taking the first step.

I’ve been delaying this first post on my new blog [with my new name, heehee!], because I wanted to make sure that the timing would be “just right,” the content would be “perfect,” and all of the stars would align for me to debut my new blog. Well, guess what? That didn’t happen. And it has been a good lesson on JUST DOING IT for me [oh Nike, how I love your slogan so]. For months now, I’ve been talking about bringing my blog back to life [for those of you who weren’t aware of my previous blog, you can find it here]. But I’ve been struggling with a few thoughts/limiting beliefs, and have held myself back as a result of giving in to these thoughts and beliefs:

  1. Who gives a crap about what I have to say? I’m just little old boring me with a lot to say, but is any of it important at ALL? WHO DO I THINK I AM?
  2. People are going to judge me negatively, and they’re probably going to think I’m dumb. Or conceited. Or arrogant…[and the list goes on]
  3. I wish I could quit my job and write for a living, but I’ll never get paid to write [see #1], so I might as well never attempt it. I have to exist in the real world where money is necessary for living, and for me, writing for a living isn’t a realistic goal.

Those beliefs lead to many more, in a downward spiral, and for me, everything comes down to this one belief: I am not good enough.

That overarching belief [that I have carried with me since at least my teenage years], has managed to underhandedly attack my confidence and self-esteem in the sneakiest of ways over the years. I’ve been so deep in my “I’m not good enough” stuff before [which I now lovingly call the “Crazy”] that I didn’t even know that my actions & beliefs were all based on a belief, as opposed to a fact.

I still find it amazing how difficult it can be for me to tease apart fact from fiction. Truth from assumption & story. I can take the tiniest granule of a fact and paint an absolutely astonishing picture of assumptions with it. Here’s a funny example from a few years ago:

When my now husband, Eric, and I first started dating, we used to text each other ALL the time. ALL. THE. TIME. It was the summer of 2008; he was working & living in LA, and I was going to summer school & living in Berkeley. From the moment I woke up, I’d be texting him and constantly on the alert for incoming texts. I was that girl: the girl staring at her phone, giggling while crossing the street, and hardly noticing that she'd just had a near death experience.

When in class, I’d mastered multi-tap texting [yea, that’s how long ago this courtship took place -- I still had a multi-tap keyboard on my phone], so I could text long messages with my phone beneath my desk, and I would use the soft middle part of my thumb pad so as to quiet the sound of the clicks as I texted. Meanwhile, Eric was working in a warehouse where he was presumably supposed to be packing boxes full of stuff and taking inventory and such...but he was basically just getting paid to text me all day long.

 [Ok ok, I’m getting carried away here, reminiscing about the days when I fell in love with my best friend. So here are a couple of pictures, and then I’ll get back to the relevant part…]

One day, there was a break in the texts. We rarely went for more than a few minutes without texting each other [or we’d let the other person know in advance if there was going to be a long period with no texting] and I hadn’t heard from him for an hour or so. I panicked, and this was what ensued:

  • “Omg, he hasn’t texted me in a while, what's the last thing I texted? Did I scare him away?"
  • "He must have gotten sick of me.”
  • “He must have realized he’s too good for me and decided he didn’t want to talk to me anymore.”
  • “I came on too strong and was texting him too much and he’s over it.”
  • “His ex-girlfriend probably called him and wanted to get back together, and he accepted.”
  • “I was just his rebound, and now he’s ready to move on to someone he can have a REAL relationship with.”
  • “I’m such an idiot. I just chased away a great guy and we didn’t even have a chance to see where things could go.”
  • “It’s all my fault, I could’ve done something differently to keep him interested. I should’ve played harder to get and been more mysterious.” [haha, as if I could EVER be mysterious!]
  • “I can’t believe I’m doing this again.”
  • “I’m the worst.”

Truth be told, I can’t say with 100% certainty that those were the exact thoughts that I’d had that day, but they’re pretty damn close. And how do I know that? Because I’ve had that downward spiral of thoughts countless times in my life, and it usually starts and ends the same way: something “unusual” happens à I’m not good enough [where the arrow basically represents the aforementioned Crazy].

