I stalked her Instagram account for weeks in preparation for her deposition.
I was hired to represent a local company where the plaintiff, a former TV personality and “Instafamous” social media influencer, was seeking damages for injuries associated with a highly publicized car accident.
The woman seemed perfect. She was in her early 40s but looked ten years younger. She’d post photos of herself in swimsuits and her body was flawless. She had a handsome husband and three beautiful boys and their home looked like something out of MTV Cribs. They went on exotic vacations. This woman was highly educated with a Ph.D. in history. She’d written two books and one was on the New York Times best seller list. She seemed popular- her Instastories featured photos with herself and friends and she seemed to get tons of likes and comments on every post. This lady was also “supermom”- photographing herself sitting along the sidelines of her sons’ soccer games and knitting them scarves in the winter.
I was intimidated at the idea of meeting her in person and then interrogating her.
All the intimidation went away ten minutes after we sat down.
She was emotionally unstable and her body physically shook the entire time. Admitted she and her husband were separated and the oldest of her kids was dabbling in drugs. The youngest was being treated for a personality disorder. The Plaintiff was addicted to prescription drugs and hadn’t spoken to her father in fifteen years over something petty. She bounced around from friend to friend because she couldn’t maintain friendships. Her beautiful house? It was in foreclosure.
Notably, and the most tragic, was she truly believed she was unworthy of being loved by others.
Meeting her made me sad. Not only for all the pain and emptiness in her life, but about the large number of women (including myself) who felt like they weren’t enough after observing her fake life on the Internet and then comparing it it to their own realities.
Barbara Walters once said celebrities never intimidated her because she learned very early in her career that most of them are insecure. In other words, many of the people our society most admires are sometimes the most tortured.
The Internet is one of the greatest and most dangerous resources. It can make us feel connected but lonely.
It can make us feel like we aren’t enough when we aren’t armed with all the facts.
Use it sparingly and with caution.
And when you feel like you are “less-than,” remember:
You are enough.
Your family is enough.
Your house is enough.
Your vacations are enough.
Your weekends spent at the community park with your kids and spouse? That’s enough.
Your dinner excursions to a fast food joint instead of a highfalutin restaurant? Enough!
Your clothes from a discounted retail chain? They are enough.
Giving yourself home manicures instead of going to a salon? It’s enough.
Your ten-year old car that has brakes that loudly squeak when you’re driving around the corner but it’s paid off? Enough.
Having three close friends instead of fifty acquaintances? Enough!
You are enough.
You can be an introvert or an extrovert. It’s enough. You can have roots or be freshly highlighted. It’s enough. Your shoes can be discount or designer. Both are enough. You can stay home this summer instead of going on an expensive vacation you can’t afford and that will surely be enough. Your house that “needs” all those updates? It still has a roof and so it’s enough. You can spend the weekend away with your family without inviting ten other couples to come along. They are enough.
You are enough.
Don’t believe what you see on the Internet. Don’t make assumptions about peoples’ lives based on running into them at the grocery store or at t-ball practice.
Don’t let other people trigger you into thinking you aren’t enough.
Because you are.
You are so enough.