May & June 2019 - A Photo A Day

A Photo A Day – Week Three

May 17

On Friday I rewatched both John Wick movies. I took this picture because I was laughing at how massive umbrellas are at funerals in movies. Like you can fit a family of five under there. I’ve never seen umbrellas like that in real life, but anytime there is a funeral on TV they break out the big guys.

Saturday we saw John Wick 3 and it was awesome and I cannot wait for the 4th one they’re planning in 2020. Love me some Keanu.

May 18

After our movie Saturday I was on the hunt to get to Salt and Straw and try their Skittles sherbet. It did not disappoint in any way. There were five distinct skittles flavors in one scoop and they all tasted amazing.

Salt and Straw is always busy and it isn’t my favorite ice cream shop in Portland, but every once in awhile they have a flavor come out that I have to go try. Notable mention to their rose water ice cream with saffron cream and pistachios. They have also taken a pledge this year to have at least three vegan menu items at all times and that is just the coolest.

May 19

Every Sunday morning when there is nothing going on I sleep in as long as I can, get up and make coffee and slap together some pancakes while watching David Attenborough nature documentaries in the background.

There are like eight of them on Netflix right now and I’ve already worked my way through Africa, both Planet Earths and Oceans.

I don’t know how this became a weird thing I do on Sunday now, but it’s been like this for a good few months now and I don’t really mind it all that much.

May 20

Okay, so….we watch The Bachelor in our house. Not just the Bachelor, but The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise too. It’s kind of a sick problem that I couldn’t stop at this point even if I wanted to.

Bama Hannah or Hannah Beast is our Bachelorette right now and she is very sweet and a bit weird, which I like. However, only two episodes in and she is sending all my favorite guys home and choosing to be impressed by two guys so far that have THE BIGGEST RED FLAGS EVER. It has been a bit cringy to watch this season so far because of this, but like a massive train wreck, you just can’t look away.

May 21

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Tuesday I had a doctor’s appointment before work. My doctor is ALWAYS late. I book her in the morning as her first appointment and I always see her duck into the side door of the building 15 minutes after my appointment was supposed to start and I’m like….I SEE YOU.

She’s a fairly nice doctor, but I’m thinking of switching primaries because I feel like she takes about two seconds to diagnose me after I tell her something and I’m always like….I wasn’t finished telling you about it. Sometimes it feels like she’s not really listening to me and any diagnosis she gives or remedy she thinks of she goes through it so fast that I can barely keep up.

Moral of the story though is if you feel that you aren’t being heard with your health….time for a new doc.

May 22

After work on Wednesday I went to celebrate my friend Megan’s new job here in Portland. The weather had been a bit dreary all week, but things finally started to turn for the better by the end of the day.

It was nice and sunny out and we went to some food carts and had beers and Indian food outside. I like to try to sneak in get togethers with friends when I can during the week. It’s good for the soul and helps break up the monotony of work-home-sleep.

I’m not a big picture taker when I’m with people because I like to be in the moment, but I asked Megan if I could snap a pic of her since she reads the site and knew all about this challenge. She happily obliged with a sip of hazy IPA and there you have it.

May 23

We had a video game night at work and I brought in my N64 along with a few classic games (Mario Kart, Donkey Kong, Perfect Dark, Goldeneye). We had some trouble hooking it up and eventually managed to track down a converter to work with the new TVs in the office.

I forgot how fun Mario Kart 64 is, particularly when you’re actually playing in person with people. We don’t do that often enough anymore. All multiplayer games are almost always played online now. There is something great about having to be hooked up close the to TV and in person, calling your friends a bunch of shitheads while they blast all your balloons away.

Finally, I wanted to thank everyone that participated this week in the hashtag #PictureTheLittleThings!

Your responses were so great. I love seeing what people do on an average day. Instead of sharing the highlights of our week and acting like that’s all we do is go on adventures and have fun – sometimes we are just sitting at home relaxing, or reminding ourselves about a song we like, or posting a picture of ourselves we love, but wouldn’t normally post. Thanks for sharing guys!

