Normally, October 14th is in my top 5 favorite days of the year. I've always loved my birthday and I have some pretty amazing birthday stories from various years.
But divorce stings a little harder on my birthday---even on the years where my friends and family have gone above and beyond to make my day special. It just feels a little heavier on holidays.
And this year, I dropped my kids off to their dad and the exchange wasn't very positive and that usually makes it harder to say goodbye for the weekend. Especially when it's my birthday and I'm waving goodbye to my two little buddies.
So the afternoon of my birthday, I found myself sitting in a parking lot, tears streaming down my face because sometimes good people say mean things and they hurt your feelings and you realize that it's still so damn hard to share your kids and co-parent and you're feeling lonely and just want to be a "normal" family.
And I don't bring these rough times up because I want you to feel bad for me.
In fact, I got to party with my friends until 2:30am that night and it ended just fine.
But I bring that up because I often get wrapped up in the perfection of various people's social media lives and I don't want to be that.
I try so hard to find a balance between "my life is so blessed and my kids are hilarious and talented and I'm practically superwoman for going to school full time, working, and being a single mama" and "my life is hard and my kids can be really mean to each other and to me and they have a lot of struggles and divorce has given me panic attacks and being single sucks".
Two completely contrasting thoughts---both are completely a part of me.
I think that's why I try to "keep it real" with my social media.
Because, inevitably, bad days happen to all of us. And there are days we all feel like we've failed at something. And some days, we might even be right about failing. We aren't always going to succeed.
Some days, when I'm exhausted from school work and my job and being a momma, I don't succeed at the end of the day. Some nights, I yell at everyone to get in bed after they come out of their rooms for the fifteenth time and I lose my temper and don't find it again until the next day.
And some days, I really, truly cannot see myself graduating from college even though I AM SO CLOSE TO FINISHING. It's like the end in sight has made it SO MUCH HARDER to be able to focus on my school work.
And then I sign in to Facebook and see pictures of families and of wives doting on their amazing husbands and I think, "What the damn?" and I get jealous and bitter and I start hating the world.
But then I talk myself down and realize two things:
---People are allowed to brag about their awesome lives. When my kids do awesome things, I brag about them. When I do awesome things, I brag about them. Someone bragging about their awesomeness doesn't make my awesomeness any less valid.
---Most people don't put the bad crap on social media. So even when it seems like they have a perfect life, the truth is that nobody has a perfect life. Life is not easy all of the time. It gets hard. And maybe the posts on Facebook are genuine, maybe they aren't. Either way, it doesn't change my life or affect me in any way.
My 28th year of life was one of my best so far. I accomplished a lot this year and am really proud of how far I've come.
And so instead of focusing on everything that went wrong, I'm going to remember just how many things are currently going right.