This topic came up from a chat (as in a real life, face-to-face event) with some friends that I often interact with online. After the important stuff was sorted out (you know – coffee, tea, cheese-and-crackers) we started talking about how things had been going.
One friend said:
“I’m really excited about you guys’ projects, and how you’re really making progress, but it makes me feel slack in comparison; it feels like I’ve gotten nowhere with any of my goals.”
“I wish I could play the last couple of months in my life to her – ‘cause it really doesn’t feel like I’ve been making a huge amount of progress,” was the first thing I thought of, and in afterthought, “Preferably in montage form with appropriately pathetic music.”
We’re all guilty of it, especially in the era of the internet & social media, where we tend to post about our lives in a pretty decent light. It’s not that I try to make myself look uber-amazing, I just don’t really want everyone to know the low stuff – it’s embarrassing, it feels like attention-seeking, and it’s not something I really want to re-hash.
I’d much rather tell you how proud I am about exceeding my word count, than how I wasted three hours doing nothing-much on the internet, another having lunch in front of “Princesses: Long Island”, then stressed about how little time I had before needing to leave for work that it was all-too-overwhelming and I had figure out the best way of covering up a tear-stained face.
The truth is, the time that I’ve been writing this novel draft has been the lowest I’ve ever felt. Ever. Not because writing has been draining, or because I’m a tortured artist, or any of those stereotypes. No, it’s because I’m a frickin’ human being, people!
While you’ve seen me write some pretty-decent-if-I-say-so-myself articles about looking at life with some objectivity, having a positive outlook, reaching goals in writing, and pushing out of my comfort zone with film projects, my day-to-day life has been somewhat different.
I am far more critical of myself than I am of anybody else, and I constantly see people doing amazing stuff and looking at life with a calm, balanced perspective (I’m sure you can relate). Combine this to dealing with some emotional issues that I haven’t been properly processed yet, and you end up with a smorgasbord food fight of emotion, frustration, and nerves. Or something.
There’s been a lot of tears shed for no good reason, days where I was *this close!* to deleting my manuscript because I was convinced it sucked, lying in bed for hours in the morning trying to convince myself that it was worth getting up, more tears, missing important social events because I’d chosen to work part-time to write and I couldn’t afford to go out, desperate calls to my partner about fears of being alone, tears, fantasies of dying, or at least disappearing… and did I mention tears?
The reality is, my reality is quite different to what I choose to show the public – or even close friends. Sure, there’s the good stuff that I tell you about, the thoughts I think are perceptive & positive, and the exciting achievements. BUT those are just the highlights. You don’t see the behind-the-scenes, and you don’t need to (they’re behind the scenes for a reason) but you do need to know that I have them, and you have them, and the Dalai Lama has them. Make sure you remember that next time you see little-miss-success-money-happiness-AND-social-life post about the latest awesomeness that has touched her life, remember that it’s just her highlight reel.
We all have out-takes. What are yours?
This post is shared at Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Hop