What people don’t tell you about being a social media influencer or public figure online…

photo of a person leaning on wooden window
Photo by Du01b0u01a1ng Nhu00e2n on Pexels.com

We live in such an ever changing world. This generation specifically has grown up with resources that were never available to previous generations. We literally have a world of answers to all life’s questions at our fingertips. There is an ever growing community of wanna be social media influencers or “public figures” who’s jobs are to offer creative and informative content for all. I happen to be one of those people.

Ask any “influencer” or person who puts themselves out there publicly about what their goal is with their work…and I guarantee in their own way their answer will include something about bringing value to others. About wanting to help people or guide others in some area of life if not all areas. I truly believe the people who chase after this career path are the very ones who have searched for answers their whole life as well. Learning to inspire others keeps yourself inspired & growing and its an addictive feeling to be honest. And while sharing fun and informative things & cute photos with hundreds or thousands of likes can be fun…theres a side of this world that most people don’t talk about.

It can be lonely as hell. Most people in your inner circle don’t fully understand what it is you’re even doing, and the people who follow you are so critical of your every move that you never can fully make anyone happy. Most people just look at the end result of your content and assume you have it easy or that success just came to you over night…not fully understanding the countless hours of personal development,  money spent,  trainings, creative sessions you have had to dive into to learn to create something that brings joy to others. You’re constantly navigating the fine line of being open and vulnerable without oversharing to strangers. You want to inspire yet at times sharing your personal experiences or opinions may trigger others & bring out some form of negativity. You are fighting against keyboard warriors almost on the daily to not destroy the confidence and self love you have worked so hard on achieving and want to share with others. You wear your heart on your sleeve and find that sometimes the wrong people will take hold of that and choose to take advantage…and it leaves you feeling like maybe this whole journey was a mistake. You wonder if anyone really does value the hard work you have done. Some days it honestly feels like it would be easier to give up your dream of building something that helps others…and hide away at home & go back to a regular day job and just…go through the motions.

It’s not easy taking the path less traveled. It’s not easy building something from nothing. It’s not easy bearing your soul to complete strangers. However I truly think the people who are genuinely called for this kind of career path & lifestyle have a passion within for helping others that burns brighter than any fear or self doubt ever could. The next time you’re scrolling through your favorite influencers feed I encourage you to take a moment to thank them for whatever value it is that they bring to your life. Because I guarantee behind all of the pretty pictures and what may seem to look like the most amazing life to you…is a person who has struggled on more than one occasion with the direction they want to take their dream. There is a person on the other side of the monitor…and she’s no different from you.

Spread love & respect to everyone…even the ones you think already have enough. You never know what that could really mean to them. You inspire them to keep going just as much as they inspire you.

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Healing is Possible. God is good.

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A few years back when I began college again I was taking my first writing class and asked to share a personal event that changed my life. I would go on to receive an A on not only the paper but in the class. I told myself when I felt ready I would share, because I always feel that someone out there in the world can be helped through our experiences both good and bad. So…here I am sharing my essay with you all now 4 years later..

 

“My heart was racing as the Doctor gave me the news.

I’m sorry, Miss Ogle, but you’ve had a miscarriage.

And just like that, my life had changed. Whatever the rest of her speech was seemed to all be a blur. I couldn’t focus on anything other than the fact that my heart felt as if it was being torn from my chest. It wasn’t just a baby I had lost that day, but a part of myself as well.

The drive home seemed to last forever. Mom trying to make small talk with me. I could tell she didn’t know whether to give me words of encouragement or talk about something else completely. I chose to change the subject. After all how could I be this upset about someone I had never met? I wasn’t even showing yet. This was embarrassing. I walked into the house and plopped on the couch. I glanced to the corner of our living room which was already piling up with baby items. “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” lying across the coffee table. What now? Then the phone rang. Of course the downside to being in a tight knit family is no situation is ever private. I needed a minute to process this without having to describe in detail what had happened.

I kept replaying the Doctors visit over and over in my head. How could this be? I felt the tears coming, warmly falling down my cheek. And then a surge of anger came over my entire body.

“How could you do this to me, God? What have I ever done to deserve this? I would have been a great mother!”

The only way I could get my emotions out was to have something or someone to blame it on. And the easiest target was God. After all, he is in control of everything, right? At least that is what I had been raised to believe, but my faith had been tremendously shaken.

For the next few hours I laid crying on the couch and attempted to nap but couldn’t stop my mind from racing, or the annoying buzz from my phone going off in what seemed to be 10-minute intervals. I decided there was nothing left to do but pray. As I began to pray for guidance in this situation my mind went back to 7 years ago. An event that to this day gives meaning to my life.

