Want to know the absolute worst thing to say to me? (Aside from “we’re out of wine’, anyway).
“Your life looks so perfect on social media!”
Sigh.Repeat after me: “Instagram is not real”
Repeat after me: “Instagram is not real”
Whenever I’m on an adventure I’ll take a bajillion photos. Once I managed 1,200 in the space of 3 hours! This means that even when I’m working a 50 hour week, spending my downtime on the sofa in my pants drinking wine from a bucket there’s always a lovely photo to post. It’s just a hunch but my followers probably don’t want to see my greasy hair and crumb filled sofa.
Fun fact: right now I’m sat in sweaty workout clothes taking a break from writing a report. According to Instagram I’m drinking wine on a mountain. If only. Sadly it’s more like peppermint tea because apparently gin isn’t an appropriate lunchtime drink during working hours.
Facebook might present my life as worry free but only because I choose to keep any difficulties offline. Do you really want to know about grief, health scares and money worries? Hell no, you want funny videos of kittens and baby goats! Honestly, I really only use facebook as a tool to complain about the weather, worry about politics, and share videos of baby goats. (It’s mostly for the goats.)
A rosy looking feed doesn’t necessarily correlate with a perfect life, although I’m hopeful that the majority of people know that! I’ve had plenty of mishaps that I haven’t necessarily gone in to detail about. On social media or this blog.
These are the outtakes – the stories behind seemingly blissful moments!
Wedding bliss? Nope. Wedding Meltdown.
You know that bit in Gone Girl where she talks about women wanting to be the ‘cool girl’, a mythical woman who never really exists? Well, when we got engaged I decided I was going to be the Relaxed Bride. Relaxed Brides don’t stress about colour schemes, wedding favours or flower arrangements. They stay calm when things go wrong. Why let the little things spoil your day? Nothing worries a Relaxed Bride.
Venue not called you back even though it’s four days until the wedding? Nevermind! Dress shop avoiding your calls because the dress is arriving late? I’ll wear a bin bag! The venue’s event coordinator quits without warning six weeks out? That’s okay, I can organise it!
I joked about the seemingly endless stream of mishaps online and to friends: “They’ve cancelled my brother’s apartment because he has the same name as my friend’s little boy and ‘a seven month old doesn’t need his own room.’ Ha! What dickheads.” The seemingly endless stream of fuckups became a punchline, I could totally laugh away the worries I told myself. Then I’d feel Relaxed.
The reality? I had a total and utter meltdown at my hen’s lunch. It was four days out and I was telling the table how I hadn’t been able to lock down the venue’s event coordinators for a chat in over two weeks. I was trying to be funny, but my laughs weren’t quite reaching my eyes. Plus I’d just necked a glass of wine in under three minutes. My Mum gave me a mum look (you know the one) and asked if I was really okay.
I was not okay. I was not a Relaxed Bride. I was stressed to the point that I wasn’t myself.
All at once every single organisational worry and concern came pouring out in a tsunami of tears. I even did that super hot snotty cry thing, such a gorgeous bride to be! After calming me down and sending me off for a massage, my Mum took on her new role as wedding planner, leaving me free to blissfully enjoy the next few days. In the end, I really was a Relaxed Bride! And it wasn’t just because of the booze.
The very temporary ugly crying fest did not make it’s way to Facebook. Only the wine, smiles and hours of fun that followed it. My meltdown was at the beginning of an absolutely wonderful day where I laughed for 100 times longer than I cried. Why on earth would I focus on the negative?
Side note: I am not a hysterical Bridezilla. The absolute clusterfuck that was the majority of our venues idea of wedding organisation is something deserving of its own, extremely extensive, post. One that I’ll be writing later this month, in fact! Don’t worry it’ll be funny, not tragic! Six months on from a blissfully happy day we wouldn’t change one second of and I’ve got the routine and jokes down pat.
Almost shitting my pants in Sydney on New Years Eve
Ah, New Years in Sydney. The biggest party in the world. I’m not the only one who has seeing in the new year here on their list – the fireworks are watched by around 1.5 million people along the foreshore and the global TV audience is regularly over 1 billion. That’s insane.
We paid more for a night in a dorm room than a week in a hotel suite, but that didn’t matter. Our alarms were set at 7am to nab a prime spot and we were forecast to have perfect weather. Nothing could dampen my excitement. After years of anticipation I was finally getting to live my dream, complete with my little sister and best friend in tow too. This was going to be the best new years ever!
And then I woke up with a horrendous stomach bug at 3am and proceeded to spend the next few hours in the communal hostel bathroom. It was…not fun. To the poor Japanese girls who came in at 5am to get ready – I am so, so sorry.
Being the trooper I am I pushed through, eating immodium like sweets and gulping down any fierce waves of nausea. I wasn’t letting little things like almost passing out on the way or shivering uncontrollably in 32 degree sunshine ruin this experience. Of course I felt horrible, but we had 14 hours to wait for the fireworks. Surely I’d feel better by then?
It’s my sincere wish that you never have to spend an entire day being sick in a sunny field, surrounded by excited and happy people getting drunk. Especially when the only toilets are portaloos and it’s a stinking hot day. Yes, on reflection I really wouldn’t recommend it
I also wouldn’t recommend trying to hold anything in because it’s 15 minutes to midnight and you’re damned if you’re going to miss the fireworks. You’ll only end up having to sprint to the loo with desperation etched on your face. If only my year 9 PE teacher could have seen the speed I managed! It’s amazing what the threat of literally pooping your pants can do for ones athletic ability.
That wasn’t the worst part though. That was the few terrible minutes when I thought I’d still be in there as the clock struck 12. “How were the fireworks?” “I don’t know, I was stuck inside a plastic toilet and they didn’t think to install windows.” Spoiler alert: I made it out in the nick of time!
Putting all that in a Facebook post might have been a slight overshare, so instead I posted a lovely photo and a joke about losing my holiday weight. And then waited four years to overshare on here. Sorry if you were eating while I talked about poo.
I loved almost every moment of my Divemaster. There were moments where I felt frustrated and challenged, sure, but even they were great overall. Feeling like my abilities were being tested and having to work hard for my goals mean that my skills were being improved. Plus even on the hardest day I was still living on a tropical island. With two of my best friends. It’s not hard to find a bright side!
But there were a couple of days that I really, really hated. Yes even worse than this one! I’m still not going to detail them on here because they involve customers (and an instructor) being absolute bellends. Buy me a drink and maybe I’ll tell you.
So I did what everyone who has a shitty day at work does – complained to my friends in a bar. I worked through my emotions and thoughts with people who know me well, drank beer and then posted a photograph of another incredible sunset. When all you can see online is photos of a tropical paradise it’s easy to assume that’s the sum total of my life. But even the best sunsets can follow really shitty days.
Because – guess what? Life is still life, whether you’re leading it in London or Cairns or a teeny tropical island. That means you have good days and you have shitty days. You have days that are okay, days that are awful, and days that are wholly forgettable. Sure there were coconut trees in our garden on Gili, but I still had to do laundry, clean my toilet and get to work on time.
The same goes for when you’re travelling. So next time your friend posts an incredible photo from their holiday don’t just assume all is well. For all you know the reason their stomach looks so flat as they lie on that beach is because they’ve had bali belly for 3 straight days. Trust me – it really does do wonders for your waistline.
I don’t deliberately curate the image of a perfect life online. It’s just that much like in real, actual life I prefer to focus on the positives where possible! What do you think – is leaving the bad bits out dishonest?