I share a lot of my life openly online through pictures and random status updates. And when I say openly, I mean I don’t always sugar coat life or make sure my personal Instagram is only filled with the perfectly concocted highlight reel. I share the awesome photos, the ones that are so-so but hold a lot of meaning, and every now and then the ones that really shouldn’t be shared. They’re not perfect, but they are an extension of me and my life and that’s why I share them. Unfortunately, this sometimes opens me up to unwanted advice and criticism from others. In fact, that’s exactly what has inspired today’s post.
I’m not going to share the exact incident or comment that brought me to write this post today for two reasons. The first is that it’s not the first time I’ve gotten a comment with unwarranted advice and the second reason is that it has less to do with the actual comment and more to do with life.
If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know that I’ve been working on changing things in various aspects of my life. There are certain products I avoid and certain foods that I’ve tried in an attempt to live a simpler, healthier lifestyle. I have never once said that I’m only using natural products or only eating whole foods. What I have said is that I’m working towards better choices. I’m not perfect and my choices sometimes fall into the “bad” category. I’m perfectly okay with that. I’m trying and that’s what matters.
Let’s put things into perspective. Many of us grew up in a time when nutrition and environmental awareness wasn’t a focus. In fact, I can remember “environmental awareness” consisting of a lesson on cutting soda rings before throwing them away because they might end up in our ocean. We also learned the catchy song about “reduce, reuse, recycle.” There was no talk about chemicals or the products we were using. It was all about what to do after you used something.
Nutrition is another one that was taught in a different way growing up. You were taught about the food pyramid and how to balance the different parts. I don’t really recall anyone explaining that whole wheat bread had more benefits to our body that white bread. It was all simply bread and it was the largest piece of the pyramid.