Testimony Tuesday: Less than Perfect / by Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

Social media is a wonderful tool, but it can be deceptive. Similar to a resume, our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds are filled with highlights and successes. These digital spaces are carefully curated galleries of professional life with accolades and opportunities, motherhood with well mannered, active and cute as a button children, marriage with regularly scheduled date nights and picture perfect smiles, and home life with delicious and Epicurus worthy plates fixed after a full day of work. What we don’t often see in these spaces are our perceived failures, all the moments when we raise our voices at our children because they are acting a fool, disagreements with our spouses, the fourth night in a row of eating pizza for dinner in a week and more.  

I often laugh when I see people and they mention my wonderfully put together life especially since I am always tired/fatigued/exhausted and some days struggle to keep it all together. They’ve subscribed to my carefully curated life so what else would they think? Truth be told, I realized that I had gotten to a place where I had subscribed to my carefully curated life leaving little room for mistakes. 

Yesterday was such a day. It was the rehearsal for the girls’ dance recital this weekend. I planned well. On Sunday night I washed and blow dried their long, thick hair so I’d be ready to quickly make their ballerina buns. I picked them up early from school to avoid traffic and even packed snacks. We arrived to the campus early and got a prime parking spot. Without feeling rushed, I removed the bags I packed that contained everything we needed. So I thought. (At this point, all of this is adding to my mom-of-the-year award.) As I removed their school clothes and put their shiny, sparkly costumes on in the bathroom I realized I forgot to pack their shoes. THE SHOES!!! And then I became the mom who forgot tap and jazz shoes to dance recital rehearsal. Really, how can you dance without dancing shoes?   

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The next two hours was filled with me being so embarrassed that I forgot something so essential, explaining the shoe situation more times than I can count, being chided by my Big Girl because she had to wear sneakers on stage for rehearsal, and thanking God because a friend had an extra pair of tap shoes for Baby Girl to wear. But you know what? Once I separated my actual life from my own well put together timeline, I was free. Life itself is not carefully curated. It is messy and complicated with moments that don’t make the highlight reel, but those moments don’t take away from how fierce, dope, and wonderful we are. Besides, taking barefoot dance photos and dancing in sneakers isn’t the end of the world!

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