Today I am two months into what I am calling “actual blogging”. Actual blogging is different than “just blogging” which is what I was doing prior to this. “Just blogging” involves writing stuff and posting it to your blog but never actually telling anyone you have a blog. Thus, when you are “just blogging”, no one ever reads what you write. “Just blogging” is kinda awesome…you can write whatever you want with absolutely no fear – of judgment, of offending people, of grammar Nazi’s etc. It is fun, but it is fake. It is not “actual blogging”.
“Actual blogging” involves risk. In fact, “actual anything that requires you to put yourself out there and be vulnerable”, involves risk. It is this risk factor that so frequently stops us dead in our tracks and makes us stick to “just _________” (insert anything applicable here: blogging, exercising, singing). This risk, this trembling fear of failing and looking like an idiot, has stopped me so. many. times.
Two months ago, on my 37th birthday, I had a moment of bravery and said F it to fear. I hopped on facebook and leaked my little safe, private url to the world (okay…just my world but isn’t that really the same thing?). It sounds so stupid, but just ask Brado, it took a lot for me to “go public” with that first post. I am not sure what I thought would happen, but the weight of that little action felt enormous to me.
And yet here I stand (actually, full disclosure, I am sitting. I sit a lot these days) two months later living to tell the tale. In other words, I took a risk, a big risk for me, and I survived. Who would have thought?
No one has spray painted obscene things on my house, sent me death threats or called me mean names (that I know of). I know, I know. It might be a tad self-absorbed of me to think that my little blog posts about bookshelf styling would create such ripples in the online community as to arouse and excite hate groups. Seriously, who do I think I am? I only wish I had that much influence!
When I hit publish on that first post my only real goal was to not die (dramatic much Ditty?). Never in my wildest dreams did I think that people would actually like what I was writing. Never did I consider the possibility that people might be inspired by me (in fact, that still sounds weird and impossible). Never did I think this blog would help me make new friends across the world or reconnect with ones long forgotten. Never, never, never did I think that this little blog could bring me so much joy…but it has. It really has.
In the two short months I have been “actually blogging” I have:
- been moved to tears by the kindness of others. I am reminded that people are good. That is the rule. The exception is that some people suck. And those people can pretty much go f themselves because I don’t have any desire to be friends with sucky people anyway.
- shed a tear or two of regret. In many ways I am so angry with myself for waiting so long to take this risk. I want to shout it from the rooftops that YOU (yeah YOU!) need not wait any more. Face your fear! JUST DO IT! And do it NOW! Whatever IT is.
- made some embarrassing mistakes (like misspelling my home state, Virginia, on my ‘About’ page…uh…yeah…I did) and made some embarrassing admissions (for instance, I like Miley Cyrus) and posted some very unflattering photos of myself (I see no reason to revisit those here). And you know what…people were good to me. And accepting. And lovely. And some even fessed up to liking Miley too!
- made my mama proud. Even with all the curse words I use…she is still proud of me. That is impressive. And seriously, I love making my mama proud.
- had tons of fun. The reality is that I love writing. There I said it. I never thought I was any good at it, so I didn’t really invest any time in it. For the record, I still don’t think I am very good but thanks to all your kind words of encouragement my confidence has definitely increased and I am much more inspired to improve. And, not to beat a dead horse, but good writing or not, I am having fun…so who cares?!?
- become inspired to take more risks…bigger risks. More on what specific risks at a later date. Please don’t misinterpret this statement and think that I have mastered risk-taking and fear-facing or that things no longer scare me. Oh no, no, no. Let me assure you, I am still a huge wussy at heart. I have not conquered fear and stupid insignificant things still scare the crap out of me. But I’m inspired to gradually widdle away at that list-o-fears. Frankly, I don’t want to shed one more tear of regret.
So there you have it folks; living proof that facing your fears might actually be one of the best things that you have ever done (minus getting married to the man of your dreams, having two adorable children and waxing your eyebrows). But don’t take my word for it. Give it a go… and if I’m wrong…you can write me and tell me all about how my advice ruined your life. I’ll even let you spray paint mean things on my house.
But I should warn you, and Brado can back me up, I’m rarely wrong.