Updated: May 12, 2019
by Morgan Demczak
We slid into the seats of the booth and shyly flashed our “I’m just a fun, carefree, happy kind of girl” smiles to our cute server. He stumbled over his words as my friend and I looked over the menu and compared our possible brunch options with each other. Even though I knew the milk in it would send my stomach straight into peril, I ordered the same iced coffee as my friend. I was lost in thought, calculating the extra fat calories of avocado toast compared with an egg white omelet and questioning how much this brunch would affect my already not so beach-ready-bod as I was about to place my pale-skinned self into a bikini on the beach next to my perfectly petite, personal trainer’s assistant friend who I hadn’t seen in a couple years….yay?
For the few of you who rolled your eyes and cringed through that entire paragraph and are wondering how someone could be so insecure and conceited, I’m SO glad you’re struggles aren’t like mine! Please know how incredible I think you are! And for the rest of you, I feel you! I get it! I’m sorry! Please be encouraged that what my friend did next, changed the course of my entire life.
While waiting for our food (I decided the avocados were worth it. A small victory!), I just started talking. I told my friend the major bullet points of my life and was completely honest because, frankly, I had nothing to lose. I was sharing my confusion about why the guy I had been dating just broke up with me, explaining how the job I have just isn’t sustainable for the future, and expressing my concerns about what the future holds: Where should I move? Who will my friends be? What am I going to do next? I told her that nothing in my life really made sense to me. She suddenly interjected, “I thought you had it all together!...I’m so glad you have no idea what you’re doing with your life either!”. At face value, her statement could sound shallow or unsupportive, but it was actually PROFOUND! You see, she, in similar patterns of thinking I had also been stuck in, was playing out the scenario in her head that she would have to sit across from me in the booth. She would have to paste on a fake smile as she listened to how my life was just a joy for me, and she would have to be forced to either pretend that she was also completely satisfied with her life or humbly (a.k.a. awkwardly) admit that her life at that point wasn’t what she thought it would be. Thank you, Hannah, for your honesty; it has caused me to think.
HOW ON EARTH COULD ANY HUMAN SEE MY LIFE AND THINK I HAVE EVEN ONE THING TOGETHER?! I’m not sure. But regardless, it’s not okay. I’m not okay knowing that I have friends who see my life from the small snapshots I give them on Instagram and think things about me that are untrue. What if Hannah isn’t the only one who has compared her life to mine from what she’s seen of me on social media? In no way is it okay for me to let my insecurities and emotionally shallow posts cause anyone else to feel inferior… we feel insecure enough on our own without being prompted.
When considering what Hannah said, I had to ask myself a hard question: Is what people think of me more important than what they think of themselves? How does who I say I am effect the people around me? Is what I want people to see of me helpful to myself and others, or not? It’s not. It can’t be. I realized that I had two options. I had to either delete my Instagram or be honest on my Instagram. I could have deleted my Instagram account and that could have been fine, but I chose the latter. I chose to completely expose my reality and shine a spotlight on my weaknesses. I did this because the people reading my Instagram captions were more important, because you are more important. In less than 2,200 characters I, for the first time, told everyone in my world about being 24 and fighting through anxiety and depression that affects every area of my life and every relationship in my life. I did it, it freed me, and I think it lightened the load for some others.
I’m tempted to say that posting on social media hardly counts as living by courage, but I decided that it does. I went way outside of my comfort zone to benefit someone other than myself, and for where I’m at now, that is courageous. I hope by the time you read this, I am still living by courage in my honesty not only on my Instagram but in every word that comes out of my mouth and by how I treat others. I’ve been learning that a right perspective on living by courage comes from asking the hard questions, being willing to face the reality, and getting outside of yourself by caring about other people. All of this can’t happen, however, unless you are living for something much greater than yourself- seek what is true, and you’ll find it, I promise. My life is the messiest it’s ever been, yet it’s never been better.
Morgan is a 24 year old smoothie lover who enjoys spending her free time outside, with dogs, or watching Gilmore Girls! Morgan works as a campus shepherd at Kanakuk Link Year and hopes to encourage others to be who God created them to be!
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