Lately I’ve been low key stalking Instagram accounts and YouTube channels of families or couples that have dedicated their lives to tiny living. Whether that be in a motor home, RV, van or school bus converted into a mobile home…my eyes can’t seem to remove themselves from the posts of delightful mini stoves, collapsible dinettes, and compact yet comfortably designed bedrooms.
I would almost even use the word cozy. Some of these homes are gorgeous and it’s hard to believe that the horrific yellow school bus that I dreaded to see at 6:20 a.m. (yes, that was an ungodly time to be up during those high school years) and wanted to vandalize during the hot summer months (especially if you sat at the seat where the wheel well was) could be transformed into something quite beautiful.
It almost gave me an itch to give it a try: buy a rusty old school bus, gut it completely and renovate it into something livable and perhaps even…homey? But let’s not kid ourselves here…I wouldn’t last a week without going bananas and murdering the unfortunate soul who happened to be living with me. The perfectly designed shower stall just big enough for one adult to move in and out from would be hulk smashed by the time the week was up. My impatience, irritability and temper would not be a good mix for a living space that goes from bathroom to kitchen (where the knives are o.o) in one step.
Aside from the potential homicide, boy does it look fun! Not to mention picturesque with the windows open and the motor home parked in some canyon like park while you burrito yourself under some blankets and watch the sunset caress the earth.
And this my friends, is partly the reason why I had to say farewell to Instagram. I have to tell myself that those perfectly curated snippets of posed reality within the confines of a square shot are as real as the mannequins dolled up and propped to stand at the entrance of every store. But I get caught in that fantasy all too quickly. Put a quick filter and contrast that shot with a carpe diem type of caption and I’m a sucker who’s ready to become a vagabond out on the road. A whirlwind of emotions have surfaced after one too many nights browsing through this gallery of random strangers’ “best of moments”. Some ranging from genuine curiosity, to deafening blows of insecurity and envy…*cue the somber orchestra music*.
Although I would like to point my finger out and scream that, “Instagram did it!! There lies the culprit!” the issue is really mine and mine alone. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and all these platforms of self posts, selfies, self vlogs and everything self has only exacerbated the problem.
I have a very sick and incurable disease that has only worsened with age; I’m always on the defensive and constantly in a competition. With who you may ask? Anyone that I feel has one upped me.
Always you ask? Unfortunately, yes.
Got an amazing job that you love at that dream company I’ve always wanted to work for and they pay you six figures at the young age of 27?
The stove is on low heat with my blood quietly simmering.
Gorgeous engagement or wedding shots that look like they’re straight out of those pre-printed frames at Target or WalMart?
Crank that sucker up to medium heat.
Posted a picture of your half written notebook scribbles and freshly brewed coffee with latte art on the side shot at just the right angle for that perfect, “I’m busy being edgy and thought provoking, but free enough to take a pic” vibe which for some odd reason garners over 700 likes.
It’s pathetic I know, you don’t need to tell me. I hate feeling this way as much as I hate sharing these absurdly ridiculous pride triggers that make me feel like a straight up two year old having a tantrum. There’s nothing to boast about when it comes to my envy. At the end of the day, as I repent and pray, I know my security lies in my Lord and Savior and I know I ought to rejoice in other’s joys and successes because it’s not about me. What could be more humbling than falling to your knees and accepting the fact that this life is not catered to fulfill your greatest dreams and deepest desires? Especially when it seems as though someone else has received what you desperately wanted?
I know all these things, but I can’t stop it. I can’t preach this sin out of my heart any more than I can will a seed to sprout just by begging it to. Paul understood living within the here but not yet when it came to our spiritual and sinful natures.
For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.Romans 7:18, ESV
And it’s in that complex and complicated state that I struggle and writhe. How truly humbling it is that the envy that seeks to raise me to the top and seat me on the throne is the very thing that points to my lack, my incompetence and my desperate need for a Savior who will not berate me for my lack or my incompetence.