Before I get into the meat and potatoes of today’s post, I just want to say thank you.
Over the course of the last week or so, I have been fortunate enough to gain new followers. I have received a number of likes along with the most gracious comments, which couldn’t have been more of an encouragement. If you were one of the kind individuals who took the time out to follow my blog, or read, like and share my content—thank you so very much. Your feedback has motivated me to continue on this journey when I’ve genuinely wondered if I should give up, so words cannot express how valuable our small (but quickly growing) community means to me.
It has been a tremendous blessing to receive any attention for my work because in all honesty, I do not promote or share my content at all. I don’t utilize social media for this site and no one in my personal life knows this website even exists. On the two occasions that I mentioned this blog to complete strangers, it just didn’t feel like the right thing to do. Despite desperately wanting to showcase my writing and potentially open new doors for myself (professionally speaking), self-promotion is simply not my gig.
I’ve tried to promote my other two sites, but unfortunately for me, the whole thing failed to feel authentic, so I stopped. It is extremely difficult for me to do things that feel disingenuous and forced…it’s so hard to describe. I guess I’ve just had to stick to doing what I love and have faith that the universe would pick up the slack. Well, I’m starting to feel as though that strategy is (somehow) working, so I just want to thank you guys for being apart of helping make a long-time dream of mine a reality.
This kind of leads into what I would like to say today. I’m not even sure how to say what’s on my mind…this is sort of a last-minute thing, so forgive me if I have trouble staying on course.
Are We There Yet?
Fun fact: I pray a lot. Though I don’t find myself to be particularly “religious” and I haven’t stepped foot in a church since Moses parted the Red Sea, my faith is very important to me. One of my main priorities is to identify and follow God’s plan for my life. I don’t want to get too long-winded today, but long story short, I have struggled to determine my life’s purpose since pretty much…forever. Ever since I was a child I have harbored this fervent desire to learn why I’m alive. Why am I still here? What exactly is my function? I asked these questions for decades, yet I never felt as though I heard a definite answer.
Many people would often suggest, “Do what you’re good at.” Normally, I would say that is smashing advice. If you’re good at baseball, play baseball. If you’re good at dancing, be a dancer. But you see, the way my life was set up, I was given many talents. Anyone who knows me personally wouldn’t hesitate to tell you that I’m sorrowfully gifted. And believe you me, I’m hardly bragging. It’s been more of a curse than anything because I genuinely love many things, but I can’t do everything all at once. The notion of picking one talent and focusing on it exclusively has proved to be impossible for me.
In a perfect world, I would be a restaurant owning, PhD toting, fashion designing singer/songwriter who films cooking shows, does interior design and spits out New York bestsellers like an over-eager Pez dispenser. You can imagine the chaos I’ve created trying to actually achieve all of that, right?
This is where prayer comes in. I’ve found myself having to pray a little more than usual as of late because I genuinely need to know what the heck I’m doing. After all, I’m not getting any younger. I wish I was aging in reverse and had the lifespan of a fetus, but that’s apparently not an option. That being said, I’ve been having little chats with The Man Upstairs more frequently. As it turns out, He actually isn’t a deaf mute. He’s been answering me all along…I’ve simply heard him and decided to do something else entirely. My bad.
“Talent Is A Terrible Thing To Waste”
Though I still don’t believe I have a full revelation of everything I am meant to do in life, I do know that this blog is a critical piece of the puzzle. As I mentioned recently, though this particular site is in its infancy stage, I have been blogging about my life for almost twenty years. That…actually depresses me and has me wanting to ring up a plastic surgeon for a facelift. LOL! All jokes aside, that is nearly two decades worth of life experience that I have failed to share, two decades in which I potentially could have connected with and helped to inspire others.
In all fairness to me, blogging wasn’t really a thing when I started. Outside of a friend and myself, no one ever talked about it. No one talked about following blogs, having blogs, nothing. Of course, by the time people started talking about blogging and social media, I was already set in my ways. I was quite happy spending hours on end only writing for two or three sets of eyes. However, people would constantly tell me that I should take blogging seriously and really put myself out there. Professors simply could not understand why I wasn’t utilizing my writing skills in a more profitable manner. Meanwhile, my parents constantly reminded me that “talent is a terrible thing to waste.”
