Friday, June 20, 2014

What Does Your Life Really Look Like?

I see so many beautiful pictures on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and so many other very cool and useful social media sites. I love it when people share little snippets of their lives; it has turned into that rare glimpse of how other people spend their time.

I've always loved images. I am a sucker for lots of color. I love stories, and I've always felt a picture really does say a thousand words. When I was much younger, I fell in love with the artwork of Maxfield Parrish, an early 20th century illustrator and painter. His use of incredible colors and light sort of transported me to another place. I understood art, in the traditional sense early on (being the daughter of an artist,) it wasn't until much later I fully understood how a photograph could capture that same ethereal magic. 

In this digital age, everyone is learning a different version of storytelling - duck lips, weird model poses, food porn, and all. Regardless of the value of the content, everyone has something to say. I think it is healthy to find ways to express yourself, and why not do it through images.

With that being said, I spent the night last night sort of popping through a few old photo albums, both digitally and the old dusty scrapbooks I have tucked away under my coffee table at home. I was transported to a different time, different place, and it is amazing how fond emotions would well up... as I closed each book or tab, I felt that little twinge of contentment, that little bit of knowledge that I have built a good life for myself.

However, I am afraid that the photos only capture the good stuff. Those moments that you want to hold onto forever - to cement them in time. I don't have any photos of the nights I go to sleep alone, or the horrible arguments I had with my ex, or the times I had to sit on hold waiting to make payment arrangements on a bill I was not sure I was going to pay. It doesn't capture the hundreds of hours I have probably struggled to make it through another panic attack, or the time I sat alone, on the floor of my living room, crying uncontrollably after my husband walked out the door. 

I don't see the picture of my cat, Maximus, taking his last breath as I sat with the vet as he was put to sleep. I don't have an image of the emotion I felt the last time I heard my great grandmother tell me she loved me. I don't have that moment captured when my former boss came into my office and let me go. Those moments aren't captured.

I wonder... if they were, could we let them go easier. Is there some psychological fix to seeing what happened versus experiencing it. 

My life... the life I live every single day is really quite a simple life. Those moments are captured. I wake up just like you do, except maybe you are able to spring out of bed a little easier than I can. I push snooze for at least 1/2 an hour with a cat patting my face and trying to attack my feet - all in order to get up and feed them. 

I drink my coffee in the morning. I take a shower. I put on my make up and pick out an outfit. I go to work. I write, pitch stories, convince CEOs to donate to my fundraiser, return phone calls, and a ton of other things. I go home, I cook dinner, I watch TV, water my plants, read a book, chat on the phone, take a bath, and head to bed. Honestly, most days... that's it.

Sure, I go to events, take trips, go shopping, and other random things. But the truth is... my life is full of tiny, simple events. Those moments are rarely captured. In between the success, the adventure, and acceptance... between heart ache, disappointment, fear, and rejection.. there are simple things, normal things, and that my friends is life. 

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