Right off the top, it’s important to know that I’m writing this in a somewhat depressed state. I’m frustrated, annoyed and feeling fairly down about a lot of things – so if it reads like a crazy person wrote it, understand that it might as well have been. I’m just having a rough 2016 and writing feels like therapy to me. I wrote recently about Brand Grudges, another ‘personal therapy’ post and while it did help clear my mind, it was only the tip of the spear.

Social media is a great tool for communication – but it is a horrible tool at being real, especially when it comes to ‘influencers’. In the world of content creation, the people who put out the happiest, (PR) friendliest, and colourful content seem to be living the best lives – they go on great adventures, attend exclusive events, get to test the latest products and just get to experience great things. This week, I went to a party at the Skydome and received offers to attend other events. I shared some of those things publicly, as is unofficially required in the relationship between (content) creator and PRovider. As a result, what people get to see is the amazing stuff that I get up to.

What you don’t see is that those things are some of the FEW good things in my life right now. Going out to an event where I’ll get to enjoy myself with friends and can leave my wallet at home because there’s an open bar/free food is the highlight of my week/month. Even in writing this, I’m being careful not to share too much of my current plight. Not because I don’t WANT to share it, but because I just know this world. Oversharing personal/private things, while it seems transparent and open to anyone reading, ends up being used as a weapon against you. The world of content creators has little room for honesty because your content is an escape for others. Everyone has the shit they are dealing with, so they don’t need to deal with yours.

Behind the scenes though, I am regularly questioning what the hell I’m even doing with my life. I’m trying to figure out my direction, trying to figure out how I get to that next step, trying to figure out how to move up in the world… and every time I feel like I have a direction and start working towards it – I start questioning what the hell I’m even doing with my life because the results are not coming. I question whether I should just take a job at a call center, or go stock shelves in a grocery store because while they will do nothing to advance my life, they will offer some stability/routine. But that feels like giving up on all the work I’ve already done – so I get motivation to recommit to the path I’m on, until I then compare myself to others and see how great they are doing… and again I question myself. And the cycle just keeps repeating itself over and over and over again. It’s a crushing mindset to be stuck in. Every success I have is mired with doubt that it won’t last longer than a day.

Ultimately, I know I shouldn’t complain – I can pay my rent (this month anyway). I have a great family. I have great friends. I am not sick. I do get opportunities to attend events where I don’t need to pay for drinks. I do get to work with great brands, and write, and interact with people online. I don’t have a terrible life… I’m just not anywhere where I thought I would be at this point. I try to keep a positive outlook on life, I try to remind myself that things take time and that if I keep working, the success will come. But it’s hard.

I feel like I’m walking in deep mud in the middle of the night… making progress but not moving fast enough to see the difference. The harder I work, the deeper the mud gets in front of me. Perhaps it’s perception or my own doing or it’s just this hard for everyone but no one shares that…. hell I don’t share it – because everyone has problems, everyone struggles. I just wish life would show me a light that would confirm I’m on the right path… because walking around in this darkness is getting tough.

  • i appreciate the honesty, zach. i don’t believe the “happy all the time” and “not a care in the world” tribe out there. probably because i’m not from that family. maybe also because i’m not in PR anymore. but i’d believe a good review from you quicker than one from them for that exact reason.

    …(please tell me how every running shoe/gum/hair brush that you ever tried, from many different brands, is now your all-time favourite. does that mean you don’t like the other one anymore? no you do, and that’s your favourite, too? neat!)…

    thanks for sharing.

  • Heh. Yeah, I stopped doing the “I love everything” thing a while ago and am now very specific with the brands I work with. The problem with that as I kinda move into a different category is exactly what I’m facing now – the fears/uncertainty/insecurity of not knowing where I’m really headed. The former is comfortable and there’s a ton of opportunity, the way I’m going feels like it will last longer (especially considering I have a business idea that is developing as a result)… but right now, it’s just scary not really knowing if it’s a good change or not.

    Thus the slight desire to grab a job to add a little bit of stability to an otherwise rollercoaster ride I’m on right now.