Technology can be a butthole: a memoir

*FULL DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. Probably. 

Up until recently I taught writing, including blogging, at BYU-Idaho (where you are most definitely not allowed to use the word “butthole.”) Now that I’m trying to delve deeper into the blogosphere and make what’s it called? oh, money doing it, I offer a deep, throaty laugh of resentment.

Amazon affiliates, anyone? Send help/experts.

I digress.

But I have a point with all of this.

Authenticity.

When I taught about blogging, I often had a florescent-lit sea of blank, slightly terrified, faces staring back up at me.

They didn’t know how or often what to blog. Each semester our class discussion would arrive at the same destination: Authenticity. There are a handful of key difference between mundane content and masterful content. For me, one of the most important is authenticity.

The Return of the Whitlocks

And lately, I’ve been brooding about this very subject. Itching to write about my new life in Arizona, inhibited by my own internal stream of criticism and overarching need for perfection.

The truth is, though my life has been quite lovely since moving to the Gilbert area, I’ve really struggled. I have tried to keep it to myself, focus on the positive, eat healthy, exercise, soak up the blessed sun.

Can we take a minute and talk about how I haven’t had a sip of Diet Coke in 31 days?! THIS. IS. A. HUGE. DEAL.

Ahem, moving on.

But even still, I’m in a constant war with my mental health, and change is a catalyst for depression and anxiety for me.

So instead of waiting for my life to be clean and shiny, filled with crisp edges and straight lines, I’ll have to embrace the parts in between that are a bit more jagged and rough around the edges. The irony for me is that often those jumble of misfit pieces are the most meaningful in my overall journey to self-realization.

Currently, we are enjoying a happy life in consistent 70 degree weather. Okay, for authentic purposes, one day it rained and I needed a jacket.

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We are living with my {INCREDIBLE} in-laws on a very tight budget (lol we’re super poor) applying for any marketing-esque type job that comes Eric’s way.

Meanwhile, I’ve left behind a fulfilling job, a meaningful non-profit, and a busy and rewarding calling with some of the greatest young women in Rexburg all in a tiny, snowy town that has been my home for the last decade.

It’s been very hard. I’ve felt lost and sad oftentimes for no reason other than I just don’t really know what to do with myself.

Of course, there are going to be some growing pains attached with such a major change. Yes, I know it was the right choice. No, the stars haven’t completely aligned in the way I am desperately willing them to. And most of the time, I know it’s going to be perfectly fine. I find joy in the simple things like making my babies laugh, cooking meals for my family and snuggling next to my husband on the couch during family game night.

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This conflict is the nature of change. It’s give and take. It’s compromise and adjustment and faith.

But technology can be a real butthole.

I scroll through my wretched social media feeds and it’s so easy to become disenchanted with my perfect-enough life when all of my counterparts seem to have the actual perfect life, making my life by comparison seem dull, empty, sad, even.

But I know, I know, I don’t think to cue up my Instagram live video in the middle of a fight with my husband about how he got in line at the gas station wrong. I don’t think to post a picture of Bell’s tantrum over not being able to play around the house naked. I certainly didn’t feel like tweeting about standing in the welfare line at 6:57 am as I tried to get my babies signed up for medicaid.

Life is filled with these moment we don’t broadcast. In fact, these are the moments I hope no one is watching, because I’m certainly not at my best, and I would like very much to forget they ever happened.

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My point is that authenticity — especially those moments you’re grateful the camera is not rolling — is what makes life so rich and rewarding. It’s the juxtaposition of my Link laughing so hard I think my heart will explode just hours after crying in the car because Eric still hasn’t found a job. It’s coming home after a stressful afternoon to hear Bellamy squealing with delight “MOM!”

Innately, we all know this too. Opposition is the quintessence of life. But I firmly believe our culture has taught us to be ashamed of our most raw, vulnerable moments of authenticity.

I say no more.

I want to do a better job of chronicling my life so that my children will know that yes, their mother was just as imperfect as they remember her to be, but oh, she loved them fiercely. And maybe, just maybe, if I can learn to love my raw and real moments, they can learn to love theirs as well.

So if you’re struggling to keep slogging through whatever life has thrown your way already this year, know that you’re not alone. I’m slogging, too.

Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to slog at all could do it together?

I’m with you.

 

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