You see what I let you see. I let you see my trophy shelf. I shine it so it will distract you.
You see my triumphs, you see my joy. And the tarnish you see? That’s there because I’m human.
I’m not perfect.
But I spend a lot of time lining my trophy shelf with photos of perfect moments. One-second snapshots that tell you nothing of my life other than what I want you to see.
I let you see my happiness.
I let you see all the things that I know, and nothing that I’m not sure about.
I dust my shelf, and it shines.
It exudes confidence. Sureness. Humanity. Strength. Joy.
I hope it exudes hope and kindness too.
It’s bright and pleasing.
I like to look at it.
But what you don’t see tells another story.
Under my shelf of blindingly pristine moments, lies a large closet that holds the rest of the story.
I don’t let you see that, because that story is the bigger picture, and that bigger picture is messy.
Diabetes lives in there.
In there are the days I forget to bolus for dinner.
There are needles, and carb counts and nighttime checks.
There are also my failures as a mother and a spouse.
There are my worries, and my fears for the future.
In the very back I keep dusty bottles of disappointment. Well stocked. Next to it is a vial of loss, and a large carafe of insecurities. Everything I don’t like about my life, I keep in here. It’s locked; I don’t want nosey people to fall upon the carnage. If they did, they would certainly be overwhelmed, and not see all the good on the shelf above.
I know what you’re thinking, and before you label me as fake, or pretentious…before you judge and think that what I let you see isn’t real…I want you to know there is a reason I do what I do. I do it on purpose. I display my life this way as much for me, as I do for you.
When I glance at my life I want to see the good. The shininess of those golden moments helps me to focus on what’s really important: Smiling faces of my children. The loving arms of my spouse. The affection of my family and friends…
Because if my ineptitude was on constant display, I would be a miserable person for sure.
I don’t want to shine a spotlight on my imperfections, or other's imperfections, or everything I wish my life was, or could have been...
I want my blessings to take center stage.
When I turn and really look at myself, I want the first thing I see to be a giant, shiny goblet of gratitude. I want to appreciate all the good in my life and not be blindsided with the loss.
There are days I carefully take out my pain from the closet below. On those days, I try not to be alone. I try to share my pain with people that understand. I study it, and I try to make sense of it.
And sometimes when I open the closet on the rainy days, to store those harder moments, the contents of my closet are easily seen by all those turned in my direction. I'm not ashamed of them--I'm not hiding them--I'm just not absorbed by them.
I won’t make them the star.
I will not.
I will put them back where they belong. In a place where I can’t make them the focus.
Before you chime in that the closet is the “real me,” I want to make clear that the beautiful shelf that displays my life? It’s real too. It’s just as real as the sadness that lies underneath.
The difference is…I want to focus on the blissful moments of my life. Those happy moments are not faked...they are the fleeting, golden moments that need to be documented and cherished.
I want to be thankful, happy, and grateful when I look at my life.
I want to see the joy and work hard to attain one of life’s most prized accomplishments: contentment.
I’m not displaying the closet, because those things aren’t my goals, and they certainly don’t take precedence to the calm. Sure, they are part of who I am, and I own them.
God knows I own them.
But resiliency comes from prioritizing the moments.
And those shiny moments you see on Facebook? Those are the ones I want to remember.
When I die, I don’t want to be bitter. I want to be Grateful.
So I will display my smile, and those one in million moments with a glad heart.
I am blessed.
Look at all you see before you. It just can’t be denied.