I had a heart-to-heart conversation with my sister-in-law the other day. She lovingly mentioned that based on my online presence it looks like I always have it all together. I do not. It’s not my intention to present a dishonest picture, rather, I just don’t imagine anyone wants to see pictures of the messy corners of my house where laundry is waiting to be put away and school papers have no home, or the hear stories about my two year old waking up every two hours the other night and me finally losing my cool at 2am and telling her she could scream and cry all night—which by the way is “bad behavior! very bad behavior!”—but I’m not coming back until morning…and I didn’t. So, see? I’m most definitely not perfect. I lose my temper. I have messes that need cleaned up. (Please don’t ask for a picture of the inside of my van.) I still struggle with worry and obsessive planning.
I read blogs, A LOT of blogs. I have enough mess in my own life that I don’t particularly like to read about other people’s messes. I prefer to be inspired by beautiful spaces, pictures of happy kids/family, stories about discovery, growth, appreciation, revelation, encouragement, truth, beauty of all kinds. That’s what I prefer to share, too.
Part of the art of photography is composition—deciding what to include in the photo frame and what to leave out. Sometimes it’s done after the fact by cropping the photo. I do a lot of exclusion with the camera…changing my angle to avoid capturing the messy countertop or pile of shoes by the door or whatever it is. I also use Photoshop to edit my photos. Here’s an example from Instagram on Tuesday. I cropped this picture of Ali painting in the driveway to block out part of the garage that’s not so pretty and also to cut out our neighbor’s house for privacy. I do the same with all of my writing and sharing in general.
So there you have it. The truth is that my online presence is a cropped version of my real life. Part of it is for privacy (as I mentioned yesterday) and part of it is for art’s sake—to look past, around, or over the crap to capture the beauty.