[Note: This piece originally ran in October 2012, and I am rerunning it now, for anyone who needs a good vent or a reminder of the messiness of everyone's lives or some solidarity at the moment, because there is a whole lotta "perfect" pressure around the holidays.]
In an Open Thread, Shaker musicalnomad once observed: "I read somewhere recently (could even have been here!) that social media is letting us see the highlight reel of everyone else's life while we have to sludge through our own behind the scenes documentary... so true."
That is something I've tried to counter in this space—writing about fighting with Iain, as well as all the good bits; writing about having PTSD or being a trichotillomaniac or having chronic laundry disorganization or melting down while clothes shopping or uncovering another piece of unexamined privilege or household drama or being broke or being sick or being socially awkward or ruining dinner or having no fashion sense or the fur tumbleweeds in my office. I do not want to give the impression that I am, or my life is, perfect or special or uniquely amazing, because I'm not and it's not.
I can still be happy with myself and my life despite (and sometimes because of) my/its many imperfections. And, the fact is, being obliged by others to project nothing but undiluted happiness has been a source of much trouble in my life. My failures and flaws are part of what makes me human, and I need them as much as the many good things about my life.
It's also important for me to convey a balanced picture because this isn't a celebrity PR project, in which my intent in sharing personal info is to invite you to compare your life and inevitably fall short in the measure.
Between the Perfect Lives conveyed by social media and carefully orchestrated photo-ops of the glamorous lives of the rich and famous and politically powerful, it's easy to feel like you're the only one whose life is occasionally, or more than occasionally, a mess.
And in the interest of giving ourselves and each other a break from feeling alone in our respective messes, let us share one way, or the many ways, in which our lives are imperfect, especially in the ways over which we ostensibly have control, but haven't seemed able to take it.
I'll go first: I still can't get my fucking laundry under control.