Behind the scenes of Life

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.”

highlight reel

“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

PicMonkey Collage 660Healthy Hop

19 thoughts on “Behind the scenes of Life

  1. Hi Zee,
    Reading your words felt a bit like therapy–which is a good thing for me! I can totally relate to moments of insecurity in my life; a tendency to compare myself to others; even the envy I sometimes feel in comparison to some friends and associates. Thanks for stirring the pot. It’s actually healthy to self-assess and to connect with the person in the mirror and speak truth to self, regularly. It’s such a pleasure to experience your blog. Thank you so much for sharing this insightful post with us on the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Blog Hop! I appreciate it!
    All the best, Deborah

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    1. Hi Deb,

      Thanks for popping by and leaving a comment – it’s great to give some of my older posts a new audience 🙂 As you say, it is so important to be honest with ourselves! While there can be benefits to some level of comparison (like admiration), it’s important not to get caught up in it.

      I’m glad you found this piece therapeutic. I have been out of this sort of negative headspace for a while now and I can look back on these experiences in a whole new light.

      Keep up the great work, Deb – sharing, interacting and writing great articles!

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  2. Zee I am right there with you. The harder I push myself the less I feel I can succeed. If you notice I periodically drop offline for a few days to recharge. I will look at other people’s posts sometimes, but not comment and not post anything of my own. I feel sorry for myself that I am not getting anything done. Some days I want to mope around and not hear about other’s success stories while I am reading and rereading my draft thinking about how bad it is!

    I am starting to think we all go through this! Then in a few days we snap out of it and realize how silly it is to compare our lows to someone’s highs. Keep up your great work and thanks for this post. Makes me feel better and brought a smile to my face!

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    1. I think the Cheshire Cat put it best: “We’re all mad here!”

      The more feedback I have had on this post, the more I am SURE that we all go through this, and that’s just a little bit comforting.

      Also, yay for smiles! Smiling is gooooooooooood 🙂

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  3. Great post. We do forget that while others’ lives might look shiny on the outside, they are usually going through pain and discomfort of their own.

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      1. Yes, I agree with that! Often we’re very careful not to whinge in public, but the result is the impression that we lead charmed lives.

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  4. Totally hit the nail on the head Zee. Social media is shocking for highlighting only the exciting aspects of our lives. I am the same with the negative… my twitter was littered with the two extremes… exciting stuff (in my mind) with filming / acting projects and the often negative and always dull weight loss / fitness journey. I guess the thing to remember is to always focus on the aspects of your life that are good and be grateful for those! Easier said than done.
    Great article!

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    1. Cheers, Paul. And I love hearing the exciting stuff you Tweet (I don’t always reply, but I do always read!). Definitely focus on the good, but for me it’s also about accepting that sh*t happens, and it’s not just okay, but GOOD, to feel sad or angry or frustrated about it – it doesn’t mean I’m a terrible person, or not living up to expectation.
      As long as we’re trying, then we’re getting somewhere. Thanks for your comment xx

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  5. I got drawn in by the quote about highlight reels and behind the scenes. That’s a great way of putting it when it comes to comparing ourselves with others. But I ended up reading your whole post and to be honest it was exactly what I needed to hear today so thank you!

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    1. It’s a quote I read a while ago that really stuck with me. Shared experience can sometimes be very comforting – I am glad you found what you needed in this reflection. Take care xx

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