Yesterday I had maybe my biggest and first real cry over the state of blogging in 2019. I haven’t stopped or slowed down in over nine years, but I know I have changed. And in some ways for the best, in some ways for the worst, and in some ways the worst ways I’ve changed are capable of bringing back, up, and out the best ways. And maybe even better. My entire brand was originally built on me just being.. well.. ME. That doesn’t mean I haven’t struggled or grasped at straws or been incapable of seeing what my brand really is. All along it was just me. The brightest colors. Sometimes loud. Sometimes subtle. Insecure, awkward, learning, growing. At least I hope I am.
There’s a darker side too. An underbelly where scary words are thrown around, accusations hurt your heart, and desperation makes us think and do the wrong things. With an entire brand built on me being me, what if that isn’t enough? What if I don’t believe in myself sometimes, so how can I believe people want to read my words? On top of that are the strange currencies and logistics. The numbers game. The end of a deeply personal and amazing reign of personal blogging, in which I’m SO grateful for the small tribe I still have and love. Rejection is tough already, but excruciating at times in a field of regular rejection. Wanting to do everything with integrity but finding that hard in a world of confusing information, tips and tricks, and everyone’s SWORN SECRET that they’ll sell to you for $59. Seriously. Algorithms and uncertainty.
For the first time in nearly a decade, I’m wondering about myself and if I’ll still have what it takes nearly another decade from now. I believe so and I’ll keep showing up, in every sense of the word, and hoping you’ll read my writing. And I’ll keep bettering myself and getting closer and closer to the wife, mama, friend, daughter, niece, aunt, SELF I’ve always been, am trying to get back to, and am trying to get forward to as well. Back to the future. If that makes any sense.
Sometimes I think Horrible Things About Myself.
Originally published in 2014:
I used to get nervous every time I hit the “publish” button. I’d duck my head, as if you could see me at the very moment a post took to the web. I used to feel sick, although not severely, unless it was something really hard to write. I think I felt a little crazy when I was publishing my love story – even crazier when I was writing it to the music I used to listen to when I first lived it. I felt like how I had felt then – but all at once. Sometimes then, and sometimes now – I feel like this:
It’s a true combination of many things to feel – overwhelmed, lost, and always full of joy and magic, however hidden that may be – and sometimes it’s deeply buried. I was going to write about so many things, but decided to write about this. Sometimes thinking horrible things.
In high school, I was a lot like I am now. A floater with lots of types of friends. Floating, though. Sometimes too untethered. I was warm and friendly to everyone, unless someone pushed me to my limits, which was rare, but that would be the only reason I wouldn’t be warm and friendly.
I actually did have a core group of friends who were artists, writers, musicians, singers or just all around open and friendly people, and I also brought home lots of strays. That’s how I was then. That’s how I am now. I enjoyed (nearly) everyone – even those who were considered “losers” and those who were so clearly not going anywhere in life – partly by design and partly by circumstances. One of my secrets back then is that I would pass through these dark clouds of time in which I’d think horrible thoughts about myself, no matter how ludicrous they were.
Occasionally, I have those thoughts again. I used to babysit for three kids and the youngest was a baby. I remember waking him up from a nap one day and thinking about how loved he was and how meaningful he was to his family, and how I wished I could be worth something. Anything. When not in the darkness, I know it’s ludicrous. I’ve always had a place to belong.
And that baby I used to babysit and wonder why his life meant so much more than mine? He’s now in high school. And that proves just how long it’s been since I first let myself believe in the dark clouds about myself, and how it happens even now. Way too long.
Sometimes I think that there is no one more hideous than I am. That overweight people can lose weight, acne can heal, wrinkles can be erased, Botoxed or lasered, or whatever else that can be done to wrinkles – but you can’t fix hideous so you can’t fix me. Unfixable and unlovable.
I live, love and sometimes suffer within the confines of my own mind. Sometimes I think that even people with depression are better off than me because maybe pills or counseling can help them. I’m genuinely joyful a LOT, but sometimes I think that anyone without my mind is better off than I am. Life transitions tend to run through me a thousand times over up to months before a big change. Can any pill help that? Probably not, but I believe that many things can.
If an amateur photographer takes one good photo out of 100, sometimes I somehow I let that negate the fact that I can take 60 good photos out of 100. It’s like mine are all erased because everyone else is better.
Sometimes I hear someone say they’d like to write a book and I think that no matter who they are, they will write a book that I can’t seem to write. Sometimes if someone tells me they are thinking of joining the workforce, I think it would be easier for them than it would be for me, because sometimes I think I have no skills. I have nowhere to fit in and succeed and lead.
Sometimes I think that I’m not strong enough to maneuver this world as a parent, with the transitions and tests, and the constant letting in, letting out, holding tight, and letting go.
And sometimes I think comfort and safety will give way in older age to impenetrable anxiety – worsening with each day. Never getting even close to better. Becoming unbearable.
And most of the time? These thoughts are only notable because they are not my default setting. My head is above the dark clouds, or maybe even below. Somewhere safe from the darkness.