5 min read

Hey Jeff: Edition 2

Hey Jeff: Edition 2

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'Hey Jeff' is GEHB's version of 'Dear Abby.' Send in your emails with questions about anything - life, sports, fun, something difficult, whatever - and we'll address them in 'Hey Jeff.' Talking helps in just about everything. If 'Hey Jeff' is a talking outlet you are comfortable with, please use it. But know, I'm in no way qualified to give life advice, but I'm happy to talk through things in a written form.

"Hey Jeff,

How are you able to keep things together? You have a full-time job, you have side jobs, you have a family, the internet generally seems to like you. It seems like a lot to handle and it seems like you handle it really well. How are you doing it?

I struggle keeping things together. I'm a student in college who has a part-time job, classes, and a minor calling at Church and still get overwhelmed. I don't know how you do it.

Can you help me understand how you keep your life organized and moving forward?"

Hey man,

Boy do I have you fooled! My life is anything but put together. You are absolutely correct in listing out the things that I do, but I'm anything but put together man.

I mean this sincerely, not like some fake-humility thing. I am a mess. I appreciate that you think I'm holding things together fairly well, but man, I struggle as much as anyone else.

First and foremost, social media is fake. There is nothing more important to understand than that - social media is not real life in any way, shape, or form. The things that you see about me (or my family, or thoughts from my brain, or whatever else) on social media are the things that I choose to let people see about me. But, the reality is that I am much more than what anyone sees on social media.

While most people may not be as deliberate about what they choose to share as I am, the reality is the same, only slivers of their lives are shared on social media. So, when you see that seemingly happy life on social media, know that they have their struggles and trials too.

There have been a bunch of comedians who have talked about this over the years. When you're known as 'the funny guy' it's really hard to be funny all of the time. Many have said that they feel like they are disappointing people when they aren't funny - like they are somehow making people feel bad because they aren't making them feel overly happy.

Such is social media life. People have an inherent level of 'I have to deliver for my followers' when they wake up each morning. For some of them, social media is a way of life. For others, they're addicted to likes and shares.

So, social media is fake. Don't hold your own life up to those fake standards. That's a fool's errand.

Beyond that, let me just get real for a minute and list off some things that I've been dealing with in just the past week:

  1. I'm REALLY struggling keeping work at work. There are some strategic decisions being made that I don't agree with. These decisions will put a strain on many of my employees and, in my opinion, have a minimal impact - at best - to the bottom line. (Could I be wrong? Of course I could be wrong. But, that's how I feel about it all and I'm struggling 'falling in line' with what seems to be inevitable.) Those work things are killing me.

    In fact, it was just the other day that I walked out of the office after a very frustrating day and went to call my wife. My four year-old had a soccer game and I didn't know if it was at 6:00 or 6:45, so I didn't know if I should go home or go straight to the park. My wife didn't answer the phone when I called.

    The amount of anger that I felt towards my wife was irrational. I got her voicemail and I audibly cursed to myself in the car. I was angry and frustrated with her until she called me back 10 or 15 minutes later.

    I was being completely irrational. My wife, who was at the park with our kids and unable to get to the phone while she was wrestling three children on her own, did NOTHING wrong. But, I was annoyed with her. And she felt the pain of my irrationality.
  2. We haven't recorded an episode of Give 'Em Hell, Brigham for two weeks. Why? Because life is busy and it's been difficult to find the time. When I  have had time and Garrett has wanted to record, I couldn't muster up the motivation to even sit and talk about BYU sports on a podcast. It just wasn't there.

    When I don't record or I'm not producing content on Cougar Sports Insider or on GEHB, I feel guilt. There are people who are paying for my content and I feel like I'm letting them down. I feel like I'm stealing from them. I feel like I'm tarnishing my own reputation. It's really, really hard for me mentally.

    The antidote would be simple - produce content. But, mentally, I can't do that either.

    And it results in me wanting to go to bed at 6:00 every night.

    When I do get to bed, I've had to start listening to meditation sounds on headphones throughout the night. Why? Because my mentals get running and I can't turn my brain off. There are times I wake up at 2:45 AM and start writing articles because I feel so bad about the lack of content.
  3. I yell at my children too much. I don't call my parents as much as I should. My sister just opened a new salon and I've barely asked how it is going, certainly haven't helped her as much as I would have liked to. I rarely walk the dog. A family vacation feels daunting. I made up an excuse to bail out on some Church responsibilities a couple of weeks ago because I just really didn't want to go. I haven't mowed my lawn yet this spring - it's nearly May.

    I could go on and on...

All in all, I'm just trucking along, like so many other people in the world. I don't say all of these things to complain, I'm certainly doing okay!

But life is hard, even if it looks buttoned up and easy on social media. You're in school, man, and you're working part-time. That's not easy! The speed bumps are going to be there, no question about it, but you're moving forward and progressing in the right direction. That's all that life is really about... trying and moving forward.

So, when you get down and feel like you're not living up to standards, take some time and pat yourself on the back. Because dude, you're kicking some serious ass.

If you would like to submit a 'Hey Jeff' request, email [email protected], DM @rakoto10 on Twitter, or find me on Discord!