Be As You Wish to Seem

Be As You Wish to Seem

My VSCO Cam is cooler than my life actually is.
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The other day, I made a VSCO Cam. I sorted through my camera roll, desperately searching for the most aesthetically pleasing pictures I could find that would look great with a filter and a cool caption.

I think I changed my Instagram bio about fourteen times until I was sure it proved I was Christian yet really hip at the same time.

Oh yeah, and I had a really good quiet time at a local coffee shop the other day. I made sure I put it on my Instagram... and my Snapchat story... and I made a Facebook post about it.

You see, I try so hard to prove to the world that I am, indeed, a hip Christian. I work so hard at making sure every aspect of my life on social media is aesthetically pleasing. I refuse to post a picture if I don't look good in it, my handwriting in my journal isn't perfect, or my coffee isn't the right shade of tan. And as I reflect on the past few months I've spent working so hard to make sure I portrayed myself the right way, I realize how insanely ignorant I am.

I go to class with no makeup on, a big tshirt, and my hair looking like a rats nest. I usually drink my coffee out of a styrofoam cup instead of a coffee mug from Anthropologie. My nails aren't always painted, I don't spend time with the Lord every day, and sometimes, I listen to Taylor Swift instead of Judah and the Lion. And you know what? That's real life.

My Instagram isn't real life. My VSCO Cam isn't real life. The hours and hours I've spent making sure I portray myself in the perfect light are honestly a waste of time. Because in real life, I'm a messy, broken girl. I don't have it all together. And although I want to seem as though I'm your ideal, artsy Christian college girl, I'm not.

So what? What's so wrong with writing pretty verses in my journaling Bible? What's the problem with "Instagramming" pretty pictures with beautiful captions?

The other day, I read an article that had the quote "Be as you wish to seem" in it. And as I sit and think about it, I know how I "wish to seem." I wish I always had my hair in a cute middle part, choker fastened around my neck, donning my Free People shirt and New Balances. I wish I spent time with the Lord every day and that my actions always flowed from that. I wish I overflowed kindness and compassion and love and grace to all of my friends because of how the Lord feels about me. I wish I didn't have to prove how much I love my friends by writing a sweet caption about them or putting them on my Snapchat story.

But I think the key thing about that quote is that it calls us to "Be." We actually have to be the way we want people to see us. And being isn't based off of how clean our hair is or how pretty our handwriting is. Being is based off of how we love. It's based off of where our hearts are.

The literal definition of "be" is "to exist." So, my question to you is this: how are you existing? How are you living on a daily basis? For me, my Instagram and my real life are on two opposite poles. My heart isn't in tuned with the Father's, though my last Facebook post says it is. My challenge to you is to see where in your life you need change and to go after it. Chase after a life full of love, grace and compassion, don't just portray yourself as a person who does. Because I promise, authenticity is admired, respected, and appreciated.

No, this doesn't mean you can't have a sick Instagram. And no, this doesn't mean you need to just post ugly selfies on your VSCO. But don't live a fake life through your social media. I promise, the lifestyle you're desiring is so sweet, but you won't experience that sweetness until you actually strive for it.

Cover Image Credit: me

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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'Sissy, Why is That Boy Wearing Makeup?'

June is time to celebrate equality.

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This past weekend, I went to the mall with my family. It was just a normal family excursion, and I wanted to walk into Sephora to show my mom a perfume I liked. We go inside, and my mother and I drift away from my dad and 6 year old sister, Sierra. I showed her the perfume I thought smelled amazing (Roses de Chloé) and we look for my sister and father to exit the store. As soon as we leave, my little sister grabs my hand and asks, "Sissy, why is that boy wearing makeup?"

This was the first time my little sister has ever asked about anything like this, and I wanted to make sure I gave her an answer. I turned to her and said, "Sierra, sometimes there are boys who wear makeup, and girls who may dress like boys. People are allowed to wear what they want, it doesn't matter." Sierra looks up at me, says, "Oh okay," and that was the end of it.

Sharing this experience to say, HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!

So thankful to live in a country where all sexual orientations get a day to celebrate their love. That's what this world needs more of-- love. It shouldn't matter who it is, where they are from, the color on their skin, or their gender identity.

When Sierra was born, I always wondered when this conversation would come up. I wondered what I would say, how she would react to it, and how she would be exposed to it. Like I consistently preach, everything happens for a reason, and I'm glad Sierra was able to get exposure and receive an immediate answer. Love is love, and I will forever stand by that.

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