On Fear, Perfection, Being Myself, Etc.
I often put off writing a blog post because I want to wait until I have enough thoughts gathered to encompass whatever topic I want to cover and then be done with it.
The result? I never write the post.
I've realized that I am trying too hard with this blog right now, which has been paralyzing me. I'm trying so hard to figure out what it should be that I'm keeping it from being anything. Which is actually a fantastic metaphor for my life. I so badly want everything to be perfect. I want to skip the mess and leap straight to the end, where everything is organized and figured out. The only problem with that way of thinking is that that day'll never come. Life is not organized, nor is it figured out...ever. There may be moments of organization and clarity, but they only lead to more messiness and figuring out. I know all of this. But I still struggle with accepting it.
My life is on hold. Every decision could be a bad one, and every step could be in the wrong direction, so I stand still instead. I don't want to misspell anything in my blog posts, or make typos, or slip up and say something ridiculous, but achieving that level of perfection I desire is impossible, and is often so exhausting that I forego even making an attempt in the first place. I am scared of failing. And I am scared of being disagreed with, or giving people a reason to be disappointed in me.
So I stifle myself.
I've been thinking a lot lately (as I do) about what it really is that is holding me back. The fear of failure, to be sure...but it's something more than that. It's a complete lack of willingness to be fully myself. Vulnerability terrifies me. And I've gotten to be pretty good at this whole "internet presence" thing, so I know I don't have to be vulnerable if I don't want to, because it's easy to make it look good on
paper screen. But the lack of vulnerability doesn't help me, and it doesn't help anyone else either, because then everything I put out into the world is fluff with no substance, so what's the point? It's bland. It's Wonder Bread.
I'm not trying to say that this is going to become an online diary full of negative ramblings and ravings, because nobody wants to read that crap, especially not me. But this blog could use a little more truth, both good and bad. Because you know what? I have opinions. I do. And I have awful days, and I have fabulous days. But you wouldn't know it unless you are a part of my daily life, because everything on here is pretty even-keeled. And I realize that there are plenty of people who would say that there's no reason for it to be anything but that; why air my dirty laundry or real feelings? Why not just let let this be a place for pretty pictures and songs about the beach? I'll tell you why (and why not): because I want to be real. I started this blog as a way to keep my family and friends who are scattered all over the place in touch with my life, but I also started it as a way to express myself, and I've been doing a whole lot of the former and not so much of the latter. I love both, but I need there to be more of a balance. I am going to get nowhere in life by being Wonder Bread. I need to friggin' be cinnamon raisin bread, fresh out of the toaster with lots of butter melting all over the place and a little extra dash of cinnamon for flavor.
The people I admire most are 100%, unapologetically themselves and straight up do what they love, while I spend the majority of my life apologizing to the rest of the world for even existing in the first place. I blame no one but myself for this, but it's true. And I want that to stop. Like...now. Starting with a totally honest blog post like this. I want to push past the voices of others that I create in my head; the ones that tell me, "Hmm...maybe you shouldn't say that, your family reads this", or "If you write that, no one will read your blog again, because it's shallow and annoying". There are certain people (who shall remain nameless) whose opinions I care about more than others, and in my mind, they will always disapprove, even though I haven't given them a chance in real life to prove otherwise. And that's not fair to anyone involved.
So you're going to have to excuse me for awhile if I seem a bit selfish, because I'm going to make this blog be more about me, and less about what others might think or want. This might shake things up a bit, lose me some readers, or be totally embarrassing and scary, but so be it. I'm ready to be myself and see where it gets me. I need to be able to breathe again and know that I am getting places and being appreciated for who I really am. I have far too many emotions (no, really...far too many) and thoughts to keep them all cooped up inside. Doing so is slowly driving me insane.
I leave you with a picture (taken on a hike up to Griffith Observatory during my first week of living in LA - that's the skyline of downtown that you can see in the distance).
Seriously. I love this place.
Happy Tuesday for real this time, y'all. Thanks for reading.
P.S. I just created a Facebook page for this blog, and if you feel so inclined, you should "like" it. I'm not at a place where I feel like hyping it yet, but I'll mention it here and then let it go for a little while. It's one of the things I've been holding back from doing, because ohmigawd what if the only people that like it are my mom and my boyfriend?, but deep down I wanted to do it, so I did it. And now it's done. And what will come will come. Peace.
P.P.S. Perfect timing: this article just came up on my Google Reader today. I love Tiny Buddha.