The Glorification of ‘Perfect’
I’ve been a few posts lately about Social Media. More specifically, about how it makes us feel when we compare ourselves to the ‘highlights reel’ of other people’s lives. That we feel like we don’t measure up, or that it puts some other pressure on us.
As someone who manages a bunch of Social Media accounts, and writes Blog posts on behalf of others, this is something that plays on my mind quite a lot.
Also, on a personal note, my hope with this Blog is that I encourage and inspire my readers to get outside and give hiking (or whatever you want!) a go – not put you off by making you feel inadequate in some way.
So, let’s clear a few things up:
- I’m not a fan of labels, but I’m essentially a single parent. I’m lucky (and so is my 4 year old son) that his dad is still an active part of his life, and we share his care. This is a massive part of why I started hiking again (I shared more here). It helps me empty my mind of negative thoughts, feel good…and not focus on how much I miss my son (it never gets easier). It’s also the reason I manage to get out hiking so often – when he’s with his dad is when I go. Or, like yesterday, sometimes when I work at home I bust my ar@e to get my work done so that I can sneak a walk in before I pick my son up. Sometimes I go hiking a few times a week. Sometimes I don’t get out at all.
Summary: Everyone has their challenges with managing their time – I believe we can all be active, and have ‘me time’ if we make it a priority. It may not be every day – or every week, but that doesn’t matter.
- I’m not a super fit size (insert ‘perfect’ size here) young hottie that trots up mountains while barely raising a sweat. I’m overweight, I’ve just turned 39 (ARGH!!!!!), and I find hiking a challenge. But it’s a challenge I love. I’m still dealing with my stupid sore feet that make walking from my couch to the TV incredibly painful a lot of the time, and they also stopped me in my tracks for a while there. I’m not fast (especially up hills) but I love the feeling of finishing a tough hike, of feeling like my lungs are about to explode and my calves burn. Call me crazy (many people do).
Summary: It doesn’t matter how fit you are, what size you are or how old you are. It’s not about how fast you go, or how far you hike/ride/paddle, but it is important to at least get out there and give ‘it’ a go. Whatever ‘it’ is for you. Sometimes life/illness/injury get’s in the way – it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of your adventure.
- Of all the photos I share, there are (at least) 5, 10, 20 more that were rubbish. I might have just walked 3 hours to get to that 1 spot with the view that blew my (and your) mind. Or all those photos where I look tired, old, pale, or just plain weird. Or where I take a gorgeous photo of the trees…and somehow manage to miss the top of the trees in the photo. Those are all edited, cropped, or never shared. Also, I always keep editing to a minimum as I personally don’t like over-edited photos of nature and the outdoors (plus it’s not something I know a lot about!). And sometimes I just go for a walk around my neighbourhood. I don’t always take photos on those days (boring!!).
Summary: Just know that these are highlights of my hike/adventure/life. The weird/bad/uninteresting ones never see the light of day.
I hope this has cleared a few things up. I hope that if you are reading this and feel that you are too busy, aren’t fit/thin/young enough to get outside and be active, that you can’t access world class hiking trails (so why bother), that you will push those thoughts to the back of your mind. That you will feel better knowing that there’s someone else out there that isn’t ‘perfect’ (remember: you are only seeing the highlights reel), is balancing on the home/work/life tightrope, and still laces up her shoes, and hits the trails (or footpath).
And I hope that when you hit the trails, (and if we come across each other) you give me a smile and a wave…and maybe even stop for a quick chat.