A Much Needed Sniffing of the Roses

Gabi Dykema

More stories from Gabi Dykema


They say take time to smell the roses, but I don’t think I have ever fully understood what that means until now. I’ve gone my whole life dwelling on the negatives that I think it’s hard sometimes to take a step back and realize that I’ve been pretty blessed in my life. It seems like I’m not the only one doing that, though. All around me, people are complaining about other people or problems in their lives.

No opinion that you can have is free from judgement, even though the point of opinions is that they are our own, that they reflect on how we look at things, not how societal norms or anyone else does. America is supposed to be the land of free speech and a melting pot of cultures, so why do we find ourselves just as persecuted as any other country?

There’s something strange about the constant aura of perfection the modern human has to emit to reach an amount of likes decent enough to convince ourselves we’re good enough. We work so hard to put up a facade and to compete with others on social media with whom we compare ourselves, only to fall short and realize that our vanity has us lacking even more self-confidence than when we looked in the mirror and thought we were pretty enough to post a selfie on Instagram.

It seems so sad to me that instead of spending Thanksgiving being thankful with friends and family like I should have, I spent most of my time scanning social media and inadvertently comparing what others have to be thankful for to what I have. Never did I realize how defeating that is to the purpose of this holiday, or how much effort most of these faces plastered on my feed so perfectly thankful put into making their lives something that they’re not.

In reality, it doesn’t matter how cute you look smelling those roses in pictures, it doesn’t really matter what you post, or even IF you post something, when you don’t take some time for yourself to actually enjoy it. I hate to say it, but no one that is looking at what you post matters more than your happiness.

Thanksgiving has passed, but if you’re like me and regret not truly appreciating what you had on the 26th of November, it doesn’t have to end there. There is never a day that is a bad idea to  make your appreciation known to those around you and to yourself as well. Social media doesn’t have to ruin your recognition of things that make your life better; it just means that you should always take a step back and realize we all have different things to be thankful for, and a picture on Instagram doesn’t mean that someone’s life is better or worse than yours – it means that they can edit a picture better than you and that’s it.

So take as many pictures as you can smelling the roses, throw on as many filters as you need to convince yourself that your precisely worded caption is the truth, whether or not it actually is. Nothing really matters if you don’t pause and inhale life’s beauty. As Natasha Bedingfield would say about living your life for yourself, “No one else can feel it for you, only you can let it in.”