No Such Thing as Perfect

DenaFebruary 18, 2014

“You don’t love someone because they’re perfect…
You love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.”
— Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

Recently I shared something with a friend who I hadn’t been in touch with for awhile. I shared a difficult situation that I’ve been going through. He was surprised to learn of my troubles and said that the life that I communicate on the internet is “perfectly displayed — squeaky clean and polished.” This statement made my heart skip a beat.

It bothered me because I used to resent it when my favourite bloggers — and even my real-life friends — presented their lives as perfect to “the internet.” Back then, I was writing online about my struggles with anxiety, depression, and weight. It was easy for me to judge someone for under-sharing, because I shared everything — the good, the bad, and the brutally ugly.

Then, a little over a year ago, my life changed. I became a wife and then a mother. My life focus shifted and — while I will always strive to be my best self — I was no longer primarily focused on personal development. My focus became my home and family. My hobbies became photography, cooking, simplifying, and gardening. And thus, as my life changed, my blog — and everything that I share online — also changed.

Today, I share things that I find beautiful, things that inspire me, and little glimpses into my life. I blog about things that I wish to remember, things that I would love to show Roman one day when he is older. I write about the life that I live and the life that I hope to create. I share photographs on instagram of things that I find lovely. I post snaps of Roman when he is well-dressed, clean, and smiling. I share status updates on Facebook about the good things that happen to me and around me.

I have always believed that we all move in the direction of our most dominant thoughts. I aim to keep positive thoughts, create and surround myself with positive things, and share positive pieces of life. In doing this, I attract positivity to myself and, I hope that I inspire positivity in others as well. However, this is not to say that my life is all positive all the time. Of course it’s not! There is no such thing.

The truth about my life (and every life?) is that it is, quite often, very difficult. Mental illness has always been a part of my life and it always will be. My marriage has a heaping pile of challenges within it. My house is often messy, I mean terribly messy. Roman has bad days that leave me completely and utterly shattered. Sometimes I look in the mirror and hate my body for what it has become post-pregnancy (and nine-months later). All of this darkness is just as much a part of my life as any of the light that I share. But just because it is there, doesn’t mean that I am going to focus on it. That is not who I am, and furthermore, I don’t believe that anybody would want to hear about it or see me moping around all of the time — on the internet or otherwise.

I am ashamed that I ever resented anyone for only sharing “the good stuff.” That is one of the biggest things that bothers me about the internet. We see glimpses of peoples’ lives and we make assumptions. This is especially true when it comes to blogging and social media. It’s all bits & pieces, tiny fragments. I write about beautiful things & I take photographs of beautiful things because that is what what makes my heart pound with goodness. It’s hurtful to think that someone would accuse me of deliberately “projecting a false image.” The internet allows me to share a small piece of my life — of course there are other pieces. At the same time, I do understand that if I write about/share beautiful things — then that is what any person would interpret about my life. But there is a mutual responsibility for the observer to understand that these are only pieces of a person’s life and for the sharer to occasionally remind the world that there is no such thing as perfect.


Comments (6)

  • Dominique

    February 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Haters will always hate, no matter what you put up, people love to play the critic. This is your space, and those of us that love it will keep coming back, we will come back to see your adorable Roman, we will come back to read your writing, we will come back in support of what you do. So do just that, be true to yourself in the way you know how, be a momma, a writer, a wife, be Dena.

    1. Dena

      February 18, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks, Dominique! I appreciate your support. You are right, being true to ourselves is the only way to be. <3

  • brittany

    February 18, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I completely understand where you are coming from. I put so much pressure on myself as a Mother and felt bad because of what I could not give my daughter failing to notice all I can and do give to her. Its hard to look at your life and air out the bad alongside the good. I too have had a lot to overcome and only like to surround myself with good and positive and lightness.. but with light also comes dark.
    You are an amazing Momma and Roman is absolutely adorable!
    From Brittany over at

    1. Dena

      February 18, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks, Brittany.

  • Misty

    February 19, 2014 at 1:43 am

    This subject is tricky. Speaking for just myself, I can’t recall any details I’ve disclosed to my readers regarding my personal issues with my family, marriage, friends, money, work, etc. And honestly, I wish I could! This is something that crosses my mind quite often. Should I reveal more of the nitty-gritty? It sure would be nice to get some feedback and advice from others who have experienced similar situations. It would also be nice to let others out there know that they’re not alone. Maybe it would help readers to connect with me a little further/better. I think more often than not, readers appreciate honesty and realness (btw, in no way am I saying that you haven’t been). What stops me from spilling all of my beans? Well, a few things. First off, too many people that I know and that my husband knows, read my blog. It’s one thing to air my dirty laundry, but what’s mine is his (husband’s), which means I’d be sharing his personal life, too. What I have to say may be bothersome to him and/or to other family members. Also, I worry that sharing personal issues will lead my blog into a direction that isn’t true to its overall purpose or vibe. For me, my blog is about my journey of being the best mom that I can be and about leaving behind photos, updates, and a trail of love for my daughter over the years so that one day she’ll get the chance to dive back into her childhood via my blog. This doesn’t mean that I will never mention the negative, it just means it’s not the focus or the subject of my space here on the net. And it clearly isn’t the focus of yours either. Just because we have an audience and a place to share, doesn’t obligate us to have to share all. Of course, there’s a difference between stating that all is good and everything is perfect when it’s not, but neither of us do that and our readers should know that this isn’t the case. I’ve never suspected any intentional misguiding when it comes to your blog. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter and reminding us all that personal blogs don’t represent the whole piece of the pie, just a piece or two.

  • Aiko

    February 21, 2014 at 11:10 am

    This delusion that bloggers should be sharing the shitty things in their life is such a load. I saw a similar post to this recently on another blog and even then, in the comments, a semi nasty one about how the blogger should share more of the “real” parts or something. Well, happiness IS real, for one thing. Sharing only positivity does not make you any less real. Also, when I go to someone’s blog this is “escape time” for me. I WANT to see happy beautiful things and I don’t want to leave feeling jarred or irritated or sad – there’s enough of that on the internet! People demanding that one share everything about themselves just sounds like they’re eager to rubberneck. Something that does get me, though, is when people brag on top of only showing the great stuff, or only brag. Like when a mom says something like, “my baby is perfect, never cries and sleeps through the night.” And then never discusses any challenges. Well, that just reads as a lie, and doesn’t make all the rest of us moms feel very supported or good about ourselves. Facebook is a place where this happens a lot. Or when people ignore me and everyone else online (and in person) for one or two years and then out of blue posts a bloated thing about some great success they’ve had, I guess expecting everyone to step up and congratulate them. I don’t like that, this internet thing is a two way street, just like in real life.

    For the record, your blog isn’t all rose petals and sunshine. I’ve read some pretty deep stuff in here to do with motherhood and you have an ebook that discusses your past struggles with anxiety and depression – a clue that you, just like the rest if us, are not “perfect” (whatever that means). I would suggest your friend take another look at your blog as she has clearly missed some stuff!

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