Disclaimer – my life is not perfect

I don’t spend a whole lot of time on social media, but whenever I do, I get somewhat annoyed by how everyone’s life appears to be so perfect. Worst of all, my Instagram account is no different. If you look at my Instagram account, you’d think that my life is perfect. I got everything figured out, and you’d probably ask yourself what the hell is wrong with your life. Until you look at your own Instagram account and you’ll see more perfection.  Mind you, I don’t think anyone does this intentionally, and social media is probably not the place to be complaining about how hard your life might be
 
More and more, I have been thinking about the importance of letting people know about my shortcomings. Because, well, I never would do that otherwise. And I think it’s super important that nobody feels terrible or annoyed when looking at my social media presence. So here is a bit of a disclaimer about my life, about some of the things I struggle with and some of my shortcomings. Because there are plenty. I am not perfect. Nor is my life.  You don’t have to be perfect either, nor does your life.
 
My life is not perfect. 
 
I have the hardest time not drinking at least a glass of red wine every day – no other alcohol, just red wine and never more than a glass or two. But that’s still not a healthy habit and I am frustrated that I can’t do a paradigm shift here and stop drinking a glass of red wine at the end of the day.  
 
I struggle with sadness from time-to-time, which is probably a bad combination in conjunction with my point above. This has gotten better as I have aged, and my brain activity seems to have slowed down a bit. 
 
My brain activity has slowed down quite a bit. This worries me too. My grandma died of Alzheimer’s, and I got to see the brutality of that disease first hand. Not a day goes by when I don’t question my memory. Sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night randomly quizzing myself about some fact I think I should know. When I can’t think of it, I allow myself to dive deeper and deeper into that rabbit hole. It’s terrible.
 
My stamina is slowing down. Everywhere. Work, fitness, everything. While this might be a regular part of getting older, I have a hard time coming to terms with it.  I don’t want to talk about it so that this paragraph will be short.
 
I am ridiculously stubborn. This has been helpful during certain times of my life, but being 38 and super stubborn is getting to be a little ridiculous. The other day I was speaking at a conference and Carlyn thought that I should maybe wear pants and not shorts. While deep down, I knew she was right, just because she told me I should do something, I had to do the complete opposite. Instead of getting into an argument, I wore jeans out of the house and threw a pair of shorts into my bag. Once I got the green room, I changed into shorts, and that was that. Almost forty-year-old keynote speaker rocking shorts. This would be cute if I was 8, but not at 38.
 
In the grand scheme of things, I am not a great friend or family member. While I am always there when someone needs me, I struggle to prioritize communicating with people when things are going just fine. While I have no philosophical problem with text messaging, emailing or talking on the phone – I don’t ever initiate it. I am lucky to have the friends and family I do have, who are much better than I am when it comes to reaching out. Keep doing that if you’re reading this. It means a lot to me.
 
I used to struggle with jealousy. This is mostly under control at this point, but I probably wasted a few years in my twenties worrying about the most inconsequential shit ever
 
Part of the reason I live a pretty unconventional life is because I have a tough time conforming. You don’t move 10,000 miles away from a happy childhood at the age of 16 if there aren’t some serious internal struggles happening in that head of yours. Part of this is tied to drive and motivation. Part of it is my stubbornness and a not inconsequential part is need to fight completely unnecessary battles with that voice in my head. Fortunately, with my brain activity has slowed down a bit with age, I am becoming more and more comfortable with the idea of living a more normal life.  And I am lucky as hell because had I met Carlyn when I was 28, I would 100% squandered the opportunity to be in a relationship with the most wonderful person in the world
 
Ok, I’ll end here. I didn’t write this to a) gain any level of sympathy or b) complain about how hard my life is. It’s not. I am ridiculously privileged and in the grand scheme of things, my life is awesome as all can be all.
 
But my life is not perfect.  And I want you to know that, because this is the side of the story you don’t see when I post pictures of Otto, Lucy, Carlyn,  mountains, rivers, and beaches
 
There is another side to everyone’s public-facing story.
 
This is mine. 
This post is written as part of a series by the immensely renown Western Writers League. Read Chris Corbin’s thoughts on the topic. And check out Ryan Wines’ blog at https://www.nurturetheory.com/ who is bound to publish about this at some point.