Social Media and Who I Want You to Think I Am.

We all do it. We take that picture, look at it, delete it, take another and even another before we finally decide it is post-worthy. What is Post Worthy? It is the ideal picture, the one that shows us laughing carelessly and having a great time. It’s the one that shows us in love. It’s the one that portrays us as the ideal parent as we roll in the fall leaves smiling. This is what I want you to see. The ideal. The perfect. The lie.

Here’s a shocker: We all want the world to see us as perfect. We want to see how many ‘likes’ on facebook we can get for our nonchalant selfie that we want you to think we didn’t take ourselves but we did, because we are hella good at editing (sorta). I stopped trying to take selfies. Number one, every time I did, I either looked pissed off or my eyes looked wonky. Number two, who has time to take twenty photos of themselves? After three and still not getting the look I want, I start to feel dumb. What am I, a 13 year old girl again?! I am 35 years old, that’s too damn old to be doing the same things my teenage daughter does in the bathroom mirror (for 45 minutes no less!).

Here’s another shocker: Not everyone who posts how in love they are with their significant other is really feeling that way, it’s another ruse. I’m not saying there aren’t those who do, whose love will stand the test of time, but I am saying I have seen more people post some really romantic, I’m talking Shakespeare shit, only to see in a few weeks that their love ended in a flame of Pabst Blue Ribbon, Jaeger Bombs and some ho named Jessica, and the lady of love scorned is “going to beat her face in the next time she sees her so she best watch it!”

Social Media is more about presenting this Identity of who you want to be, or who you want people to think you are, to the world. Having real, deep friendships, ones that last longer than a couple years and don’t involve back stabbing, are becoming a thing of the past. In my opinion, we are all too involved in trying to look a certain way or present ourselves as a tough guy, to take time to let the wall down and really get to know one another. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and even WordPress provide a certain anonymity. You can be whatever, a yoga posing hippy, a pierced and tattooed rebel, a baby wearing and crunchy mamma or just a good old fashioned asshole. There’s no shame in being any of these things, if that’s who you really are, even if your an asshole, at least you’re genuine..

So, who do I want you to think I am? I don’t know. I will tell you who I am though. I am married to a wonderful man, that being said, we haven’t had a perfect marriage, there have been lots of ups and downs. Times where we wanted to kill one another and times of complete adoration. Am I happily married? Abso-fuckin-lootly. Has it been easy? No. But things worth the time seldom are.

I am also a mom, I became one at age 21. I had no idea what I was doing then and I seldom know now. I thought I would be a natural mom, I wasn’t. Turns out I am pretty bad at this job, but I do love my children fiercely and I know the world is a better place with them in it. Am I getting this parenting thing wrong? YES. Am I doing some shit right? YES. Again, it’s hard and I am not always that good mom you see rolling in the leaves with her kids, in fact, I don’t roll. Especially not in leaves.

I have tattoos and piercings. I am not tough. Not at all. Nor am I trying to be tough, I don’t have anything to prove. I am a nerd most of the time. I am a mystery novel lovin’ lady, but my favorite books are children’s books. I love my British t.v. mysteries, country folk rock and stoner rock equally. I love archeology and I get way too excited when lost items under the sea are found. I do cuss too often but that’s a bad habit that I am trying to break, apparently it’s not going to happen in this blog. Maybe the next one. Sorry Grandma (she is the toughest woman I know, she reads my blogs and hates the cursing but she loves me ).

I have been a good person and a horrible person of equal measure, and if you had to really scale it out, I bet horrible would win.

My point is that the infatuation I see on social media with being perfect is out of hand and it is only encouraged through television, magazines and other media forms. But the worst encourager of this distorted view of beautiful or ideal, is us. We only perpetuate it by falling in line and posting 10,000 selfies or hippy quote that makes us feel good momentarily. Who cares what the world thinks, if you have faith in yourself and at least one good friend(not the one that makes excuses for you, the one who helps you grow), you have won. Faith in yourself is so important. It gets you through when no one else can help you.  I admit my confidence in myself is fickle, some days I have it, others not at all. I have to work at it. It’s not magic. The temptation to post something consciously or subconsciously for the prospect of people ‘liking’ it, is real. I am a victim of it’s game. And, I will always lose, because just like a good drug or alcohol, in the morning I am still left with me.

