This is one of my favorite pictures from the Off To The Races GNO last Thursday night, for so many reasons. One, it’s my friend Sarah. We met almost exactly one year ago at Girls Night Out. She came with a friend and has been adding joy to GNOs ever since. This girl knows how to have a good time. I really love this pic is because of something you can’t see.
The back story, behind the scenes.
Here’s the story. . . Sarah was just minding her own business with her cup of coffee from UP, as we were about to return from our break. She just happened to pass right by the front of the room where I stopped her to tell her how cute she looked with her fascinator and darling coffee cup (from Big D). Then I said, “Wait! Let me snap a picture!” and she willingly obliged. As soon as I snapped the pic, I went in to hug her. Wouldn’t you know it, I ran right into my bottle of DRY Sparkling Soda and knocked it over, all over her. I think most of it hit the floor, and we got it cleaned up quickly.
Of course she was incredibly kind, and gracious.
But when I look at this image, it’s such a perfect reminder of the reality of social media. It looks perfect. She looks darling with her beautiful smile, fabulous fascinator and gold-rimmed coffee cup. Everyone is laughing and having a wonderful time. Moments later it was chaos.
But the chaos didn’t make the pic.
The real-life messy part stayed under the radar, and that’s how it mostly goes with social media. In this day of our curated, filtered, and perfectly positioned stories, it’s impossible to know what’s really going on behind the scenes. We’re capturing and sharing all the good stuff, but leaving the messy spills behind the “curtain”.
That’s okay, to an extent.
Because, let’s be honest, the mess isn’t for the masses. The whole world doesn’t need to see us soaking up soda with napkins. It’s not really interesting or helpful. It’s more like a rubbernecking distraction. But it’s imperative to acknowledge the mess with safe people, whatever “the mess” may be. Pretending it never happened, may be a great slogan for a professional cleaning company, but it doesn’t work for your life.
You have to face it.
Acknowledging the mess, the hard things, and the hurt isn’t easy path, but it’s the only path that will take you were you want to go. . . to more joy, more connection, more meaning, and more purpose. You have to work through the messy things with the people in your life who are in it for the long haul. You know who they are. Your tribe, your circle, your people. Together you can jump in to mitigate the damage, address it, work through it, and put things back together again.
The mess isn’t for the masses, but you can’t face it alone.
You can’t heal it while pretending everything is fine. It’s okay to smile pretty for the pictures, but be ready to dive in with your good friends, armed with (napkins!) tissues, coffee and a couch.
That’s how you get where you want to go.
You go together.
to more love,