When I started blogging four years ago, I had just moved eight hours away from home. Blogging was a way to chronicle my time in the Black Hills and share a little bit about our time there. I wrote about the nuances of living in a small, tourist town…. run-ins with our nosy neighbor- Richard, adventures with expired produce, perspectives on the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, plans for our wedding, and of course – a “tail” or two about our beloved greyhound, Hank.
I found work doing something I loved. I was surrounded by beautiful landscapes. And life felt easy. Well, that’s how I remember it now. In reality, we had a few financial headaches (because we were both getting paid practically nothing) and had to deal with a little loneliness due to the lack of people under the age of 60.
Isn’t that how we always remember the past? The highlights. The good memories. Sometimes the hurtful ones. But for the most part, we forget about the struggle and feelings of despair and doubt. It’s something worth noting – something I need to remind myself of right now. Maybe you’ll benefit from it, too.
It was a shortly after leaving Custer in 2014 that I started to put pressure on myself. I wasn’t blogging. I didn’t know what to write about. Was my writing doing any good?
They say to write what you know. Well, I felt like I didn’t know enough. I was no expert. How can I share things I know if others knew more? That right there… was where I had it all wrong. And this is the part I still struggle with. No one ever said, write once you are an expert. They said write what you know– as in what you know right now in this moment. If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll never start.
And hasn’t that been the truth. It was some time around my 29th birthday… I made some changes to the way I was living. I had let myself get overwhelmed in several areas of my life. As a recovering perfectionist, I’ve slowly learned to let go of things I don’t have control over and slow down even on the things I can control. Let a little clutter gather on the counter. Put down that phone and pick up a book. It’s better just to do the thing than to redo and redo and redo until it’s perfect. Breathe in and breathe out.
Why do we want to wait until we’re ready? My answer: Fear of judgment. We want to be seen as successful and complete. Like we have it all together. Don’t be fooled because the parts of ourselves that we share as messy and in progress are carefully selected too. For example, I’m sharing this with you, but not my 13,598 other imperfections. We fine tune our actual selves to show only our best parts. So when we embark on a new adventure, we’re oftentimes hesitant to shout it out to the world. I know I am uncomfortable with vulnerability. When something doesn’t take off or happen for us, we want to sweep it under the rug and pretend like it never happened. We are afraid of our failures and mistakes. Or is it just me? Maybe it’s just me. I assume not.
As I spent time rediscovering what is most important to me, I returned to my writing. This time, with a feeling that my journey to live a more positive and present life was something I could share. But doubt still lingered/lingers. In the past, I would share my posts on social media. These past four months, I have not.
But ready or not– here is where I am today.
The longer you wait, the more room there is for regret.
Write, review, press publish.
Dream, review, act.
Create, review, share.
Put down the things that distract you. Carve out space and time to do the things that are calling out to you. Live in this moment. Not that moment. Be you now with authenticity. Not future you with uncertainty. End every post with a rambling of inspirational tidbits (also known as – things I need to remind myself on daily) and just hit publish.