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by • August 9, 2013 • Life As I Know ItComments (7)1135

Behind the Scenes

Manager’s Log. Month 2 Complete. Brain full. Sleep debt still needing to be cashed in. Where am I? What happened?

I’m about to mark two months in my new role, and what a wild ride it has been. When I left my last role, I wrote down thoughts about change and transition, perhaps from a place of heady optimism and a renewed energy from the momentum of change. I was as nervous as I was excited, but I knew the change was needed. Onward and upward!

More like down(ward) and out(ward) …

I wish I could share with you ‘best practices’ for surviving and thriving through change. I wish I could tell you stories of how I successfully managed to navigate the choppy and murky waters of transition.

Instead, I want to tell you the truth.

Change is hard. Really. Freaking. Hard.

Not only did I start a new job just under two months ago, but I have also been moving, renegotiating relationships with family, flying out to Atlanta for a perspective shaking LeaderShape conference, flying back to Toronto early to say goodbye to my Nanny, planning #satechTO and trying to keep up with the other projects and responsibilities on my very crowded plate. I tell you all this not to elicit sympathy or admiration, but to provide context. Two months has suddenly become the longest and shortest amount of time I’ve ever known.

While scrolling through Facebook and Twitter, I feel the familiar rush of pride I have for so many of you. You’re all doing amazing things and becoming more awesome people with each moment and new experience. I couldn’t be more thrilled and honoured that you’ve allowed me this glimpse into your world. However, perhaps harkening back to many discussions we’ve had about impostor syndrome and highlight reels, that pride can be quickly overshadowed by comparison, the truest thief of joy if there ever was one (thanks Roosevelt).

Steve Furtick said “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” How true that’s been for me! Highlight reels of smiles and happiness and triumph in the face of adversity were no longer inspiring and, instead, seemed like ideals I could scarcely reach. Again, I don’t mean to imply by any stretch of anyone’s imagination that you shouldn’t share the good and I absolutely never want you to stop celebrating your successes, big or small. What I do want you to see now, though, is not my highlight reel but my behind-the-scenes.

I’ve cried more in two months than I have all year. I’ve thought about quitting almost daily – quitting my job, buying a one way plane ticket, sometimes even the simplest ‘rebellion’ of not answering emails anymore. The grass was always greener on the other side; on any side that wasn’t mine. I shut down. I got grumpy (okay, really grumpy). I was on a thin line between utter despair and outright rage. With no feeling of stability inside seemingly endless and overlapping changes, I was (am) lost.

Perhaps I’m writing today as a need to vent, but I think I also felt compelled to share my thoughts to virtually stand up and scream that it’s not always alright, and it doesn’t have to be. I never want to feel bad for feeling bad, and I never want you to go through that extra piece of hell. I wrote most of the paragraph above in the past tense, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still my present. It’s messy over here, and I think it will stay that way for a while.

This is a scary post for me to publish. I’m afraid of my own negativity, and afraid of letting other’s see it. But, today, I felt compelled to share it. To be the voice in the surge of positivity that demands no guilt or shame but, rather, a real and authentic voice. It’s not always okay and that, my friends, is more than okay.

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7 Responses to Behind the Scenes

  1. joeginese says:

    And that, my fellow readers, is how to define authenticity.

    Well done Lisa.

  2. I think more of us need to find the time to share our behind-the-scenes with each other. I think about parenting, and how in your worst moments you start to think you have to be the worst parent in the world and obviously no one else is having this problem because you see all the adorable facebook posts. And then you finally get away for drinks with other friends who are parents and you start sharing your “war stories” and you realize “holy crap, I’m not so bad after all”. Social media makes the highlight reel comparing so much harder because it’s right in your face. Thanks for giving us a glimpse behind the curtain.

  3. Amma Marfo says:

    Posts like this are needed to remind those around us, and ourselves, that most of what we see is a highlight reel. Messy is uncomfortable, but it’s also unavoidable, inevitable, and real. Thanks for letting us see yours. The online world needs more of this, and impostor syndrome exists because we don’t.

    Hang in there, my friend <3

  4. laurapasquini says:

    You don’t always have to be “happy day Lisa”… it’s okay to just be. Hang in there, L. Let me know what you need from me.

  5. I’m late to the party, but this post, Lisa, is wonderful. It’s so much what I’ve been thinking about lately in regards to the behind the scenes that we all experience but seldom share, and it’s important for folks to see that even those of us who seem to have our shit together sometimes struggle, too. Heck, it’s important for US to see it sometimes. And the next time you’re riding the struggle bus, this post can serve as a reminder that things aren’t meant to be all high fives all the time :-).

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