June 7, 2015 by From the Alli Files
Every single day I tell myself it’s time to delete my Timehop app. I mean, goodness knows I’m already the most vulnerable individual alive to the emotional outbreak of nostalgia. All it takes is a circa 2010 tweet about how much I love my free couch to make me carry around sadness all day. (I sold that couch in a garage sale last month).
Just the fact that I used a beat up old couch is example enough. I am pathetic.
And yet, day after day, I reminisce throughout pictures of tanned and skinny high school Allisons, read witty college Allison’s comments from twitter, and yearn for a more perfect time.
Seriously, y’all. I’ve had some form of social media for about a decade now, and not one of day of those 10 years did I post a brutally honest update on my emotional temperature, fears, downfalls, heartbreak, or mundane-ness.
Many of those years housed nights and nights of sleeplessness and fervent prayers to the Lord to take this from me. I battled an eating disorder in several different forms for over seven years, and not one of those truly heart wrenching moments was captured on the world wide web.
Instead, I wrote. Allison to pen, pen to paper, paper to dusty box under my bed. When the first boy I truly loved took his own life, I wrote. When I lost all sense of self into depression and binge eating after leaving college, I wrote. I didn’t edit or consider my audience, or wonder if the guy who I’m crushing on would find it amusing and clever when it popped up on his phone.
My honesty lead the way. I held nothing back.
And while I’m perusing my Time hop feed of sugar coated happiness, I think about those days I was too ashamed to even write…the days that were often filled with hopelessness, self doubt, incompleteness, and absolute terror. A lot of those feelings still creep up when I can fit into a shirt I haven’t worn since before I went into recovery… or see that Time hop picture of a fake smile…or cringe when my brother tells a story from his graduation night, and flashes of the binge I fell into the hours before he walked across the stage come streaking back into my mind.
Not only has social media portrayed my highlight reels for the WORLD to see and react to, but now, years later, it only reminds ME of my highlight reels. I shove aside living in my moment, my day, my hour, to pine after being 19 and “perfectly happy.”
Social media is even helping me tricking myself.
What am I posting today, what witty comment or perfectly posed picture of myself, that will haunt me 5 years later and make me miss the 24 year old Allison who “had it all together?”
Alli, sweetie, you didn’t have it together on June 7, 2015. You went to church and wondered during communion if you’ve just been going through the motions for the past 3 years or really made a spiritual difference during your time in Jackson.
You pondered if this move to Texas is the single dumbest thing you’ve ever done, and you ate too much for supper. You didn’t go on the run you promised yourself, you still haven’t bathed your dog, and you blew off helping your mom with VBS preparations to go home and put your feet up.
You were trying, honey, but life wasn’t grand. It was an in-between day in the middle of an in-between season, and God was in the process of showing you a lot that you probably (hopefully, just maybe) understand now.
But you certainly didn’t have it together. Not one bit, not even a little.
What if we were really that honest with ourselves? I think our later persons would forgive themselves a little more, offer a tablespoon more grace to ourselves in the present, and in return spread that grace to our neighbors and friends that they so desperately need.
Let’s not live our lives through a screen, people. As Kid President likes to say, go make today awesome for someone else. It’s your job to give the world a reason to dance….
Even if that someone else is your future self…Be kind. Tell them the truth, and for the love of all that is good—PLEASE quit posting so many selfies. You look the same from every angle.