Updated: May 22, 2020
Hello everyone! Welcome to my first blog post!
So….I initially wanted to start blogging shortly after my first (now 4 year old) was born. I was a brand new mommy. I wasn’t working or going to school for the first time since… umm… kindergarten (no joke) and I had so much to write about! I remember organizing the titles of all the topics I wanted to discuss and trying to decide in what order they should be written. I even subscribed to tumblr, picked out a name, and started typing. I’ve always been a journaler… journalee-er? Lol. And I have found that when I write, it is not typically filled with stories about rainbows and butterflies. Don’t get me wrong, there may be a page of “oh happy day” every so often. But in the event that you ever open up a page in my journal and dive in, you will likely see a smattering of emotion-filled rants, sometimes confusion (both in life and general sentence structure), and occasionally no real logical thought process. Just words to paper. It is my release. One I have utilized since I was old enough to write.
So there I was, “Sally Struggles,” with all of these personal stories and hardships that I desperately wanted to share! But this time, I wanted to work on my writing as I felt the content was readable and relatable.
My goal was two fold:
1) Help others feel supported and understand/relate to the fact that the “struggle is real” (like really real) and provide my readers with useful information and applicable techniques to assist them through the harder days (ya know…put that degree to good use)
2) Maybe find the support I needed within my readers. My husband and family were great sources of support. My husband really stepped up in so many ways but there were things he was sympathetic to, but didn’t truly understand because he couldn’t relate. I wanted to feel as though I was a part of a group, experiencing the same stuff. In the trenches but not alone. Ya know?
So what happened?
I am sure at the time I likely came up with a number of things that demanded my attention and took priority: a crying baby, messy house, empty dinner table, absent shower (my own)… I could go on and on. But realistically the only thing that kept me from publishing that first blog 3 1/2 years ago was… fear.
The closer I got to finishing, the less I wanted to go through with it. I had been reading a lot of other blogs and I had been focusing on the comments. A blog can’t make it without people enjoying what they are reading, therefore increasing foot… or maybe “click” traffic. What I found in those blogs (or more likely, what I focused on), were women (and men) pouring their hearts out about their struggles and experiences, and in turn they were being met with negative, sometimes hurtful, sometimes threatening comments. From complete strangers! Holy cow was I terrified! The internet (or more specifically social media) is such a different and unique way to interact. But more on this later.
At that moment in time, I was exhausted. Both physically and emotionally. From a lack of sleep, nursing issues, a constantly crying baby. I needed support not judgment and I was scared. What if no one read it or what if people read it but didn’t like it? What if they thought I was a terrible writer or worse a terrible mother? So many “what ifs” ran through my head and at that moment in time, I just didn’t have the energy or emotional strength to defend myself or my thoughts. I decided it just wasn’t worth it. So I gave up. Those who know me well know I rarely quit. With the exception of 8th grade track and field… lol.
I let the fear of failure and judgement squash something I was truly interested in. I ignored the many positive and supportive comments that people were leaving and focused solely on the few that were negative. The outliers. How many times do we do this in everyday life? So many positive things can happen in a day but we tend to ruminate on the negative (more on this later, too).
Anyway, so here I am now, fast forward 3 1/2 years. Back at it. I don’t know if people will like what I write. I don’t even know if people will read this. And that’s ok. If I let fear dictate my actions or prevent me from achieving my goals, I will never accomplish anything. And that… to me… is 100 times scarier than a couple of negative outliers.
Until next time…
With Love – Jess