Friday, October 3, 2014

Where I've Been (Or How Insecurity Is a Dream Killer)

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Hello, beauties! Long time, no see! As you may (or may not, I don't know your life) have noticed, I've been away from the blog for a month now. It wasn't my intention to be gone this long. In fact, it wasn't my intention to be gone at all. But sometimes things and people get in the way of your best intentions, and that is what brings me to today.

So, where have I been? Nowhere, really. I've been around, occasionally posting to Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, but I've long been silent here on the blog. There were a lot of days that I wanted to post or wanted to be involved with the community, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I couldn't bring myself to sit at my laptop and craft a new post. I couldn't bear the thought of another blog chat. Needless to say, my laptop gathered a nice little layer of dust.

Why, you may ask? Well, things start farther back than this last month. From the time I was small, I have wanted to do something artistic with my life. I wanted to be an actor. I wanted to be a singer (and eventually made a demo to test the waters). I wanted to be a model, an artist, whatever I could do to use my imagination. I wanted to be a writer.

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I still have fake news bulletins I'd write on my grandmother's typewriter as a child, binders of my short stories from middle school, and journals of my angsty teenage poetry. In college, I was published in my school's literary magazine, and later rose up to become one of its editors. I took classes to hone my skills. I worked on writing a science fiction novel. Even last year, I had a poem published in an upstart lit, photography, and art magazine.

While I've had multiple blogs over the years, everything from personal blogs to a wedding planning blog, I decided to open this one after being inspired by a friend's blog. I was going through one of the worst times in my life (see my post on my mental health journey) and felt that indulging in a creative outlet, especially one that I've loved so much, would help me find my purpose again and turn things around. To say that it changed my life would be an understatement. Writing again for an audience empowered me in ways that I can't begin to describe.

While I was excited about what the future held, people around me were not always as enthusiastic. Reactions to my blogging have run a full gamut. Some people have insinuated that I don't deserve success from blogging. I've had some who felt early on that I was gaining a following too fast. They'd had to work harder and longer to gain their own followings for their artistic endeavors, therefore it wasn't fair because they deserved success more. I've had people look down their noses at me for blogging, and others who continue to suggest I shoot for a "real" job instead of a dream job.

At first, I was hurt, but tried to shrug it off. But as with any poison, eventually it overtakes your system until there is nothing left. Growing up, I was told quite often that my artistic dreams were no more useful than basket weaving, and that I'd never make anything of myself. (Though, let me state that my mother was always a beacon of encouragement. She reads my blog and would be hurt if I didn't make mention of her support. Hi, mom!) I always said I'd prove those people wrong. Yet, here I was, finding myself surrounded by more people who reinforced those childhood barbs.

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Things have culminated in these last few months with me feeling deeply insecure. I started believing that I didn't deserve to be successful. I doubted my talents. I felt like I'd wasted my entire life working on my writing. I took a backseat to all the people around me, never letting myself shine for fear of angering them. I've toyed with the idea of giving up blogging altogether, my finger hovering over the delete button on numerous occasions. And the saddest part is I think that some people would actually be happy if I did.

The insecurity seeped into all areas of my life. I don't even feel like I know who I am any more. I have been made to feel like I'm not allowed to be anyone at all. I feel like I'm not allowed to write, or explore new things, or even change my damn hair. I feel small, trapped, pathetic, unable to just be. I feel like I'm taking up space that I don't deserve to have, that I haven't earned. I've felt ill just looking at my computer. The amount of nights I've spent upset over all this in the past few months has been unreal.

I have always been the kind of person who feels like there is enough room in this world for all of us to shine. I find joy in everyone's accomplishments, large or small. I've never felt intimidated by other people doing the same things as me, or sharing success with others. I don't see life as a competition. I've not been one to hold back any "secrets" to success, and I love being able to give a helping hand to those in need. But I have learned in this past year that not everyone I've surrounded myself with feels the same.

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So, where does that leave me? I'm still hurt and sorting through my insecurities, but I've also become angry. That fighting spirit leaves me wanting to have another go at it. It leaves me hopeful that I can slowly shed those insecurities, get my life back, and remove the influences that brought me to this point in the first place. It makes me want to reach for my dreams again.

