Yesterday, my brother arrived from Atlanta to spend Labor Day weekend with me. We haven't seen each other in a while and being the whipper-snapper millennial that he is, from the time I picked him up from the airport he's been going hard with the surprise us-ies and photo snaps. Knowing that these pictures would quickly find themselves before his social media audience of hundreds, maybe thousands of followers, I demanded full veto power of every shot. Why? Because god forbid my brother have me on these interwebs looking crazy, forehead shining with my strugggliest ponytail. No ma'am, No sir — we bring our A-game around these parts. Cute has always been heavily weighted in my book. I was taught that you don't allow yourself to be caught out here looking any kind of way...just don't. Although taking a certain level of pride in ones appearance probably isn't the worst thing in the world, the addiction to perfection in our uber-filtered, casually-augmented, selfie culture has reached epic heights. I mean, let a celebrity get caught looking anything less than red-carpet fresh and watch how thoroughly they get dragged. I'm no celebrity but like most of us, on some level, I have internalized this pervasive message. Take a quick scroll through your timeline - the filters, the angles, the adjusted lighting, all conclusive evidence that the pressure to present the best, most polished version of ourselves is real out here. As I found myself scrolling through my brother's photo library deleting, highlighting and cropping like my life depended on it, I realized how ridiculous this was. If my bro wants to archive and share these rare and precious moments with his big sis, I'm not going to ruin the spontaneity of that with some unrealistic self-imposed expectation to always project my most flawless possible image to the world. Recognizing the absurdity in this level of compulsion, I'm making a conscious effort to check it. I'm starting by allowing him to snap and post as he pleases all weekend long, totally unsupervised and filter-free. Pray for me ya'll. Baby steps... Photo: Don Flake
The transition into adulthood isn’t an easy one. Navigating relationships, managing workplace politics, hitting those milestones on schedule— don’t be fooled, no one knows what they’re doing. There will be all kinds of fumbles, blunders and awkward missteps along the way. If you’re constantly wondering to yourself, “Am I doing this right?” Welcome. This is just the place for you.
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