Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Comparison Trap: Your Real Life Isn’t A Highlight Reel

Nubby Twiglet | The Comparison Trap

Whenever I’m around someone that mutters “Comparison is the thief of all joy,” I tend to roll my eyes. “I already know that and I’ve heard it a thousand times,” I think to myself. But then I realize how often I forget about it and fall back into the comparison trap.

When I look at people’s lives through their online filter, it feels like one big highlight reel. How can my real life possibly compare? I sometimes get caught up in the comparison game because as much as I love my life, it’s far from perfect. What about you?

When I really start tripping up, I have to remind myself to step back and remember that for the most part, people only share the best moments of their lives online. They’re showing the blockbuster movie trailer while leaving the mortifying moments and sad times on the cutting room floor.

I can’t really blame them. I do the same thing.

When I’m out on the road with The Blogcademy, chances are that I’m dressed up in something fun paired with a full face of makeup and perfectly straightened hair. Though I do have “work days” on the road, most of the time I’m exploring a new city, checking out the coolest shops and restaurants with two of my best friends.

The second I’m home though, I revert back to twelve hour days running Branch, Nubby Twiglet and The Blogcademy. I eat lunch at my desk and my only real break is flipping on Dr. Phil at 3 pm to keep myself entertained.

I wear the same unglam uniform every day when I’m home working — black Urban Outfitters skinny jeans, a black t-shirt from H&M and no makeup. Simple but effective. Sitting in the same place all day, there isn’t much to show so I resort to making a lot of still lifes to fill in the gaps on Instagram.

Nobody’s life is nonstop entertainment. And now that I think about it, I’ve never actually known anyone in real life who had a house that was “Pinterest perfect.”

Because it’s important to stay focused on what I’m doing in real life, I’ve developed some coping mechanisms to block out the noise:

1. Take the weekends and holidays off from social media.

Even if you have to use social media to promote your businesses (like I do), your weekends and holidays should be sacred. Over Memorial Day, Gala and I both knew that we’d have to stay home working and prescheduling blog posts while everyone else was having barbecues and camping so we made a pact to not check other people’s accounts. My productivity went through the roof because I was in the moment and not focused on what I was supposedly missing out on.

2. Accept that committing to big projects is so much more rewarding than tiny, fleeting moments.

It’s easy to look at social media and see people knocking out quick but photogenic DIY’s, rearranging their breakfasts at chic cafes and mostly sharing other people’s work.

It can feel like the cards are stacked against you, especially if you’re writing a book that’s going to take two years, working on a design project at an agency that takes six months (I’ve been there) or remodeling your house on your own (five years in, it feels like we’ve barely scratched the surface).

The point is, longer projects are meant to challenge you and downright suck a lot of the time. They’re the ones that really force you to grow and learn about yourself. In the end, you’ll be much better for it.

Those quick, fleeting projects? Sometimes they’re nothing more than a form of procrastination to keep you from digging into the meatier ones you’re scared to start.

3. Remind yourself that what you see others doing is never the full story.

I always tell our Blogcademy classes that they need to stop the comparison game because they don’t really know what’s going on behind other people’s photos or blog posts. It’s never as effortless and pristine as it looks, I can promise you that. You’re not seeing the epic fails, the hilarious antics of balancing on crates to get the perfect shot or the in-between takes of a “casually arranged” still life. You’re seeing the beautifully executed final shot. The outtakes? They’ll never make it to the internet to be judged.

Nubby Twiglet | The Comparison Trap

I actually think it’s more interesting to share the behind the scenes moments, the so-called “picture behind the picture.” When I was staying with Gala’s parents in New Zealand, I happened to be wearing a silk J. Crew shirt covered in oranges. Her parents happened to have a beautiful painting…covered in oranges. While my shot on the left showed me effortlessly posing in front of the painting, the truth was much more involved. I had to lay on the floor while Gala’s dad held up a black blanket to give us a neutral background. Gala leaned over me with her iPhone as I directed her on the angle I wanted.

Kat posted her “behind the scenes” shot right after mine and guess which one people responded to better? The one showing the full story.

