Last night I got teased for following more people I don't know on Instagram than people I do.
But my reason for this is simple. The people I don't know who I follow post really beautiful photos of the most random things, like a bowl of granola, or bedsheets mussed up, or the way the light hits certain objects. And while there's a lot of talk about the evils of Instagram breeding discontent, I merely follow these feeds because I just like to look at beautiful things. I like seeing what others are seeing as beautiful in the ordinary.
However, it got me thinking about beauty. I love beautiful things. It's like there's a little light switch that turns on inside me when I see morning sun filtering through trees, or steam dancing off a hot cup of coffee, or beautifully styled outfits that make people look like they care, or flowers arranged with artistic precision.
But currently there's not much in my life that's aesthetically beautiful. I'm on week three of living on a tour bus. My bed doesn't contain perfectly mussed white sheets, it's a tiny narrow bunk covered in black blankets. I don't have a beautiful bowl of organic granola and goat's milk, I have a Belvita cookie out of a wrapper and a white, coffee stained mug with my name label printed on it so that no one else uses it first thing in the morning. I don't look glamorous or perfectly styled, I haven't showered and my sweatpants have holes in them but I still refuse to throw them away.
This is what our lives look like most of the time. And guess what? It's so incredibly beautiful. When I think of my Instagram feed, it's full of beauty. Some of it is aesthetic, some of it is beautiful, real, stunning life.
A picture of a blurry ultrasound, taken by trembling hands that are more excited and terrified than they've ever been before.
Someone's first apartment, barren, empty, covered in gross carpet and one window in the corner to light up this step into gorgeous and painful independence.
A grainy photo of a family celebrating grandma's 94th birthday, a life full of meaning, adventure and beauty. Her smile wide as generations of her faithfulness surround her.
It's all so beautiful I could cry.
And sometimes life surprises us and all the types of beauty collides, a beautiful bride shines with deep and trembling joy. Sometimes beauty is snow falling outside your window while you nurse a cup of coffee and a book.
The beauty of living on a bus isn't in how it looks, but in what it means. I get to do this crazy life with my husband. I know we'll look back at these days where I wake up and lean over the edge of my bunk to see if he's awake in his. Where we share quick kisses backstage and cups of lukewarm coffee.
These are the moments of beauty I love. The ones I'm grateful for.