May & June 2019 - A Photo A Day

A Photo A Day – Week Two

May 10

(I’m the shortest one in the middle of the group of yellow shirts).

Friday I took the day off work with a few coworkers and we took advantage of our free volunteer day with Habitat for Humanity. The opportunity came around last year, but I was too busy at work to take advantage of it. I almost didn’t got this year either, but since our proposal got canceled I had some free time.

I posted an up close photo of me on my Instagram, but I thought later that it was more important to show the entire group that worked that day. Habitat employees do not get paid that much and their dedication to their work is really impressive and inspiring. They rely a lot on volunteers to get their work done. The homes we helped build and clean this day will be open and ready for move-in to four local families in the area in July .

We are a general contracting firm so a lot of the people volunteering had some great knowledge of power tools and hands on work. I was not one of those people and didn’t want to do anything with ladders or things that could kill me so I went outdoors to do yard work. I thought this was a safe bet, but instead I ended up chopping down trees with a hand saw for four hours. Then I painted some doors. We had beers after, which was nice, but I was starting to notice my arms hurt. I went home, showered and texted my husband to wake me up at 7pm. After I woke up from my nap I dragged myself, and my forearms that felt like jelly, to go see Detective Pikachu – spoiler, it was adorable.

May 11

After sleeping in a bit on Saturday we headed to the store for camping supplies and then took off to our favorite campground on the Oregon coast, Nehalem Bay State Park.

I took a lot of great scenic photos and posted on Instagram another one of myself just staring at the ocean. All beautiful and serene but my favorite photo I took from that day that I didn’t share was this one. If you look at the top right of the log it kind of looks like two eyes and a face screaming in pain and being burned alive. I had a few beers and thought this was the funniest thing I’d seen all day. Less funny now, but worth forcing myself to share.

May 12

Saturday we woke up and packed up our camping gear to have coffee on the beach. There were a ton of people out with their dogs and we really enjoyed just watching them run around and get water and sand everywhere.

Half way down the beach we were surprised to see a woman on horseback gallop toward us. I snapped a pictures just because we don’t see it a whole lot.

Apparently the dogs don’t either because they started chasing the horse down and running in between its legs – much to the dismay of the horse owner.

I really love just taking advantage of a quick weekend getaway in nature.

May 13

Back to work Monday, and it was a pretty average Monday.

At lunch we went somewhere where they had Vodka Lavender Lemonades. I had to go back to work so I just got a Lavender Lemonade, which was really exceptionally good and had a cool ombre tone to it….but like most things in life, it would have been better with vodka.

May 14

I had a terrible migraine for this entire day. It just steadily got worse until it took over everything.

I was trying to watch The Bachelorette, but my head was killing me. Now that I think on it, watching something that makes me want to tear my hair out probably wasn’t the best idea. Side note: I can’t BELIEVE Bama Hannah sent home Old Matt Donald and the paper airplane pilot – they were adorable).

Anyway, eventually it got so bad I couldn’t even function anymore and while I was trying to brush my teeth in the dark to avoid the light murdering my face I came back into the room to find the bed made and turned down for me. Sometimes it’s the small things.

May 15

After sleeping for 11 hours I was feeling pretty good on Wednesday. The weather took a turn here in Portland and we went from 80 degree days to 60 degrees and raining. I didn’t mind. I get really sick of the heat when there’s no water around to jump in. The rain was welcome. This change of weather did mean that it has been harder to get outside for lunch and walk around without getting soaked.

I took this picture from our communal kitchen. I love how much natural light we have in our office, it really helps when you’re stuck inside all day.

May 16

Welcome to the UPS drop box by my work that has been my constant companion the last few weeks.

The problem is heels. I have a wedding I’m a bridesmaid for in June and I need a pair of heels. I own one pair right now due to my minimalist wardrobe and they are dark blue and don’t really work with rose dress I have to to wear. So I’ve been ordering a pair of heels every three days on Amazon hoping one pair will maybe one day fit and also be comfortable to stand in for eight hours. When they don’t (so far all seven pairs have failed me) I drop them off here at the UPS drop box that has become a fairweather friend.

