I am living the dream. Before you make any judgments, let me explain a few things. My life is far from glamorous. I have less than 1,000 Instagram followers. My photos are low quality and not exactly frame-worthy. I don’t have TikTok or Snapchat. I don’t keep up with the latest trends. My hair is often frizzy, I haven’t gotten a manicure in years, and I wear drugstore makeup. I am not a celebrity, I am not an influencer, and I have no claim to fame.

But I can say without a doubt that I am living the dream. I wake up every morning to my husband, who is also my very best friend. We work very hard at our jobs every day to provide for ourselves and our family. We have the sweetest 7-month-old daughter, who makes every day a new adventure. I have a very close relationship with my wonderful parents who I truly admire. I have amazing siblings, in-laws, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, who all inspire me more than they know. We have great friends, some who we’ve known for decades and others that we just met this year. We are healthy, involved in our local church, and grateful to live in an awesome neighborhood.

When I look at my camera roll, I see it all staring back at me. The silly smile of my little baby girl, who looks to me to share in her joy and to help her feel comforted. The peaceful happiness in my husband’s eyes, whose steady demeanor serves as a constant reminder that he will always put us first. The pieces of our home in the backgrounds- the hand-me-down toys scattered on the floor, the fresh fruit on the counter, and the warm walls wherein we feel safe. These little snapshots of my life mean everything. Most people will never see these pictures. They will not go viral, they will probably never even make it onto social media- but they are a reflection of what means the most to me. They are my dream, documented.

If I measured my life the way the world does, I would’ve missed it. And that would’ve been a real shame. To be reaching for a life that never fulfills when I have the life I’ve always wanted right in front of me. It doesn’t matter how many followers I have - as long as my daughter follows the good example that I try to set. It doesn’t matter what my pictures look like - as long as they are joyful memories made with the people I love. It doesn’t matter how many likes I get - as long as I like the person I am at the end of the day.

I encourage you to evaluate what your dream looks like. Now, look around you. Do you see your dream in your current circumstances? If so, focus on that. For me, ever since I was little, I wanted to be a mom and have a family. Now, when I’m rocking my teething baby at 3 AM, I try to focus on the truth of the matter: I am living my dream. My dream of having a family, of being a mother, of being my baby’s safe place. I’m tired in the moment, I’m a little overwhelmed on a daily basis, but I am so happy and so grateful to be living the dream.