The Truth Hurts, But Lies Kill
Some of the hardest things to admit in life are the ones that you don’t even want to believe yourself. It’s so much easier to brush them aside, to the back of your mind, pretending that everything is fine and to go on living life like nothing is wrong. But then the night will come, you’ll lay in bed and all of those thoughts and realities that you’ve pushed away will all coming flooding back into your mind. At the time, the truth can be unbearable; but in the end, it’s a lot harder to live in a lie than to face the problem at hand.
I’ve always been one to put on a happy face. I wanted to be known as that girl. The one who was always smiling, had a great family, the perfect relationship, lots of friends and was as some would call ‘picture perfect’. I strived for that image, not only in person, but on social media as well. I wanted everyone to think that my life was exciting and interesting. I wanted to be the girl that everyone wanted to spend their friday nights with. I wanted to be noticed. For the most part it worked; I had a big group of friends, dated the older, all-star athlete, and from the outside everything seemed pretty ‘perfect’; but on the inside, it was a completely different story.
I was living a life that aimed to please others, not myself. I was so worried about how I needed to portray myself in order to impress people. I had to make sure that my instagram, twitter or facebook were up to standards at all times; checking my follower to following ratios or the number of likes that I got on a photo, and updating them constantly throughout the day. I was always going the extra mile to make sure everyone around me was happy; but what about me? Was I really happy? Eventually, I came to find that my big group of friends weren’t really my friends, my popular boyfriend would find another popular girl to hang out with, my family life was falling apart before my eyes, and you could see that the life of the girl behind the perfect smile wasn’t so perfect after all.
I sought out the approval of everyone around me, but I wasn’t always satisfied with the result. I had been fooled and broken by my perception of a perfect life. I set aside my own happiness in order to please others, and in the end, I had lost more than I had gained. I didn’t know how to face the fact that my life wasn’t perfect. I struggled for so long trying to make myself out to be someone else, and I had lost myself along the way.
With time, I learned that having one or two friends that genuinely cared about my well-being was a lot better than having eight friends that wouldn’t give me the time of day. Being single was better than being in a relationship that involved other girls and bad intentions. Having a family that loved one another unconditionally was more important than having the perfect family dynamics. At the time, my life revolved around other people’s opinions of me, but I finally came to the realization that my feelings and opinions should matter more. I lived in a world of insanity; doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I had to make changes in order to see changes.
When I was able to step outside my skewed perception, I realized that there were so many other people just like me. People that had the same issues and that compromised themselves to fit in. I still see it today as I watch my little sisters and brothers go through middle school and high school. It’s reality; girls are still mean, boys are still trouble and life really isn’t perfect at all. As unfortunate as it is to see others going through the same internal struggle, I know that I faced my battle so I can help them face theirs. I can be there to remind them that it’s okay to not be ‘that girl’ and that there’s really no such thing as a picture perfect life.
I decided to walk away from people who no longer served a purpose in my life and focus more on the people who did. I had to learn to accept that my life might not be perfect, but that was okay. My life was created perfectly for me, to learn and grow with each obstacle that I came to face. Life is hard, but it’s a lot easier with the right people by your side. Sometimes being brave means letting go and walking away, or reaching out and helping someone who is fighting the same battle.
There’s nothing wrong with being strong and serving others; but it’s important to make sure that your integrity doesn’t keep you in a position that doesn’t serve you, grow you, or make you happy.