Keep sharing photos on your social media of your own every day moments that you wouldn’t normally share with people. Thanks to everyone who has so far – it’s been really enlightening! Let’s use the hashtag #PictureTheLittleThings and I’ll share some of the best ones on here next week!

May & June 2019 - A Photo A Day

A Photo A Day – Week One

May 1

After an exhaustive three week effort at work to get a proposal completed we were told that our corporate office in London was cancelling the proposal. It was a good thing really, because we shouldn’t have been going after it in the first place. Also, it was completely emotionally and physically draining. We were going to have to work weekends and honestly the deadline was beginning to feel impossible. So all in all it was a good thing. The downside was that we had just killed ourselves for the last three weeks to get this done and now it all felt like wasted time. I was going to have to go to Indiana for a review meeting so I was pretty happy because Indiana is a place I’m not sure I ever need to visit. I took this picture of my desk, which was very messy and included a hodgepodge of all the different work we had been doing. Right after I took this I shredded everything.

May 2

Our new place we moved into in March has been really lovely. It’s clean, relatively quiet and we are near some really great walking paths.

The downside is the parking spot that we are assigned to has a garage and a driveway. I leave before my husband and get home before him so we have to do this car shuffle thing every day to make sure my car isn’t blocked in.

It’s a minor inconvenience that doesn’t irk me as much as the fact that this spot sits right beneath a ledge that birds love to sit on and poop. Every day now there is fresh new bird poop on my car.

May 3

Everyone has one thing they consistently spend too much money on. This is mine. “It’s The Famous” is a local salsa made in Salem, Oregon. It hovers around the $7.99-$999 mark depending on the store you go to. It is an extravagant amount of money for salsa.

However, trust me when I say it is worth it. I feel like you haven’t tasted salsa until you taste It’s The Famous.

This was the highlight of an extremely bland day.

May 4

There are a million nature pictures all over the internet so I didn’t show this one I took on Saturday. It’s also not that exciting.

We went to Fort Vancouver, which despite being only 20 minutes away we had never been.

When I was reading U.S. Grant’s biography it was mentioned he had spent time at the Fort before the Civil War and I was really interested in going just to be in a place he had talked so highly of. It was really beautiful. Mt. Hood was out and there was weird people dressed in period wear eating biscuits. There is also a free air museum. We watched small planes take off a land right next to the highway.

The Fort was really beautiful and I took this picture looking up into some trees because it was finally the perfect weather in the pacific northwest and the wind was rustling softly through the branches. It just felt right.

May 5

I spent Sunday cleaning and grocery shopping for the week, but more importantly Game of Throne was Sunday.

Only two episodes left, which is kind of crazy. I captured the part right where Sansa tells Tyrion a thing. I write Game of Thrones recaps for my podcast’s website if you haven’t read them yet. They’re nothing special but kind fun. And they’re also dark and full of spoilers.

Husband made this fatty casserole for dinner so I was on my second helping during this scene.

May 6

I had to get my oil changed because we’re planning a lot of road/camping trips in the near future. We always take my bird shit car because it’s big and nice and made for camping.

I went to a new place that advertised $24.99 oil changes only to find out my car takes fancy oil only, which is pretty annoying because it cost me $65. It came with a free car wash though. I use the word free lightly. I got the bird poop off the car, which was great until I went to work the next morning and there was a fresh one waiting.

May 7

This was a pretty emotional day for me. I was drained by work and some personal things, but promised to meet friends for happy hour.

I came home at 7:45, put the fan in the window to pull in cool air and went to bed with the sun still out. We have air conditioning, but I couldn’t justify using it this early in the season. Adulting it hard.

May 8

I went for another happy hour Thursday after work. My friend picked a new bar I’d never heard of by my work and we sat outside and caught up for a bit.

They had my favorite summer beer, a Stiegl Grapefruit Radler. I wasn’t really in the mood for drinking, but this beer tastes like straight up carbonated juice with a kick and it really hit the spot.

