The sound of your alarm blasts next to your ear as the start of a new day begins. You roll over, with one eye closed, and quickly press the snooze button – just a few more minutes of pure slumber.
Inevitably, the alarm sounds off again, and you sluggishly prop yourself up on the bed. You stop the signal and unlock your phone, beginning your morning routine of checking your apps.
A few clicks and scrolls later, you’ve seen that one friend just got engaged last night, another just posted an update on their move to an exciting new city, and the rest are little memes with no real meaning. Feeling defeated before your day has even begun, you swing your legs over the bed and begrudgingly head to the shower. Another day lies ahead, and you have to show face.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Maybe some guy or girl just broke your heart and stepped on the pieces, but it’s been a few weeks, so you’re supposed to be “over it,” right? Perhaps you just got turned down for your dream job, for the third time, but your friends already thought you moved on.
In a world where everyone puts their best “social face” forward, it can feel like you’re always one step behind. While you’re happy for those around you, you also want to know when you’ll catch a break. Why does everyone else seem to have it all together, and you just feel broken and confused?
But instead of fixating on those feelings, you put on your happy face and fake it another day.
You go through the motions, not paying attention to the hurt you are feeling deep down – everyone around you thinks that you’re doing just fine. You politely say “good morning” to your co-workers as you walk into the office. When you go to grab an afternoon pick-me-up, you cheerfully say hello and smile to those passing you on the sidewalk. When a close friend asks how you are doing, you say “great, you?” and a conversation about the weather and weekend plans ensues.
You’re so busy putting on your perfect façade, that you don’t make much time to process your real emotions. Your body naturally waits until your roommate leaves the house, when you go to take your nightly shower, or when you’re driving in the car alone – that’s when it hits you. Like a giant tsunami with debris littered throughout the water, a ton of emotions overcome you in an instant. Like floodgates opening for the first time, tears fall down your face as you finally release the growing feeling that you’ve been holding onto.
It feels so good. So pure. Like you’re finally true to yourself. You cry and allow yourself to feel, honestly feel, even if it hurts.
Even though you may not think it, what you are doing is truly beautiful. Even though right now you are doing it in private, you are setting the trend for yourself, telling yourself that it’s okay to feel. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to not always “be perfect.”
Real beauty isn’t perfect Instagram filters, status updates or Snapchat stories. Real beauty is raw, real and unedited.
It’s the messiness that is everyday life. The ups and downs, highs and lows, wins and losses that all add up to an experience well lived.
One day, when we are old and tired, and someone asks us for life advice or our favorite memories, we won’t look back on all the so-called “perfect moments.”
Instead, we’ll look back on the hard times that made us stronger. The doors that closed in our faces and went room for the opportunities that were truly right for us. The mistakes we made and losses we suffered that made us appreciate all the other times in our lives when things weren’t always so easy.
The next time you feel the need to cover-up or hide from yourself, don’t do it. Be true to yourself, because that is what is truly beautiful.
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About the Author: Madalyn is a Florida-born girl who has spent the last four years working and basking in the Caribbean sun. Even though she grew up dancing professionally, she is often called a “bull in a china shop” for her clumsy ways. A true lover of the outdoors and new places, Madalyn is always up for an adventure. She has a vast taste for different types of music, often getting caught dancing wherever she is. Writing has always been a passion for Madalyn, and she’s made it her personal life mission to spread the love through words by detailing the eccentricities, from the unconventional to the mundane, of a 20-something just trying to figure out this life, one adventure at a time.