Have you ever seen a duck swimming? From the surface, it appears to be gliding effortlessly. But under the water, where no one can see, the duck’s little webbed feet are paddling frantically and ceaselessly, all in the effort to keep the duck afloat.I recently read an article about how college girls, girls my age, were committing suicide (or thinking about it) because they would look at their friend’s social media accounts and compare it to their own unfiltered realities.They felt as if they just did not measure up.
The first thing I thought of when I read that article was the duck swimming. It’s an accurate representation of many people’s lives. We only show ourselves gliding along effortlessly, and we hide the part that works incredibly hard under the surface. My Instagram and Facebook pages are full of pictures of me smiling and posing with different friends, jumping off waterfalls, basically treating the Appalachian Mountains as a playground that God built just for me.
My most recent Instagram post and my Facebook album for this school year.
But there’s a lot that I edit out of my social media life. Those pictures, they don’t show that I stood on top of the waterfall for an embarrassingly long time before finding the courage to jump off. They don’t show the conversations I’ve had in the last week that took my way out of my comfort zone. They don’t show that I’m smiling through the pain of a surgery I had two weeks ago that I’m not recovering well from. Those are my duck feet, and for the first time, I’m parting the waters and showing them to the world. My life is far from perfect. And I know it’s not just mine. Everyone has their own set of duck feet, their own issues.
So I beg you, anyone that struggles with comparison, next time you see a photo and think “Wow, why can’t I be that great? Why isn’t that me?”, to remember the ducks. Remember how even though we may be paddling like there’s no tomorrow to stay above water, we know that we won’t drown. And to me, that makes us pretty lucky.