I was looking through some of the old sticky notes on my computer that serve as half thought out writing prompts or potential blog ideas. I came across one the other day, “how do you eat when you’re alone…as part of ‘honest you’ week.”
I had to laugh. Just this past Saturday, I made myself a berry smoothie post workout and splattered acai packet all over my shirt. I thought I had successfully tidied myself when, about an hour later, as I went to brush my teeth before I headed out for the day, I noticed a line of raspberry red on my nose. I don’t even know how that is possible. I guess that’s what a solo Saturday morning in the apartment can look like – “how do you eat when you’re alone?” I may have been on to something.
I had the idea for an “Honest You” week a while back. The concept was to take away all the filters we put up on social media and otherwise. Sure, it can be fun to edit a really cool nature shot and fix the lighting on the lake, but when it comes to ourselves, isn’t it sometimes better to accept ourselves as we are?
Anyway, that was as far as I got in the brainstorming of “Honest You” week. I was going to think of all the ways we hide who we are – be it through insincere posts, acting like everything is “fine,” or even curating our Facebook feeds to make our lives look “perfect.”
Fully aware that there are people who view The Smile Project as a disingenuous initiative, I have always worked incredibly hard to counter the good with that bad. Do I absolutely believe there is something good in every day? Yes. Do I also know that there can be things that crush every bit of our humanity in a single moment? Also, absolutely yes. I’m no stranger to either.
For that reason, I try to share the good and the bad. The Smile Project is a Happiness movement, but joy dances hand in hand with heartache and that is a distinction I find extremely important.
All that said, I was reminded of Honest You and I thought of what I would share or do that is my most authentic self. I’m as open book as they come, but there are even some things that I’m still working on. There are still some blogs I cannot write.
Whatever it is, wherever you are – find that thing that is hard to talk about and write it. Take one photo and use it for all its raw honesty – flaws and all. You don’t need a filter. You don’t need to post about how much you love your job or your new apartment or whatever if you don’t. You don’t have to pretend.
Recently, a well-meaning friend gave me the following advice: don’t let anyone know how overwhelmed you are.
While I understand the sentiment, it is not something I can get behind. I’ll wear my heart on my sleeve and then some. I know exactly who I am – equal parts compulsion and tornado. I’m tired of emotion being seen as a weakness. I’m tired of people curating their lives to the best possible scenario.
You are allowed to be stressed or angry or confused or upset. You’re just not allowed to think it’ll last forever. You will get through this – but it starts with allowing yourself to feel.
Honest You week only works if you start with the number one person you need to be truthful with.. and that’s you. You owe nobody an explanation for living your truth.
Filters off this week. The world rewards those brave enough to let down their guard.