have been blessed by many people's talents. One of my own passions in life is to plan, design and create, but I also believe this crazy visual world we live in can be unhealthy. I don't even look at famous bloggers' blogs or popular instagramers (not saying it's bad, I just don't do it). I just think it's so easy to become obsessed with someone else's filtered life and often times, in return, compare it to your own life.

Some people have told me they read my blog and want my life (I will admit I have a totally awesome life), but I always have to laugh at that. My life is not perfect and I would hope that is not the impression I give on facebook, my blog or instagram. There have been plenty of bumps in the road but I do whatever is in my power to turn lemons into lemonade. I love my life because I've taken control of it and do things that I know will bring long term happiness.

Once when I was about 16 I started rattling off a long list of wants. I had (still have) adorable friends from high school. They wore the best clothes, had the best makeup and drove the best cars. Even though they were my very best friends, I had to keep up. My mom noticed this and challenged me to stay out of the mall for 1 whole month (that might not seem like a long time for some people... whoops.) It was a very valuable lesson for me! Within about 2 weeks, I noticed I didn't "need" as much as I thought I did.

This was before facebook, blogs, instagrams and kind of before online shopping got hot, but I have applied the lesson I learned. I don't want people thinking I sit around and analyze or criticize Instagrams or facebook posts. I do not! I love staying in touch with good family and friends through social media sites. If I didn't, I wouldn't have one. I love Instagram and Pinterest and seeing what clever things people come up with and staying in touch. I even love discovering new blogs of people I do not know that have good tips and tricks. However, if I notice myself feeling the least bit sorry for myself (ugh, I want those shoes, she has the best clothes, I wish I already had a house), I'm done. I sign off. I "stay out of the mall."

 I made a promise to myself a long time ago that I would be good, kind and fair to everyone I meet and I would work my tail off and give time to the most important things in life. Although I fall short, I try to stick to it and it's the best commitment I've ever made to myself. I feel long lasting happiness. I feel completely comfortable in my own skin. I like being me and I like hanging out with myself. I think I'm funny, I think I'm smart and I think I'm interesting. I don't care about being this person or that person. Frankly it's a waste of time and a recipe for unhappiness. I will be the first to admit, and Sean knows, when I get home, the hair goes in a top knot and I'm in yoga pants for the rest of the night. Sometimes we eat cereal for dinner. Some days, we don't work out. Sometimes I don't set the table and we eat fatty burritos on the couch while watching TV because we're both really tired.

But it's okay because to us, that is perfection. We work hard and we do our best and that's the standard we hold ourselves to. Not something the social media world has created. You determine the happiness you have in your life. You do whatever it takes to love yourself and be okay with who you are. That may require some lifestyle changes. If that means not looking at a fashion blog, so be it. If it means severing shallow friendships that remind you constantly of the things and talents you do not have, oh well. You surround yourself with real people who have depth and are grateful for their own gifts and blessings and help you to recognize it in your own life. You add people to your life whose talents you can appreciate even though they might not be your own. Most importantly, you reflect daily on all the things God has given you though at times, it might not feel like much.

And that is my visual world soap box! Hopefully I didn't offend too many people...

 Blah, blah, blah!


17 comments:

  1. Favorite post ever!! Todd and I are constantly talking about this. We always joke about instagramming us pigging out on greasy pizza while watching netflix...haha! Thanks for this Dani! :)

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  2. I totally feel ya girl... I was just thinking about this today! Thanks for writing it down so I don't feel like I'm the only one who thinks this stuff. haha

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  3. Oh I love love LOVE this! I have been having very similar sentiments lately, and it's so refreshing to be able to take control and "stay out of the mall", like you said. Thank you for this great reminder!

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  4. I can't believe how prophetic this is Danielle! So perfectly "put" and perfectly expressed! You are wise, wise, wise and definitely in the "happiness" zone! Have you thought about being the next "Dear Abby?" Seriously! LOVE you!!

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  5. Wonderful post! I loved every bit of it. Thanks for a great reminder!

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  6. LOVE. Love love love. & ditto ditto ditto. I don't read those blogs anymore & I also unfollow pinterest "fashion" boards. If there's something that I read or look at & I feel worse after doing so I am usually pretty good at cutting it out! Love this! Thanks Deej! Perfect post & good to read. YUV YOU

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  7. ok I always write comments on your blog and they never save! Hopefully I can figure this out:) Thanks for your post.. I love this thought and my mom and I have had these same sort of discussions. I'll never forget sitting down with a friend and I started talking about how talented she was and how depressing instagram is because everyone's lives are just crafty and beautiful HA! She just looked at me and said wait what? I always thought you were the talented one trying to make me depressed! What a lesson on perspective Its interesting how quick we are to feel envy and how slow we are to feel gratitude for our own talents abilities and blessings. Thank you for sharing..I am in constant need of remembering that lesson!

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  8. You have such a gift for writing! Thank you for your post. I think you are one beautiful and very funny girl. Good luck with your wedding.....so exciting! :)

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  9. Well said Dano! I stopped looking at a few blogs and unfollowed some insta-celebrities because I realized it was doing me no good. I'm blessed to have you as a friend who really does put her good talents to use and is a wonderful person! And I liked when you said "we determine our happiness" Elder Uchtdorf said the same thing and I used that quote and talked about it a lot in my talk last Sunday. Thanks for the great reminder :)

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  10. Perhaps complimenting the beauty of your expression on this post ironically opposes what you've written...that's my first thought, but I'm not going to analyze it any further. :) Well said...all of it.

    I went to a housewarming party last night where we toured the new home of one of my colleagues, ate dinner, played games, and talked until late. Not one pic was snapped...to my knowledge. As I drove home, I felt relieved to have friends who were more focused on enjoying the great experience of real moments without having to post it all for the world to see. PS - my friend had some cute aprons hanging from a hook in her new kitchen and that made me think of you.

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  11. Needed to hear this today. Thanks!

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  12. Thanks guys for all your comments! Glad no one threw any tomatoes at me!

    I agree with everything said!

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  13. This was so refreshing to read! THANK YOU for speaking up about it! I have the same feelings 100%. You go girl :)

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  14. Thanks Dani for this! I have been struggling lately with not feeling/being as interesting as "I should". This post reminded me that there is a time and a season for everything. I need to enjoy my season of being overwhelmed at times with having 2.5 kids just like I enjoyed working and being a newlywed. You probably didn't exactly mean for it to apply in that way, but I read between the lines ;-) You're awesome, and thanks for not hating all the pictures of my kiddos :-)

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  15. Thanks Dani for this! I have been struggling lately with not feeling/being as interesting as "I should". This post reminded me that there is a time and a season for everything. I need to enjoy my season of being overwhelmed at times with having 2.5 kids just like I enjoyed working and being a newlywed. You probably didn't exactly mean for it to apply in that way, but I read between the lines ;-) You're awesome, and thanks for not hating all the pictures of my kiddos :-)

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    1. Reading between the lines is a good thing! And of course I love all the pictures of your kids! What's not to love?? They're darling!

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  16. I love everything about this. Sometimes I think life would be better off without all the social media I bombard myself with but then... I just like human interaction. Good idea to just, "step out of the mall." Thanks for the post!

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