I was part of an interesting conversation the other day that got me thinking a little bit about “real life” scrapbooking.
A gal mentioned that she wasn’t able to get a particular scrapbook layout done because it would have first required her to spend hours cleaning her office. You see, she wanted that perfect photo to go with the scrapbook page … the one that showed her home the way she wanted others to see it.
The rest of us chuckled a bit and the discussion evolved into the varying degrees to which each of us was willing to “air our dirty laundry” through our scrapbooking. We all agreed that real life scrapbooking entails sharing both the good and the bad … we just have differing degrees to which we are willing to reveal the less flattering parts of ourselves through our layouts, blogs and other avenues of sharing.
The conversation was interesting, but I had more or less forgotten about it until this afternoon when I came upon this scene in my living room …
My first thought, of course, was “Ugh. Great time to be without a functioning vacuum cleaner.” And then like many faithful everyday scrappers, my next step was to grab the camera & snap this photo. After all, this is a pretty realistic documentation of my daughter’s recent fascination with scissors.
I wouldn’t think twice about scrapping – and sharing – this photo. To me, that’s what documenting the “real” life of my family is all about.
But then it hit me.
If I had company coming to visit, there is no way I’d want them to see this room in this state. Rather than snapping a photo, I’d be frantically figuring out a way to get this room spic-and-span in order to present a more acceptable home environment before my guests arrived.
I’m willing to bet … in fact, I’m absolutely positive … that I’m not the only one out there that wants others to see their home looking its best, even if “best” isn’t a very accurate depiction of “normal.” Yet I and others like me claim to place a priority on being authentic.
There’s something wrong with this picture.
It’s human nature to want to make a good impression on others. But I think many of us also have a deep yearning to reveal and be accepted as our true selves, without putting on that somewhat false front. I could reason that I make the effort to clean for company because I want my guests to feel comfortable and that my house is clean as often as it is messy, so it isn’t like going to this effort is entirely out of character. But it made me wonder why it’s so easy to share that less than “perfect” part of ourselves in some cases, but not in others.
Think about it … how many times have you had a professional portrait taken without first taking time to primp?
So what do YOU think? How much “real” is TOO much when it comes to sharing with others? Does what you reveal through your scrapbooking or your photos align with what you share in “real life”? Which is the “real” you … the one captured in an everyday candid shot or the one cleaned up for the portrait?
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