We all know a true oversharer. Often it’s the well meaning but bumbling Aunt who saddles up to you at a family BBQ for a merciless forty-five minute run down of her plantar fasciitis. It’s the Uber driver who, finally having another captive audience, subjects you to a recount of his latest online dating fiasco’s. It’s the coworker who wants to take you on a verbal journey of his lBS. Those are oversharers. But also, so am I.
Here’s the thing. Somehow, my generation is split right down the middle. There is the group that wants to share every little thing – every meal, every workout, every accomplishment (no matter the size) and then there is the group that mocks those sharers for thinking their daily habits are worth a split second of their time. The second group – should we call them the non-sharers? – plays it close to the vest, often priding themselves on their ability to remain relatively private. There is absolutely nothing wrong with either. That being said, I’m clearly camp one. I share. I love it. The simple act of updating those around me on my daily wins, losses, struggles and triumphs brings me joy. Total joy. I am a true millennial in that sense. That being said, I think it’s important to note that my favorite aspect of sharing the ‘stuff’ isn’t always the good stuff. Sure, I take a sick amount of pride in showing off a successful home cooked meal, or a bountiful garden I worked on in the hot sun. I love it. I love those likes. But that’s not the aspect of social media that gets my heart thumping. I love sharing the journey. I have no secrets. When I’m hurt, and I learn from that hurt, I share what I learned. When I’m wrong, when I’m overwhelmed, when I’m struggling to juggle or simply flat out failing…I want to share it because nine times out of ten, someone can relate. Nine times out of ten, someone can learn from my shared mistakes or laugh with me at my stories of ungracefully navigating these mid twenties. Because we’re all afraid, aren’t we? We’re all wondering if we’re doing ‘it’ right. We’re all having those inner wtf moments, and those outer omg moments and those snap shots right there is the ‘stuff’. The stuff I live for, the stuff that builds us, the stuff that I want to always share. Because I know how easy it is to think that life is just so – a collection of those lightened, filtered, cropped moments – and those moments are true. They’re wonderful. They’re real. Unless you’re Bow Wow, I guess. But they aren’t the whole story. They aren’t the journey. Behind one photo of two lovers is an incredibly intricate interpersonal relationship that has had highs, lows, and everything in between. Behind a photo of a new car or a luxurious family Christmas is endless sacrifice, plane flights, long hours, and expectations. You see, I believe that on social media the good really is that good. I do. I just think that we do ourselves and in turn, our social media ‘followers’ a disservice when we act like that is all there is to the story.
So within the last seven or eight months, my own little slice of social media has turned a corner. I am exposing myself in ways I never have before (and thankfully I do not mean naked). I am open, I am sharing the real, raw, heartbreaking stuff, the good, fun, light hearted stuff and everything in between because that’s what I want to see when I scroll through my endless feed of perfectly styled outfits and overflowing cheese boards. The real life stuff. That’s the moments. I wasn’t always this open, and I by no means think I am doing anything groundbreaking when I take the time to word vomit a caption – a story, really – explaining the significance of a shot I post. The response to it however, has been awe-inspiring-ly awesome.
So how did I get so damn open? It’s not like I have zero pride, or zero vanity. In fact, a few years ago I would’ve thrived off of the comments that my life looked picture perfect. I believe you have to be at a certain phase in your life when you feel ready enough, solid enough, to be so vulnerable. I’m not quite sure when I crossed that threshold, but I do know what the inspiring moment was for me. People had begun to reach out to me via Instagram, sending me messages of praise and compliments. One in particular caught my eye. It was from a girl I’d known in high school. She told me how perfect my life was, and how she wasn’t surprised that my life had turned out so wonderfully. There was something about the way she said it, it stuck with me. Perfect? Perfect hasn’t ever even been the goal. Good. Well-lived. Fun. Joy-filled. Healthy. Successful. Strong. Those are the goals. I wanted to write back and tell her that I was glad she appreciated the good, but that with everything else in life, there was balance – there was bad, and messy, and funny, and mistakes, and everything else. Suddenly I realized that I had painted myself as this person who had it all together – and that it came with zero cost, zero challenges, and zero hard earned lessons. What a total and complete crock of bull! That wasn’t the case, in the slightest. I have and have always had an incredible life, and for that I am forever grateful. But, perfect? I have struggled, I have fallen on my face, I have wondered if I’m doing any of it right – and last I checked no one is handing out any badges of honor for stumbling through life without sharing what we’ve learned, what we’ve gone through, or even what we can laugh about together. So, I made it a priority to share. To use my voice, my love of the written language, and my iPhone to document the moments that make life…well, life. The good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, the perfectly imperfect. So shit, does that make me an oversharer? Probably. You’re welcome.
PS. I don’t have any plantar fasciitis that I know of.