See this picture? I’ve been debating on posting it for almost two weeks. And the internal conversations I’ve had with myself over it are borderline hilarious, and also a bit pitiful. Not because I don’t like it, but because for some odd reason I’ve been overthinking it to death.
Here’s what really matters in the pic above, and why I wanted to share it:
• I felt strong and fantastic at this very moment.
• That’s a beautiful handmade crochet bikini given to me by a beautiful soul and talented designer, Anna Kosturova.
• I miss my tan. I think it only lasted a week.
• I couldn’t replicate that greasy, salty covering one-eyed hair flip if I tried.
• Basically, it was a natural beauty quasi Blue Lagoon moment, which I think should be celebrated.
But here are the thoughts that have kept me from posting it:
• Am I going to come across as narcissistic?
• Do I look angry? I am a happy person. What going on here.
• Gosh, how many people will unfollow me because of this?
• Is this photo high quality enough? Darn iphone portrait mode always does wonky things.
• Oh crap. I wish I would’ve pulled up the bikini bottoms a bit.
• Maybe I should text it to my sister and see what she thinks.
• Does it look like I’m prying for compliments by posting and writing about all of this? I hope not.
• Will people think I’m a bad mom since I don’t have my son in here with me.
• I’ll just sit and store it in my drafts until I build up some nerve.
…Yes, it was painful for me to write that out, but the inner dialogue happens. And it happens a lot.
The funny thing is in real, non-digital or online life. I rarely am self-conscious. In fact, I’m the complete opposite. Throw me in front of a large crowd to perform. Sure. Public speaking, bring it on. Wear whatever I feel like rocking at the moment because I trust my style? You bet. Throw me on the set of a big production with a camera in my face? Yes, please. Karaoke? Crank up the John Denver or Sublime, man and prepare to have some glass shatter. Meeting new people? Love it. Conversations with strangers? It’s refreshing and inspiring. Events? I might hang out by the bar a bit, but am totally comfortable attending those solo and striking up conversations with anyone about anything.
Wear a gorgeous hand made crochet bikini anywhere a bikini is deemed acceptable attire, and not think twice about what anyone might think. You betcha.
Post a pic of it on social media…oh, here comes the sweaty palms and chewing my fingernails.
So what’s the difference?
I think it’s the numbers.
Darn you numbers.
Digital life is all about numbers: Likes, followers, visitors, comments, shares, saves, etc. And it seems that society’s consensus is the more the merrier. Throw in my job and “how good I’m doing at my job” is based on these numbers and….crap. It MESSES with you. Seriously. Whenever I have to send reports of all my statistics to my manager it makes me queasy and stop breathing. Add on that those stats are the basis for whether or not a company would want to work with me. Me = stressball.
I wish I could say I’m immune to it all, but you can’t help but wonder if you’re doing something wrong if the numbers don’t line up with how you’re feeling, or the work you’re putting into it. Especially when my content has gotten more and more personal, and I’m proud of it. I can’t help but take it personally.
You just start to question yourself.
But then let’s flip back to live, non-digital life for a bit. Yay!
In non-digital life, it’s not about the numbers. It’s more about feelings, that very moment, and stuff you can’t really quantify. It’s about smiles, emotional reactions, laughter, frustration, perseverance, how you manage to love your neighbor as yourself, conversations without typos or emojis, beautiful things you see or experience, and things you can’t explain or quantify with numbers.
And when I look in the mirror each day, I am confident that I’m doing my best at all that kind of stuff.
But then the digital world strikes back and makes me wonder if I feel this way in real life, why do the digital numbers mess with me?
The solution? I’m working on it. (And am ALWAYS open to suggestions or help) But, I think it is to ignore all the pressure of the numbers, be grateful for what you have, confident in who you are, and keep on keeping on.
In all honesty, that’s what I’ve done, and will continue to do. Here, over there, and everywhere. I just need to remind and encourage myself sometimes in a public manner to hold myself accountable.
Which means having posts like this where I have to write out my own vulnerabilities (no matter how painful that might be) in order to accept where I’m at and where I’m going.
And to just POST THE DAMN BIKINI PICS.
Because in all honesty, it really is a gorgeous bikini and I have no clue how someone could crochet such a thing.
…and iPhone portrait mode really works wonders when I have about 10 seconds to take a pic between chasing after a 3-year-old.
..and I really do miss that tan.
Ok, now I’m just rambling. Felt good to get all that out there though.
Cheers to living, learning, and hopefully learning to shut down those voices that like to chirp nonsense in your ear.