Some days, like yesterday, I'm super over Facebook, and all of social media, and wish I could do a cleanse. Other days, like today, I see that I'm less than 1,000 people from reaching 500,000 followers on my page and I'm reinvigorated to keep on.
While I take some slower days, there are no real breaks or days off when hustling for your dream. What makes it hard is not the work. I work harder now than I ever have at any "real" job. I love the opportunity to stay home with my dogs and video them and come up with fun skits and edit and meet hundreds of thousands of people all across the world. And 99% of the time, I put into practice having the skin of a rhino and the heart of a dove. But there are some instances that I forgot to put on my rhino suit before getting out of bed, and I'm left unprotected, just in my human skin.
Yesterday I wanted to give up. I wanted to quit all of it because my feelings got hurt. My integrity was questioned. My work ethic was questioned. My identity was questioned. I felt defeated. People forget that we are real people behind the screen. People also forget that they are real people behind a keyboard. The separation between the two allows for a kind of monster to pop up and act in a way in which they most likey would not in real life.
Thankfully, when cooler heads prevail, I remember that feelings aren't facts. And the small minority of people who have anything bad to say about us, most certainly do not deserve to outweigh all the good that so many of you bring to my life. The truth is that we've never been anything other than absolutely transparent about who we are, what we stand for and what our lives look like. Because of this, I have nothing to fear. I'm learning that no matter what I do, I cannot please all people. There will always be naysayers. It's just a fact of life, no matter where you live or what you do. But I don't have to take on others perceptions and judgments of me, the good ones or the bad ones. I refuse to own your feelings. I know who I am. God knows who I am. That's enough for me.
You may wonder then, why I care how many people follow us or why I can't just take a break. Other than the obvious that this is quite literally my job, the idea that I can affect 500,000 people to the nth degree with shares and tags, just blows my mind. It's a tangible way for me to measure, not my success, but how far my heart can go when I open it up and allow people in. It's not about ego or thinking, "Oh, this is the moment I've arrived." If we're living right, we never arrive. Each day is just another step on a never ending journey. And every morning I have to ask myself, how do I want to step into my journey today? Do I want to use it positively or do I want to use it negatively? The humility this affords me on a daily basis helps keep me on track as to what my ultimate goal is. I want to do good in this world. I want to bring joy and kindness and love to those that don't experience it often enough.
I lied and stole and cheated and quite simply, put bad out into the world, for a long time. But that's not who I am anymore and that's not who I've been for a long time. As cliche as it gets, my past does not define me. That's not how I choose to live. Knowing that at any moment, what I have to offer the world is just that - a choice, makes it easy to bring things into perspective. I can cause a smile or I can cause harm, whether to myself or anyone else. What's it going to be? And today, I'm not going to let a few small people derail me from what I know, with every fiber of my being, is my God given path and purpose.
I don't want any kudos or atta girls or anything. Truly. I know it seems my problems pale in comparison to some. But the reality is that it's not the situation surrounding us that makes us alike, it's the feelings underneath. We all feel inadequate sometimes. We all feel less than sometimes. We all feel unworthy or unloved or just downright a waste of space. You're not alone. I'm not looking for pity, and I don't fault myself for simply feeling. Some days I just want to share my thoughts and be heard. No response required. Maybe it'll remind someone that we're all human here. We're all just trying to get through another day and we have the choice to help each other or to harm each other.
And if you're feeling a little (or a lot) lost in a crowd of people... I see you.