Archive for September, 2013|Monthly archive page

All that Glitters Ain’t Gold

In friendship, inspiration, social media on September 21, 2013 at 8:15 am

Hi my name is Jess and I struggle with feeling inadequate, with jealousy, with comparison, with…social media.

Hi Jess.

In the past year this is one of the most sound pieces of advice I’d received: “Comparison is the thief of joy”. Given to me by my bestie Justine. See photo below. She doesn’t look wise but she is. haha jk jk.

justine and jessMy generation especially lives in a world of glitter. Every day we are inundated with glitter – sparkly images of our friends and their great jobs, new designer outfits, trips to Europe, perfect relationships, pinterest worthy homes and so on. I can’t explain how many times I’ve met up with friends and the conversation centers around what they recently posted on their Instagram, or where they last checked in on foursquare.  Not to mention we’ve spent the majority of our dinner dates instagramming our food, tweeting, and looking at our phones! That’s NOT normal.

As if all of that isn’t bad enough I recently found myself emotionally invested in other people’s photos and not in a positive way. I was saying things like: ‘Babe, so and so is on vacation here’, ‘Look at this new bag she got, I want a new bag’, ‘Look who just bought a beautiful house’ ‘Really another selfie of you and your perfect hair?’…and on and on.

Jealous. Judgmental. Sad. And worst of all totally ungrateful for all of the things I should be grateful for. I was in a place where nothing was enough. As a matter of fact I would take one facebook photo and fill in the blanks with the perfections I assumed a friends life consisted of.

Bad idea. Very, very, very bad idea.

So, I started to really pray and meditate on what was going on. Why was I all of a sudden so unhappy with what I’ve been fortunate enough to be given and what I’ve worked hard for? More importantly, why was I getting so sad at seeing others happy??

Oh wait I know why – because comparison is the thief of joy.

Here’s the thing – I’m not the only one. I have plenty of friends who have gotten off facebook because every time one of their friends get’s engaged they find themselves crying. That’s not how it’s supposed to be, but it can be an unfortunate  byproduct of social media.  I didn’t want to have to quit sites, I wanted to be able to see things, process them and move on without it affecting me emotionally. So it started with these two articles that REALLY helped put things in perspective for me.

Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life

Why Generation Y Yuppies are so Unhappy

The first article states: “My life looks better on the Internet than it does in real life. Everyone’s life looks better on the internet than it does in real life. The Internet is partial truths—we get to decide what people see and what they don’t.”

There it is. All that glitters isn’t gold. Partial truths are so dangerous.  Sure we’ve all been guilty of hiding the Negative Nancys on our timeline who are constantly griping about their bad luck and misfortune because it’s well, depressing.  But what about the people who are constantly promoting their perfect life?

Well let’s look at this:

A. Their lives aren’t perfect – nothing is perfect. I’m not telling you to take solace in other people’s imperfections but to keep things in perspective. That couple who just posted a happy photo of them at a friend’s wedding probably got into a fight on the way there. Haha! Seriously though, perspective is everything.

B. Good for them.

Here’s how I’m working through things. What I’ve learned:

1. To be aware of how much time I’m spending on social media and put my devices down. Learn to just be. Not every moment needs to be captured, shared, or filtered.

2. To be aware of why I’m posting on social media sites – is it to portray a perfect life, get a certain number of likes (aka recognition/validation) or to inspire others or to just remember a moment? What’s my intention?

3. In case I wasn’t clear in #2: To stop finding importance/validation in the response/reaction of others.

4. To be very aware and in control of my thoughts when scanning social media sites. This takes practice and intention. Your thoughts will run away from you quickly – manage them before they manage you.

5. To be grateful for everything because nothing is guaranteed and most of all because life is GOOD.

6. To be real. To be uplifting. To be honest. If I’m going to share I’m going to do it in the realest way I know how.

7. Tangible things I do: Turn off all notifications.   Log myself out of my social apps so that I’m less tempted to just sit and scroll. Leave my phone in the other room, the car, my purse.

Whew! Okay that was a big one but I hope it speaks to someone out there and if not well I’m glad I got it off my chest haha!

Love y’all!





Confessions of a Newlywed

In friendship, inspiration, love, marriage on September 17, 2013 at 11:31 pm

When my husband asked my dad for his permission to marry me, my dad told him, “Alex, Marriage is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do and it is one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever experience.”

He was SO right. I wanted to share this thought because I think people have a misconception that when you get married everything will be PERFECT. Let’s be honest, you see instagrams of newlywed couples gushing about how much they love their spouse and their newlywed activities and adorable matching shirts (guilty) – but you don’t hear about the growing pains, adjustments and tough compromises that have to be made in the first well, forever.

For all of my friends who are married, getting married, and will be married I need you to remember that even when things are hard, if you’re BOTH willing to work together, compromise and be understanding of the other person’s feelings then the reward is immense. The trials will come and that’s okay, embrace them – use them to better yourself, to better each other and as a means to love even more fiercely than the day before.

It’s overcoming these trials that will make the two of you even closer, a stronger team, an unstoppable force.  If I may, I’d like to impart a few of the lessons I’m learning along the way and as I feel inspired I will continue to add to this post.

As long as the end goal is the same it doesn’t matter how you get there.I think the biggest struggle for me has been not doing things my way. It sounds ridiculously childish but all of a sudden there is this other person with an equally strong opinion on how  something should be done and wholeheartedly believes his way is the right way. That’s hard!

Our first few weeks of marriage we spent going head to head on everything! Take for example a furniture shopping trip we went on about a couple of weeks after we moved into our apartment. The night before I’d found a great print chair in Homegoods, snatched it up and brought it home. Husband loved it and we were planning to keep it until the next day when we found two gorgeous matching wing backs for a steal in TJ Maxx. Husband says, “Yep let’s get these but I want to return the other chair today.” I say, “yeah, I’ll return it sometime next week, what does it matter?” But it mattered to him – for his peace of mind he wanted it returned that day.  Naturally we begin to go back and forth when it hit me – we both want the same thing we’re just going about it in two different ways.  So I conceded.  And it hurt. And I cried. Then it felt good – because I realized that I just tapped into something that is going to save us a lot of heartache and strife in the future:  If we are both seeking the same outcome, be okay with doing it his way. We returned the other chair that night and you know what he did? He thanked me.  He hugged me and said in the sweetest voice, ‘thank you for that’.

“A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” – Proverbs

2013-04-20 19.40.10

Contrary to what I believed, compromise or putting somebody’s feelings before yours does not equal weakness, defeat, or inferiority – it’s actually this beautiful, beautiful thing that brings you and your somebody closer and makes you fall in love again, and again and again.

xo – JP