First Real Girls Giveaway Winner: Facebook Rant

Hi Everyone!  We have completed our first drawing and are featuring our first Giveaway Winner!  I’m excited to share her submission that describes a part of who she is – ironically, it goes quite well with the new rant series!  I don’t edit the submissions because, of course, I want to keep it real, so here is this amazing and thought-provoking Rant that I just love from one of our own.  Please read to the end for some extra thoughts and comments!
“Get real, girls!  Facebook (and insert your favorite social media cocaine here) is so damn fake.  It’s people pretending their relationships are lollipops and gumdrops.  And in reality, people are in depression, people are getting beaten and abused, people are barely dragging themselves out of bed in the morning, some people in relationships hate each other. It’s so fake it makes me want to vomit.  F*** kissy face pictures.  F*** angelic child photos.  F*** puppy dog snuggling pictures.  If you don’t talk to someone in real life, you shouldn’t live with a satisfaction that you have a real friendship with them just because you know what they instagrammed for dinner last night.  It’s like the preacher cueing up “ok, everyone, do your best to make it look like your life is perfect!”  But really, admit you’re just connected to so-in-so-mere-acquaintance-at-best in high school 15 years ago because you’re waiting to see if she ever gets fat.  And admit you’re just connected to so-in-so because you get a little smug satisfaction at watching his relationships serially crumble.  And admit you’re just connected to so-in-so to feel like you’re part of an in crowd that doesn’t exist.  And admit you’re addicted to slupring up your news feed because you get a little high when you show people you’re so in-the-know about the latest gossip and news.

How about we pick up the phone and call someone?  Catch up over coffee on a sunny weekend.  Make a yoga class date.  Schedule an adventure with someone, go for a walk, a hike, a morning of shopping.  Text, email, directly message.  Anything that isn’t generic, isn’t copy & paste, anything that is real, anything that is to the heart.

I dare you to delete 3/4 of your friends and maybe even some family (gasp!) on Facebook. And then see if you miss them.  Bet you won’t.  Bet you’ll feel less stress trying to keep up on things you never really cared about. Bet you’ll like cutting out the negative people in your life and you’ll feel more positively influenced on a daily basis.  Bet you’ll stop comparing yourself to others’ fake perfect fairy tales and wishing you were more xyz.  Bet you’ll be more real.

Then I dare you to begin photographing things for the sole reason of because you want to capture that beautiful moment in time to never forget a single detail of it.  Bet you’ll stop missing so much peripherally in your life because of looking through your phone’s camera. Bet you’ll start living life more. Bet you’ll stop puckering your lips like a duck to lose 10 lbs.  Bet you’ll be grateful and laugh in 10 years that you photographed your crying baby with day-old Cheerios plastered in his hair.  Bet you’ll see more, feel more, remember the smell of things more, remember the taste of things more, remember the feeling of things more.

