Is Sharing A Form Of Gloating?

Posted by on July 30, 2014

A few years ago, me and Tamara helped my mom finance the construction of our new cottage. It was something that was important to us and to her, and we knew it would be a good investment in our future. Ever since I was a teenager, I can remember going down to Pointe Du Chene every Sunday to have supper at “the cottage”. The cottage was my grandparents place during the summer but it was always a place for family. Eventually my mom and step-father bought the cottage beside my grandparents and that became part of our life.

I never gave it much thought about “going to the cottage”. But then Tamara mentioned to me one day about how it made her a little uncomfortable to talk to her friends about “her cottage” because she thought it made her sound a little snobbish or perhaps a little “better off”. If you know Tamara, you know that’s the farthest thing you would ever call her, and yet her talking about our own property made her a little uncomfortable. I kind of knew what she meant but I never really understood it until recently.

Since 2012, when I switched to becoming a full time software trainer, I have had a lot of travel included as part of what I do. Previously I had traveled a little bit for my job but it was not as common as what I do now. The general rule is I’m on the road about 50% of my time. It varies over the course of the year where I might go a couple months and not travel at all then have a couple of months of a lot of travel. It all averages out.

Now, I have been very fortunate with my work in that it has taken me to some pretty amazing places. There are times when I can’t even believe that I have had the chance to do these things. Now I’m the type of person who loves to share my experiences. Whether it’s road trips I did as a younger man, being in a band, interviewing my favorite band when I was younger, or even talking about the places I have visited.

Recently I’ve started to wonder if I should even bother talking at all about my travels. For many of the people I work with, going to New York, LA, London, and other parts of the world is just a normal thing. It’s part of our regular conversation we have because it’s part of what we do for a living. We talk about places to eat, hotels to stay in, and cool spots to check out. It seems pretty normal to us.

But when it comes to my friends, some of my family, and even just people I know on Facebook, I’ve started to wonder if my talking about places I go for my work comes off more as bragging, than it does just wanting to share my experiences. If you know me well enough, you know I’m not the bragging type. Yet I’m always checking in at airports and hotels and snapping pictures of places I have visited and part of me now understands what Tamara meant.

It’s not that you don’t want to share these things you have or do, but sometimes it might feel like you’re flaunting something you have or something you have had the chance to do, in front of those who may never do it. It’s this part of me that sometimes wants to just not tell anyone anything about anywhere I have been unless it comes up in conversation.

For me though, I get so excited about some of these places I have been to that I just want to share all of it with the people I know and care about. What’s the point of experiencing all of these amazing things that the world has to offer, when you can’t share that with anyone? Especially when most of the time I am traveling solo, sitting in a hotel room, and writing blog entries like this.

And honestly, there’s also the part of me that kind of doesn’t care one way or the other (although obviously part of me does care if I’m writing about it). This may sound a little snobbish but the reality is, I’ve worked pretty hard in my life to get where I’m at today, so I don’t think I should feel guilty about being given opportunities when I know I have worked hard to get them. It’s just that I like to think of myself as being pretty down to earth and I want to stay that way.

So to those of you who may think I’m showing off or bragging, sorry you feel that way. It’s not my intention, but I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. I love sharing my life with others and it kills me when I can’t talk about the things I am most excited about. I’ve got a pretty big one (non-travel related even) coming up in September and it’s killing me to not talk about it.

 

One Response to Is Sharing A Form Of Gloating?

  1. jackie

    Matt, I certainly don’t feel like you are bragging and I LOVE seeing your travel posts on facebook and twitter. I can live vicariously through you. You are very fortunate to have the opportunities that you do to travel. You should be proud! My mother always said “Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.”

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