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What You Need to Know About My Life Even When Social Media Tells You It's Perfect

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There is a giant misconception about the world of chronic illness: Sometimes you don’t look sick. Shocker, I know! I’ll be the first person to admit I tend to put on a brave face for people when I am feeling pretty crappy. I’ll do my hair, makeup, put on a cute outfit, rock some awesome shoes, and pretend nothin’ is wrong. But boy, is that the biggest lie ever. So, I’m coming clean, people: I don’t always feel well even when I look good. I’m not this cookie-cutter Mormon, cute foodie-lifestyle blogger who has it all together. My life isn’t this perfect white picket fence. My life is weird, complicated at times, and full of ups and downs. If you’ve followed me throughout years, you’ll know life hasn’t always been easy.

Don’t get me wrong, I have an awesome life. I have an amazing family who love and support me – even when I screw everything up. I don’t come from a picture perfect family photo. I come from a weird, nerdy blended family that loves quoting “Harry Potter,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Indiana Jones,” “Star Wars,” “Dr. Who,” and “Star Trek.” Yeah, we’re nerds. Deal with it.

I have amazing co-workers and a job I simply adore. I have amazing roommates who put up with my baking and cooking experiments (…sorry about all the dishes the other night). I have incredible friends who know me and love me despite my lack of communication and living so freaking far away from them. My life is pretty awesome. I have it pretty dang easy: roof over my head, food on my table, the opportunity to attend a fantastic college, family, friends, a great iTunes collection, and so much more. But despite all of that my life isn’t always “easy.”

Before I was sent home early from serving a mission for the church I belong to, I had several people tell me I didn’t look sick. Even as a missionary, I wanted to punch them in the face and yell, “Just because I don’t look sick, doesn’t mean that I’m not sick. I’m sick! I have freaking bronchitis, and the doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong with me. Don’t tell me it’s all in my head! Something is seriously wrong with me!”

Little did I know it would ultimately take three years to start getting some answers. Sheesh. That’s a long time. But so many good things have happened in the past three years. Since I’ve gotten my answers, so many wild things have happened. I’ve met incredible people through social media and friends of friends. I’ve reconnected with people I hadn’t talked to in years. It’s been awesome seeing how many true warriors are really out there.

All of us have our own battles. All of us have our demons we have to face. It’s so easy to get caught up and to compare yourself to what someone’s life “looks” like. Every day I see friends and family post pictures of their kids. I see engagement and wedding pictures. I see people going on trips to Europe. I have several friends who are very successful coaches, distributors, consultants, and more. From the perspective of social media, everyone’s life looks pretty dang good, and sometimes I get so frustrated and upset. I find myself comparing my life to their lives.

I don’t have kids. I’m not married. I’m not graduated from college. I don’t work full time. I don’t have perfect health. There are a lot of “don’ts” in my life, and I’ll admit I’m pretty jealous I’m not in the same place as most of my friends… and that sounds really negative. But here’s the silver lining: Despite all of those don’ts in my life, I do have a lot of blessings, and I know I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. I am a single (just so you know guys… I don’t bite!) 24 year-old who has a lot going for her (at least, I think I do… eek). I am working part-time at an incredible job. I am dealing with ridiculous health issues. I am a college student whose taking two classes online and graduates next semester. I am someone who sometimes feels like I’m barely floating in the water with all the wild things happening in my life.

And with all of those things, I can still put a smile on my face and handle it with God right next to me.

Sometimes life isn’t perfect and we forget it isn’t (dang social media!). I forget I have good things coming for me. I forget that even though most days I don’t feel super fantastic, I can still have a good and awesome life (Side note: “Awesome” is the word of the day, just in case you didn’t pick up on that.). If you feel you’ve reached the end of your rope, then tie a knot and hold on because “…What’s broken can be mended. What’s hurt can be healed. No matter how dark it gets ,the sun’s gonna rise again.”(Meredith Grey)

Look for the sun and rise above. Stand a little taller and throw kindness around like freaking confetti. Don’t judge someone based on their social media. Don’t judge someone based on their looks because you don’t know what’s really going on. Be kind. Love yourself. Enjoy what you have. And remember we’re all fighting our own battles, and sometimes it’s easier to fight together. Rant over.

Follow this journey on The Wellness Warrior Blog.

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Originally published: March 29, 2017
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