My challenge to myself and to others out there (if anyone reads this) is take time to be yourself, whatever and whoever that is. Posting pictures in and of itself isn’t bad but if it’s filling some void where confidence should be, maybe invest in you for a while. It’s hard work but it pays off.

So, Who do I want you to think I am? In the words of Rhett Butler, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Hopefully you don’t either.

Parents (Phlegm!)

Well, let’s just say, that sometimes, the bar eats you. My daughter has been attending Knox College For Kids, taking art, Spanish and voice. This morning was a small little recital where MY daughter had TWO solos, Castle in A Cloud from Les Miserable and Stay by Rihanna. Drumroll, please!……………. I missed them both. Not because there was a family crisis, not because I worked, I simply had the wrong performance time in my head. I thought she went on an hour later than she actually did. I am reminded of the time when our dearest friend Julie showed up at our wedding as we were marching down the aisle just having been married. The look on her face of disappointment mingling with a little sadness, is the same look I envision plastered on our daughters beautiful face. I imagine her thinking, “Where are they? They said they’d be here!” and then, “They don’t love me, I knew not to trust those scoundrels. That’s it, I’m done with these parents!” And when she says ‘parents’, she says it with so much disgust, that the person next to her wonders if she’s choking on a gigantic phlegm ball trapped in her throat. 

My stomach is in knots, and all I can think about is how stupid of a mistake I made.
So, as parents (phlegm!) how much do we punish ourselves? Do I dwell on it all day, sulking like Alexander and his horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day? Thus making it more about me and my feelings than my daughter? I mean, I spoke to her on the phone and she seems fine, excited. When I picked her up, she again, was fine, excited and fully animated about what she has learned in the past two weeks. As I am driving the truck home, I wonder if her lack of concern over my absence is just her way of disarming me before her attack of “Why, Mom,Why!!!!! I trusted you to be there, this was my first solo I have ever preformed and you guys weren’t there! You are bad parents (phlegm!)”. Instead, when I apologized and explained my idiotic, totally avoidable mistake to her, she looked at me and smiled, then opened her mouth and said, ” Mom, it’s okay. I make mistakes all the time. I did a great job and it was fun!”. Dumbfounded. Do I over-estimate my power of parental support? Did I think she was going to crumble on stage if I or her daddy wasn’t present with her? Worst of all, did I under-estimate my daughters strength? Yes, yes and YES.

This past year with my daughter has taught me so many things about her. She is much stronger at 12 than I was at 20, she’s wiser too. She is going places, where I floundered and jumped from thing to thing at that age. I love and respect her focus. And, I totally under estimated her strength today.

But, I should have been there. Now, not because she would have crumbled without me, but because I wanted to witness her awesomeness.

As I think about me trying to explain myself to Hattie in the truck, dropping any thoughts of sabotage that I was sure she was planning, I now imagine her thinking, “Geeze mom, would you shut up! It’s fine, I’m fine.” and then rolling her mental eyeballs and adding, “Sheesh, Parents! (phlegm!)”

Children, T-Shirts and Texas Lake Diving.

My son pulled a muscle. How does a three year old pull a muscle. I don’t know. But ours has. He was fairly whiney about yesterday and now he has become very angry and demanding, very demanding even for a toddler. We have been taking it easy watching movies and relaxing. As my cousin so correctly put it, “The only thing worse than a child running around and driving you nuts all day is a child who normally does so and is no longer able to.” So very true.

Today I am thankful for a three old who can run around and drive me nuts, because this whole laying on the couch thing, really isn’t working for Odin. He needs to run and jump, I can see it vibrating in his body, he’s mentally ready, just not physically. Hopefully by tomorrow he will be closer to full speed.

Now I need to give you TWO MORE FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT ME as the blog award insists, lets hope I have two more( the first two are in my previous blog here)!

3. I alter every t-shirt I have. I find that they do not fit the way I like if I don’t.I have done some more extreme altering and made the look like some sort of art project gone wrong, but mostly I just bring them in to fit the curve of my body better. Is this fascinating? Well……

4. Once, in the winter, when I was young, I jumped into a very cold lake in Texas with some friends of mine. I immediatly became discombobulated and wasn’t sure which way was up. This sucked, luckily I found the top.  The dumb things we do as teens. Luckily as I have grown, I have kept my spirit of adventure but I have learned to think through the things I do first.

Okay so in the next blog I will post the last three “about me’s” and possibly go ahead and share my picks for Most Versatile Blogger.