In A Filtered World..

Instagram

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Facetune  (I recently learned about this one..)

From what I know there’s even apps to enhance your body parts.  I would google the hell out of it to find one, but I am 127 years old and tired.

Snapchat… the infamous Snapchat filter that automatically makes you so perfect you barely recognize yourself.  I know the filter and I don’t even have Snapchat.

#nofilter (besides the 2016 Instagram version of the dog filter)

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Not feeling so cute?  Make yourself a dog.  Throw some electric hearts over your head.  Use the perfect filter.  And you’re set!

Modern day photo sharing has come an extremely long way from those Fuji film disposable cameras or the Nikon Coolpix digital cameras where you couldn’t escape a poor photo.  Our iPhones are a one stop shop for instantaneous perfection of a selfie or photo before posting it to a social media platform.  It only takes one filter… or 30.

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One arguable theory is that this age of filters is causing us to have low self esteem.  I can totally see it.  For one, it can easily cause some to compare themselves to someone who is, literally, picture perfect, when in reality, it’s not real.  I’ve found myself staring at photos for way longer than I’d like to admit thinking.. “but.. wait…how?  ugh, what’s her diet?  Who is her doctor…? Oh, wait a second, Angela…get it together!”

From another perspective, are we using all of these filters to perfect ourselves because we don’t think enough of ourselves?  Has it really come to the point where it’s impossible to post an unfiltered photo?

Rhetorical.  It’s rhetorical.

I, for one, will admit to using filters on my photos and I am pleased when someone with a good eye notices my Autumn Sunrise (for those who get the reference, I love you) filter on all of my photos.  I use one filter, for an algorithm, on my Instagram feed and I do play with colors to enhance poor quality photos.  All the excellent photographers do.  (We are allowed to compliment ourselves without feeling guilty.)

I do appreciate the occasional selfie and I love when I see others sharing theirs.  Again, I  won’t lie, I heavily rely on good lighting to enhance the quality.  I also rely on my dog to further enhance the quality.  I have about 500 selfies of me and my girl, on my phone, and I have no qualms about showing you every single one of them.


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So, who is to blame?  Is it any of the available apps that leave the unattainable reach for perfection at our fingertips?  Is it the person next to us who is filtering their photos and life so it leaves us in the position of wanting to look perfect, too?  By all means, I am not saying to not use the filters you enjoy.  You, do you!

What I am saying is people can’t connect to perfect, they can only connect to real.

And true connection is the nectar of life.

Be seen.

All of my love,

A

 

The Paradox of Choice – My Version

Taps pencil

Spins pencil between fingers (thank you to my Pinay sisters who taught me how to do this during my four years at St. Dominic Academy ).

Wonders, “why do I love writing in mechanical pencil so much?”

Hungry.  But like, am I REALLY hungry?  Or just a snackum hungry?

I don’t even think I am hungry

SAMMMMMMMM!!!!!  (My geriatric cat.)

Sam

I can assure you, I’ve sat down at this computer and started a post many times recently before getting up and walking away.  I’ve scribbled many notes.  I’ve had so many ideas.   I had too many choices of what content I wanted to share before actually sitting here and just writing out my thoughts.

Choice is everywhere, in every moment, of every day.  For me, it ranges in everything from what time I want to wake up, to what I will be training that morning in the gym, to what I am wearing to work, to breakfast, to which part of my territory I am working that day, to finally what time I am going to lay down to go to bed.  In fact, the average amount of choices an adult makes in a day is 35,000.  THIRTY. FIVE. THOUSAND.

Organic or non-organic?

Stairs or elevator?

Eggs or pancakes?

Run one more mile or stop here?

Do I run that fall marathon?

Buy that Starbucks latte or save my money and unnecessary liquid calories?  (Last week I went on a coffee detox and I’ve been one week coffee free; the headaches were terrible and while I’ve fortunately never had to REALLY detox from anything, I can only imagine it was a similar experience.  Insert eye twitch here.)

Saline or silicone?  (That choice wasn’t hard, no pun intended.)

And these are the easy choices.  So what happens when the choices in life start getting a little harder and we have to really dig deep?

Stay in that relationship?  Leave that relationship?

Can I make that career change in my mid-thirties?

Can I afford to buy that house?  In that town with the high ass taxes?  But I REALLY like that town…. Welcome to Bergen County, NJ.  I bought the medium sized house…. with the semi-high ass taxes.  Now I am currently trying to decide if I can maintain my house and mortgage size, on my own, or downsize.

Abundance is great, but abundance in choice is irrational.  Choices are so hard to make because we fear terribly that we’re going to make the wrong one. This probably explains why so many people are single and “can’t find anyone.” (Keep swiping on your dating app, there are more choices on the way! Swipe, swipe, swipe….)

So what happens when we have so many choices, that we can’t make one?

What about indecision?  When you don’t want to make a choice, so you just don’t.  Indecision is still a decision and what I consider to be the worst decision.


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I’ve been there in the past.  I’ve made terrible choices.  Like, pretty fucking terrible.  I’ve made no decision and left myself in limbo, which is crippling.  I’ve also made some of the best decisions.  But here’s the deal, if you choose poorly, you can bounce back from that decision.

1- Wake the fuck up.  Be more conscious.  Get in tune with yourself and what you really want, not what you just say you want.  Sit outside in silence, no phone, no book, no distractions, close your eyes and see your answers.

For instance, you really want to lose twenty pounds but you sleep through your alarm every day and tell yourself you’ll go to the gym tomorrow.  Don’t forget to grab a pizza on your way home because you decided to not cook or meal prep.

2- Understand your values.  REALLY understand your values.

What do you hold in high regard?  What choice will give you the best ROI in relation to your values?  Are you making choices that line up with your values?

3- So you made the wrong choice?  You took the shitty job?  You stayed in a relationship too long and you don’t know how to get out?  Or you left one and now you regret it?  You bought the house you can’t afford?  You got that sucky haircut?

PLOT TWIST:  Life isn’t over.

LIFE HACK:  You’re only one different choice away from a completely different life.  One choice away from getting back onto the path that you want to be on.  Or, like I say, your predetermined path.

Here comes Cosmic Angela…

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I truly believe that our paths are outlined for us and our “wrong” choices just put us on a detour.  There aren’t any mistakes if we think about it.  These mistakes, or detours aren’t here to torture us or destroy us, they’re here to teach us.  Without these detours, or lessons, we wouldn’t be talking about how to make stronger, wiser choices, right?

Eventually, you’re back on the path that the Universe has already mapped out for you and you’re in a place you never imaged you’d be.  My therapist said something to me a few weeks ago that I will never forget, that is how much it touched me.  She looked at me with joy in her face and said, “there are about six women that I know of that I would love for them to meet you.  I want to tell them, ‘she is you’.  You’re proof that they can come out on the other side.”   And it all started with making one change when I had enough confidence, self esteem and power to do so.

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I am clearly not an expert, I am not a life coach (yet?), I am not a NY Times best selling author (yet?), I am just human who made some shitty decisions, in the past, and did all the work (lots of therapy, lots of introspection, lots of reading and connecting to others) to get back on track.

So, life.  You always have a choice.  Are you choosing wisely?

All of my love,

Angela