The online world is amazing. You can meet people with similar passions and callings and personality as you. You can find accountability, encouragement, inspiration. Friends and role models.
I love being a part of the online community. I love connecting with writers and readers and musicians and everyone, but as I meet these people and get to know them and talk and laugh with them, I can’t help but wonder.
Would they view me differently if we were talking face to face?
Online, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of looking perfect. Fun bookish photos, bright colours, laughing emojis. We all do it to a certain extent. We do it to be a bright, positive person in someone’s life. But for me it’s the real people who I feel like I can really trust. It’s the people who are honest and open about their shortcomings and their mess who have a more special and real place in my heart.
Being positive and joyful is a blessing to others, but only if it’s real. Pretending that you’ve got it together won’t help anyone, least of all yourself.
I used to stalk instagram and see all the amazing book photos and stand in awe of the authors and bookstagrammers because they were all so perfect. Now, I can speak from personal experience. It’s all about the mountain of deleted photos. Behind the perfect bookstagram shot is at least ten that weren’t ‘good enough.’
Beneath my bookshelves are messy piles of papers and pens and clean clothes that I haven’t put away into my drawers yet. Behind the scenes is me in the most awkward positions as I try hold the books and the camera straight at the same time and not get my head in the photo. A few seconds after the perfect Harry Potter book stack, the entire series topples over.
This week I even had to blu-tack my phone to the shell to stop it from falling off. Can you see that in the end result? Absolutely not. It just looks like I have some serious balancing skills. (Which might be true as well. 😛)
I’m not perfect. I don’t have it all together. I forget to do what I was meant to do. I miss deadlines. I fall behind. I feel down for no particular reason. And that’s okay.
It’s okay to not always be okay. God made us with emotions, not as blind robots. We don’t have to pretend.
Don’t let my professional website, the number of books written, or the ‘freelance editor’ badge fool you. I’m Jane, and that’s what I always want to be, in real life and online.
Do I practice what I preach? I don’t know. I try. I want to be real with you and with everyone else, but all too often I fail and I slip into the professional ‘I’ve got this’ mode, even when I know I definitely have not got this.
Which do I value more? Being a real person who can be a real friend, or being the perfect, put together insert-fancy-title-here? That answer is easy, though doing it is much harder.
A bit of a rambly post today, and I also feel like I’ve said a lot of this before, but it just came to my heart when I was thinking about a post for today, so there you have it. 💕
How about you? Do you struggle with pretending to be ‘perfect’ online? How are you really doing lately?