The bar had a really fun vending machine with prestamped and addressed letters to Trump at the White House, copies of The Great Gatsby and the classic pregnancy tests. Something for everyone.

May 9

Thursday this week was my Friday due to a volunteer opportunity that came up that I’m really looking forward to.

I was on a call from 6am-2pm and it was…well, exactly how you’d think a call that long would be.

When I finally resurfaced I ran out to grab some lunch at one my favorite little carts called The Whole Bowl. I saw a guy there with a ‘Rabbit Rabbit’ tattoo and asked him if I could get a picture of it. One of my coworkers months ago mentioned that at the beginning of the month you’re supposed to say ‘Rabbit Rabbit’. It’s for luck or something weird. I’d never heard this before, but now it’s an on going joke at work every first of the month.

Rabbit, Rabbit y’all

I’ve got some fun things planned for this next week so I’m exited to take pictures of stuff I’d normally not share on my social media and share with YOU all. This has been a really fun way to reflect on my week. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too. Share with me a photo you took for just yourself this week, or of something you liked, but didn’t share on social media. Let’s all be more aware of our average days.

Honest Pictures · January 2019 - Honest Pictures

Honest Pictures – Week Four – Mental Health & Motherhood

We made it! Week four of honest photos. I wanted to close this challenge out with mental health and motherhood. Before we get there I want to reiterate what I’ve been trying to show you all with this challenge. Here is the takeaway: SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT REAL LIFE.

Let’s go back to the ‘girl Greek island’ I Googled after I asked myself to close my eyes and imagine my dream vacation. I just posted the first picture I found, but the truth is I could have chosen from thousands.

“Our depictions of travel on social media have become an area in which homogeneity has started to be seriously discussed. The problem is all pictures have become identical: iconic tourist destination in the background, woman with the back to the camera wearing a cute dress, clutching at a straw hat. When you travel to any picturesque spot in the world today you encounter lines of young women trying to recreate the same images”

Katherine Ormerod, Why Social Media is Ruining Your Life

There are entire blogs dedicated to where the best photo ops are at tourist locations and if you go to them you will see a LINE of people waiting to get that same exact shot. So I want to remind you again. Here are some images of the same place all those above pictures were taken.

The barriers in question

Really quickly I want to tell you a story of when I was in Vatican City. I was wandering around this pillar statue that was in the middle of the area with all of these stone barriers surrounding it to stop assholes from ramming their cars into it. These really stunning young Swedish women were sitting on two of the barriers with one empty between them. They had their fashionable boots up on the empty barrier touching in the middle and they asked me to take their picture. I took several because I know what it’s like to want OPTIONS before you post. I gave their phone back, they thanked me and I got back in line to get into the Basilica. I passed the area again twenty minutes later (the line to get in is very long), and the two women are still there. This time I watch them ask a guy to take their picture. Have they been there this entire time? He takes their picture, they examine it for a moment before asking ANOTHER PERSON to take their photo. You guys. Is this how we spend our travel time now? Sitting on a cold stone barrier all day asking people to take photos of us in the same positions until we get one we think is post worthy? This can’t be our lives….

So here’s where your mental health comes into play. Weeks ago I asked you all to close your eyes and imagine your dream vacation. I bet most of you thought of photos you’ve seen online from OTHER PEOPLE in locations all over the world living their best life. The truth is you don’t know what was going on in that person’s life when they took that photo and had a caption that just said #bestlife or something else equally absurd. We’ve all done it. We’ve all posted inaccurate representations of our lives. I hope that the last three posts I’ve done have shown you that. What I want to challenge you all to do is when you start to feel that fear of missing out, the anxiety of not living as ‘exciting’ a life as what you see other people doing online, take a step away from the photo that is making you feel that way and imagine the real story behind that photo. If you imagine the girl looking at the ocean with a small Greek village island surrounding her, imagine seventeen other girls standing behind her waiting to take that same photo. Is that how you want to spend your time? Waiting to take a photo of your back so you can put it online and make people feel envious? Is that how we want to spend our time, money and life energy? I’m going to go with no.

