A friend came over the other night, and almost right away, she told me about how she “appreciates my recent posts and the honesty of where I am right now,” how she honors it and yet, she isn’t there. I don’t know exactly what she was wanting to say in that moment, but I felt compelled to apologize. She told me not to, that it wasn’t what she was saying. She was simply saying she wasn’t there yet.
And that’s when it clicked.
She’s not ready for my happy. She’s happy for me, yes. But there is a difference when you’re going through a big change in life, whether it be a divorce, break up, losing a loved one, or even losing a job or lifestyle.
Social media is great and not great for this reason. It shows you where you can be and it shows you where you’re not yet. When I was divorced, having had moved twice in two months to my parents’ house and then two my own once it was ready, I was not posting that sh*t on Instagram or Facebook. In contrast to when I moved in, a seemingly fun occasion and a feeling I was going in the right direction in my life, I felt like I was slipping into a current taking me back to the starting line. And during that same time, friends of mine were having their babies, getting married, moving and starting new dream jobs…basically loving life. I felt two things at once: a. Pity and anger at my life and b. Happiness for my friends.
Now I’ve felt dueling thoughts before. I’m sure you have too. But this was the hardest duel I’d faced to date. The happiness I had for them only made it feel that much further away from my own reality. In other words, unattainable. And yet shutting down and getting off social media to stop seeing my people thrive wasn’t an option. I needed to be reminded that life was something that could be a good experience. I also needed to see those who were in my place of devastation with their private struggles before me doing well and able to post about stuff I could only dream of when I was actually sleeping. (Too hard to fathom when I was awake.)
If you are in a space of “I’m not happy” or “My life just imploded” or “I don’t even know where to start”…you might know exactly what I’m talking about here. And you might not feel able to connect with anyone who feels better than you do at this very moment.
But you know there is merit to it.