Be warned, this ain’t no highlight reel. My friend Kathy, from The Junk Drawer, posted a video on Facebook this morning. Kathy tends to post more cats and stuff from Reddit than sports so I figured there must be more to it than sports. The video is an interview with Nick Foles after winning the Super Bowl where he offers some inspiring words of advice. You can watch it here.
In a nutshell he says don’t be afraid to fail.
And it is great advice, in fact it’s something for which I’ve become quite proficient.
But that wasn’t what caught my attention. I had the sound off when I watched the video – like I said, Kathy posts a lot funny cat videos and you don’t need sound for them – and most videos have closed captioning embedded in the video, so I can just read what he is saying.
What he said that caught my eye was this: “In our society today, with Instagram and Twitter, it’s a highlight reel.”
Now, this isn’t earth shattering news. We’ve talked about how Facebook and other social media can be bad for our self esteem because we compare our worst days with everyone else’s best days. We don’t even have to compare our worst days, any days compared to what you see on Facebook is enough to have most folks running for the hills.
I’m no exception.
I’d just returned from my therapist’s office where I cried for half the session because my life sucks.
I don’t post that shit on Facebook. I post funny little things that amuse me and hopefully others. I post funny little things that annoy me that everyone can agree with like bad drivers or some such trivial crap. I don’t post, for the most part, about the struggles I have been sinking in lately.
It may be that it’s February and that’s just a shitty month to get through – it’s dark, it’s for lovers and there’s too much cake this month. But mostly it’s because I don’t want people to know what a loser I am.
This Ain’t No Highlight Reel
And before you all tell me how great I am – I know I’m not a loser, it’s just the thing I tell myself when the day to day shit is hitting the fan.
For instance today I started off kicking myself about the shit I kick myself about every morning. I am behind on laundry, I forgot to make lunch for the kid and was running behind, I had the therapist’s appointment, which I’d forgotten about and was now going mess up my morning routine and there are dust bunnies everywhere. They’re not even hiding under the furniture anymore, they’re out dancing in the middle of the room and reproducing like, well, bunnies.
I was kicking myself about all that when I decided I wasn’t going to do that today. Instead I was going to focus on what I had accomplished – I built a kickass website yesterday and created a pretty cool marketing plan that should be easy to implement. I got my daughter to all of her appointments last week and still got my work finished. The IEP isn’t done, but I’m ever so slowly learning what I need to do to keep it moving forward. I had some great ideas for things I wanted to write and was looking forward to working on that.
And then I checked my bank balance and noticed I was -$300. Apparently in a fit of organization I set a couple of bills on auto pay without bothering to figure out how I was going to cover them. It was completely my fuck up and now it was going to start snowballing with overdraft fees.
In the 45 seconds it took me to check my bank balance I let the wind out of my sails. I dropped my kid off at the bus stop and then broke down in tears – ugly cry kind of tears – as I drove off. I started thinking about how much my life sucks and how I just can’t get my shit together. How nothing I do seems to be enough to get me out of this trajectory I’ve been on for most of my life and how much I just need a break from it all.
I even prayed to God, someone or something I am not sure exists, because I have nowhere else to go for help.
And then I beat myself up for asking him since I’d been praying to him since I was a child and so far it’s just been a one way conversation.
I even considered selling my soul to the devil, but after contemplating what that might mean decided I couldn’t do that. I would be fine being damned to hell for eternity, but if I had to do something like hurt another person or animal, I just couldn’t do it.
And these are just the tip of the iceberg. I still have all the problems surrounding my ex, family drama, my computer freaked out last week and I lost three days of work because of it, and no one remembered my birthday except Facebook friends. And as I type this I am aware what a whiner I sound like. Which is why this shit doesn’t make it to Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.
Though, now that I think about it, Instagramming the dust bunnies might be fun.
I’ve even got more problems than this but I’m at 870 words and know I’ve lost most of you. Hell, I’m boring myself.
The point is, this is not a highlight reel. If you’re having a tough time of it you can be sure someone else is too. You are not alone in your suffering. Everyone has these moments, some more than others but we all have problems.
And that makes us all losers!
And there should be some comfort in that, right?
I don’t have an ending for this. I have no point to make except to say that I know I am not the only one who has these stupid struggles. I feel inadequate (totally nailed that word on the first try!!) when I see people sharing their vacation photos or book deal – when I can’t even seem to get control of the dust bunnies. A vacation with happy people seems so outside of what I am capable, that I just feel like giving up. The bar is so low for a win, that when I actually spell words like “inadequate” right the first time, I feel like I won the lottery.
So no, this ain’t no highlight reel, but it is real.