For the past couple of months I have been running hard and running fast, so much so that for a moment I lost my way and allowed the outside chatter of others to drive my internal dialogue. This past week the situation came to a head as I allowed myself to start wallowing in the type of negative self-talk that is frankly harmful, I started comparing myself to others and of course when I found myself coming up short because I am not like so and so, I failed to see my own self-worth and power.
Last night I went to bed and for the first time in at least a month, I allowed myself the luxury of a solid eight plus hours of sleep, and sleep didn’t let me down. Upon waking this morning and taking time for a slow and deliberate meditation session instead of the rushed sessions of the past few months, I was rewarded with the clarity that I so desperately needed to claw my way up and out of this funk.
The desire for more is not always a bad thing, it keeps us going, and it gives us goals but sometimes that more is not the more that we need. Sometimes in life we are the architects of our journey but sometimes the journey lays itself at our feet and the universe directs our feet. That would be the best way to describe my professional life. I didn’t choose my path so much as it chose me and for some reason I can’t even describe, I am very good at what I do. I enjoy my work, it fills me with joy despite the challenges and this week was one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced professionally as I found myself embroiled with local bureaucrats fighting for the life of my agency. Yet passion and unnamed forces corrected a wrong and simply used me as that vehicle to affect change. Instead of being proud though I have been anxious, anxious because I want so much more and today I found myself asking why?
When I started writing professionally and later blogging, I initially did it because it filled me with joy, then somewhere along the way as the very nature of blogging changed from being about the writing to being about the business, I wanted in on that too. The thing is and I have shared in this space before, I am not a commercial blogger. The tales I share in this blog simply do not lend themselves to ever becoming part of the BGIM brand. How do we commercialize a woman growing up and finding herself on the cusp of middle age? I know this yet I still want to be like the cool kids, funny thing is I have never been one of the cool kids. In many ways my blogging career reminds me of the 3 years I spent in high school before I decided high school sucked. I never had a clique, a true place of belonging; instead I wandered from group to group, getting along with the popular kids, occasionally being allowed to participate in their parties, yet never being one of them. I could hang with the stoners, the geeks and all groups. In high school that trait made me feel lonely yet as an adult I have found the ability to get along with many different people to be an asset. In my current position it’s the key to the growth my organization has experienced and I say that as a statement of fact, not to toot my own horn because my horn is just a horn.
Yet when I stopped thinking of myself as a writer telling my story, living in my truth and decided I was a blogger, that’s when shit started getting funky. As a writer I did not compare myself to others but as a blogger I do, recently I found myself fretting because a PR person wanted to know how many hits do I have a month. My stats are low, they fluctuate between 3500-5000 a month, compared to bloggers I know who are only 6 months into the game yet pros at using SEO and thus far average 100,000+ a month, my stats for someone who has been slogging away for years are a disgrace. Yet why am I allowing that to define me? Because I stopped listening to me and trusting in my journey.
I only speak for myself in this space but the truth is good writing and good blogging are two different things. Some can do both equally well but the truth is many of us don’t, I am not a bad writer but I am a bad blogger. I don’t have the energy or inclination to control my words to become something softer and lighter that will result in financial growth and in today’s blogging world, the bottom line is all about building your brand. To build my brand would mean stuffing me down and I am too old for that shit.
For the past few weeks I had been planning to attend the BlogHer conference; however the universe decided that what I was planning was not to be. Despite buying my ticket for both the conference and the transportation to get there, almost all my plans for lodging have fallen through; sometimes paying attention to the signs is a good thing. Sometimes you see what you think is the perfect pair of shoes but they are a half size too small, they are so cute you have to have them. Yet when you wear them out the first time instead of looking cute and getting the compliments, you are in excruciating pain and you ask yourself why the hell did you buy those shoes? Instead of the joy you thought they would bring you, they bring nothing but pain.
I have no idea where my writing is leading me, but it’s clear where it’s not leading me and as hard as that is to accept at times, truth and reality are what they are. In the end this may be nothing more than a joyful hobby and that’s okay too. Not all things need to be more, sometimes less is okay. I know though that at this point rather than seeking outside validation, I need to let the joy I get in simply putting these words down be my reward. Not many people have a career they love and a hobby they enjoy, and sometimes greed really is bad. If extra money is what I need then a second job may be the answer rather than destroying myself and what I love. For now I love this quiet space and while I am happy for all my readers, if no one read this I would still write it…hell I blogged/wrote for a good year and never reached 50 readers, so why start now letting the numbers change me?
On that note, too bad I wasted almost $200 for a conference I won’t be attending but the lesson learned was worth the waste.