Hey look who’s back! Yep, just when you thought it was safe to return to your news feed, it’s the bad blogger.
Ugh. I’m trying to avoid negative labels, but I’ve already failed. That’s okay – you know what FAIL means, right?
It really should be First Attempt At Learning, but that would mean that I was FAALing, which is far too close to falling – and at my age, falling is something I need to avoid. Failing, however, is different. Failing is important. I know, I know, it seems counter-intuitive – we (as a society, but especially women) view failure as proof that we are unworthy impostors. We are proud of our successes and embarrassed and ashamed by our failures. Don’t believe me? Take a quick glance through your social media feed – do you REALLY think that all of your friends are living perfect lives?
We need to change how we view failure. By stressing the importance of success, we are teaching ourselves (and our children) to fear failure. We are quite literally failing our children by teaching them not to fail. There are plenty of TED talks on the importance of failing, but IMHO the most important reason is that failing means that you are moving out of your comfort zone and trying something new.
I’m back bitches!
I’m sorry I’ve been MIA (again). I was going to blame it on Covid/stress/life or the fact that Time is a wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey thing, but then I remembered what they* say – “When you point a finger, there are three more pointing back at you.”
Yes, the pandemic and stress and work and grief and life contributed to my writer’s block, but I have no one to blame but myself. I have been going through stuff, but hasn’t everyone? Actually, I’ve been going through All The Stuff. I have spent the past 6 months organizing and getting rid of things. Boxes of books and clothes – donated. Old papers – shredded. Pictures – all stored in one bin (OMG digital albums are so much easier). I haven’t exactly morphed into Marie Kondo, but I have been purging. If I could just stop binging all the beers I’d be able to lose the Covid15.
But that wasn’t my point. Yes, I actually have one. Once again, the train has gone off the track. TBH not only has it gone off the track, the cars have rolled down the hill and into the lake.
ANYWAY. I’ve been wanting to write, but was having a hard time coming up with a topic. The longer I went without writing, the harder it was to begin again. It bothered me at first, but I found ways to avoid looking at the empty page (empty page? HA! I didn’t even bother opening the notebook). It’s amazing how many things we can find that “need” to be done when we’re trying to avoid doing the thing we should be doing or the one that scares us (Hey, writing is scary. So are spiders).
I started listening to audiobooks at work (I know this fact seems completely random, but hang in there, it will make sense in a minute – or maybe it won’t. Hang in there anyway). This week I am listening to Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes. I love her – not only because her shows are AMAZING, but because she is a strong, powerful woman who admits that it is impossible to do it all (no matter what Cosmo magazine says). She begins by telling us why we should say “yes” to things:
“Saying no has gotten me here. Here sucks. Saying yes might be my way to someplace better. If not a way to someplace better, at least to someplace different.”
NBC news listed the top five lessons from her book. The first one resonated. That’s a lie (for those of you who are new here, I lie and swear – alot). It didn’t just resonate, it shouted my name and slapped me upside the head:
1) Say ‘Yes’ to Using Your Voice
Rhimes confesses to hiding her voice in her Grey’s Anatomy character Cristina Yang, allowing Yang to say all the things she wasn’t brave enough to say in the real world. But when Rhimes accepted that the real world could benefit from hearing her actual voice — that she could stand up and speak out on important issues and actually affect change — she swallowed her fears, wiped off her sweaty palms and began to speak.
Being Rhimes-level successful isn’t a prerequisite for using your voice. The single qualifier is that you’re a person on earth. You inherently matter and so does your experience. Whether it’s on a stage or through your Twitter feed, you have the power to impact your corner of the world for the better by swallowing your fear, standing up for what’s right and speaking out in love. You never know how your voice can change a person’s life.
One more time for the people in the back:
You inherently matter, and so does your experience.
Writing is scary. Speaking up is scary. Spiders are scary. Hell, just living is scary. It’s scary enough during “normal” times, and the times we are living in are nowhere close to normal.
Swallow your fear and start to speak. Someone needs to hear your story.
*Who are “they’ anyway, five little men on a hill?