I have sat down to write a post several times since I got to Arkansas just over a month ago.
One reason or another would come up and I would find a way to avoid it.
Do you ever work so hard to convince yourself something you want so badly to happen is NOT going to happen — all just so you can attempt to not be so disappointed when the rejection, you believe to be inevitable, comes?
That was me this summer.
I had applied for an internship that seemed so beyond my reach back in May. Doing so meant stopping all my normal activities overseas in Japan, just in case I would be returning to spend my fall semester back in Arkansas for the internship.
So being one of those volunteer, over-achiever types I didn’t quite know what to do with all the free time I suddenly had on my hands. After a few days of binge watching TV shows and the food network — I knew I was going to have to do something.
So I finally got the nerve to hit publish on this blog.
All my nerves, anxiety, passion, and excitement was then given an avenue to pour into — a project for this busy bee to focus on.
I felt like a writing machine.
Ideas were flowing.
Lists and charts and brainstorming notes.
I checked out stacks of books at the library.
This was it. My next frontier — the newest couch blogger out there.
It was exciting. Not only was I finding a new found courage to really write, but I found myself finally able to give back in some small way to the collection of bloggers and authors I had been eagerly following for years.
Voices and words that honestly have saved my life and fed my soul on so many occasions I can’t even count.
So there I was. Ready to face my fears about my battles with life’s big questions and faith. Ready to share my journey from mars (I mean homeschool-ville) to earth. Ready to start sharing some of my stories — all the while using the only weapons I knew to fend off that old familiar fear of rejection — denial and predicting failure.
And yet I still I laid awake the whole night before the results of who was selected came in tossing and turning and checking my email every five minutes.
For someone who was trying not to care, I was failing miserably.
And then five minutes after I finally fell asleep that email came around 6 AM.
I didn’t wake up for another couple of hours to find it.
All my fears and worries — had been just that. I was selected.
After screaming and crying for joy, my next realization was OH CRAP. I’ve got so much to do.
In the next five days, I managed to pack up myself, my cat, and everything I could pack into two suitcases and a carry-on, say countless teary good byes, and began the long journey home.
The whirlwind had begun.
Three and a half weeks later I arrived in Little Rock in a tail spin. I was jet lagged, undergoing culture re-immersion, and beyond exhausted from traveling for three straight weeks packing in as many reunions with family and loved ones that I could.
But there was no time to rest. It was time to hit the ground running.
Now a month has passed, and while I managed to get the Townhall posts going again, I have been staring at my screen for days whenever I had a free moment not knowing where to pick back up or what to write.
I had all the lists and plans, but suddenly I find myself miles away from the home I had come to love and very little time to dedicate in comparison to what I had.
If moving wasn’t a big enough change, I now am doing my internship and working two other part-time jobs on the side, plus working on a masters class. There are days like today where I spend my first waking hours doing homework, followed by an 8 hour work day, and I come home feeling like my brain doesn’t have anything left to write.
I went from hours on my couch to working almost 40 hours a week, plus studying in whatever time is left whether that’s early morning, evening, or for the entire weekend.
So that was definitely a schedule change I didn’t account for in my extensive blogging plans.
I don’t know about you, but I am one of those people that when I fail a plan, or get off a routine I have worked hard to create — I have a hard time at first not feeling like a failure. Like I should somehow learn to do manage it all better. The perfectionist in me is a hard taskmaster. I am trying to learn to recognize that more, and see when I am starting to get stuck in an old rut.
So, even though I have read countless posts about how to build a genuine blog community, and that it takes time and consistent and dedicated effort — I am learning that my consistent and dedicated is going to look a lot different than what I first anticipated.
I didn’t get into blogging though for the web site hits or the numbers. I got into it as a way of challenging myself to be me, share my thoughts and writing, and to actively practice all that I had been gleaning over the past few years.
I got into blogging to share my stories, to provide a space to honor other stories, and to allow those stories to change me. That hasn’t changed.
However, as far as my subject series and great plans — well someone ran in circles so long that I now am back to looking at a blank drawing board.
Fear comes so easily in my life.
I have been battling it for as long as I can remember, whether it was the dark, failure, disappointing others, not fitting in, or being rejected. Every time I think I get a few steps down the road to overcoming it — another facet of it pops up waiting to see how I will respond.
When I got behind in my plans, I feared I would never catch up.
When I had to take a break from writing for all the traveling, the fear of never writing something good again began to creep in around me and suddenly the break got longer and longer.
Have you ever gone back to read something you wrote a long time ago, and find yourself convicted in what you have forgotten?
Today I shared my site with a new co-worker. In doing so I went to check and make sure the link I shared worked, and decided to breeze through my own home page.
On it I share,
I have learned that life is somehow diminished when it is lived safe and behind the lines of my own comfort zone. Anything beyond those lines involves facing fears; facing the reality of being misunderstood; facing my own weaknesses, imperfections, failures, or inadequacies. In other words, being vulnerable about life and living from a place of acceptance takes courage, because it means accepting everything—the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between.
It means telling the whole story, not just the parts I am comfortable telling.
Apparently fear and worry have an arsenal of tools for keeping us so focused on what might go wrong, or what feels wrong, or what we are afraid of that it easily distracts us from remembering the truths we already know deep in our hearts.
But I am back here today.
Instead of running in circles with my doubts and fears, I am reminding myself today of why I started. I am remembering the gifts that writing and words are too me, and why I will continue to share them with others.
I know life and my goals may not always correspond in the way I love to plan for them too, but this way will probably be a whole lot more interesting anyway.
If nothing else, I should really get used to it. This is Basic 101 for being a military spouse.
Plan and then watch life happen.
So what about you?
- How do you handle big changes in your life?
- What are your fears? Failure, Disappointment, Rejection? How have you learned to face them?
- For those of you who blog and have other jobs, family, and lives to live — how do you manage to balance it all, as well as rest?