It’s 7th Grade, and I’m wide awake on a school night. Pondering life after a deep conversation in my English class that day of where we all came from. My response:

“Well God made all of us of course!”

I became very surprised when there were a few opposing views from my classmates. My grandmother was a pastor at our local church, and I had been raised to believe in God from the time I could remember. But all of a sudden it occurred to me – is this what I really believe or is this just something I have been taught?

God, I need some answers. If you are really there listening, I need proof because I’m not so sure I believe this stuff.

My prayer was done and I headed to bed.

About a week later, I find myself walking down a busy street with my best friend Aleia. As we trotted towards the local gas station we noticed a red balloon in the middle of the busy traffic rolling around in a mud puddle. And it didn’t matter how many cars whizzed by it was not popping. Upon seeing the balloon Aleia dares me to grab it, tie it to my wrist, and walk into the gas station wearing it. Challenge accepted. I looked both ways and raced to the center of the street. I grasped the slippery balloon in my hands and noticed lumps all over. I had saved it just in time before it popped! I return to Aleia laughing hysterically.

I can’t believe you actually did it!

I was about to tie the balloon to my wrist as I was told, when I noticed a note card with a message stuck to the back of it.

“God put it in my heart to send out this balloon. To whomever finds it needs to know that you are loved by him.”

My jaw dropped and I instantly began to cry.

Okay, Okay you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to!

No it’s not that! You don’t understand!

I began to explain to Aleia the prayer I had made a few days prior and the significance this balloon actually had. This was not just some old lumpy balloon. This was my very own message from God himself! I went home excited and told the story to mother and called grandmother. God is real grandma! He is real and he sent me my very own note saying so!

I made a promise to myself that day that I would never question God again. And I would try, no matter how hard the situation, to remember the excitement I felt in that moment.

So here I am 7 years later, just losing my first pregnancy. And it’s the hardest thing I ever had to go through. It’s easy when things are going your way to have faith and to thank God for your blessings. It’s another story when you lose something so special to feel thankful at all. I realized in that moment that this situation is when my faith counts the most.

Hebrews 11:1 states “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I could sit here and cry and wonder why this happened, or I could trust that God in fact has a plan for my life. It may not be turning out the way that I wanted at 20 years old, but there is hope for what I cannot see nor understand at this time.

I struggled with this situation for a long time. But the more I prayed and trusted God, the more peace was brought to me. As the truth behind my 8 year relationship with my high school sweetheart came to light, it eventually ended. Drugs, cheating, and lying all took a part in breaking what I once thought was something so solid, but what really shook me was the fact that he eventually ended up with one of my best friends. After I accepted the situation for what it really was I realized that if I would have had a child in that relationship, they would have been brought into the world in an abusive and toxic environment. This is not how I want to raise my future children. This whole time I had been putting all of my effort into a relationship I knew wasn’t right. I had put aside my own needs and more importantly I put my boyfriend in God’s place. When your priorities are mixed up the rest of your life becomes chaos. And It doesn’t matter how good your intentions may be, it will eventually catch up with you.

After taking time to pray and reflect on everything that happened I thought of my red balloon. I realized that if God would send a curious 7th grader a message, he surely would not leave me alone now to deal with such a traumatic event. I could feel his presence with me and a peace that no amount of kind words from family or friends could offer. Even though losing my baby was difficult, I will now be able to offer a more stable environment for when I choose to have children in the future. I may not know all of the answers as to why bad things happen. But what would be the point if I knew it all? Isn’t that the joy of life? The unknown? Having faith that in the end you will be exactly where God intended for you to be? And it will be better than anything you could have imagined.”

 

4 years after writing this essay I am now married and my husband and I are opening up the conversation about trying for children soon. At one point in life I thought I had lost all hope…I truly believed I was unlovable and the thought of being pregnant again terrified me because of my miscarriage. While I still feel the miscarriage looms in the back of my mind from time to time…I am so happy to finally be in a stable relationship that will allow us to create life & grow a little human that will change the world in some way. How beautiful is it that through all of our mistakes, hurts, trials, etc….God listens. He listens and he guides us to the exact place we need to be in order to fulfill our life purpose. We are about to celebrate 2 years of marriage next month and I honestly can’t wait for the day we get to say we are expecting. I will forever mourn the loss of my little one at age 20….however I know I will be that much more appreciative for the one my husband and I will bring into the world in the near future.

 

Healing is possible. God is good.