Life isn’t always as it it appears. As a professional photographer, I am well aware of the ‘image’ so many of my clients want to portray when they hire me to capture portraits their family. It’s human nature to want to show our best selves to the world. Social media has increased the need for us to control how we portray ourselves and as a result, so many of us only share a small slice of how our lives really look. We show the moments and milestones of great joy, success and love. But “perfect” is not always what life is about. Life can be hard. And sticky. And loud. Children fight. Parents lose their patience. We lose jobs. We fail tests. Let’s face it… we all mess up and we all have shitty days. What’s wrong with exposing these moments as well?
These difficult moments of our lives only help shape us to become better people. By navigating through the sludge, we become more understanding of ourselves and those around us. So why do we keep hiding these pieces of our lives, when it’s these messy pieces that make the good moments really shine? If you only ever highlight the winning goal or the honor roll, then how do we, as supportive on-lookers, cheer you along when we only can see the postivie milestones? What if part of the joy in sharing in someone’s success is because we have also been present during their failures?
I believe that our best self is the person who has the courage to put the good, the bad and the ugly out to the world. I believe that we can grow stronger as a community when we can create a safety net for each other with love and support so that when the bad and ugly times come, we don’t feel so isolated trying to navigate these difficult times alone or hide ourselves away from everyone to see. After all, the bad and the ugly are part of who we are too. And by sharing the bad and the ugly, it allows our good moments to really soar.