An Open Letter to the Woman Who Has it All Together
I'm currently competing in the Winter Olympics:
I'm measuring my day-to-day with the polished version of another woman's life. And I'm losing. Terribly. Bronze medal at best.
How do I know?
It's pretty easy to tell these days. Her Instagram feed is filled with pictures of her beautiful home. It's rare to find her without a smile on her face. I'm almost certain she's never once had a last-minute panic to find the match to a sock as she stumbles out the door each morning.
I've never seen her mad. Never heard a word of gossip escape from her lips. And has a distinct stiff-upper-lipness about her – like she doesn't wrestle with the jungle drums of panic and anxiety. All of her outfits certainly were not cobbled together by disjointed trips to Ross outlets. She volunteers in her free time, despite her rather large family, and daunting business responsibilities.
Her fun personality and talents leave me in a wake of self-conciousness I haven't felt since middle school. Back when I had wide, green-rimmed glasses and wore the same pair of overalls before capsule wardrobes were cool.
We all have that one person in our lives, don't we?
That person who's 30 pounds thinner than us, has hair that a Pantene model would die for, and in any other world where competition and distrust doesn't exist: you and she would probably be best friends.
She's the 2.0 version of us – the celebrity who would play you in the movie version of your life. Except she's the one living out the movie you wish your life could be to begin with.
The thing is, I know this woman isn't real.
We all do.
Because for all of the perfection she portrays, I know it's a mirage. A mixture of what I believe is true and what she knows is reality.
I know that somewhere down the line she probably spats with her husband or loses her temper with her kids. spats with her husband, or has a bad relationship with her family.
But on days when the dry shampoo flows like a river and the laundry stacks high...I just want her to show me how to be a better woman.
We've all heard about the power of vulnerability and how important it is.
We very rarely talk about what it means for others.
Last week, I wrote down some thoughts about success and failure. How successes only help ourselves, but our failures have a way of being tools we can all learn from.
I admire with my full heart women who are open about their shortcomings, women who admit to not having it all together, women who lead the charge and are honest about how hard it was to get to the top. How much of a struggle it is to put on the having-it-all-together mask.
So, to the woman who has it all together, I'd ask that you let the rest of us in.
Yes, you. With the six-pack abs and the thriving freelance business. Yes you, with the smile and pep during seasons that were such a struggle for the rest of us.
This is in no way a shaming of those who are more organized, physically fit or a decree for those around us to live less fabulously. We should all live fabulously, no?
This is simply a petition for us as women, as wives, as mothers, as singles, as business owners, to be open with one another. To let our mistakes be a front-and-center part of our stories.
After all, strong women lift other women up. Our stories make us strong. And they help others along the way.