It was a gorgeous sunny noon in Montreal, when summer was still in its prime. I was eating my lunch in Phillips Square’s Le Petit Montreal, alone this time. And as I never get bored even on my own, I started looking at trees, birds and the people on the street. Pairs of colleagues or friends would come and go with their lunch boxes clenched in their hands, talking loudly and energetically about this and that. Some were happy, some were anxious, some were hungover from last night (it was a Friday, by the way). There were even people drinking beer during their lunch hour. So fun!
What caught my attention though, was this sight of two ladies coming to have their lunch at a table next to mine. They were obviously of 2 different ages, two different body types, 2 different personalities, but they were perfect together. It was clear from the start that they were colleagues working at the same place, but further into their conversation, I captured that they’re also close friends in their personal lives. One has kids, the other is single. One eats the way she wants, the other is vegan. One struggles with one thing or another, the other seems to be calm about anything. But they just fit together so well! You know, those people who are so different in everything, but so perfect when they’re together – these two women were the kind to form a friendship for life.
This beautiful scene made me think about REAL friendships and relationships, in general. While I, myself, struggle with the feeling of trust every single day (because the world presents you more challenging relationships than the good kind of ones), I don’t think I’ll ever brush off the feeling of yearning for honest and open interactions. Every day, all of us are most probably subconsciously wondering “can I trust this person?”, “should I tell him/her this or that?”, “what if he/she will stab me in the back?”, “what if he/she will steal my ideas?” – thoughts that bring out the Ugly side of humanity. We don’t even realize how often we have such kind of thoughts, but they are there every day of our lives.
Nevertheless, if you give it a better thought, we are beings that actually seek comfort, happiness, love, appreciation, and anything that brings a positive connotation. So why are we so fixed on the negative? (Well, I kind of know the answer to this question, and it has to do with psychology, but I still can’t stop asking myself this question.)
When Instagram announced its new policy on fighting fakeness online (that little “trick” of not showing followers the number of likes to a photo), I was ecstatic. You know why? Because, as a blogger, I know I have to have a strong presence online, but I also know that real life doesn’t allow me that kind of luxury, so I would always be left with a feeling of inferiority, a feeling of not doing enough for my blog and myself, some kind of guilt that I couldn’t explain to myself (atop my daily mom-guilt, which is a REAL thing – moms will understand!), which, in the end, left me wondering if being online is even worth it. It all seemed so unattainable, so fake. To me, it didn’t feel natural to push my content through paid sources – it would only grow my audience artificially. It also didn’t feel right to connect with those people who didn’t identify with me or my lifestyle – I wanted to have a circle of acquaintances whom I could really admire and understand in depth. Nothing felt too real for me. And it was exhausting.
Now, I don’t really care if I have 250 or 2500 followers. All I care about is being true to myself, to my family, to my friends, to my colleagues, to the people I connect with, to anyone who gets to know me in person. And this feels empowering! This freedom is just indescribable. Forcing myself to be someone I’m not just never worked for me. So why do that, in the first place?! Being who you are is better than anything in the world.
So, my darlings, today and on any given day, I encourage you to think about who you are as a person, your efforts, your relationships, your aspirations, and identify what’s not fully real/ honest/ growing. I guarantee that you don’t have to think too hard here, because, in the back of your head, you already know what’s not quite right but just don’t admit it to yourself. So live up to the REAL YOU, and embrace life the way it unfolds in front of you. And remember – you’ll always find a way around everything in life, just trust yourself!
Be real, be you, be wonderful!