Rockin’ the suck
May 8, 2015
Wow, I have to share just how hard that actually was.
So this morning I posted a selfie. A tired face, not smiling and said this in the caption:
I am posting this because it’s been, quite frankly, a sucky week. I feel it’s important to show a fuller range of human emotions on FB sometimes, lest we forget that not everyday seems Instagram worthy. Posting this helps me feel powerful which is more important right now than sympathy or pity.
I’ve had some lovely comments on the thread and private messages offering kind and supportive words. My favorite? ‘Rock the suck!’And at first I was a little like: ‘hey, I wasn’t fishing for sympathy!’ and then I thought, wait, maybe I was fishing for sympathy, but is that so bad?
Let me explain.
Speaking for myself, my Facebook thread is often filled with amazing photos by other people doing amazing things and going to amazing places. Things often look glamorous, beautiful, perfect, happy happy happy.
And I started thinking to myself that this probably sets up an unrealistic view of the world that minimises or erases pain and struggle. Now, I have many brave friends who post about their struggles but it was never something that I had done, but I certainly admired those who did, because it was honest and I really feel there is something so precious and often beautiful in seeing vulnerability.
But I was so scared to post that photo. People will think I’m fishing for sympathy, people will think I’m narcissistic, people will think (fill-in-the-blank-negatve-thing-here). But then I also thought about how I don’t think that way about others, so why would I be so uncharitable towards myself. If I was my own best friend, what advice would I give myself?
So I posted it. Mainly because it was true. I have had a sucky week. I was feeling particularly low and heart-sore. And this beast called social media is one way, certainly not the only way, but one important way that I connect with people who live far away from me. So if I showed up to my buddies house feeling low and tired, they would notice, they would ask, they would show care. But I would have to ‘show up’ and not stay home with the curtains closed.
So this is what the photo was about; showing up and showing that struggle and hurt is part of my life at this moment. And that’s ok. Because in sharing it, I named it, I became an active author, not just a passive part of the story. And that felt powerful.