Do what you want to do for the sheer fulfilling adventure of it, not because you think it would look cool to be published on a news feed.  Be free. Be you. Be a real girl.
Sincerely,
The now-flying-free-girl-next-door-divorcee-who-used-to-be-Queen-of-Life-is-Perfect-shiz-on-Facebook-but-was-really-getting-her-ass-beat-at-home-and-nobody-including-herself-was-real”
I really love this rant for three reasons:
1) I think it’s SO important to recognize that Facebook is not the “real” world.  In the real world, you might walk in on a friend fighting with her boyfriend, or be having lunch when she finds out her daughter is failing a class, or catch your best friend sneaking a cigarette or yelling at her mother.  Facebook (and social media in general) provides a veil over the reality of people’s lives so we only see others through rose-colored glasses.  There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that, but it’s so so important to recognize because Real Girls know that there are days and weeks and years that are insanely difficult and it can be frustrating to look at Facebook and see how “perfectly” everyone’s life seems to be going.  It’s not.  We’re all struggling right with you.  In fact, take up a challenge this week: post something real for your status; something difficult, heart wrenching, something that no one knows about you.  The ones who respond and comment are likely your true friends who care about you (and likely see you regularly anyways!).  There’s no need to pretend every day is the epitome of perfection; let that imperfection and glorious daily crap out!
2) I find myself VERY concerned lately with how much time we (read: I) spend on social media and in front of our electronics.  I feel our world is suffering from a lack of human connection – of human touch, or even just fulfillment of looking another person in the eyes.  We all need that.  Regularly.  Everyone’s lives are so busy, but please find some time to spend in-person with the people you love.  It will build a stronger, “realer” relationship and improve your mental and physical health as well.  Call and say “Happy Birthday” in person instead of posting it on your sister’s wall! (guilty).  Reach out.  It’s important.
3) I think self-reflection is so very important.  I love the call to examine ourselves and our reasons for doing the things we do.  Of course, be sure to always examine with kindness and love – learn to stop yourself when you begin to criticize and judge yourself – but take a look at your own motivations.  Why do you do certain things?  I’ve lately found myself actually thinking in Facebook statuses.  Something happens and I automatically imagine how I would word it in a Facebook status.  There’s got to be more time spent just enjoying the moment and the connection with our loved ones and letting some – or many – of those moment be JUST FOR US.  No one else gets to take part.  It builds intimacy in our relationships to have some things that are only shared between two people.  So take some time to kindly and supportively look at your reasons for engaging with social media, posting certain statuses, responding to certain things you read, and build a healthier outlook.  There is SO much to be gained from pulling ourselves away from our motivations to “look good” or build a certain image, and simply do things because it’s who we are.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t post anything at all because let’s face it, face booking is fun, but stick to the stuff that benefits you or has a genuine purpose.  The rest will just make you feel like a slave to people who have no business judging (or in some cases even knowing) who you are.
So thank you now-flying-free-girl-next-door-divorcee-who-used-to-be-Queen-of-Life-is-Perfect-shiz-on-Facebook-but-was-really-getting-her-ass-beat-at-home-and-nobody-including-herself-was-real for your awesome submission!  She gets this adorable hanger
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with the words:
“Be daring, be different, be original, be you!”
and
“Create the life you imagine”
Thanks for showing us all how to be more real.  Please continue sending in your poetry, life stories, rants, random musings, artwork, pictures, videos, accomplishments (anything that tells us about you and what makes you unique!) to BeaRealGirl@gmail.com so we can begin sharing your beauty with everyone!
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Alis Volat Propriis

Flying_girl_by_tissuedoos

She flies with her own wings.

I love this phrase. It was originally penned as the motto for the State of Oregon asserting its independence and its desire to pave its own path. The words so beautifully express how I feel about myself lately and the confidence and self-embracement I’d like to see in all girls.

She flies with her own wings.

She doesn’t live on borrowed time, she has no need for artificial support, everything she needs is within her. She only shall reach beyond with the strong, colorful, artistically unique wings she was born with and she will be lifted far above, soaring through the night sky, the wind carrying her, buoying her, embracing her.

She flies with her own wings.

Her direction, her goals, her desires are hers and hers alone. She gives no heed to outer pressures, but lifts herself up by the inspiration and undaunted power within her, fueling her to stretch beyond the harnesses which seek to hold her back. She moves forward on her own. She is powered by her own self. She is one with herself, and one among many. And she is content.

Much love to my Real Girls.

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Demolish the Box

I hate boxes.

Actually, that’s not true.  At all, really.  I LOVE boxes.  I get lost wandering around Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and World Market just looking at all the various boxes and containers I could buy to store my….well, I don’t really have much to store actually, I just like boxes!  I get lost in the maze of unique and decorative boxes that magnetically pull me through the maze of thrift stores and antique shops.  I can spend hours buried in jewelry, paint, and fabric decorating the living shiznit out of a tiny little chest, taking it from bleak to chic.

The thing is, as much as I love boxes, boxes are for things.

Not people.

And so, I hate boxes.  I hate the walls of expectations, assumptions, and guidelines that permeate the psyches of my fellow humans.  I hate that it’s so natural to want to categorically organize the world in such a way that every person and every situation fits nicely into the designated column on the Excel spreadsheet of life.  Everyone wants so badly to understand.  To convince.  To control.  And building a box to safely guard the lives and choices of those around us is a great way to achieve that.

Except that it ends up feeling a little bit like this

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I refuse.  I refuse to conform to the box.  I refuse to accept the ruthless and often even benevolent borders built around me by the well-meaning members of the human race.  I reject assumptions about me based on my gender, my religion, my lifestyle, my personality, my friends, my hair color.  I’m tired of seeing very good, very brave, very determined people thrown into the “Shy and Reserved” box built by our society while their leadership gifts waste away into the unknown, unrecognized.  I’m tired of seeing insensitive people rewarded in the workplace because the most valued box says “you have to step on others to make your way to the top”.  I’m tired of the sales world in which I worked for quite a long time, that says you have to engender certain personality characteristics to be successful, when, in fact, the greatest success comes from building from the unique abilities of each individual employee.  I’m tired of the societal, religious, political, familial, and educational borders built around us that no one had the right to build in the first place.

I’m tired of the boxes.

