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“Living your life in the public eye is a greater burden than most people can imagine.”

- Justin Trudeau

I often look at celebrities, and wonder “how do they do it?” Every detail of their everyday is documented, scrutinized, and made the business of anyone who’s exposed to the details.

When I really stop to think about it, I can’t help but feel happy to be a regular person. Sure, I miss out on the perks that come along with fame and fortune, but I can live my life in private.

I’m not obligated to deal with public scrutiny. I volunteer. Most of us do, actually.

When I had a big argument with my girlfriend that resulted in us breaking up, I didn’t hesitate to call on my support system. I ranted about how hard-done-by I was, and they were quick to pick up the banner of my cause. It felt really good to know that I had these people in my corner.

A few weeks later, I talked to my ex. After three hours on the phone, we realized that our big blow up was the result of shared frustration, shared misunderstanding, shared miscommunication… You get the point. Nobody was the hero or the villain in our story — just two people who needed some time and space to figure things out.

It’s a wonderful thing to gain some understanding and clarity. What’s not wonderful is finding myself in a position where the people who had been my support system are all looking at me and thinking that I’m a total idiot for communicating with my ex. Reconciliation isn’t as dramatic or exciting as a breakup, so these people don’t pay the same attention to the details as they did a few weeks ago.

Like most difficult situations, there’s a “but wait, there’s more” element. Not only am I navigating a fragile situation, I’m doing so with a lot of negativity in my ear. If she was dumb enough to rally her troops as I did, she’s got the same in her ear.

Things didn’t have to be this complicated!

What I want is to continue figuring out what went wrong, and how to fix it. What I want is to be with her. What I want is for us to have the same love and support that we had before I put our conflict in the public eye. Unfortunately, I’ve poisoned that well.

I’ve put myself in the public eye, and the burden I carry is greater than I could have imagined.

Listen to the podcast version of this (and other) stories at

AC Fischer is an inspirational speaker, an activist, a philosopher, a writer, a podcaster, a producer, and a romantic.

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