With that being said, I'm hoping to be back at the blogging game. I'm going to start out slow and see where that leads me. I'm shooting for two posts a week and adding more as I find my groove again. While I know that I didn't have to explain myself, I wrote this post as much for me as it is for my readers. I need the catharsis and I was tired of holding everything inside, allowing the poison to continue to control me.

I leave you all with a final message. Don't be like me. If you have friends or family that are trying to pull you down, who expect you to remain in the shadows instead of shining the way you were born to do, who don't give you the support you deserve, let them go. Let. Them. Go. Do not let people stand in your way. Be gracious and supportive and positive, and surround yourself with others who treat you in kind. Do not ever let anyone steal your dreams from you. Ever. You are not their opinions of you. You are a wonder who brings value to this world. Never forget that.

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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11 comments

  1. Welcome back and thanks for such a candid post. I started blogging at 50+ and am of the age where I don't really care what others think. It wasn't always that way. :) I'm just going to do my thing, surround myself with people who believe in me and help others all I can. I've been a writer since I was a little girl, but never really had time to pursue my dreams. I recently found out that it's never too late. I wish you all the success in the world! Dream big!

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  2. I hate that you've had to go through all of that: the majority of the blogging community seems to be wonderful, but there is that small fraction that seems to thrive on being rude or mean. No matter what anyone else tells you, the choice to blog is yours and yours alone. If it's making you happy, stick with it! Ignore anyone who gets in your way. When I've had a rough day where I've gotten a rude comment or a rejection letter (I also work as a freelance writer), I remember how Beatrix Potter got 60 rejections before someone agreed to publish "Peter Rabbit." I remember how some people thought that the Beatles would be a flash in the pan. And those things make me decide to keep going and keep pursuing what I love to do. Ultimately, what you blog and how you blog (and whether you blog!) is up to you, but I hope that you do what makes you happy! :)

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  3. I'm terribly sorry for all you've been dealing with but I'm even more PROUD of you for not staying in dark place! This is the very first time I've visited your site and you have worked hard for your success, blogging is not easy and anyone that has done it and done it well knows that! Megan, you are so wise to learn the lesson of letting go of negative relationships, your life is going to be better for it! Keep pursuing your passion, you're going to SHINE!!!!!!!

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  4. Well its good to know that your okay. But stinks how you've been feeling. We will take what we can get honey. All of us who love you will be happy with what we can get! Keep your head up pretty girl! Xo

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing. We all experience burn-out and it is ok to take a break, re-group and come back. Best wishes to your continued success.

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  6. You do what feels right. If the blogging isn't making you happy, it was good that you took a break. Hopefully you are recharged and ready to do what is right for you!

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  7. Glad you are back! I always tell myself blog for yourself not for anyone else. Take negative people out of your life, everyone gets a chance to shine. Nobody is supposed to dim your sparkle! Keep your head held high!

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  8. I just came back from a break as well. I'm at that awkward stage where I have been blogging for over a year now...maybe I could actually tell the people on my actual facebook with RL friends and family but I am to worried over the reaction. I really would get my feelings hurt if someone started picking at me for it. Plus I'm pretty shy so I do not reach out like I should nor do I push for deeper relationships with other bloggers because i still think mine is ..."Junior level"..compaired to the others, does that make sense?

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  9. I enjoy reading your blog so don't give up!

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  10. These feelings are scary and destructive, but most writers have them at some point or another. The key is to turn them around and make them work to your benefit. Take that intensity you feel and put it into the completion of some project. You are a good writer and already ahead of 90% of bloggers just because you can write complete sentences and paragraphs, haha. :) Hang in there.

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  11. So of course I just met you on Facebook a week or so ago, but I am so glad I did. Also equally happy you did not give up. I have only been on youtube for 6 months, but the support has been amazing. There are days I want to give up because being successful there seems unattainable, but I love what I do and that's what matters. Your dedication to the facebook group is proof that you deserve success from your hard work. :)

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