Facebook is wonderful to stay in touch with friends from all over the world. That’s what I mainly use it for. Then there are these blog posts that are shared on my page as well, although that all goes automatically. Lastly, there is work. In my previous job at Het Rooster I got to explore a bit more with what works and what doesn’t work on Facebook. I found out that people love reading articles with personal stories. As I was figuring out admin rights for another page I will be managing I saw an article that was posted on someone’s wall with the title: “We packed up the kids and moved to Tanzania then things fell apart”.
Pretty dramatic, eye-catching title, so I saved the article to read it later.
One of my favourite ways of learning and reflecting on my own experiences is by reading about others. How they deal with life is and then write about it, is something I can relate well to. Just like this story of a young novelist. She and her husband decided to leave comfortable and safe life in Canada behind and move to Tanzania. She wanted to write her book. He wanted to do something pilot related. No jobs, some savings and two very young kids. That alone sounds like a risk to me. And yes, things were pretty tough for them as a family, in their careers, in their marriage. It wasn’t all pretty Instagram pictures and roses. There you are in a strange country, with no social support network and no real income.
Not that I have a huge income at the moment, but I have a house, my medical insurance is all taken care of and I get enough to live a modest, but comfortable life. I have absolutely no valid reason to complain in terms of practical living circumstances. In that sense things are a bit easier for me compared to this family. But then I do understand that feeling of falling. When you have absolutely no idea what is going to happen tomorrow or next week, everything just feels a little more intense.
In the end, the family moves back. The book has been written. The pilot dream fulfilled. And that’s when the woman concludes: “Yet despite falling and failing. I didn’t crash. I didn’t break into pieces. … I noticed that in the space between my Hollywood-movie fantasies and my terror of hitting the ground, I was living.”
So even though we all like to live this picture perfect Facebook-proof life, reality is much harder and much more complicated. And that’s okay. Because even though we might fall apart, I might fall apart, we are all strong and resilient. Breaking into pieces is a matter of opinion. It’s about whether at the end of the day when everything seems to go wrong and you feel all alone, you can still get down on your knees and thank God for giving you air to breathe and a day to live. And if you dare to ask Him, I am sure He will pick up your broken pieces and transform them into something more beautiful than you could have ever imagined.