Monday, April 20, 2015


"Real life." 
"Keeping it real."

These are phrases that are thrown around a lot on the internet.
I've received comments myself even that people love that I "keep it real".. and then go on to talk about these fake people who are fake and post overly staged fake photos of their fake life. Maybe I'm just not following the right people, but upon receiving these comments I usually wonder who these people are.*

Maybe I'm naive, but I tend to believe that most of what I see on social media stems from the truth, and it's just a question of, "to what degree, is this the truth?" For example, that eggs benedict with the paprika sprinkled on top, mimosa with an orange garnish, sitting prettily on a rustic wood table. I assume that's real food, at a real restaurant, on a real table. Did I maybe move the salt and pepper shaker out of the photo? Perhaps. Did I place the mimosa in a more photogenic location? Likely. But that doesn't make my meal any less real. It means I view social media (Instagram especially) as a creative outlet. I enjoy the challenge of trying to see and capture things in a different way- from above, from the side, slightly off center, half in the frame. So- YES- sometimes there's some rearranging that goes on before a photo to make it look clean and presentable. On occasion I even take a few shots of it, although I would hardly consider myself over the top in this respect. I'd go on to say that in this respect, I'm a very average Instagrammer.

But here's my question- why do you need to see shit piled on my counter or in my sink or my dirty closet for you to think I'm real? Do you lack critical thinking to know or assume those things exist? My social media is not a place for you to go to feel better about yourself. To assuage your guilt or get peace of mind that I'm just as messy as you are. If that's what you're using it for, well, that says more about you than it does me.

The same can be said, perhaps even more overwhelmingly when it comes to topics for blog posts. I don't need to wish Matt a happy birthday on my blog and qualify it by saying "even though you drive me nuts and we fight, I love you" to make you feel better.. because that's exactly what those sentiments are designed to do. People are so damn scared of coming off as inauthentic that instead of just doling out praise, we make sure to qualify it with something "real", for example, "I love you so much, I love our life, even though we have struggles." and honestly, that drives me more nuts than just saying something positive.

Do Matt and I have disagreements and hard shit? Yep- and maybe I just violated my own rule by even putting that out there.. but it's illustrative of my point. The thing is, the struggles in my relationship are none of your damn business. It'd be one thing if the topic of this blog was relationships and relationship advice. Then perhaps it'd be inauthentic to not spill everything. On a more personal note- I ran into serious issues in past relationships by divulging too much of the personal with family and friends. Every. little. tiff. was aired out via email to girlfriends. That possibly had more to do with a) the relationship I was in not being a fantastic one, and b) my age and maturity at that point, but I've come to realize others are not so quick to forgive and forget those wrongs as you are. The more people you bring into your relationship the more people think they have an opinion on what happens. My relationship is personal and sacred and it's between us. If you (the proverbial "you" of course) come here expecting me to air my shit, it's just not going to happen, and perhaps should require some introspection on why you feel like you need to see that from other people in the first place.

This isn't to say I'm perfect, and that everything I see on Instagram or read in blogs I can view through the mature, reflective lens, and repeat to myself those things I said before. Absolutely on occasion I find myself feeling a down or dare I say, jealous, of something I see. Again though, with the self awareness I try to stay in touch with, I really try to use those moments of inadequacy and jealousy and funnel them into something good. If I see a brunch I'm jealous of, I do some menu scouting and plan a little brunch date with M or my friends. If I see a beautiful vacation or home, I think of ways I can replicate that locally, or fix up my own bathroom to turn that jealousy into happiness in my own life.  I fail at this sometimes, but it doesn't mean I fault the people taking or posting the photos.

Maybe it's just me, but I find overhyped and overpraised efforts to keep it real, insulting. I share what I want when the mood strikes and not to satisfy anyone else that my life is real.

*There is absolutely an exception to this statement, and these are the hyper stylized, sponsored, "professional" instagrammers. The thing is, I don't usually follow these people. It's less to do with the portrayal of perfection and more to do with the constant. schilling. of shit.  


  1. I totally get this! Just because I don't think I need to tell people about an argument doesn't mean we aren't real and don't fight. And at the same time I don't need to constantly post about how much I love him or how amazing of a husband he is. People who need to do that need to prove something to someone, and that's not us. I also hate when people constantly post about how their kids don't sleep through the night--poor me, poor me--because guess what, most kids don't. And it definitely has a lot to do with maturity!

  2. Oh my goodness, i so feel you on this one!! Love your last paragraph... DITTO. Haha! One thing that really has bugged me is when people say "happy anniversary to the love of my life, even though...". I have started doing it too, not to the same degree, but i have touched on it JUST to appease others. Because since we have been married, i would GUSH about how wonderful it was (i didn't mean to gush but i was accused of it) because people couldn't deal with the fact that i was HAPPY! One day some coworkers had really offended me because they were just kind of... "NO marriage is THAT great, Melissa' & so my boss told me, "Melissa, i think it's because they think you are saying your marriage is PERFECT. And they don't believe marriage is perfect." & i'm like, "no... we have our moments like any other couple. i never said it was perfect. But that doesn't mean it's not wonderful." I don't know if this makes sense, but in that moment i understood...they thought i was being fake (& i wasn't at all!). I had people do the same thing on my blog. So it got to a point where there are times when i'm "gushing" about our wonderful (but not perfect!) life and i will add the disclaimer "of course there are things we don't agree on, and of course he does things that annoy me, BUT.." kind of thing.

    This comment is way too long and i'm probably not making sense! But thanks for the reminder that i don't have to throw that disclaimer in there, just to make others feel better! Or just so i won't be accused of being a "rainbows & butterflies" blogger.

  3. love this so much. i have the same issue with this and i totally echo your thoughts up there. for me, the perception of authenticity is the responsibility of the receiver, not of the person posting. i actually think there is more inauthenticity in the comment section of most blogs/instagrams/etc. (where people agree and fawn over things just to maybe get their own stuff noticed) than there is in the actual "perfect" blogs/instagrams themselves. it's not my job to post photos of my messy clothes on the floor behind me when i take an outfit photo (they are there, but of course i'm going to push them out of the way!), or to post a selfie with no makeup on, just to show how normal and relatable i am. i want my blog and instagram to be a pretty place inasmuch as i've capable of making it so, and that's okay! also, awesome post aside, i'm a twin cities lady too, and i LOVE finding other bloggers from here...which side of the river are you on??

    erin | hooley with a 'z'

  4. Thank you. I've been saying this forever. I've been accused of being fake on facebook so many times. This is pretty much in agreement with how much I care.