The highlight reel is not always what it seems. It is so easy to scroll scroll scroll and think that each perfect square of smiling children, and happy couples, and adventurous lives full of friends, and merriment are so much better than the one that you are living.
My own highlight reel reads of a beautiful life. A loving marriage, happy, bright children who get to experience so many fun adventures, a booming business built from the ground up, and me at the top of it all, a smiling, blessed mom.
But behind the scenes, the reel has scratches, flaws. My business, that I have poured everything into: sweat equity, meaningful hours away from my kids, my marriage, my sanity … my whole identity lies in my business. I’ve thrived on my wonderful customers wanting what I provided; I loved being wanted. And the bubble seems to have burst. What I provide is now a dime a dozen and it seems to have become stale for at least me, through no fault of my own from what I can gather. And so that it does not become an expensive hobby, draining on my family, it may be time to call it quits. I have given it everything for the last seven years, and I have been very blessed to do something that I truly love for all this time. And now it is honestly crushing me on the inside to potentially have to walk away from it for a job that will provide for better financial stability for my family but will not have my heart.
The business stress weighs heavily on my marriage. The love is, and always will be, there but the immense amount of financial stress now on my husband’s shoulders leaves us both feeling like failures. Me for putting us in this situation and him not feeling like he is doing enough, which is absurd. He is a wonderful provider for our family, but my combined lack of financial contribution and rising cost of living in the city are hard to combat and is both emotionally and mentally draining. The talks have turned to potentially having to move and that just breaks my heart, and in turn makes him feel worse. It is no one person’s fault, but it is easy to let the guilt push in.
We do our best to shield and protect our kids from it; they have a very blessed life. However they are smart and can see that we worry. We have had to explain that we did A, B, and C this week or weekend, so next weekend is a lay low and use your imagination to play with the toys at home. Not that that is exactly a hardship for children with a room full of toys, but I feel the pressure of “entertain me now!” often, as any loving, caring parent does. We want to shower them with fun experiences, building more perfect memory squares for you to like, and it is easy to feel defeated when we are unable to do that.
But we show you a pretty, filtered highlight reel. And honestly who wants to capture and re-live the struggles and difficult times. So we slap a pretty filter on it and hope that you do not see the flaws. But I promise you they are there. I am sure you have your own cracks that are not showing. Maybe we need to be showing more of the mess, the struggles, but being vulnerable is hard. So we will continue to “love” all of the pretty squares as we scroll along.