I forgot my laptop cord the other day.
I signed up both of the boys for a vacation Bible school/ day camp at my friends church, the same one that my son attends Awana at. It’s a half hour drive to and fro that we’ve been listening to The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel as we go back and forth through a small canyon and avoid roadkill.
I have a few more business-y podcasts in my scroll, and during my time shuffling back and forth from day camp that day I put on an old episode of Being Boss that I had saved with Brené Brown talking about creativity, vunerability and rejection, and ended up pulling over and typing notes into my phone occasionally.
“Who am I?”
Brené Brown discussed her mobile she hung over her desk made reminding her whose opinions matter on her work. It reminded me of the battle that has been going on in my brain.
I have been having a bit of an existential crisis lately, as I felt I stood in the middle of a crowded room missing conversations and dropping appetizers in the carpet as I tried to be everywhere and everyone but never just myself.
I felt had so many hands out in so many places. I had reached out for professional mentorship time and time again and every opportunity had turned into nothing. I had been listening to entrepreneurial podcasts to inspire me to make my blog a money maker and it just never felt right, forced.
I have applied to job after job after job and felt diminished, demolished, incompetent. The operative word now being ‘null’, a term in a database that means there is no data value. Not even a zero, just… nothing.
My 4 year old still isn’t potty trained.
“Who’s opinions matter?”
Rejection is something I have been very familiar with lately. I’ve been rejected from entry level, internships, and other positions related to my college adventure and sent so many job applications into a void (
I dropped close to 100 bloggers from my friends list on Facebook the other day. Many adds were from my SoCal Lady Bloggers leadership days and I realized I was missing actual physical friends in the clutter of someone else’s life I haven’t seen since that blogger event 2 years ago. My online blogger acquaintances were becoming more involved in my life than real life friends.
I adored the early days which made a community, but after a heated battle of the definition of a blogger as a business and media entity, I realized I had lost something of it along the way. One lady instantly added me back, and it was a wonderful feeling, but I am left considering if any of those other ladies will even notice and miss me.I had added many from when I was actually going to blogger events and enjoyed seeing those ladies, but I had long since dropped from those invite lists. I’ve had other drop me from their friends list and I realized with all of the noise and commotion – I never saw either.
That is part of my problem.
“Don’t Compartmentalize Who You Are”
When I started on social media I had started for my own enjoyment. I blogged for me, not for clicks. I went on Twitter with a glass of wine in my hand and socialized. Facebook was for connecting and showing off a brand new baby.
The expansion, explosion, marketization and, frankly, industrialization of blogging left me in the dust worrying about what everyone wanted from me as I wrote in my own space. I niched myself as I tried to see myself as a brand and felt myself as a niche was not enough. So I avoided doing it, notes on my phone left unwritten because I know the comments section would still be empty after I had shared from my vulnerable self. Even when friends shared my best work to their best audience I saw I made no impact.
I counted my worth by the clicks, the comments, the ability to walk out the door ready for the day.
The invisible majority I imagined who saw me as a null.
I had lost some direction in the last few months. I can multitask, but reaching out for success in more than one arena just means you are missing out somewhere else. I keep reaching farther and farther out but that also means I lost where I was coming from.
So I am reeling it in. Reeling in the line and refocusing is just as important with or without the fish on it. The bait has to be put on every time.
‘What Do I Run From? What Do I Want To Run To?”
I’ve been taking advantage of the church’s WiFi and quiet conference room to do some research, write a couple articles and ponder my life. I’m sure my friend who reads this blog is smiling at me questioning my role in a church without actually attending it.
Summer has really messed up my day-to-day schedule and impacted hunting for jobs to apply to (frankly, this wasn’t the time for some anyway) and do other, actual work. I have been missing the twice-a week silence I had at home from my little guy’s preschool time and it is refreshing to write without fighting and wrestling going on in the other room. My sanity requires being well-rested so that is one priority I have not given up.
No more inspiration without action. It’s not just hearing the words, but listening, you know? And no amount of hastly-scribbled bubble diagrams are really going to help me when I pour it out of my brain without doing the work.
It’s work to turn away from the outside noise to work within. It’s work to rediscover who and what I want in my life. It’s work to find out whose opinions matter, without adding the amount of opinions to part of my self’s value. It’s work to take me away from the diversions I created to stop me from stressing about my own life.
Step one is reclaiming this space.
It’s a normal thing, that losing of your identity, that comes with partnership and parenthood that causes you to blend in with another and forge a new self.
I lost a fair amount of my old life at one time when part of my blog was accidentally deleted for good. I decided it was good for business and carried on, but now I am seeing the actual destruction of a part of my identity that went along with it. As if that part of me wasn’t good enough so I erased it, when actually some was the best part of me.
Day camp just ended so my time with these thoughts must too.
And more work begins.