A Dope Life in Reality vs. Instagram

Have you ever looked at someone's social media and been convinced that their life is so much cooler than yours? The pictures are always perfect, they seem to always be in exotic, beautiful locations. The sun is always shining. Their friends are always laughing with them. Their significant other stands by with a huge grin and look of love.

Everything is perfect.

I have a friend like this. Let's call the friend Tyler. From the look of Tyler's instagram, his life is everything he's ever imagined and more. He is shirtless on the beach, his beautiful lover standing smiling beside him in a bikini. He is on a rooftop deck, enjoying drinks with friends; he and his boys are all laughing as they raise their drinks high. In another picture, he's seen speaking in front of a group of young people. He looks dynamic in his speech, joyful at sharing his knowledge with them.

Everything is perfect.

But, I know Tyler. I work with Tyler. I saw him every single day for many years. I've seen him frustrated, angry at his position in life. Upset about the company he works for, as he watches others being elevated over him while he is told that he isn't doing enough. Yet he's there everyday, even when the others aren't. Yes, he comes in earlier than everyone else, brewing the coffee, setting the atmosphere for his colleagues. He is in every meeting, attentatively taking notes, constantly thinking of ways he can be better. He stays after to ask questions. He yearns to know more, yearns to become a better man. He is the first to come in and the last to leave when the job is done. Yet, he feels weak.

Everything is not perfect.

I've watched him battle depression. I've seen him battle his demons, sometimes taking them out on his own body. I've seen him volunteer for every new project enthusiastically. I've seen him angry at his co-workers who make comments like, "I'm not helping with that! That's your job!" as they sip their coffee while he works to complete task after task. I've seen him silently tolerate their jests, all in the hope that his boss would recognize his character, would see in him a man who is willing to give everything, all of himself to a job that he loves. And in return, the very co-worker who refused to help him receives the promotion, while Tyler fades further into the background.

Everything is not perfect.

But you would never know that, would you? Because the life Tyler projects on the outside is the only one that you're privy to see. Are you still envious?

Everything is not perfect.

I know this because Tyler knows this. I know this because I have been in Tyler's shoes.

At one point in my life, I would post pictures that looked like I was having a blast in my various endeavors. My marriage? Perfect. My calling? Perfect. My job? Perfect.

Everything was perfect.

Everything was not perfect...

I was unhappy. You would never know by looking at my statuses and photos. And this is understandable, some things are personal and should be kept private. However, there is a difference between privacy and a lie. I was living an instagram lie. I would use all the hashtags and caption that I was "living the best life" when in reality, I was going home crying. I was frustrated. I was angry. I was confused. I was hurt.

"There is a difference between privacy and a lie."

What's worse is that I felt like I needed to post those kinds of photos and statuses. I needed to convince everyone that my life was beautiful. I needed to convince everyone that I was fine from my divorce. I needed to convince everyone that my new relationship was legitimate. I needed to convince everyone that my calling was perfect, my job was perfect, my life was perfect. I needed to post the photos of me and my friends. I needed to post the photos of me speaking in front of a crowd. I needed to do it, if for no other reason, to convince myself that I was indeed happy. 

Everything was not perfect.

And then finally, revelation came. 

Creating a dope instagram life is not the same thing as living a dope life in reality.
Which one are you doing?

Enough. I finally found myself saying, "Enough." No more instagram lies. Only truth. 

In the last few months, I turned inward. I searched my heart. I searched my mind. I searched my body, my soul. Piece by piece, I began to free myself from the need to convince anyone that my life was beautiful.  

I don't need to prove that life is beautiful. It simply is. I found beauty in its purest of forms. And that beauty needs no convincing.

A few people have asked why I don't post as much on instagram or facebook. The simple answer is, I don't post as much about my life on social media anymore because I am out living it.

In truth. In love. In Him.


Crossing Bridges

We've all heard the phrase "I'll cross that bridge when I get to it." We have probably even used it ourselves at some point or another. There are times when this phrase is useful, because it allows us to focus on what's happening in the present rather than worrying about the distant future. Even more so, sometimes we don't even get to that bridge that caused us so much concern and anxiety.

But then again, sometimes we do get there...

And then, what happens when you get to that bridge? Do you turn and hide? Or do you take a deep breath, take the first step even though you're scared, and cross it? I prefer the latter.

The truth is, life happens and you won't always be ready for it. You won't always be certain of that bridge when it comes. Is it safe? Is it stable? Is it even the right bridge? And when I cross it, what's on the other side?

I've crossed many bridges. The bridge of healing from abuse. The bridge of separation. The bridge of divorce. The bridge of purpose. The bridge of trusting myself. The bridge of learning to love myself. Quite frankly, I saw so many bridges over the last five years that I was afraid my weary legs couldn't bear to cross another. And yet I did. And you can, too.

When challenges arise, it's tough to cross that bridge. But it's worth it. Especially when the view on the other side is like this one.

Once I crossed this bridge, I found a beautiful local art exhibit and gorgeous outdoor scenery.

Dress: Wet Seal  |  Shoes: H&M  |  Sunnies: Hollywood Blvd. in Cali

Whatever bridge you're facing right now, I encourage you to cross it. Do it scared, do it shaken, but do it, all the same.

Because sometimes, bridges are worth crossing.



Recently, Honey Dip and I went to see the Chicago Civic Orchestra and it was MAGICAL. The show we saw was A Midsummer Night's Dream and my company provided us with box seats. It was such a fun night!

Originally, I was stumped as to what to wear for this event, as it was on a Monday evening after work. I wanted to be cute, but still comfortable. This is what I came up with!

Top: Target  |  Plaid: Target  |  Jeans: Forever 21  |  Shoes: Target  |  Necklace: Forever 21  |  Watch: Discovery  |  Belt: Thrifted  |  Bag: Target  |  Hat: H&M
This outfit was comfortable, yet chic. I felt glamorous, but not overdone. We had such a fun date!

Thanks so much for reading!


Black Radiance Review

A couple of people have commented on how glowy my skin looks  lately, so I just had to share my secret! Recently, I've been wearing makeup products by Black Radiance and I have been LOVING it! As many of you know, I don't wear foundation. I have really sensitive skin and anything that feels heavy or cakey makes me break out in hives. So, when I came across this BB Cream, I knew I had to try it.

I'm wearing the Black Radiance BB Cream in the color 8920: Brown Sugar.

The cream is so light and soft, it feels like it's barely there, but provides a light, tinted coverage. Additionally, I've been using their contour palette and I am just as obsessed with it.

This is the Medium to Dark Palette
This contour palette is perfect for day to night looks. It is buildable, so it can work for night looks. However, I will say that the contour is quite light, so it may not give you that full on red carpet glam. BUT, again it is perfect for day to night looks, in my opinion.

Have you tried any Black Radiance products? Let me know in the comments below!


Cold Spring, Warm Tones

I don't know about you guys, but I thoroughly enjoyed the random cold spring days we had in early May. Yes, it's spring and we want warm weather, BUT another opportunity to throw on a chunky knit like this is always legit.

When I saw the colors on this brick wall, I knew it was a perfect spot for photos. Plus the beautiful greenery coupled perfectly with these killer shoes from Forever 21. Seriously, how cute are these?! They're always a conversation starter when I wear them.

Sweater: Thrifted  |  Jeans: Target  |  Shoes: Forever 21  |  Accessories: Charlotte Russe & Discovery

Thank you for reading!

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