So, why didn’t I share before now? Honestly? I believe are two reasons for this: 1.) I wanted my writing to be perfect like that of my literary heroes and 2.) I didn’t think that perfect strangers would be very interested in me or my life.
In my little neck of the woods, it was well known that I was a “good writer”—whatever that means. For as long as I’ve been able to hold a pencil and scribble on a piece of paper, writing has simply been “my thing”. Some of the finest compliments I’ve ever received have come from teachers and professors in regards to my writing.
My 9th grade English teacher always swore that he could read my writing in 10-20 years’ time and instantly know that I’d been the author due to my “distinct writing voice”. In junior/senior year, my art and creative writing teachers asked for signed copies of my poems because they thought they’d be “worth money one day”. Ha! Guess the joke is on them, ey?
Then, in college, I was accused of plagiarism multiple times because there was allegedly “no way” that I could have crafted the essays I did without cheating. Naturally, when they would check my papers against the plagiarism websites, I’d leave them slack-jawed and speechless. Plagiarism? What plagiarism? Pfft! Give me a break!
I say all of this to really drive home the fact that despite years of encouragement about the soundness of my writing, I still didn’t feel it was good enough. For some reason, it was good enough to my friends, good enough to my family, good enough to all of my teachers and good enough to me—that much I could digest. Yet, when it came down to letting the world judge me and my writing, I just “knew” I wasn’t good enough.
Then there’s the matter of being too boring. I honestly think I had a fabulous life back in the day. I was young, invincible and on a constant quest to take risks and live. There was drama, sex and scandal around every corner—it was fantastic. Never lacking something to write (aka complain) about, the many “characters” of my life provided me with a steady stream of non-fiction fodder.
These days, my life is quite unremarkable. Aside from my parents and my cat, I (regrettably) don’t associate with many people anymore. My life is completely drama-free, which allows me to exist in complete harmony. However, I often struggle to figure out how I can write about my life when I don’t really seem to have one anymore.
Finally Following The Yellow Brick Road
All of that being said, I have recently realized that it is time to go back and start sharing “the old me”. When I decided to start the “Pieces of Me” series, I mentioned how I’d been wanting to release my old, essentially unseen content for quite awhile. By “quite awhile” I actually meant several years…probably six or seven. Ever since posting those first two pieces, I’ve felt this indescribable sense of fulfillment and alignment. At first, I was only going to feature a throwback post once a week, if that. However, I can’t help but feel as though I’m really supposed to focus on it more than that.
No matter what I try to do, there’s just this strong prompting in my spirit to temporarily suspend talking about anything other than what I’ve previously written. It feels so urgent and so critical that I’ve had this weird, anticipatory anxiety about it. Keep in mind, I have strong reservations about sharing certain aspects of my past. To tell you the truth, just thinking about it kind of makes me sick. But at the same time, I genuinely feel that there’s a greater purpose to sharing that side of myself.
For one, I’m getting a pretty weighty impression that this is a test of obedience that I have to pass in order to step into the next phase of my life. Secondly, I sense that whatever lies within those nearly ancient texts (haha) is greatly needed by someone. I don’t know if it’s one person, five people, a whole motorcycle gang…I’m genuinely not sure. I just know the revelations I have gotten after praying about the next steps I should take, and all signs point to making the posts of the past a priority.
So, just as a heads up, I’m going to be focusing on old content pretty much exclusively…until I feel the urge to stop or I run out entirely. Hopefully you guys don’t mind. It is my intention to insert commentary and reflection either before or after each post in order to give more context to whatever I was experiencing at the time. Also, because I plan to use these posts as tools to help people navigate similar circumstances, I’d like to insert some advice and share what I think about the situations now that I am older and (hopefully) wiser.
That’s pretty much it for now! Thank you again for all of your support. And please, if you guys are enjoying and/or benefiting from this blog in any way and you know of people who might also like it, I’d appreciate you spreading the word. Also, if there’s ever a topic you’d like me to give my two cents on, I’m always open to suggestions. 🙂