And so, Real Girls, FORGET THE BOX.  When someone tries to build one around you, walk slowly away, or throw it off a cliff, or take to it with a chainsaw, or put the box on their head, don your boxing gloves and show them both how you feel about it.*

Poke holes in the box.  Climb passionately out from the box.  Demolish the box.  And see where your heart soars when the walls others have built for you no longer have any power.  Then teach others to rid themselves of their boxes and destroy those boxes too until we have a virtual landfill of unsubstantiated expectations, rules, and restrictions we’ve executed from our lives.  So we can then look up at that pile of weak, unstable walls and say “I was never meant to be so constrained.  I was always meant to be free.”

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And walk away.

Boxes are for things.  Boxes are for objects.  Not for Real Girls.  Not for you.

Come on out and join the real world full of real people.

 

 

And then build one of these:

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Seriously.

 

*These suggestions are meant to be metaphorical, not literal.  Please don’t attempt them in a literal sense.

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Don’t Figure Out What to do With Your Life

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Yep, I did it; I said it.  The title of this post just completely obliterated, steam-rolled, destroyed (pick your metaphor) the most important advice you’ve ever been given.

And I’m not taking it back.

But do not fear!  I’m not going to leave you hanging.   Let me restate my take on this platitude so you can better grasp my meaning;

Don’t figure out what to do with your life; figure out what to do next with your life.

Yes, let the brilliance sink in…

Look, I’ve spent a good part of my life trying to figure out my “passion”, my “true calling”, my “purpose” in life.  For me this was primarily related to my career, though there are other pieces to the puzzle.  But the other pieces I knew: I want to have a family, I want to have a strong marriage, I want to raise awesome kids who do awesome things.  But what the hell am I going to do??  I’ve read the books, I’ve met with the career counselors, I’ve studied the MBTI until I’m blue in the face (if you want my advice, don’t waste your time, or at the very least, don’t take it too seriously) and though I’ve been able to come up with a million things to do with my life, I not only haven’t been able to narrow it down to one deep desire, I haven’t been able to maintain excitement for one career direction for longer than a few months!  I know that I want – no, I need – to make a difference in the world.  I know that I want to do something that has a nice balance between the left and right brain.  Soooooooo….??

Lucky for me, this conundrum was beautifully resolved by a good friend of mine who is building motivation and resources to pursue her greatest dreams.  Her brilliant comment over a cup of hot coffee was: “Everything that has happened in my life – every moment, every decision, every event – has lead me to this place.”

Damn, why is she ALWAYS RIGHT?!  She looked back on her life and saw all the pieces of the puzzle that were slowly combining without her knowledge or awareness.  All the moments of following something that felt good, or seemed right, or even scared her.  They all brought her to where she is today: armed and ready.

I look back on my life and I see the exact same things.  I see a girl who dove into music, singing and songwriting at a young age, who made friends with people who believed that unique is good, who pursued a practical marketing degree, who married a man with no guile and all the support in the world for his loved ones.  I see a girl who worked in intense and stressful sales positions and survived, who has suffered through corporate America despite its insensitivity, who has learned a wide range of marketing skills but has specialized in nothing despite advice to do the opposite, who volunteered for several years and felt the incredible joy of serving others even though it delayed graduation.

And all of that has lead me here.  Today.  Now.

And now I know what to do with my life.

HA! Not even close. I’m *cough*ty-two years old and I still don’t know.  But that’s the point – when you’re in the middle of the journey, when the path seems to far ahead and so uncertain, you have to simply believe in yourself and your ability to figure out what to do next with your life.

Because it is all leading somewhere.

It’s like collecting balloons.  You pick one up here, another there.  There’s a cool pink one – the deep foreboding green one matches nicely.  How about a star- or heart-shaped one, they look fun!  You keep collecting experiences, questions, conclusions, and knowledge until one day they all lift you slowly and carefully off the ground to your pie in the sky.

So feel free to wonder and dream about what you might accomplish in the future; but don’t let the pressure stress you out.  Just make the next best decision.  Use the information and the faculties you have now, and figure out what makes the most sense, and what makes your heart soar today.  Even if the next best thing is to stay where you are, or to get a new job, or to take that transfer you’ve been considering, or to take a break because you have too much going on.  Trust yourself.  Believe in yourself.

I have always wanted to work for myself.  I didn’t know it at the time, but the wide range of sales and marketing experience I’ve gained (rather than specializing) has prepared me for that.  The relationships I’ve developed in my life have taught me to embrace who I am and never apologize for it.  My volunteer experience and my experience in corporate America has taught me that it is top priority to feel like I am making a difference in the lives of others.  It’s all leading somewhere.

And I don’t know where I will end up.

But I know what I will do next.

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