The feelings you might have when you see photos like this can be extremely detrimental to your mental health. It can lead you to feel like you aren’t enough. Impostor syndrome starts to reel it’s ugly head. I challenge you to unfollow anyone that makes you feel inadequate. I used to follow a ton of celebrities on Instagram. Now the only verified accounts I follow are the Obama’s (duh) and The Happy Pear, because those boys bring me JOY. I used to scroll feeds of beautiful celebrities feeling less than, wishing I could have the life they do. Without those posts in my minds eye every day I feel so much happier. I follow people I know in real life. My feed isn’t so overwhelming now and in turn I find myself engaging more with people I actually care about and know. I challenge you do to the same. It will do wonders for your self image and mental health.

NOW ONTO BABIES! is a phrase I never thought I’d type.

I want to preface this with the fact that I am not a Mom. I don’t plan to be either, but I suppose you never really know. However, I have a lot of lovely wonderful friends who are mothers and some who are even about to become mothers! It’s VERY exciting for me to witness. I am so impressed sometimes when I see people I grew up with or people whose hair I used to hold back while they puked who are now actually raising small infants and doing a damn good job at it too. I wanted to talk about motherhood though because Ormerod’s book has an entire chapter on it and I think it can really help some women out there who are struggling because even I know, as a non-parent, how fucking hard it is to raise children and god damn people on social media who talk about it like it’s fucking sunshine and rainbows all the time 24/7. Mostly because it can make mothers who aren’t experiencing that to feel like complete shit.

I think we all need to do a better job of being up front and honest about raising kids. It’s okay to show beautiful family photos like this one (the two following excerpts from Ormerod’s book):

“You may see a photo of someone baking vegan treats with their kids, pristine homes in the background, handsome husbands just out of eye shot…these can make a mom who hasn’t showered in three days and eats take out noodles feel incomplete.”

So you feel like shit when this happens because they make it look so easy! Why isn’t it easy for me! Well here’s another bit that I suggest thinking about when you see something like this and it makes you feel less than:

“You can take a perfect motherhood pic and then get right back to the sofa with your sweatpants with baby sick in your hair and no one would know. There is zero point in using those perfect images you see to judge yourself on what you’re doing. ”

The truth is, and I say this with the limited extent of my lens as a non-mom: Motherhood can be a very vulnerable time. As women, we could all do with telling each other our honest experiences, particularly when it comes to our bodies. Enough of the shame.

And don’t even get me going on ‘body bounce back’ shit. Okay, I’m gonna get going on it anyway. Women’s bodies are kind of fucking incredible. We literally GROW HUMAN CHILDREN in our bodies. FOR MONTHS. Our bodies change drastically in this time. Not to mention all the crazy shit that can happen to them after the actual act of giving birth. This disgusting pressure we put on mothers to have the exact same bodies as they had pre-birth is one of the worst things we do to a mother’s mental health. You have just been through something truly incredible and your body will need time to heal and repair itself. Sometimes it doesn’t always go back to what it was 100%.

Celebrities in particular have staff dedicated full time to get them back into shape within weeks of giving birth, with nutritionists, personal trainers, the luxury of not having to go back to work right away 9-5, not to mention NANNIES. I don’t know any mother in real life that has those kinds of resources at their disposal. Most of them just seem to be trying to support their new families as soon as possible after their baby comes into the world (via their vagina. Did I mention women’s bodies are kind of amazing and also insane).

Fuck you Maria Kang. An average person’s ‘excuse’ could be a number of things. You make it seem like laziness is the only reason we shouldn’t all have six packs eight months after giving birth. Seriously, Google ‘diastutie recti’ you can’t even lift heavy objects for months after this shit happens to you never mind, 10 lb dumbbells. Come now.

Not every woman’s pregnancy is the same. Our experiences during and after this time are really going to be unique to our own bodies. We need to listen to our bodies and not let photos other people may take while on similar journeys make us feel bad about where we are at in our own journey.

