profile-picture perfect.

Today I came home from school to a message from a girl that I once became facebook friends with because we had mutual friends. Back in '07 when facebook was still a relatively new concept in my life, I would accept friend requests from, and send them to, anyone and everyone that seemed like a nice person. Since becoming her facebook friend, I have received lovely little uplifting messages from her every now and again expressing her great interest in [her perception of] my life from what she knew of me based on my facebook profile pictures, status updates, and my blog. It was never creepy whatsoever. It came right from her heart and I knew what she meant because I feel that same way about others in my life!
Today, part of her message read:

so, still your biggest fan...
i love to think i live vicariously through your adventures out west, in the states, really... all around the world! i love reading your blog & learning from it, soaking in advice and adventures....
i just want to let you know how admired you are and i know not just by me but by MANY. it's not hard to tell you are an incredible friend to many many loving people, its not hard to see that you are real, honest & open - it reminds me to check myself for fake and then to be rid of it. your adventures remind me that there is more to life then just going through the motions.
i think more people should have your outgoing and positive additude, because you truly get the most out of this life our creator has so thoughtfully and carefully designed for us.
anyways, just a little random note to let you know even though someone has never met you in person - your character truly shines even via the internet and bloggingggg & your character is wholesome, refreshing and good.
<3 your biggest fan

It gives me warm fuzzies when I hear people saying anything like that to me or to know someone has said something sweet like that about me to someone else. It's nice to think that the person I project myself as is a loveable person if not to everyone than at least to a handful of really special people.

I have to be real though, blog-readers and facebook friends, because I can't read that message and pretend like it's all true - like I really am this wonderful person I often can make myself out to be.
I am so far from the carefully tailored and monitored facebook version of myself. I am thousands of miles away from the scriptural and lyrical captions on my profile pictures and far from what inspirational rambling I may come up with for my blogs and far from the girl with the uplifting and positive attitude.
I mean, I try to be that person. & I think the reason I include all of those types of inspirational-type of things on my cyber-self-portrait is because, in so many ways, it's the person I long to become. But sometimes it's simply motivated by the importance I place on being a loveable person. How's that for honest? Someone in my BEd cohort on Saturday night said "You're just always so happy and nice!" and then the next day after church someone else told me almost the exact same thing. My response was a simple, "but I'm really not though..."
It's interesting to me when people say things like this and I can't help but just tell them the truth because to me, I am not always happy and friendly. Sometimes I'm a fierce, rotten, little bitch. I find myself often apologizing that I haven't made time for the people that matter, and feeling bad that I mentally lost my patience with someone because they did something marginally irritating like interrupted my thoughts. I can be a very self-centered person and often you just won't get to see that person because of my history of being hated and, therefore, incessant need to maintain a perception of myself as a nice and friendship-worthy girl.
I am aware when I meet people who think I'm fake. I can't even be mad at them or blame them for pegging me like that because I can be fake. I'm fake happy sometimes. I'm fake nice sometimes. That's the worst kind of fake there is.
So here is me being not fake. I know it's not going to make up for all the times I ever have been fake towards you. But I would like to apologize for all the times I have... which is countless. I don't want to be that person. And for those of you in my life afraid that I'm being fake with you and don't actually like you, don't worry. The truth is, amidst the fact that I care what people think of me, is a deep and genuine love for people. I actually do love you. If I didn't love slash like you, you would know cause I can't fake that well. I actually do want you in my life. But am I always happy and always friendly? Hell-to-the-no. Please don't put me on that pedestal.
I am just such a work in progress & that's the conclusion I hope to someday reach with a "-& I've been making a lot lately!" tagline. I look at women in my church and long to be where they are in their lives - humble, sacrificial, loving, self-giving, disciplined, and holy. I am not holy although it might come across that way on my honest blog-marathons when I'm just stoked about how awesome God is and how much he loves me. The reason I get so enthralled by his awesome love isn't because I am a great christian with my life pretty much how I want it to be, but rather because I am a total mess behind this profile-picture perfect me and am completely undeserving of it.


  1. Oh Renaroo, I love you. Same boat.

    Love, your complete mess of a next-door-neighbour.

  2. Hey Beaner... great blog, really appreciate your fearless transparency!!

  3. RENA! this is so amazing and all so true. remember.. Ourselves are our biggest critics. i love you bestie.