I had a full day yesterday – went to church in a smaller group setting (less than 10 people, don’t worry), helped my boyfriend with some content he’s creating, got my hair done, and spent a couple of hours on the phone with one of my good friends. I will say, even though it can be difficult to quarantine, this is the day and age to do it! With technology where it’s at right now, video calls and texts are super easy ways to stay in touch
As usual, whenever I’m on the phone with this particular friend, we discuss a number of topics, and one of them was about what people see others doing versus what they’re actually doing. We each experienced people telling us that we were thriving and constantly working towards our passions due to what they were seeing on social media, and we both expressed to each other that, even though that’s what those people perceived, it wasn’t necessarily the case.
Yes, we are both making progress in the things we loved to do, but it wasn’t as grand as those people think it is. I know I am guilty of viewing others like this too, and what tends to happen (at least for me personally) is that I’ll start to compare myself, and will start feeling frustrated about where I am in my own work due to what I’m seeing.
Now, I won’t say that what I’m seeing other people do is fake; they very well may be making some amazing progress in what they’re doing! But I feel like maybe the main expectation that people have when they do see someone succeeding in their passion is this: that it’s easy for that person. That maybe that person just has the perfect skills, personality, assets and resources for them to do what they’re doing, and you don’t possess any of that.
I find myself being guilty of this – I see someone posting on their social media about the things that they’re doing, and I feel like they’re truly thriving in their craft…which makes me feel some type of way about how I’m personally doing in my own craft. I start to believe that maybe I’m not cut out for the passion I’m pursuing if I can’t reach a certain benchmark in my own goals.
I believe the general reality of everything I’ve written above is this: nothing is as it seems. We can make assumptions and judge how and what others are doing all we want to, but we will truly not know what goes on in the lives of others unless we ask them, and they offer that information to us. We can’t possibly know how others are feeling as they pursue their dreams, creative or otherwise. So we cannot presume that it is easy for anyone to achieve what they’ve done.
I’ll tell y’all my personal reality: sometimes, I get SO STRESSED OUT thinking about all the possible things I can be doing with my craft. I have so many ideas I want to execute, and honestly, I’m in the middle of executing them! But when I really think about how all of it is going to get done, I freak out; I seek to accomplish an easier task (say, a photo shoot) because I’m overwhelmed about working on the other projects I’ve got in the works.
Thanks to some good people who love and support me, they remind me of the reasons why I do poetry, and how doing something I love shouldn’t be stressful. I shouldn’t be overwhelmed about the next things I’ll be doing if I’m focused on why I do it: I don’t do it so that I can become a famous poet and make a ton of money off of it (although those things would be awesome). But I do it for the reason I wrote about in my post last Friday: to connect with people’s emotions, and to have them feel like they’re not alone.
And that’s just one perspective. Everyone has their own reality when it comes to doing the things they love. Some have similar realities to mine. Others might be working hard, but may not have a good support system to back them up, so they emotionally struggle. And everyone goes through moments when they feel like maybe they can’t do this. Things will get hard, because life isn’t easy.
a word of advice?
Let’s all focus on our own plates. Let’s stop looking at what others are doing, and assuming that good things will happen to other people and not to us. Let’s continue to work hard, and to push past the negative thoughts we may feel, and strive to move forward in our dreams! Keep seeking God for guidance and wisdom through your process. Ask for help when you need it. Don’t be afraid to do things on your own if you need to. Do not rush it! Take your time. And make sure you’re not pushing yourself extremely hard to the point that you aren’t getting enough rest!
I love y’all, and hope you’re all staying safe and healthy during these times! Keep going, no matter what! And if you’ve read any of my blog posts and liked them or shared them with anyone, I give you a huge THANK YOU! Your support in doing any of those things as I’m continuing to create in this time means a lot!