I’ve commented to friends how I think the world would be a better place if we posted crying selfies sometimes. Especially in this day of social media where everyone is taking 10 takes before they post the perfect picture, trying to build their brand of happier, prettier, stronger, more perfect, you name the -er. All you need to see it is to take a perusal through your Instagram or your Facebook news feed.
It feels more and more like the world is becoming a fake Wisteria Lane-esque environment of happiness and perfection. It sometimes makes bad days feel even worse because in this envelopment of shiny, happy, fakeness and perfection lies a lonely feeling of being the only person that is having a crappy day, and not wanting to show any vulnerability to talk about it because the illusion is that everyone is having the perfect day and life all around you.
Juxtaposed with this shitty day today that I will share, also lies a hell of a lot of perspective. I’ve had two high school classmates diagnosed with cancer in the last month, one of who tragically passed away yesterday. And yes, it feels even worse sometimes to know that you are having a bad day when someone who you remember as having a wonderful demeanor and smiling face in your grade 9 high school band class (that you needed all the smiles and kindness that you could find because you couldn’t make a saxophone sing to save your life), no longer has the privilege to take a breath on this earth anymore. May you rest in peace Gord (yes I am crying).
It is in the spirit that being on this earth is a privilege and maximizing our time on it is a necessity that I’ll be real and share a day that maybe some of you have, and maybe others of you are immune to. I don’t know. My social media exposure doesn’t really give me a good idea of what is going on in anyone’s real life.
Let me tell you that I love my job. It is a privilege to feel like I am impacting kids sharing a sport that I love and creating an environment that I wish I was always so lucky to have. I sometime imagine that it is like parenting where one minute you are on cloud nine as something incredible and wondrous happens, and then things turn upside down and maybe you’re just having a weak moment, but something about what happens just makes you just want to give up and cry. I had these range of emotions in the span of the last 24 hours.
The good first.
I invited one of the players that has been doing well at our clinics to play with our regular kids last Friday. I could see she has ability, but the first Friday night she seemed shy and didn’t impact the play much. Last Friday night, she balled. I mentioned to her Dad how impressed I was with his 10 year old on Friday and he told me something that made a little part of me cry with happiness on the inside. When she got there, before I came, the girls were kicking the ball around and playing. She didn’t know anyone so she was standing off to the side, feeling awkward with a couple of other new girls.
Three of our 10 year olds, went over to her and asked her if she wanted to play and when she didn’t have the right jersey offered to go and get her one. Her Dad said in all of years of soccer coaching and playing he had never seen such a welcoming environment and commented on how special our culture was an how obvious it was how much the girls loved to play. He said that after that small act of kindness he could immediately see her brighten up and her play reflected that. He said she was so happy on the car ride home.
After sharing that story, I won’t even get into what got me upset, but likely it had to do as much with my sensitivity and weakness of needing to feel appreciated for what we put into our program, and sometimes how we all are guilty of not being aware of what we say and do affects other people, especially parents who are understandably very invested in their children.
My sensitivity to this, is something I need to work on for sure. I know I need to toughen up, because with over 70 kids in our program with 70 parents concerned with what is best for their kid, it is hard not to sometimes feel overwhelmed when even a few people have concerns that they want to address.
But today was just one of those days that I wasn’t the picture perfect Facebook, Instagrammed ball of happy positivity and joy.
In fact after some frustrations last night, I started my day up at 6am and as I drove to Crossfit, I just decided I didn’t want to go. So I drove to Starbucks and sat aimlessly in the coffee shop for an hour. Then I proceeded to drive home and make pancakes (I stopped counting after I had pounded ten of them). And then I drove to an appointment with a financial planner which reinforced to me, how much I am in need of planning and a direction in general, which I have struggled with since I reached my soccer goals. And then I went and sat in another coffee shop. At that point, since I was just feeling crummy about the day in general and decided that I was giving myself the day off of working out, I decided to go all out. I went and got pizza, went for some nutella and salted caramel fro-yo, and topped it off with a mocha. Because as you can see when I’m having a bad day, I am of the comfort food variety in my dealings.
I came home (feeling like I was going to throw up from my food coma) and turned on the TV and it was like god was trying to send me a message that he knew where I was at, when this scene from Goodwill Hunting came on immediately. I cried obviously because that is what you do when you feel that something is speaking to you, and then you cry because you’re just sad that Robin Williams is no longer with us. And then you are crying and you don’t even know why you are crying.
After watching the end of Goodwill Hunting, I continued to watch more movies than I have in the last year, and took on the Johnny Cash movie and Erin Brockovich and Big Daddy. In the meantime I took a break to get up and fulfill my craving for popcorn, and drove to the grocery store to get some and also fielded a call from my good friend Dave who wanted to make sure that I hadn’t had a calorie overdose. Because on days like today, you’re extra grateful for those friends that you can be real with and who always can be counted on to make you laugh.
But my point in all this. Having a bad day is ok. It’s ok not being perfect, and shitty days allow us to decide to have better ones. Weakness is ok, and it’s ok to show it sometimes, and lean on the friends that we can be vulnerable and be ourselves with, the good and the bad. Realizing that there are a lot of us, behind the Facebook newsfeed airbrushed perfection having bad days and that we should always keep that in mind and show kindness and compassion to everyone. It’s a chance to learn and to be better and to take baby steps towards being the best version of ourselves that we can be. It allows us to give gratitude for being a human and experience the full range of emotions that remind us of the privilege of being alive.
Maybe it’s time to make the world a little more vulnerable and real and start that crying-in-a-corner-the-world-doesn’t-make-perfect-sense-and-its-ok-but-I-will-better-tomorrow selfie trend. I mean if duck faces can make a splash, I don’t see why my mascara-tear-stained face can’t, right?