Perspective. Social media users have mastered it.
It isn’t unusual to see a photo like the one below with a caption, like:
Enjoying beautiful skies today!
And while the sky is absolutely stunning in this photo, let me share the reality of the situation.
This is my mother’s van. She was gracious enough to share this vehicle with me and my family over the summer since we don’t have any other means of transportation at this time. (Thanks, Mom!)
But I snapped this photo as we waited for my dad to come and pick us up at the bank. You see, the alternator on the van went out that day. This left my husband and I stranded in the bank parking lot for about 45 mins during the heat of the day in the middle of an Arkansas summer. My friends and I have a word for hot, summer days like this–sweltering! It was uncomfortable to say the least.
Honesty Over False Positivity
I think many of us would share the photo of the beautiful skies and leave out the bit about the van. And why not? Isn’t it better to fill the void with positivity than with gripes and complaints? We’d rather share the mountaintops of our lives than the valleys.
Facebook is known for showing the best versions of ourselves, and Instagram is full of filters and editing tools to make sure our followers see us at just the right angle. We hate reading negative posts, so we don’t want to write them.
Yet, at some point, we need to start being honest with others and ourselves. Our lives are not the perfect stories that we present to the world. There is confusion; there is struggle, and there is pain. Often times, we are wrong–and it’s so hard to swallow that lump of pride in our throats and share that with others.
Moving Toward Honesty: Where have I been?
I’ve been MIA for a few months now. I went home for the summer, and while I enjoyed the time with my friends and family, it was difficult for me for many reasons.
- Reverse Culture Shock–Yes, it only took six months out of my own country for me to struggle with culture shock upon returning.
- Feeling Disconnect–I suppose this goes along with culture shock, but upon returning home, I struggled a lot with merging the aspects of my new life with those of my “old life”–for a lack of a better term. In short, I felt like a completely different person after my first six months in China, but my friends and family were the same. And many of them did not want to discuss China with me at all; they just wanted me to be the same as I always was–and that was difficult!
- Many Spiritual Battles–I’ve struggled a lot this summer with my anxiety. I was truly pushed to the brink on several occasions, to the point that I was having physiological symptoms of anxiety. Looking back, I think a lot of this was a spiritual attack.
Because of all of this–processing all of this–I’ve backed off blogging for awhile, but I think I’m finally in a place where I can begin again.
For those who dare to join me on my adventures, I expect this year to be busy and exciting, but of course, I will always be honest.