Your turn: How do you keep yourself from falling into the comparison trap of the perfect lives you’re bombarded with online?

Image: Shell de Mar.

Latest & Greatest #26: Notebook Obsessive

Nubby Twiglet | Notebook Roundup

I’m a self-proclaimed notebook fanatic and have three to four in use at any given time. Even with so much technology at my fingertips, I’m a fan of making handwritten lists and thumbnail sketches. I just discovered Studio Sarah notebooks and am loving the simplicity of the design paired with gold foil accents.

Nubby Twiglet | Notebook Roundup

If you’re on the hunt for a fresh notebook, these are a few of my favorites:

1. Studio Sarah, 2. Garance Doré for Rifle Paper Co., 3. P.S. 12, 4. Ogami, 5. Russell + Hazel, 6. Rifle Paper Co., 7. Tucker, 8. Julia Kostreva and 9. Magma.

Have an awesome Monday! I just got back to Portland this afternoon and am excited to get settled back in with Joey and Rocky.

The Week In Pictures: 6.13.14 | Hello From Canada!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Though Vancouver is just an hour flight from Portland, I’d never spent any time there until last week. It was definitely time to get acquainted with my northern neighbors.

Kat, Gala and I stayed on the edge of Gastown and when not teaching, spent our time grabbing dinner at Nuba with Danielle, admiring the bizarre yet awesome succulent / lighting setup at Tacofino Commissary (above), gorging ourselves on homemade waffles dipped in white chocolate pistachio rosewater sauce (yes, that’s a real thing) at Medina Cafe, manically playing the bongos, getting beautified at Sugarbox (I’m rocking my first-ever gel manicure!) and ending one fateful night covered in silver stars.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Getting out of my very Virgo-fied office and back out on the road where things are a little less polished and I’m constantly faced with the unexpected? It’s been the best of times.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

The ultimate highlight of our time in Vancouver was visiting the rainbow crosswalk. We spent the evening with Diane and Mike as we hopped, skipped and jumped across it. An audience of onlookers gathered, trying to give our poor photographers pointers. The best interaction though was when a guy rolled up on a bike behind us and yelled “BABES!” at the top of his lungs.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

After dozens of jumps, I retreated to the neighboring section of rainbow-hued picnic tables.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Exhausted, I took a rest on the surface of a lavender table and threatened to never move.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I loved having dinner at Pizzeria Ludica — I forgot how fun a game of Jenga can be (they have HUNDREDS of board games, too!) Kat was a fierce competitor, sliding out all the bottom pieces and leaving me with a leaning tower. It was fun until I lost and the pieces nearly landed in my pasta. Haha.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Our favorite dining experience though was definitely Medina Cafe. We knew it had to be good when we arrived mid-week and the wait for a table was a half hour. The breakfast and lavender lattes were out of this world. Everything tasted as good as it looked.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Yesterday, we packed our bags and flew into Calgary. Green rolling hills and friendly locals immediately won us over. After dinner at Una (the 4-magi was unbelievably good), we visited the coolest candy shop ever, Freak Lunchbox and went crazy, dropping 60 bucks on gummy vampire fangs, oversized chocolate Canadian gold coins and bags of chocolate. Oops.

This Canadian adventure has been so much fun and I’m a little sad to see it come to an end on Monday. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Link Love: 6.12.14


Nubby Twiglet | Sonia Rykiel

• What do you think the future of blogging holds?

• Zoe Rooney shares tips for project and flat rate invoicing.

• Stop fretting. You already know everything.

• Here’s why red carpet makeup looks bad in real life.

• In case you were curious, this list covers the 100 most edited Wikipedia articles. I find the top 10 so interesting — Michael Jackson, Jesus and Britney Spears all made it!

• How to survive in New York City.

• Simple and super helpful wallpaper removing tips!

• Hillary Clinton shares her favorite books with The New York Times.

• 10 romantic things to do in Paris!

• These days, it seems like everyone wants to go into business for themselves. Should you become a girlboss?

• Dress up your feet with art socks!

Image: Sonia Rykiel.