It sometimes seems, and I think that people want it to seem--that life is effortless for some. They put on a show that things are going very well, and that life is easy, manageable, and never better. Their pictures show smiling faces, their emails chirp about picket fences, home renovations, and pets. And yet...something seems..amiss. I've written those emails, the ones where you tell everyone that things are Great! and your relationship is Going Well! and that you are Moving ahead! and going forward with the wedding/kitchen renovation/new car/vacation to the Caribbean.
But behind those emails, there are the same doubts. The same worries, the same IMperfections. That our haircut is outdated. That those 5 lbs are NEVER going to depart, that we're looking different than we did 5 years ago (how could we not?). That everyone else has more money/self confidence/mojo/luck/looks than we did.
But really, we are our own worst enemy. In reality, everyone else is staring at themselves in the mirror with that ever-critical eye turned on themselves. And everyone has their achilles heel that follows them, when they get out of bed in the morning, down the street, into the office, and back home.
So what is the trick? Recognizing your own weakness and chink in your armour can help. For me, taking the edge off involves listing my own positive points, like shiny hair, bright eyes, a sense of humour--against my short stature, my curvy build, and my non-fashionista sensibilities. It's not as bad as it sounds. The other strategy is to lose the sorority mindset and focus on the inner things. The things that don't show in photographs. Like, a core of strength that lets things shake you, but not take you. The way you calm yourself from anxiety in the face of a problem, and don't let it overtake you. Comforting a friend. Helping a parent. Giving advice.
Those things that don't show in photographs.
Those quiet, real things.