When I first joined Medium, I debated what picture to set as my profile picture. The profile pics on my social media accounts are all plants. I am a little bit obsessed with the perfection and symmetry of plants. 

But I felt a green and leafy plant wouldn’t be giving off a very literary vibe. 

So should I just put a pen as my picture? No, that would give off a boring, stationery vibe. 

Or should I just put an abstract art picture so that I could remain anonymous and type away without abandon?

 Hey, but what if I became famous and Oprah FINALLY wanted me on her couch?

Will the real TINA VIJU please stand up.

How would I convince her that I am the real ‘TINA VIJU ‘?

Yes, that’s a point to remember!

Being a mom, I am the memory keeper. I am usually behind the lens clicking those timeless moments. So I don’t have many pictures of me.

 The pictures that I do have are ……..let’s just say, not very presentable.

Exhibit A

  • ***********For Mature Audiences, may cause seizures.*******

SORRY, for any vision problems caused by my blinding beauty.

Now you understand why I went with the picture in my profile!

A picture gives us a fleeting glimpse into a person’s life. It tells us a story. But is the story TRUE?

Just like my profile picture. I wanted to give you the illusion that I looked decent even if that wasn’t the case!

There are many things we want to convey to others with our profile pics.

  • I have it going on. Just look at me! 
  • I am so SMART. I understand Bitcoins and Brexit. (I will never understand those 2 things!)
  • I am educated, polished and wear a tie. Find me on LinkedIn.
  • I am the creme de la creme. I drive a Ferrari and have gold teeth.
  • I am a daredevil. Watch me jump out of this aircraft.
  • I love my family so much. Family is everything.
  • I am genuine, honest, warm and friendly. A decent human being. 
  • I am just enjoying this thing called LIFE. Relax and Chill!

But the truth of the fact is that it doesn’t matter if you are the Pope himself, your TRUE personality is not revealed in your Facebook /Instagram or other social media pictures. 

It is only revealed behind closed doors when there is no audience watching you.

To the outside world, I would appear to be a calm, soft-spoken and gentle mother. But the mirror has two sides. I am anything but that. I am quick to anger, my patience tank is always running on empty and gentleness is not me. 

The smiling person in the profile picture, I am not.

Just ask my family who sees me behind closed doors. I am a rather grouchy, grumpy person. I frown more than I smile. 

I am good at writing words but pathetic at communicating with words. I am good at understanding human emotions but clam up like a tortoise when it comes to my own emotions. I am judgy and angry on many a day.

The skewed, twisted face person I more am.

I was smiling for about the 2 seconds it took for the photographer to click that picture at my daughter’s baptism. The next second, I remember getting mad at my son for wiping snot over his clothes. 

But there are no pictures of that moment. We only take pictures to document the happy, squeaky clean moments in our lives.

There are no pictures of our ugly tears, angry rages, dark flaws, anxiety riddled or green envy filled moments.

 Not very Instagram worthy, right?

Most of the time we are unaware of the personal demons that others battle with or the heavy sorrows they lug around while putting on a smiling front.

Kate Spade and Antony Bourdain had pretty amazing lives, we assume. We might have even wished to swap lives with them, thinking they had it all. 

But they were broken inside even though their pictures told a different story. 

“Believe me, every heart has its secret sorrows, which the world knows not, and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” 

There is an invisible pressure to PROJECT happiness/confidence /success and strength because ONLY that is attractive. 

Who wants to be friends with my twisted profile pic? 

No One! 🙁

What’s the WORST thing that would happen if our stories matched our BROKEN insides?

People might mock us and not accept us for our authentic selves.

Hey, but the HATERS are ALWAYS going to hate. That’s just what they do. We cannot change them. So don’t waste your time over them.

What’s the BEST thing that would happen?

People who were on the cusp of giving up, wrongly believing that they were the ONLY ONE who felt like that, would finally feel validated.

And isn’t that what we all want? To be SEEN for who we REALLY are.

That new mom facing postpartum depression, that young teen struggling with his self-worth, that recovering addict trying to resist temptation, that friend dealing with hidden suicidal thoughts, all just need one person to show and tell them that –

 No one has it ALL figured out. 

Even Jeff Bezos with his billions must still have things that keep him up at night either personal or business related.

We all have failed and messed up bad at some point. We all have been hurt and have hurt someone. We all have made wrong choices. We all have insecurities. We all have dark struggles we secretly nurse inside.

In short, we are all FLAWED, no matter how exquisite our pictures may look. So don’t beat yourself up.

I’m wary of the people who trumpet or humblebrag their great deeds. On the other hand, I find people who speak about their flaws and failures attractive because they are self-aware and their honesty makes them more relatable. 

That’s why I love Medium. People’s stories reflect their deepest, most authentic selves. It doesn’t get more REAL than it does here. 

So OWN your story and be proud of it ,no matter what it is.

The truth does set us FREE.

Thanks for reading!

P.S-Hope you got your vision back!


Mom,cancer geek,lover of words ,fried rice and DIY crafting. Visit Tina’s blog.
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Mom,cancer geek,lover of words ,fried rice and DIY crafting. Visit Tina’s blog.

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