Reality Check

I owe a lot to the internet. I met my amazing husband on an internet dating site. We then made our beautiful daughter. I have reconnected with old school friends, and made lovely new friends who I have gone on to meet and ‘click with’ in real life (there’s your shout out Rach!) I connected with an amazing group of women, who have supported me and helped me through pregnancy, premature birth and beyond. I started this blog, and connected with a whole new group of people.
But here’s the thing- somewhere along the way, I got a bit lost in virtual reality. Because it is so much easier to be ‘me’ on the internet. I do not have high self esteem. I do not think highly of myself. I am working on it, but most of the time, I am a bit of a mess. But the internet, well that has opened a whole new door. Here, I can think out what I’m going to say. I can delete sentences over and over again, till I get it right. I can read things over, analyse them, and then change it, so I sound smarter, funnier, less desperate. I can choose what images I portray to the world. I can photo shop all my pictures, before I post them to facebook. I can delete pictures where I look anything less than close to perfect. I can present myself to everyone else, however I wish I could be in ‘real life’. That ‘control’ over how you are perceived is great, awesome even. Until the virtual reality becomes your only reality. Until you become more comfortable with the people who you have built an image for, than people in ‘real life’.
To have people actually come to my house, and see the ‘real’ me, sends me into a panic attack. My house is so messy, I am not like all the blogs I follow, who have daily tasks, and lists, and housework checklists. If  I make it from the moment my daughter wakes up, to the moment my daughter goes to sleep, without completely losing m mind, I am having a good day. I live in maternity pants and maternity singlets (yes, my daughter is 14 months old!) my hair is rarely washed, let alone blow dried and straightened like in my photos. I wear my glasses unless I am going out, and replace with contacts. I don’t have funny, witty things to say. When faced with someone in my lounge-room, my brain rattles around my head, trying to think of something intelligent and interesting to talk about.
‘Virtual’ me, is so much better than ‘real’ me. However, sometimes the ‘real’ me needs ‘real’ friends. Because, as much as the online friends love and support the only ‘me’ they are allowed to see, It. Is. Not. Me.
So many times I sit at this computer, and I write, with tears pouring down my cheeks. And then I delete, and re-write, and re-write until it sounds like something I  think people may want to hear. Until I delete all the desperate, and the heartache, and, what I perceive as ‘drama’. And I post a watered down version of ‘me’. And, here’s the real problem- I wait for people to react to the ‘real’ me, the heartache and sorrow that I feel, but not what I portray. I sit on the other side of my PC, and I wait for people to understand me, people that I don’t even really know, people that don’t even really know me. People that have their own life going on, their own friends, their own dramas. I sit at my computer, and wait for them to notice me. I expect them to know that I am crying, that the flippant words I have typed, mean so much more. I am so immersed in this ‘virtual reality’, that I have lost the actual reality.
So I have stepped back. I am challenging myself to reconnect with real friends in my real life. Because, if I am sitting opposite you, if you can see me, in my less than perfect body, in my less than perfect house, with my less than perfect responses, then you can see my real smile, for all that is great in my life, and my real tears for all that I wish I could change. And that is the reality I need.  xx