Stay Real My Friends

This past weekend I was sitting at this tiny diner in Cranston called, “Harriet’s” for breakfast.

This is significant for a few reasons. The first being that I don’t go to Cranston often, but every time I do I realize how under appreciated it is. 
The second is, I rarely pay for breakfast at a place that doesn’t offer gluten free options and lox on their standard menu.  
I live on the boarder of Providence’s notoriously bougie East Side.  It’s the proud home of Brown University, RISD Festival Ballet Company, vegan coffee shops and ultra modern high schools like The Wheeler School. 
People here are nice enough, but the word pretentious can come to mind often when you converse with them.  
Pretension and people aside, as a closeted foodie, the East Side also boasts some amazing eats including two of my favorite breakfast spots. 
So why, you ask, did I end up on Atwood Avenue in Cranston, eating canned peaches and greasy potatoes instead of indulging in my beloved lox omelet and gluten free toast accompanied by a cup of fare trade coffee from the local coffee house?
I asked my breakfast date the same thing.
“This place is unpretentious.” she said “It’s Sunday morning, I just can’t be around Providence people. They’re so wrapped up in themselves.”
Her comment stayed with me as we finished our breakfast. I had recently been devouring articles about why my generation is so disenchanted with life; some studious, some not so much IE comics from The Oatmeal , in an attempt to figure out why my life is currently a cesspool of unhappy.
One prevailing issue that psychologist have apparently pinpointed as a plague to my generation’s psyche is social media. They condemn it, not as a waste of time, but as a self esteem killer. A phrase I kept seeing was “Life Cultivating”. 
In layman’s terms that phrase defines the act of people rubbing their shit in your face through the interwebs: new babies, graduation, always looking perfect, weddings, happy relationships, great friends, awesome parties…..etc. and they leave out all the bad things, giving the impression that their life is flawless. 
It’s sad, but true, that when I see all the amazing things on someones Facebook, it makes me feel like shit that I’m not out there curing cancer while simultaneously touring Europe. Instead I’m procrastinating on an English paper so I can graduate college in five years instead of six. 
This is an incredibly stupid thing to fret over, because what I briefly forget in my moments of social media induced self loathing, is that everyone has shit. 
If my life is on blast across the world wide web (and whose isn’t?) I don’t want to disillusion you. 
I do not look pretty even half the time, I don’t party all the time (anymore), I spend a lot of my time as of recent with my face in school books, I fight with my friends, my relationship has MAJOR issues and I do not look that thin in real life. This doesn’t mean my life is bad, it just means it’s not perfect. My life is partially pure shit, just likes yours and just like almost everyone else’s.
Remember the next time you see that perfect “selfie” that it took her 45 minutes of her life, and a photo editing app she paid five dollars for, to achieve that picture. When you see one of your friends finally graduated, just think about all the student loans they have to start paying back because it took them six years to do their undergraduate. When your friends send out their birth announcement remember all the reasons you don’t have kids, like the fact that they’re sticky.  All the time.  
I just want to officially set the record straight, for anyone who may have gotten the wrong impression from my social media, that my life sucks just as much as yours.  If you ever doubt that, just read through this blog. 
Stay real my friends. 
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