Sunday, July 29, 2012

My BlogHer Epiphany.

I never thought that Twitter would be the thing to make me learn something about myself.

I have been stuck in one of those self-hate spirals lately.  I'm tired, I'm not eating well and I have a lot on my plate.  All this translates to lots on my mind and when it all comes together, things don't go so well.

One of my coping mechanisms with anxiety is to try to plan for every conceivable scenario.  I know that one can't plan for everything and somehow my coping mechanism just becomes another anxiety trigger.  Sometimes I'm really good at setting myself up for disaster.

By the end of last week, I had worked myself up into such a frenzy that I wasn't a good enough writer to be at BlogHer.  And as if that wasn't bad enough, I then decided that I was too fat and ugly to go there too.  And is if that wasn't bad enough, I decided to tweet about it.  Endlessly.

I lost 2 followers.  I was upset about this and then I thought about it.  I would have dropped me too.  I was bored of my own voice so I tweeted it out there and then got upset when it bored others.  I got a tweet reply telling me to snap out of it.  She threw in a nice compliment, which really did help, but the first part, it was like she grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me hard.  And I totally needed it.

I put the iPhone down.  I stopped complaining all over the internet.

Why did I sign up to go to BlogHer?  I wanted to write better, to blog better.  I thought it would be fun.   I thought it would be a good way to network and to meet people in the blogging community.  I hoped I'd meet some people whose writing I enjoyed.  I did not think once about wanting people to think I was pretty.  That never factored into my decision to go.

I'm planning on attending with a long-time friend, but I'm also planning to meet up with some new friends I've never actually met in person.  I read that there will be about 4,000 other people at this conference.  I generally keep to my little circle on most days and the thought of all these new people got me all nervous and stupid.

I read the "snap out of it" tweet while I was staring at the make-up aisle in my local drugstore trying to find the perfect shade of foundation for my slightly tanned face.  Usually I buy the lightest color they sell and it's fine.  I was holding two bottles up to my wrist trying to match my skin tone.  I put one down to read the tweet that flashed in and I remembered:

I'm going to BlogHer to be a better writer.

No one will care if I wear Classic Ivory or Natural Ivory.  No one will care what I weigh.  No one will care if all of my outfits are new or if they're old.  No one will care if I wear my hair straight or curly, up or down.  No one will care if I'm wearing Spanx or not.  No one will care.

And if they do, well, too bad.

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  1. you will go and come back stronger, even for the insecurity you've faced on the onset. I'm not going, but really wish i was because of all you loveliess making it awesome. I get the issues, I would have to work through all of the ones you've mentioned {btw, pale sisters unite!} but know that you without a doubt deserve to be there. you believed that about yourself too when you signed up. start listening to THAT inner voice {and mine, duh} and you'll grow, without a doubt.

    1. Thank you Tara for always being so supportive. I wish you were going too because I would love to meet you in person. I know that once I get there, and get past the anticipation of getting there, I will feel so much better. I don't do well with anticipation (too much time to think and worry!). I just have to keep reminding myself to not let the anticipation get out of control :)

  2. That's right! If they do care, eff 'em! That means they're not at blogher to meet fellow bloggers or be better writers. They're just there to judge people, which means they won't be helpful in your own goal to be a better writer. There will be plenty of people there (like your longtime friend) who are attending to learn some stuff, get inspired, and meet people who write. ALL kinds of people. And they'll probably all be feeling self-conscious. :)

    1. Yay for longtime friends! I will make the most of this and hopefully meet people with similar goals. I have no desire to get into the catfights of blogging or the contests of who is better/bigger/whatever. My blog is not at all what it was when we first decided to go to Blogher and I'm so thankful for the growth (both in numbers and, if I may say so, writing ability). I want to keep growing and as long as I keep my head going in the right direction I know that I will. So glad you'll be there with me for this!

  3. It's good that you are focused on being a better writer and stop sabotaging that. Try extending it to being happier / more productive / more grateful for what you have. Your empty fridge? Mine and others have one that looks like that (minus the beer lol) too many weeks a month. You might say my choices create the empty fridge, but you can't be sure about that. All I'm suggesting is to be more appreciative of the chances you have and are drumming up the courage to achieve. And the fact that you can afford to go to blogher (how many other writers out there wish they could?). If this offends you, or pisses you off, well, that might be a good thing too. You can do this, if you keep the focus as you promise you will in this post.

    1. I'm not pissed off or offended by your comment, though I am a little confused. I am very grateful for all that I have, for every piece of good fortune I've ever had and for every time the difficult times weren't worse.

      I'm not really sure why you bring up the empty fridge (presumably from the Twitter and/or Facebook picture) or suspect that I have an opinion on your refrigerator. I don't know who this is since you've chosen to leave your comment anonymously, as is your right. I'm not sure why you think I'm not grateful for all that I have or why this post caused you to express this concern to me.

      I appreciate that I am to be able to go to the conference, to have clean clothes on my back, food to eat, and the opportunity to write and many, many other things that other people don't have. I know that there are people far worse off than I am and that many of my problems are "first world" problems, as they say.

      This was really just a post about my own insecurities and how I can let them get out of control in my own mind. It also was about not letting those things stop me from enjoying this conference and life in general. I'm sorry if something I did has offended you (whether that be in this post or elsewhere).

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. All opinions are welcome here, as long as they are respectful of course! Feel free to leave your name next time. I promise you'll be met with the same response as if you didn't :)