It’s better to be happy than perfect.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I’ll tell you why: Instagram. Sometimes I wish Instagram didn’t exist because when my apartment is a mess or my baby is a mess or I’m a mess or all three are a mess (which is usually the un-curated case), I feel like Instagram only exists to make me feel inadequate. I can scroll through perfectly decorated homes, perfectly dressed cherub children, perfectly put together girls who seem to be making careers out of being better than I am.
This all came to a head last night as I Insta-stalked a very distant acquaintance’s fairytale wedding weekend. She had everything: monogrammed napkins, a decadent dessert station, a Kate Middleton floor length veil, a bouquet overflowing with peonies and ranunculus–I told you; I was staaaaalking. See, I didn’t have glittery table numbers at my wedding or little mason jars or any of the painstakingly personal touches I drool and die over. I printed names onto the invitation envelopes myself only weeks before the wedding (with several mishaps), my parents made all of the food except the 3-tiered cake, I picked the first dress I tried on, and I was late to the ceremony. Oh, and it rained. So should I regret getting married at 21, before I really knew my personal style and signature? I knew only that my favorite color was purple, I wanted to have the reception at my house, and I wanted my first dance with my future husband to be Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.” I left the rest up to family and fate. And last night, looking at this perfect, simply perfect wedding, I thought for just a moment that I had missed out on something. That something wasn’t right, wasn’t fair, and I wanted a do-over. I wanted perfection instead of the very real happiness I’ve had since that rainy day four years ago, dressed in white, surrounded by my family, holding hands with my love.
But that’s the problem with Instagram. It’s a filtered world, a world where we post only what we want others to see and we can edit any moment to look perfect.
I never want the Curated Life to have that effect. Not that anything here is enviable, though Ella is actual perfection, but I’m doing this to share, not ever show off. And I love Amaro and Sierra as much as the next person, I love sharing pictures of my daughter and highlighting her impossible blue eyes and making the world I capture with my phone or Nikon that much more interesting, that much more fascinating. But that’s where it’s got to stop for me; it’s got to stop at the fun and joy I feel, before the hate-scrolling and jealousy seeps in. I cannot let the perfect pictures on Instagram take away from the very real, very wonderful moments of my life. The moments that don’t always require captions or editing or filters. Let’s remember that the best, most beautiful moments are the ones we share we with our families and friends, not followers. The moments that remain forever in our minds and our hearts. The happy moments, the imperfect ones.
P.S. Below is a happy, filtered moment with my baby girl after church, in our Sunday Best.