Coffee Cup Chats | It's Okay...

Coffee Cup Chats is a weekly column where we all meet up, morning java in hand, to tackle some of the issues artistpreneurs deal with daily. It's a place for sharing stories, learning, and laughing at ourselves. Today's post is a follow up to my post that was featured on Design*Sponge about escaping the comparison trap. I hope you like it. As always, please let me know your thoughts, add-ons, insights, etc. in the comments! xo.

"Don’t compare your behind the scenes to 
someone else’s highlight reel."

"Featured again on [insert the coolest blog in your genre here]"
"So thrilled to be invited to [cool industry thing that you weren't invited to]"
"Had so much fun hanging out with [namedrop] at [locationdrop] last night"
"I just love my job! I get to travel to [exotic location] and hang out with [killer adjective] people."

We're all a part of it. The constant barrage of fantastical goodness that is the image of life put in front of our eyes by social media. Everyone is perfectly styled and beautiful. Everyone is doing fantastic things. Everyone is hanging out in the most exotic and wonderful locations. Everyone is friends with everyone except (seemingly) you. And to be quite honest (because it's pretty much what I do here, if you haven't caught on yet) it can all be a bit overwhelming. Especially if you are one of the millions of people in the world who happens to be going through some real stuff right now. Real real. 

No one likes to air their skeletons or their dirty laundry. And when your business and your social media overlap and combine it can be hard to share things that aren't 100% sunny for fear of appearing unprofessional or ungrateful. And that's fine. And that's probably smart. Social media is what it is. I'm not here to try to redesign the wheel. All I'm saying is that we need to remember what it is and that it is a shiny spinning spectrum of all the best things happening in the lives of the people we know. Its it a true representation? Absofuckinglutely not. When you read twitter or facebook or even Pinterest, remember that you are viewing the world that it presents you through the rose colored glasses of positivity. Everyone is only sharing the best things- their highlight reel. So when you start to get down (as it's so easy to do) reading amazing thing after amazing thing that is happening for the people you follow (and not so much happening for you right now) remember that they've probably got some real shit going down in their lives behind the scenes as well. And if they don't right now, they probably have before. What's that quote? "Be kind because everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle"? I think that's how it goes. And it's true. Everyone has loads of crap happening behind the scenes. So stop comparing your real life with everyone else's highlight reel. It's difficult, I know. And let me tell you, it's okay not to be okay all the time. Sometime's life is messy and sometimes it completely sucks and it's dark and dreary and sad and intense and all those things make you the wondrous person that you are so it's okay. It's okay if you're in a gloomy space, you don't have to be sunny all the time. 

In fact, just turn off twitter and facebook and your computer in general and go outside for a few minutes. Reconnect with this twirling gemstone of a planet that you live on. Breathe in the invisible substance that sustains every cell in your being and marvel at the fact that you are traveling through the expanses of space at 67,000 miles per hour and yet you feel like your stuck standing still. Stretch your muscles. Watch the trees bend in the breeze. Feel the sun on your skin. Feel the warmth from a star so far away from you that that light took 8 minutes to get to you and traveled 93 million miles. The Universe is conspiring on your behalf. Bask in it. You are here, right now. This is your life. Now go back inside and tweet about how gorgeous it is outside and make someone sitting under a dreary sky jealous. 
Just kidding. ;)


11 Said Something:

  1. Absolutely right! As a business owner I know I always say things are great and we are busy, even if we aren't, because I know that people like to deal with companies they see as successful, not struggling. I've gotten caught up in it too and been bummed out that some other florists in the city seem to be living bigger lives than me- and then I have a heart to heart with them at market one day and find out they are up to their ears in debt and financing their business on their personal line of credit- looks (and tweets, and facebook updates) are always deceiving and even more so in the business world- it is all about spin. It is very hard to not believe the hype when you are feeling low about yourself, so i try to concentrate on those low days on thinking about the good things I've done- makes it easier to read about the lives of the rich and famous.

  2. I really appreciate your honesty when writing about topics like this. It is so the truth that people feel the need to make their lives look absolutely perfect to everyone else who is watching and then it makes you feel like crap when you read about them and compare it to your life at times. Things like this need to be said. It makes you feel normal.

  3. I love this post so much. This is such an analogy for life - how we see the best of others and the worst of ourselves. Well written, thanks so much for putting it out there.

  4. Love this! I remember sharing your original quote with several other people & it's such a great visual of over-sharing on social media and always feeling like you aren't the most amazing mom+photographer+writer+chef+crafter all at the same time.

  5. I love these Coffee Cup Chats. I always look forward to them and you hit the nail on the head every time!

  6. I love these posts. You say so well things that if i go to write them they just come out as a big dreary skied jealous outburst. And we all know how those can damage your personal brand! ;) Thank you for writing these posts :)

  7. Thank you for reminding me about the highlight reel. I might bake some perfect lemon poppy seed muffins, and take wonderful pictures of them, but I decided I'm going to show how dirty a kitchen is supposed to be during and after the baking, and how messy a studio can get when you're feeling the inspiration. I think seeing other people realize this and enact this on their blogs and facebook updates would mean deeper connections and friendships instead of that air of competitiveness.

    Most of my favorite bloggers have a voice that actually sounds human because they do vent a little about what's going on in their life. And THEN they happily share their highlight reel.

    I especially enjoy reading about your real life experiences. Your confessions and honest telling of becoming a mother and an artist have been touching and I commend you for keeping it real. :)

  8. I feel like you wrote this for me :) Thank you.

  9. You're right. I recently facebook friended my co-workers, one of the clients I'm working for, a chorus I joined of people who all act like mothers to me and my own mother. My facebook page has officially become a highlight of good/exciting/interesting things that have happened. In some ways, it makes me think harder about the good things happening in life is a good thing because I don't focus on the bad as much... but it's DEFINITELY a false impression.

  10. I absolutely know what you mean. I recently friended my coworkers, my client, my chorus that all treats me like their daughter and my own mother. My facebook has become a very fantastical reality. At least if I ever need a reminder of the good things, I can always go back and look at what happened on those days, right?

  11. Enjoyed your article, keep up the good work.


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