My blogging “journey” started a few years ago when I had the desire to journal but thought it might be fun to have the journal be public. I’ve always had ideas like characters, narratives, emotions, and stories running wild in my mind. The earliest memories I have are intricate descriptions of my experiences growing up. I’ve always known I was a strong storyteller, even if I perceived the life I live to be too boring to share.
Blogging seemed like a good way for me to jot down my thoughts and emotions and maybe connect with people and receive feedback. Strangely enough, connecting with people is what held me back from starting a blog years ago and it still sometimes stops me from sharing my innermost thoughts. Well, connecting and the implications of those connections.
Ironically, in my daily life, I am one of the most judgmental people. I prefer to see myself as lovingly judgmental because my judgment of people and their actions or choices always comes from a place of love. My opinions, while sometimes harsh, have always felt rooted in truth. My closest friends and family know this to be very true. I speak my mind and I always have. This is why a blog seemed like a perfect creative endeavor to embark on. I still believe this to be true which is part of why I have one.
It took me two years of “research”, attempts at blogging, talking myself out of it, and restarting over and over before I finally bit the bullet and said, “Screw it, I’m going for it.”
I’ve faced fears my whole life. Coming from a family where every member is on the anxiety spectrum in one way or another, fears are nothing new to me. I face the same fears I assume everyone faces at one point or another: Am I smart enough for this class? Am I attractive enough for this person to like me? Am I unique enough to be noticed? Am I good enough? Am I enough?
While I would love to say I’ve overcome asking myself these questions, I haven’t. Not entirely. In recent weeks I’ve been able to produce answers to these types of questions and stopped allowing them to create insurmountable fear for me. But I haven’t stopped hearing these questions bounce around in my skull. Honestly, it feels like I’ll never stop hearing them. However, I’ve started to be okay with that. I’m working on making those questions serve me in a better way. Instead of viewing them as trying to break me down, I tell myself it’s just my anxiety doing a really thorough job of checking in with me. Making sure I know what’s potentially in store for different occasions where it decides to show up.
Recently, I’ve had a string of sizable mental breakdowns, or what I like to refer to as epiphanies. (Trying to make this a glass half full situation here, folks.) My entire existence has been turned around, flipped upside down, dipped in an ice-cold bath, and sent on its merry way. Needless to say, I’ve been forced to take stock of a variety of things in my life. Surprisingly, this has also opened me up to more opportunities for peace, love, and understanding than I thought imaginable. I’ve worked on repairing and adjusting my relationships with people and substances. I’ve tried to pick up where I left off with a few different projects I started and never ended up finishing. Ultimately, I was pulled back to writing.
I started with a journal.
At first, I had no idea what to write. At least I thought I had no idea. I told myself journaling was supposed to be this place where I expressed thoughts and ideas my soul yearned to express. I tried to write those things down but all that ended up on the page was a recap of my day.
“Woke up feeling empty. Watched a movie. Sitting down to write when I should be doing x, y, or z.”
I had to really push myself for the deeper things to surface.
Every time I felt like I was about to reach a point of divine understanding and the satisfaction of a realization occurring, something would pull me back down to reality. My phone would ring. My nephew would wake up from a nap. Someone would come by. It seemed the monotony of daily life would never end.
Something had to change.
After a few weeks, I realized that something was me. I had to pull up my big girl panties (as the women of my family love to say) and change something myself. Anything. I started small. I started drinking more water. Sure, an easy task for some of you water-aficionados, but not for this Coca-Cola loving lady right here!
I took inventory of my life and put as much energy as I had (which some days felt like nothing) into focusing on the variables in life that I do have control over. Kind of like that prayer many of us are all too familiar with:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Well, one thing I know I can change is my habits. So I made writing a daily habit. Sometimes I didn’t have much to write while other days it seems like I can’t scribble down my ideas fast enough before the next one is racing to the surface to be shared. The untouched pages in my journal grew smaller as my writing muscles grew stronger.
Another epiphany struck and I realized I needed more change. I decided to stop living only in the pages of my journals. I realized it was time to exist outside my comfort zone and to get to work on a blog.
Things don’t change unless I change them.
Eventually, I got to the point of giving my ego a fat kiss goodbye and posting about it on my Instagram and Facebook accounts. It’s nerve-racking every single time, no matter how confident I am. But I’ve never felt so alive. Every blog post I write feels like one step closer to becoming the most pure and authentic version of myself that I could ever become. Although it often feels like I’m either saying nothing or the opposite and sharing far too much. Each time I open the door for public ridicule and judgment I feel more whole and more complete. Closer to being the best version of myself I can ever become. Closer to having all my dreams come true and living in the reality that I create for myself as a writer.
I’ve always known I was a writer. This blog has allowed me to finally let other people know now too. 🙂
I’ll summarize this post the best way I know how… with the help of my beloved, Lady Gaga, and her tattoo that speaks to me in ways I know it speaks to her too.
A quote from Rainer Maria Rilke, which according to my google machine translates to:
“In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer, and ask yourself, must I write?”