Okay, whew. We made it and I’m only left feeling slightly angry after typing all that. Just one more ‘GO MOMS’ for all you amazing women out there procreating and shaping our next generation. If you want to do a good job, then you already are. If you’re worried about if you’re doing it right then you’re doing it right. Just like with schooling, careers, and every other facet of human lives NO ONE REALLY KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING. We are all just doing the best we can. We are all this dog:

Remember this dog. Print this dog. Put it on your fridge. Put it at your desk. Put it on your child’s forehead. Life lessons.

Remember if photos of other people are making you feel like shit….unfollow them. They aren’t doing it on purpose (I hope!), but that doesn’t matter. You gotta do you first. Don’t let these images of a moment in someone else’s life, ruin YOUR life. Remember that that’s all it is: a moment! We don’t know what was actually going on before, during or after that photo was taken!

That wraps up honest photos month! I hope you all enjoyed it. Let me know what you thought in the comments or anywhere else online. I’m pretty much ‘hollishillis’ on every platform. If you have ideas of what I should do next let me know! I have February mapped out for my monthly challenge and it’s a doozy you guys. I’m actually having real anxiety of how I will manage it. Here’s a hint: news.

Push-up Update: I’m back at it! The first week I did knee push ups and fucked up my shoulder, then I was out two weeks, but I’m back and doing wall push-ups now. I’m trying not to feel weak and sad about this. My journey is not everyone else’s journey. I have to take care of my body and go slow and as much as I want to just get back down and do the knee ones again I’m going to do the wall ones for another week and then try to move to the knees ones again. I did 40 total this week and I was a little sore, but nothing was damaged so I’m feeling good. I still think I will be able to do 100 real push ups consecutively by the end of the year. Slow and steady wins the whatever. See you all for February’s challenge next week!

Honest Pictures · January 2019 - Honest Pictures

Honest Pictures – Week Two – Honest Social Media

LiveJournal: 2004-2006

MySpace: 2005-2007

Facebook: 2007-Present

Instagram: 2013-Present

That is the lifespan of my social media accounts. These were and are the big four where I can remember portraying myself for the first time in a way that wasn’t always 100% honest. These four platforms of Live Journal, MySpace, Facebook and Instagram are the ones where I put enough of myself into them that I can still go back and see what kind of person I was pretending to be when I was on them. Livejournal wasn’t for pictures. It was for airing your teenage thoughts in an extremely vague way and hoping someone would comment and ask you if you were alright or say that they thought you were funny. It’s the first social platform I can remember being solidly addicted to. Here is a sample of 15 year old me being sad on it.

This was the least embarrassing entry I found. I cringed so hard today reading all these that I think I broke a blood vessel. I was the weirdest teenager. Also, remember when texts cost money and weren’t unlimited?

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) MySpace took off in such a different direction than it was in in the early 2000s that you can’t go back and see your posts or your friends. Profiles have changed and the platform looks nothing like it once did. If you still have an account you were too lazy to delete, it’s impossible to go back and see what you’ve posted, which is probably a good thing. I remember being a bit of wannabe ‘scene kid’ when I was in high school. I was really into going to local shows, dyeing my hair bright shades of red, wearing belts sideways, and taking many many selfies with my giant digital camera hoping that I could pull off a great MySpace bathroom pic.

This is the closest I ever got in photo form to feeling like I was belonging of being super fucking cool *CRINGE*

It was the first time I remember feeling like I could never look a certain way. Remember those scene hair cuts the girls had? Short, weird layers, highlights, parted on the side. I wanted to have one so badly, but my hair was just too thick to pull it off. Now I love my thick hair, but I remember just thinking it was the worst thing to not look like everyone else I was seeing online. I also was poor. I couldn’t go buy band t-shirts, collar shirts to stick under them, multiple studded belts, etc. My parents would also kill me if I got snake bite piercings, which fortunately I only wanted really badly for a week or two. This is all extremely embarrassing now that I type it up, but it’s the truth and it’s important to tell it because this was the first time in my life that I played the COMPARISON GAME.


