A college friend came to visit recently and remarked, “Wow, you’ve really made it in San Francisco. I can tell from your posts on Facebook.” Er.
That was right after another friend called me out for ‘humble brag’ on a recent post about a secret admirer. I realized that yes, ok, perhaps I do showcase a fantastic life with romantic suitors, exotic travels, couture clothing, top exec meetings, and not the other, oh, 90% of my life. Just like mothers only post their children smiling, not screaming and techies only post their late night parties, not their late night coding.
Well I’m going to come clean. Below is a raw account of things I’ll never post.
1. Sexy = Skinny = Spanx (shhhhh!)
For years women have relied on makeup, camouflage and other accouterments to appear sexy svelte. Those photos where I sport tight mini dresses only look great because my body is being contorted by an evil contraption that compresses my intestines into a tiny pancake. It’s like a girdle but unlike the girdle days there is no convenient fainting couch for me to pass out on. The clever material is so tight I often cannot eat dinner. There *may* have been an incident where I went to the bathroom to remove the torturous thing so I could manage an 11 pm cheese plate. My hair stylist always says, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” yet when it comes to double cream brie he’s dead wrong. But I’d never post that.
2. OMG-I love online dating
Uh. I also love drilling small holes in my eyeballs. After deciding to not get back together with an ex, I forced myself to embrace singledom. At first I thought I could just walk down the street, turn my head, and the scent of my freshly washed hair (cucumber melon) would titillate the nostrils of a dark handsome stranger. He would approach me with roses, propose a date and we then we’d make mad jungle love while exchanging our vows of undying devotion. After parading around Polk Street in a mini dress (with Spanx) I realized how hard it is to meet a man in the ‘wild’ in San Francisco (wild=no apps or online profiles). It’s far easier to scour tiny images of Photoshoped smiles and read long profiles about cheese curd fetishes. My inbox overflows not with jungle sex types but rather with form letters containing “You have a great smile…” and comments about still living with their mother. Men that have gainful employment and witty banter manage to disappear after email #4. Maybe they met a girl with better smelling hair.
3. Guess what – I’m back at the doctor’s….. again!
2012 was year of sports injuries and 2013 doesn’t appear to be much better. An unplanned, uncoordinated, and age telling yoga maneuver landed me in the chiropractor’s office.
“Your spine is messed up,” said the doctor.
Not only did his comment indicate that I was indeed mortal (I don’t know why I thought I could emulate Cirque du Soleil) but also not a limber 25 year old anymore. If that wasn’t bad enough, I found myself in another doctor’s office for Pink Eye. Which would indicate that I was six…if it weren’t for me limping in with ‘wonky spine’. I met my girlfriends for cocktails and tried to get some sympathy.
“Heidi-can you please stop talking about your ailments,” said my friend Mazz. “You are going to scare off all the men.” Sigh. No wonder I’m having a hard time dating again.
4. I am Carrie Bradshaw….without the following…or er, the book
I am working on that damn book….word by word. But no one ever tells you how hard it is to write up real honest accounts of your life. When I had written about myself before, a friend commented that I was not open, but “faux-pen.” My writing group echoes the thought.
“You are still being too safe. Go where it’s really uncomfortable. Bleed more.”
They obviously aren’t fans of self-congratulatory Facebook posts either. To write well, one must write raw. An award winning author once told me that he had to seatbelt himself into a chair to force him to keep writing through the icky bits. I, on the other hand, want to take breaks to go on afternoon walks, buy shoes, and eat chocolate. Discipline, discipline, discipline. It’s a goal and a challenge every f***ing day.
All in all, our lives are not perfect. Bad things happen to us. People break our hearts, our bodies age, we take ugly photos, and life goals sometime seem unattainable. However, regardless of how “faux-pen” we are on Facebook, we need to be completely honest with ourselves so that we can make necessary changes to create a better life. Plus if you can laugh at all the bad stuff, then it ceases to be that bad…and just motivates us to make it, and ourselves, better.