“Don’t compare someone else’s highlight reel to your behind the scenes.”
Sometimes you read and a quote and you think, aw that’s cute. Maybe a quote makes you giggle or you paste it into an e-mail and off it goes to a girlfriend that will get it. Rarely will a quote truly resonate and leave you thinking about it afterwards. The golden ticket is when you are able to use it in conversation and those around you go, “I’m writing that down.”
With social media, it’s easier than ever to compare your behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. We have a few close friends and more acquaintances than ever. My Facebook feed is an endless source of engagements, puppies, and babies. In college it was full of girls I knew looking like rock stars going out all the time (it seemed.) My twitter is source of updates exploiting who is with who, who just met, who is where. It’s enough to make even the most social (not socialist, like I almost wrote) butterfly feel like a shut-in.
Like those statuses, and comment on those pictures, because you’re confident in yourself. Don’t wish you were there, wonder why you didn’t get the memo, or try to figure out how her hair, skin, and outfit ALL look perfect. We each have our highlight reels, remember to celebrate yours.
My hope is that people don’t put their behind-the-scenes in a tweet or a status update. There will always be people that do, and for me, it’s uncomfortable. If something big is going on and it isn’t the best news in the world, I want to know because my friend called me to talk about it and not because she made a Facebook post about it to anyone she’s ever been in a class with or met at a party. I try not to post anything that I would be uncomfortable sharing face-to-face with friends at a get together. Unfortunately, the people that post about the he-said/she-said are also the kind that would share it to group of people and single handedly clear out a picnic table until the one person who couldn’t think of a reason to walk away is left and stuck.
My guru, Regina Brett, has another quote I often refer to, “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” In her book, she tells a story about this point. She’s talking to friend of hers that she knows a bit but not all that well. I think she complains about the hassles of raising a daughter and the headache she has from her. The woman kindly explains to her, and not in a patronizing way, that she has never been able to have children and has had some heartbreaking miscarriages. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t in tears just thinking about the story. I have to remind myself to lovingly complain. Finals were awful, but I get to have finals because I have the opportunity to earn my Master’s, so for that I’m grateful. For Regina, and now me, we learn that having something to complain about is really, usually something to be thankful for. It’s hard to lose something you love, but gosh is it good to have had something to love than not at all.
We are intimate with our own struggles. They are overwhelming, consuming, and messy, but they are ours. I wouldn’t trade mine for anyone else’s. It is okay to whine/wine a little about them. It’s okay to take solace in your friends about them. When you are upset, knowing that there are children starving will not make you feel any better. Let your trials and tribulations empower you. I believe we are not given anything we can’t handle. (Sometimes I do wish that the greater forces at be did not trust me so much though!)