44 days down, 321 to go!
You need to just chill out. And you need to remember why you started blogging in the first place. To have a place to go to for support. To keep yourself accountable, and on task. You didn’t start blogging to become a popular writer. What you write doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be real. And honest. Forget coming up with thesis statements and the like. This isn’t college. You aren’t getting graded. Phew. I really detested English class. Because I always got flustered writing. And yet here I am. Flustered. Go figure.
Remember, RELAX! (do you know what that means?),
a.k.a. The Orange Rhino
Last week I threw a temper tantrum, to the likes of my 5 year old’s temper tantrums, although perhaps worse since I am 30+ and *should* have it all together. Which I SO don’t. It is actually a tossup as to whose temper tantrums are worse. Mine or my 5 year olds. Sadly, they are about the same. He just has 1-2 a day and I am down to 1-2 every few months. THANK GOD.
But last week’s was grand. Complete with foot stomping, yelling, slamming my computer down, and some tears. All because I was frustrated. All because I had a vision of what I wanted to write and I couldn’t achieve it. I wanted what I wrote to be perfect, to make sense, to flow and say exactly what I wanted it to say. And it wasn’t flowing. And I just kept thinking, sh*t, this is a WASTE of my time because no one reads what I write. And I just kept obsessing over words, lines, trying to shorten my blog to make it fit the suggested length of a blog so people would read it, when really, I should have just put it out there.
I should have just stopped worrying what people think about me and instead used my babysitter time to have quality time with my baby while my sitter played with my 2.5 year old. And vice versa. That is the waste. Not the less than perfect writing. But the poor prioritization of my time. And really, that is what the tantrum was all about.
Or was it?
Was it really my being angry at myself for sucking at prioritizing. Is that really why I was mad?
Was it really my being angry at myself for not having self discipline, not knowing when to stop. Nope.
I have to be honest with myself, with you all. And this is going to be wicked embarrassing to admit. My tantrum was all because I was afraid of what people would think, that you wouldn’t like what I wrote, that you wouldn’t like me. Why is that embarrassing to admit? I don’t know. I guess the part about caring so much about what others think of me and not having any self confidence to believe in myself?
I finished my tantrum and my babysitter who had just witnessed it looked at me.
“I think you should stop blogging. It is stressing you out.”
“No it’s not” (said grouchily, kind of like a barking dog, roof!)
“No really, it is.”
And that’s when I realized. The blog itself isn’t stressing me out. It’s the putting myself out there that is. I am the most insecure person you’ll meet. I spend probably way too much time out of my day worrying that I am not good enough, that people don’t like me, that I did something wrong, yaddah yaddah yaddah.
So this blog, in all of its wonderfulness, and this challenge, in all of its wonderfulness, is phenomenally difficult to me. It is like a double whammy – learning to not yell and learning to not care so much about what the negative stuff other people *might* or *might not* think of me and what I write.
So I turned my tantrum into a teaching moment. My babysitter LOVES when I act like her 2nd mom (insert sarcasm).
“You’re right. I do seem stressed. But it is a good thing. It is positive stress. This blog, writing and sharing with the world, it’s forcing me to learn how to worry less about what people think (might think) about me. It’s forcing me to learn how to believe in myself first, to feel proud about what I wrote even if others don’t feel the same. This personal issue of worrying that others might think negatively about me has kept me stuck in many ways for my entire life. It’s held me back. If I can fight through it, I’ll come out a stronger, better, happier person.”
And I truly believe that.
So I am choosing to challenge myself. To keep doing The Orange Rhino Challenge, the not yelling and the blogging. Because I believe I will come out stronger, better, and happier. It is HARD, REALLY HARD but it is so worth it.