Hi there. It’s me again. Welcome to another day. We survived it. That is something to be celebrated because there are approximately 8 deaths per 1000 people each day. So surviving the day is a huge thing to celebrate.
Today I want to talk about social media. I’ve not been the most active. I share photos of my dog and celebrate my hard works accomplishments. But I barely scroll, I don’t update everyone as I once had. To be honest, I’m kinda over it.
It’s a blessing. It’s nearly a necessity. It can be an amazing tool and is vital to stay connected to friends and family all around the globe. It’s the news and the weather and the school photo Rolodex to everyone’s beautiful children.
But oh, is it a curse.
I used to teach a class online called social media 101. I personally coached people on the basics of social media so they could grow their audience and business. I know the ins and outs of the dreaded algorithms and how to find the best hashtags. But, My strategies foundation was and will always be, basic human connection. To put it simply, you must be who you are in person, online and you have to genuinely care about people.
Fitting yourself into a mold and being fake gets you nowhere. Copy and pasting text to the masses won’t get you anything sustainable. It will lure in people who you don’t want to attract. Listen, I can go on for hours about this but I will spare you.
For entrepreneurs ...what it comes down to is “likes” and “follows” and “comments” and shares. Its the feeling of validation and also recognition. What its supposed to be is, at least what it was for me was the ability to lead by example and help people go from surviving to thriving. Because hell, if I could...anyone could.
But, I get it. I did it for a long time. I lived my life for what my next post would be and what photo I would take of myself and the perfect text / story to go along with the picture at the perfect time of day so everyone would see it. I sold the things. I took the trips. I loved every second of it.
Because I really believed in what I was slinging. I really didn’t care what anyone thought. I wanted to help people feel as great as I did. I amazed myself everyday and wanted others to amaze themselves. My entire life changed and it was so incredible. Extraordinary actually. It gave me the courage to share my story online for the first time, and purchase this very domain you are reading this on right now. It helped me find my purpose and turn all the lights back on and really helped me discover what hope actually is. I was genuinely happy. It wasn’t an act.
Then, I left.
I was tired of the competition. I was tired of not being “good enough” to get a dumb jacket while I was working harder than most running laps around everyone else. I made countless sacrifices.
I let others influence me to the point where I felt as though maybe the grass would be greener. The grass was so green already... I wanted it to be neon. I wanted to prove everyone wrong. I wanted to march to my own drum and find a new path.
I made the wrong choice.
But, hear me out, it wasn’t a mistake.
It brought me to where I am right now and that was no accident. But there was no highlighter neon green grass. It was very dark and twisty. VERY.
I tried half a dozen things that didn’t work and learned / grew stronger from each of them. I have been humbled to the core. I have painfully grown, for the good. While I’ve felt like a failure more days than not, my “failures” lead me to where I am now. If I had made it big time in some company I wouldn’t be doing what I am now. That, would be a travesty. I love everything about my job and the meaning in each working part of it. I’m exactly where I am supposed to be.
But, things have just never have been the same.
I’ve tried to get back to that person countless times. I try to beat the drum of something that fuels my passions and it just dies out. Or something semi traumatic happens and I’m back to where I began.
I have had many different dreams but they have all always revolved around helping / encouraging those around me. I’ve experienced a lot of hell in my life and have always know I needed to use it for good. The pain I’ve experienced has given me the strength I have. I want to help other people find strength within their pain and live their best lives as their best selves. All while trying to be my best self.
Let me tell ya, it’s exhausting.
My dreams have manifested in all different directions. But my greatest dream is to simply travel all over the world, write books and spread hope. I want to help turn the lights on for people who are drowning in the dark and twisty. I want to speak to universities and hold workshops around self care and self love and empowerment. I want to do a ted talk. That’s the Brittany Cooley dream. That has always been the vision. The problem with the vision is that it costs money to promote and takes a lot of time. Both things I am strapped for on a regular basis these days.
And you know the best form of free advertisement is social media....
Which I do my best at but it’s been used against me so many times in so many different ways by people I really care about which makes me question my self worth regularly and completely despise it. Especially because all I ever wanted to do was help.
If I’m happy, I’m too happy and manic.
If I brag about an accomplishment, I’m self centered and egotistical / narcissistic.
if I’m struggling and honest about it I’m suicidal.
If I get a lot of likes on a post, I just want attention, if I share my vision and dream I’m crazy and unrealistic.
It never ends...
Once you share your story and admit your struggle with mental health to the world, people take the opportunity to throw it in your face every chance they get.
Truthfully I’ve had enough..
The nosey Nancy’s and the judgement and the critiquing and the opinions and the assumptions, the compliment fishers and the over sharers and those who just love to throw kindle on the drama fire.
Lord help us all.
I started my social platform in 2007 because that’s when Facebook kind of became a thing over MySpace. I started to develop my brand / platform in 2014 to share my story and encourage others. Since then it kind of grew legs and ran away from me. The more I shared and learned and grew so did my friends and likes and comments and opinions etc. etc. I totally created the monster that it is today.
And now I want to kill the monster. Slaughter it, deactivate it, delete it, and go radio silent. Live my life like we used to before the creation of this beast we call social media.
But I wont. I cant.
My good friend Scott knows me well and while I was recently in Pittsburgh he cut me off mid rant and said “Britt, you shared your story with all of us 6 years ago. And you asked us to follow your journey and watch you. And we are. You can’t be mad about that. “
Yeah... that sank in deep. He’s not wrong. As much as I hate to admit this, he usually isn’t. He makes a good point.
Every time I throw my hands or middle fingers.. in the air and am ready to hit that beautiful delete / deactivate button, I am stopped.
By a message. Or a comment. Or a text about a post that I had done that helped them. Or inspired them. Or made them feel like they are not alone. Or I’m told by someone that what I’m doing is important.
Then I remember my voice gives others voices. My story will help someone write their story and so on.
While social media has been a vehicle of a lot of pain for me. While my fragile empathic soul struggles to show up and be present because of what someone might say or do, I cant leave it.
Because I know there is at least one of you who needs to hear what I have to say. And if it is just one person, that is completely enough for me.
Remember, never let anyone steal your voice. Never give anyone permission to hold the pen to your story. You have all of the control.
Thank you for reading and supporting me. I cant thank you enough for the kind words and messages I receive. They are the fuel to my fire. They give me hope to keep spreading hope.
And there is always, always hope.
Never forget that.
Until next time.