Energetic. Bubbly. Joyful.

These are all words people have used recently to describe me.

One person even said, “I wonder if you ever have a bad day.”

Another said she admires me because I am “so together.”

While these comments are sometimes flattering, sometimes that make me wonder if I’m being fake.

I do NOT have it all together and some seasons my bad days far outweigh the good. In fact, I’m in one of those seasons right now, mostly due to family issues, health problems, and things beyond my control. But I rarely share these things on my blog or on social media because I’m a relatively private person and because the Internet is not my therapist.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t write about our troubles. I think we should because people need to know they’re not the only ones struggling. But I believe I should only blog about my mess once I’ve waded my way through it so I will have something valuable to share.

I have a small circle of friends who know all about all my mess, friends that I go to when I need to cry or curse or both, friends I’ve had to turn to a lot recently. But when it’s time for me to help the women who read my blog, who attend See Jane Write workshops or who sign up for one-on-one coaching, it’s time for me to tuck my troubles away. I’ve realized that’s not being fake. That’s just being an adult. You didn’t pay to hear about my problems.

So I’m not here today to throw a pity party, but to remind you that you cannot truly know someone because of what you see on social media or at social events. This is why comparison and jealousy are such a colossal waste of time and energy. Don’t assume someone’s life is perfect just because her Instagram feed is. Don’t assume someone has it all together just because her blog or her business is on point.

Likewise, please know that my life is not my blog. My life is not a Facebook status update, a tweet, a square snapshot on Instagram, or a 10-second story on Snapchat.

And remember to always be kind to the people who cross your path. You never know what pain lies beneath a smiling face.