Living Like An Online Swan

Paul Jarvis raises a point on Medium that is always worth repeating:

What I share online only represents a tiny portion of my life. Sure, I live a pretty decent life, and really don’t have anything tocomplain about, but still?—?it’s not nearly as interesting as a lot of folks assume. And conversely, I’m sure a lot of folks I assume have an amazingly awesome, super interesting life are exactly the same.

I always say that life, especially online life, is like a swan. Everyone looking at someone else sees the graceful moves, the supple neck, the effortless gliding from one shore to another. Underneath the waterline is another story… it’s ugly, it’s splashy, it’s frantic, and it’s a heck of a lot of effort (much of it wasted) to get any sort of traction.

Never forget that I’m a swan in every respect:

So when I think about what I’m doing, I have to remember I’m not comparing like with like. The failures and knock-backs that I receive, the moments where getting the words out of my head and onto the screen are like detention with Umbridge, the struggle to get a work-life balance… everyone I am talking to have these moments as well.

I have to remember when I tell people some of the things I have been up to in the last year, they only see the top of my iceberg, so they are comparing my success with their struggles. We’re all human, we’re all putting on the best show for everyone else, and we’re all paddling furiously under the water thinking we are going nowhere fast.

I appreciate every day just how hard everyone is paddling.

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