The Paradox of Posting
Posting the best of ourselves and then comparing the reality of our lives with everyone else's highlight reel is a paradox.
My cousin Liz took the time to write me a letter about this paradox, sharing how she navigates the tricky traps we tend to set for ourselves online. You may remember Liz and her family from The Joy of Missing Out, when I wrote:
"As I write this, I am on a small hobby farm in British Columbia’s interior, sitting cross-legged with a laptop propped atop an old knit blanket. Outside, “free-range children,” as my cousin Liz likes to call her brood of four, are zigzagging the property with mine, each clamoring about on the straw and sand.
Where I’m sitting is a bit messy. I’m leaning against an old wood fence where a cobweb is stretched inches from my elbow. The morning sun is dancing through the expertly crafted web as it gently pulls and pushes with the wind. Through it I spy a small gray field mouse. In and out he comes from his tiny burrow, stopping to look, acknowledging my curious eyes. I can’t remember a time when I’ve had both the good fortune and the time to stay attentive to a wild rodent at work.
My city self is quick to brush away the cobwebs; usually, I live in a steady state of panic. It is my chief sin, this busyness, and friends and family know it full well.
But here, where I have stopped to take pause this morning, my eyes are open. When I stepped off the plane two days before my little boy’s first birthday, I made a promise to myself: this month would be different.
My cousin Liz made it easy. “I can’t wait for your visit,” she wrote the week before our departure. “No cement-clad high rises or spider-legged byways here. Just pastures and unicorns and free-range children.” It’s not every day you receive an invitation to frolic in fields among the anthropomorphic creatures of your childhood imagination. We’ve come to my cousin’s home for a family reunion. The unicorn is really a pony, but my kid doesn’t need to know."
Here's the 'unicorn':
There is so much wisdom and humour here, I just had to share it:
"We think joy and marvel can only be experienced from perfection. The truth is, marvel and joy are spontaneously created by the imperfect, by the real." - Liz Hinton