Last summer, I deactivated my Facebook account for my 30th birthday. It was the best. It had gotten to a point where social media was way too stressful and anxiety-inducing and PRECIOUS for me. I was tired of looking at people’s curated, (and I suspect sometimes fake), lives. It wasn’t about anyone in particular at all. I love my friends and family. It was about minimizing anxiety, and my own sense of “failing” at the life I felt was expected of me, and it was about practicing authenticity. (It’s always a practice.)
Now, I’m back on Facebook for a few important reasons, for the moment. I reserve the right to quit again, as we all do. But I’m still looking for authenticity, for vulnerability and honesty, and it’s occurred to me that I might as well start with me.
I’ve noticed a pattern in myself, where the more depressed I am, the more I’m looking for validation, posting on Facebook like everything is amazing. Of course, this is not always the case. You shouldn’t assume that if I’m posting a lot, I’m doing so while listening to Tori Amos and crying into my teacup. But, it is something that I do: when my outside life feels overwhelming, I’m on the Internet, wanting superfluous talk and distraction. Sometimes, I’m posting about my big plans for the future, my cooking projects, my feminist and activist ideals. Blahblahblah. And other timestimes, it’s totally legitimate and I really am making a three-layer carrot cake with extra-creamy cream cheese frosting and loving every minute of it. But sometimes, it’s teatime with Tori.
I’ve decided that this is probably ok, and that I don’t need to stress over it too much, especially when I’m already stressed. But it does beg the question: what can I do to intentionally be more authentic? And where? And how? And my blog seems like the obvious place, the space where I can be real with you, and you can read it, or not. You get to decide.
This post on authenticity was also inspired by my blog post last week. It was not a happy post in the slightest, and I know it’s natural to worry, and worrying is ok. But the post was less about wanting to cause worry and more about practicing that authenticity, vulnerability, and honesty. I can’t make carrot cake all the time. It’s been a very challenging couple of months for me. I’d like to say it’s getting better, but I’d also like to not fake it, so it’s really not getting better. I have good days and bad days and I’m trying to be ok with the fact that, at least for a little while longer, things are just gonna be hard. I hope you’ll stick with me through my possibly sad, but striving for authentic posts, but it’s ok if they’re too much: too personal, too sad, too bleak. I get it.
And thank you, as always, for being here. Thank you for reading these words, no matter how uncomfortable they might be.