When Jess Constable hit “publish” on this post, I hope she was proud. The kind of proud that makes you feel you should put on your running shoes and flee for the mountains, much like a curtain-clothed Julie Andrews frolicking about. I hope she twirled that day, because she deserves to.
And when Ez contacted me to start a viral blogging campaign about transparency, fear and anxiety, I hope she was proud, too. Because when I agreed to participate, I twirled. I twirled and twirled and twirled, so fantastically inspired by this community of genuine women that surrounds me. At the same time, the all-too-familiar fears of anxiety and rejection began to creep up inside me as I wondered what exactly I would (could? should?) share with the world.
The truth is, I spare a lot of details about my personal life on this site. For a lot of reasons, of course, which is something people say when they’re scared to admit the true reasons. And for me, those true reasons stem from fear.
When I started my personal blog in 2001, no one was listening except for my college roommate and the computer hacker down the hall in 2B. And now? Now there are thousands of you, which scares me to no end. I’m so much more comfortable highlighting the amazing lives that other creatives are building, rather than let you in to see the cracks in my own foundation. I’m a shack writing about the many Sistine Chapels of the world, and in doing so, I forget that even shacks provide shelter amidst the storm.
So, in honor of celebrating the shack in us all, I present to you a list of Things I’m Afraid to Tell You:
1. I limit my time on social media channels (Twitter/Facebook/Instagram) not because I’m too busy, but because feelings of jealousy creep up when I look at the perfectly styled and aspirational lifestyles of my online friends and suddenly my life seems too slow, too mundane… too regular. (I know this isn’t true, and that I have the power to mold and create the life I want. In reality, I am a very lucky girl, yet when my focus is on others behind a computer screen, my perspective shifts and I get thrown off balance.)
2. I sometimes tire of writing about art/design/visual inspiration, because I fear I’m contributing to a false sense of reality. I do believe there is beauty in absolutely everything, but where does that beauty come from? Is it in a well-designed object, or the story of a maker who has overcome adversity in some way? Or is it in the beauty of failure – of accidents, unexpected twists and personal trials?
3. I am average at a lot of different things, but above average at very little, so my inner voice sometimes lets that deter me from following my dreams. I badly want to start a clothing/product line, but am terrified, because I’m not a style expert and know nothing of the sort. But you know what? I’m going to give it a shot. I truly am.
4. I miss creating things. On some days, I’m perfectly content highlighting the inspiration that abounds from other people’s creations, and then other days? Other days I want to join in on the fun – to be my own inspiration. To create my own things, my own self. I haven’t found that balance yet, but I’m hopeful.
5. I am super sensitive and my feelings are easily hurt. I spend a lot of days in my own head, creating catastrophes that don’t exist and feeling anxious about silly, unimportant details. I continually judge myself and am a very, very harsh critic. (This is why I give myself non-goals at the beginning of the year!)
6. I am a horrid homemaker. Until recently (thanks to nesting!), I rarely cooked a meal and am always fighting the dreaded laundry day. I can’t remember the last time I cleaned my toilets (I truly am disgusting myself over here).
7. I’m surprisingly non-crafty. I don’t have the patience or attention to detail, which is why designing and styling is more up my alley. If the item already exists and I can create something around it? Yes. If I have to dream up the inner workings and function of something entirely new? Hives abound.
8. I’m not fully confident in my own skin. I have stretch marks, teen acne scars, oily skin and many more beauty flaws. I have to continually remind myself to strive for inner beauty and forget the rest. Don’t we all?
You guys. I feel better already. I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to create a safe place where I can share my deepest anxieties. I’d encourage you to do the same, when you’re ready. Or to visit the other bloggers who are spilling their guts today. The hills are, indeed, alive, and I’m so glad we’re ready to twirl.
Much love to each of you,
EDIT: My gracious, you guys are so incredibly supportive and kind. I’m amazed at this community. Definitely read through the comment section – it’s a great thread and proves that we’re all much more similar than we think! Thank you for your grace today!