Then came Facebook. Instagram luckily didn’t exist in 2008-2009 when I first moved to Seattle to go to school. I can only imagine how my mental state would have deteriorated even further from it if it was around. I did however post on Facebook a few times about how awesome I was doing, how Seattle GOT me and how I was living this great life at college. I felt like I had to lie and let people think I was doing really well there. I saw everyone else living their best lives online and I thought, why is my life not like that? Not even thinking that maybe those people weren’t doing as good as they said they were.

Truthfully, I hadn’t really made any friends, I lived in a single dorm, ate alone and walked to class alone. I had a few friends that were living in the area and saw them sometimes, but mostly I was alone and my boyfriend at the time (now husband) lived six hours away. My parents had just gotten a divorce, I moved to a city I didn’t know anyone in, I was dealing with a some problems that were all about to come to a head, and I was depressed. I didn’t even realize it at the time, but it took me a year after I graduated and moved back home to finally understand how bad it was.

Starvin’ like marvin’

Facebook was JUST taking off and no one really understood how it worked yet, or what you were supposed to do with it. I didn’t really post on any social network sites during this time, but I have a few pictures I took of myself during this time and was close to developing an eating disorder. This is one of the few pics I have at the time. I wasn’t unhealthy thin yet, I don’t have any pictures of that time, but I was eating hardly anything and I continued to from October 2008-June 2009. Luckily I moved back home after I graduated and my eating habits returned to semi-normal although it wouldn’t be until 2012 that I really felt I had a normal relationship with food again. I still look back at my time in Seattle as a really lovely time, but sometimes it scares me to think about the person I was becoming.

Essentially all this so far has just been to show you how social media shaped me from my very first account until now. How we put the version of ourselves out there that we want other people to see. To show you that what you see isn’t always the truth.

Then came INSTAGRAM. I resisted getting an account for SO LONG, but finally took the leap in 2013. I do really enjoy Instagram. I’m not knocking it, but I think it’s important to be honest about our lives when we share photos and also to help people realize that what you’re seeing is a curated, chosen snapshot of someone’s day: not the real life they are living.

I think the best way to show you the truth is sharing some photos I posted during the first two years that I moved from Spokane to Portland. The in between time from my undergrad degree in Seattle to my life in Portland was filled with a great part time job in Spokane with the best coworkers who turned into the best friends, lots of drinking (I just turned 21) and getting a masters degree because I didn’t want to grow up and school seemed easier. Also Spokane had ZERO jobs at the time and I eventually turned 23 and really needed to get my shit together. So I started applying to jobs in Seattle and Portland and I got one in Portland immediately so I put in my two weeks, packed up my car, prepared to do a long distance relationship (again) and peaced out of Spokane. I was nervous, but excited. I wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing, but I knew I was never going to find the job I wanted in Spokane. Also, from the moment I moved there in 2002 I’d been trying to escape.

Peace out Spokane. Bigger and better pastures is what this picture says. What this picture doesn’t tell you is that I spent two hours crying before I took it, not wanting to leave my boyfriend (again) and unsure if I was making a good decision.

I was going to stay with my Aunt and Uncle in Portland until I could save enough to move out. Jesse was planning on following me once he found a job and all we had to do was save money and wait. It would be EASY. And if it wasn’t easy (and it wasn’t) I sure as shit wasn’t going to tell anyone about it. I started my new job the next day and realized quickly that I had fallen into a terrible, terrible call center scam. Oh, stupid me. Stupid me. Still, it wasn’t a bad company and if you could crush it hard enough at sales you could move up to actually do search engine marketing for them (the job I thought I was getting). It just took some dedication and time. Unfortunately for me, I’m really bad at sales. Really bad. Mostly because I don’t believe in them. I’m really against selling someone something they don’t need or really want. So for the next two months I got up at 4am, drove to work pep talking myself and crying, got on the phones, didn’t make sales, and felt like complete and utter shit.

Honesty for once, but I tried to turn it into a joke. I was drinking half a bottle of something every day.

