This morning… I woke up feeling all insecure.
This happens with me. And it usually happens when I publish a vulnerable sort of blog-post (like yesterday’s one).
When I publish posts like that one… (where I share a bit of my story… of a bit of my past… or a bit about “the deep stuff”) – it has the propensity to send me into a… bit of a freaked-out… over-thinking… over-fretting… zone.
I would LOVE to be the type of person who genuinely doesn’t care what others say or think about me…
But I’m NOT that person.
I DO care what other people think about me… although, not in the ways you might imagine.
- I genuinely don’t care whether people approve of me or not.
- It genuinely doesn’t bother me what other people think about how I look… the size of my body… or how I dress (that ship has sailed and disappeared over the distant horizon)
- I also don’t mind if people gossip about me… or whether folk disapprove of the way we live – or the way we raise our kids.
- Honestly… it does NOT bother me… if people don’t agree with me – or if people don’t approve of my choices.
Those are not my problem areas. THESE are my problem areas:
- I DO worry about whether people will misunderstand me – and think that I’m saying things that I’m NOT saying.
- I DO worry that people will feel judged by me… when the LAST thing on earth I want… is for people to feel judged by me.
- I DO worry that folk will assume that I’m a “Knower”… a dualistic-thinker who believes there’s only ONE “Right” way to live life – and if they’re not doing things *my* way – then it’s “wrong”.
- I DO worry about coming off as boastful… as proud… as one of those self-promoting folk who have All-The-Answers – and who are now in a position to share their impressive 5-Step-Fix-Your-Life-Plans with the “mere mortals”.
- I DO worry that people might think that my only concern is getting my book printed and promoting myself and that I don’t *actually* care about anyone’s story but my own.
- I DO worry about whether my story… or whether speaking-MY-truth… will – in some way – hurt the feelings of somebody else.
And – (as those of you who have been blog followers for a long time will already know)… my biggest fear (as a blogger) is not that people won’t AGREE with me… but I deeply worry about not being “got”… not being understood… not being heard.
There was a season in my life (a long, sad season)… when I felt completely invisible. Here’s an illustration that pretty-much depicts how I used to feel (it’s one of the pages from the book):
As a result of this… shady-background of mine (no pun intended – har-har!)… I’m still super-sensitive in the “being heard” and “being understood” department.
One of the main reasons why I started writing and illustrating “How Heather got her HAT’ness back” was as a personal journey… a way for me to walk through my story… to process everything… and to use the art and the illustrations as a conduit for healing, understanding… and celebration too.
(It was only later… when it started morphing into a book… when other people started noticing and commenting… that I decided that I would finish the project – and turn it into the illustrated story that I had dreamed of publishing since I was a child).
But it didn’t START that way.
I didn’t wake up one morning and think: “I’m going to write a poem-story about my life. And I’m going to illustrate it. And publish it”.
It all just sort-of… evolved….
Yesterday… after writing the post about low self-esteem… body-shaming… self-abuse… and all that very vulnerable, personal stuff… I went to bed with a lump of worry squatting heavily on my chest like an unwelcome little gremlin.
And these are the thoughts that galloped… unrestrained… through my brain:
- What if people think that I’m boasting? What if it sounds as though I’m saying that I have all-my-proverbial-ducks-in-a-row… and that I’m now “perfect”…?
- Who do *I* think that *I* am… to offer “HOPE” to anyone? What kind of vain assumption is that? (NB: The “Who-Do-YOU-think-YOU-are?” voice of accusation… has haunted me all my life! It’s bosom-buddies are the “What-right-do-YOU-think-YOU-have?” voice… and the “You-think-you’re-SO-special-don’t-you?” voice). One day – I’m gonna draw the 3 of them… just like I drew my personalities.
- What if people misunderstand the whole weight-fat-food thing? Should I have told them about how much weight I’ve lost? NO! Then it will be about the *weight*… and I don’t WANT it to be about the *weight*… I want it to be about the *worth*! And if I mention numbers on a scale – then it just contradicts what I’m trying to say! But… Omigod… what if everyone completely misunderstands me?
- And what about the folk who read my blog because… maybe… they’re interested in alternative education for kids… or travel… or disentangling themselves from burdensome expectations and other bullshittery… what are THOSE folk thinking about these weird, deep posts about cutting and bingeing….? WTF?
- Am I just a “taker” and not a “giver”…? Am I just USING my blog followers?
So now you know. I’m feeling a bit freaked out and vulnerable today.
I’m worried that my crowdfunding campaign won’t be fully funded by the deadline on the 29th of June. I’m worrying about all the people who wanted a children’s book… I’m worrying about whether I’ve upset them (by deciding to publish the deeper, darker version first). I’m worried that the wonderful people who have already backed the campaign will be disappointed with the book and the goodies that get posted to them. I’m worried that other blog-followers will be saying: “Enough about the book already!!! Write about travel – like you used to! Write about unschooling! Write about debt-downsizing… anything but the bloody book!!!!”
Okay. I’m now going to log off before I dig myself into a deeper hole of angst and fretting.
I shall make myself a large mug of caffeinated beverage. I shall soak in my tub. I shall then put on something VERY pink. And I shall buy some colourful flowers to put in my studio (because fresh flowers just… have a way… of cheering me up). And I shall complete the last couple pages of my book…
HUGS to all of you… (and especially to you, Rach – Purple-Hairy-Mammoth… who brightened my morning with a well-timed and much-needed blog-comment!) X