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As I drive home from seeing my friends in Lyon, I wonder how my pictures portray my experiences.
Time is my teacher, and it keeps reminding me that what I see, what I experience, and who I am will always have so many sides others won’t see.
One picture of a smile and having fun will never tell the longing to go home to my family. But it will show you that I have found joy amongst the struggles I have.
Having a beautiful child in my life and sharing precious moments will show you the blessings. But it won’t show you the hardships of parenting, of having no grandparents or family around, and the longing for the child I had lost.
A video will show you I’m strong and flexible, but it won’t show you the eight years of hard work, the 5 a.m. showups, and the mental health I fight with, and how I keep my fitness going.
Why do I tell you this and show you myself as a multifaceted being instead of many others who just show one side?
Well, for me, there are more than two sides to everyone—not just online, but offline too.
A professional self, a self with family, a self with friends, a self on our own, and so on. We are multifaceted beings, and our only constant is change—due to experiences, circumstances, and life.
This is not a contradiction—just a part of being human. However, nowadays, there is also an online self. Some of us express more fully and bravely, and some of us express differently or exactly the same as we would with our offline self.
When we realize this, we see anyone we put on a pedestal falling off. There is no perfect human.
We all struggle, change, grow, fall, do chores, pay the bills, make mistakes, and have idealistic moments or things others could only dream of.
This allows us to stop feeling like we (and our life) are not enough. In turn, we can live more deeply rooted in the experience of life and stop judging ourselves and others.
And remember, there is nothing to chase but everything to experience right here and now.
There is no right or wrong.