One great thing about Portland is we have the BEST food. THE BEST FOOD. I didn’t know anyone and I was sad so I spent a lot of time after work eating. And when that didn’t make me feel better I spent a lot of time after work drinking. I made this all sound VERY cool of me but I was putting on weight and getting majorly depressed. Even more depressed than my time in Seattle and this time I knew how to recognize it. All I wanted to do was sleep. On the weekends I’d wake up, pretend to be normal for a few hours and then go in my room to pretend to job search and just fall asleep again for six more hours. I was spending every moment I wasn’t at my awful job sleeping, drinking, or eating. I missed Jesse. I missed my old job (actually almost tried to get it back and admit defeat). I missed having friends. I missed not having panic attacks at the thought of going to work.

Mercifully the job fired me at the 3 month mark (just before I would have been eligible for health insurance, nice job America). **Side note: I was able to get insurance for a year and a half after this for free through the affordable care act and I am so grateful. It allowed me access to birth control, dental care I desperately needed and antibiotics when I had an infection during this time)** I was confused, scared, but also a bit happy because I didn’t think I could handle it much longer. I kept it to myself for a few days intending to tell Jesse on Monday. Instead he called me first and told me he found a job in Portland. Well….here we go. We decided to make the move official and he came to live with me in my tiny room at my Aunt and Uncles where I put on a brave face and job hunted while he went to work every day. We were both pretty miserable and it was definitely a low for us. I blamed myself for moving us here and our unhappiness, but we honestly couldn’t go back. There were no jobs where we were and Jesse liked his. That was a silver lining. I would job hunt like crazy, go on interviews daily, but anytime I wasn’t doing that, I was back to sleeping and eating and pretending to be happy when I was awake (luckily I kicked the drinking). So what were my posts like during this weird limbo period? Oh they were the exact opposite of my real feelings. A bunch of pics of me eating Portland food and living my best life in the big city. Ooo the ocean! Ooo bridges! Ooo cheese factories!

Sometimes the truth soaked through and I let people see a bit of what I was feeling (see below), but I never really just came out and said it. I AM DEPRESSED. I REGRET MOVING HERE. I SPEND ALL DAY IN THE DARK SLEEPING OR WATCHING TV WISHING I COULD TAKE BACK THE LAST THREE MONTHS.

I’m grateful we moved here though. I really love Portland (it’s been six years!) and I’m so happy we came here for several reasons. One of them being that I got to know my niece really well, who was just a newborn when I first came. She’s been such a joy in my life and I’m so grateful I got the opportunity to watch her grow up.

I’m going to stop here in late 2013 and pick up next week right here as I talk though the photos I was posting after this time in my life. Mostly because it’s really career and job focused and I wanted to talk about social media and photos we post in relation to money and careers. I’ll be sharing what I posted during the few shit jobs that followed this period all the way up until now. Sometimes I was honest…sometimes I wasn’t.

I want to wrap up honest photos on week four with some truths about motherhood and pregnancy. I am not a mother and I have not been pregnant, but the book I’m reading on Social Media had a really wonderful chapter on this that spoke to me as a woman and I wanted to share. Also, I know a lot of you reading this are pregnant or have kids and I think what I read was really important and I want to share it with you all.

Let me know in the comments about your social media untruths. Was there a time you made a big life decision and made it look MUCH cooler than it actually was? Until next week.

PUSH UP UPDATE: I didn’t want to share this with you all because I was embarrassed, but in the realm of honesty I have found myself in this month….I had to stop push ups this week because I hurt myself. This isn’t as embarrassing as showing you that clip from my LiveJournal, but still I’m not very pleased with myself. Sad to say I probably should have started with wall push ups instead of knee push ups. I’m recovering now from a pinched nerve in my shoulder and an aggravation of my mild carpal tunnel (yay office life) in my wrists because of the work I’ve done so far. I didn’t want to stop making progress (because I really was), but I also was warned from a friend to take my push ups easy because if you push your body too hard when it’s not ready you could end up doing some real lasting damage. So I listened to them and to my body and stopped. I’m hoping to pick back up with wall push ups next week once I feel I’ve fully recovered. I’m committed to doing 100 real push ups in a row without stopping by the end of the year. I just have to take a bit of a detour. Any advice if you’re an exercise person IS welcome.