I read an article today titled “How to Feign your Life is Together”. What was in the article isn’t necessarily important – only that what followed was a list of ways to fake looking perfect. Upon reading the title, I had prayed this was some sort of joke; the author must have been poking fun or creating satire. What I read was quite the opposite. The author of this article fully believed that faking a life that was perfect on the outside, would make you happy on the inside.
The little girl inside me began to cry.
It is important for people of all ages to see other people like them struggle. Struggling is human. Struggling is essential to succeeding. Looking perfect all of the time is not only impossible but also insane. But most importantly – looking put together on the outside will not make a happy inside.
Social media portrays this lie over and over again, shoving the idea down our throats until we choke on it’s absurdity. I was not surprised then to stumble across this article, but disappointed.
Having perfect hair and nails will not make you happy. Wearing perfume every day will not make you happy. Not allowing yourself to cry will definitely not make you happy. These lies work because they are beautiful, but that’s just it – they are beautiful because they are lies.
Napping when you are tired will make you happy. Crying when you are sad may not make you happy, but it will make you feel better. Wearing the same outfit you did yesterday because your body is too tired to pick a new one and you have no where to be today besides the couch with your cat will make you happy. None of these things are pretty. None of these things are “put together”. But they will make you happy. Over and over again, tried and true, they will make you happy.
Forget looking put together. If you’re not put together on the inside, there is no need to look so on the outside.
As a young girl I was told if ever I was scared
Find the toughest looking man in the room – he’ll have muscles and probably facial hair and you’ll know he’s the one because you will quake in fear at the thought of approaching him –
Walk up to this man and ask for his help.
They told the girl afraid to talk to strangers that the only way to be safe is to find a man big enough to save her
Instead of telling her to work out.
Take a defense class.
Learn how to say no.
Learn how to scream.
Learn how to throw a punch with your fist and kill them with your words.
When I was a young girl I learned that not every man was as kind as my dad. I learned that sometimes the man they tell you will save you
Is the man you should be running from.
So now they ask me why I go to the gym if I don’t have interest in losing weight.
They ask me why I frequently brush up on self defense videos and constantly have my dad remind me just where to bring my knee.
When I was a young girl I was told I couldn’t possibly save myself, so find someone bigger than me who can.
I’m going to tell every young girl I can, if ever we’re in the same room and you are scared, come to me. Maybe I can’t take on the man with the muscles and the beard, but I am always going to be the one who tries.
A couple of months ago I moved away from home for the first time to move in with my boyfriend, hours away from my hometown. Many people told me I was crazy – I didn’t and still won’t argue that point. Other people told me I was being stupid. Very few supported my decision. That was okay, because in my heart, I knew I was making the right choice. I didn’t need everyone in my life to believe in me – I just needed to believe in me.
Now, two months later, it’s time for me to reflect. Moving was the hardest thing I have done in my short life so far. I still have days when I struggle and I question what I am doing. On these days, I pick up the phone and I call my family, and they remind me that they are my strength. I recognize that I am lucky in this way. When I don’t know if I can hold myself up, I always know that my family will, no matter how far away they are. This is a fact that made moving possible for me.
While moving was hard, it was also a dream come true. After over two years of living long distance in a military relationship, it was easy to believe that we would never get our time to exist in the same zip code for longer than a couple of weeks. Now I get to wake up a majority of my days next to the man that I love. Some days I still have to pinch myself, convince myself that this is my reality.
As with anything in life, moving has had it’s ups and it’s downs. The difficulties that came along with moving in with a man in the military were very well known to me before I made the move, but they still hit me like a ton of bricks. However, I can still say two months later, in the midst of the hardest time since I have moved, that I would not change the decision that I made.
Life is short. I am young. And I am happy.