Well, guess what, folks? Eric went out to lunch and forgot his phone at work.

UMMMM. Hehe. WHOOPS. Pay no attention to that CRAZY behind the curtain!

I really cannot tell you how many times I’ve gotten myself caught up in that insanely vicious cycle…and those thoughts were just over a lack of TEXT MESSAGES! Some other interesting FACT to ASSUMPTION spirals in my relationship with Eric have been:

  • Fact: he was concentrating on something and his brow was furrowed
    • Assumption: he was angry with me because I’d done something wrong
    • Fact: he didn’t introduce me to somebody
      • Assumption: he was ashamed/embarrassed of me
      • Fact: he wrote on another girl’s facebook wall to tell her he missed her [yep, I brought facebook into this]
        • Assumption: he wanted to keep his options open for when he would inevitably break up with me
        • Fact: he told me that he loved me more than I loved him
          • Assumption: it was just a lie because there was no way that this great man could ever even love me, let alone love me more than I loved him
          • Fact: he didn’t come home when he said he would and I couldn’t get a hold of him
            • Assumption: he was dead in a ditch somewhere [well, I’m still working through that one…]

Yes, it is true that any of my assumptions could’ve been correct. But Occam’s Razor would beg to differ, given that I unknowingly made many zillions of assumptions in between each of the listed facts and assumptions.

Geez, as I look at all of those assumptions all at once, I’m feeling pretty ashamed right now. I’m thinking, “HOW could I ever have been so awful?” [And I'm also feeling super grateful to Eric for how incredibly patient and kind he was to me & my Crazy! I love you, Bug!!!]

And the truth is: that’s just how I was. I was blind to the Crazy. I was doing the best with what I knew then.

But thanks to a lot of hard work, incredible patience & support from Eric and my network of support, countless eye-opening conversations & experiences, reflection, focusing on conscious choices, open and honest communication, tears, tears, and more tears, I have significantly reduced my Crazy. And I’ll be writing alllllll about that process right here on this blog.

Even this blog is a way for me to chop away at my Crazy. I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone to start another blog…and this time, I’m going to be real with y’all. Which isn’t to say that my last blog wasn’t “real” -- it was -- but in that one, I really focused on rainbows and unicorns -- not necessarily on the real & raw experiences in my life that have brought me to where I am today. I would say that back then, I was much more concerned with what the readers would think of me than with portraying my true authentic self. I’m now learning how to embrace all of who I am, so that’s how I’ll be writing from here on out. I’m not going to paint some illusion of myself being all put together and knowing it all, because I’m not and I don’t. And I’m ok with that!

So to bring it back to the reasons why I didn’t start this blog before today:

  1. Who gives a crap about what I have to say?
    • I do.And while YES, of course, this blog is public because I am sharing about my thoughts & experiences with the world and would LOVE to know the impact of my words on my audience [you], this is also about me. I believe that part of my purpose in this lifetime is to share about my experiences in personal development, regardless of the outcome. So here I am.
  2. People are going to judge me negatively.
    • What can I say? Haters gonna hate. But I think that as long as I keep reminding myself that I’m doing what I love, haters will end up becoming water off my back. [I have yet to know this mindset firsthand, but I’m optimistic about it becoming my reality! The duck part -- not the haters part.]
  3. I wish I could quit my job and write for a living, but I’ll never get paid to write - writing for a living isn’t a realistic goal.
    • I’ll never know until I give it a whirl!

So there you go -- my first post. I did it!!!

I’ll leave you with this selfie that I took, as a part of an Oprah Lifeclass six week ecourse with Brené Brown, based on her bestselling book The Gifts of Imperfection. On my hand I’ve written “I’m imperfect & I’m enough.” Here’s a two line description of the class: We all know that life is not perfect and that it can get messy. What if we could be perfectly imperfect, feel more joy and have more creativity, trust and love?

If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for reading! I have a lot of ideas for other stuff I want to post about and do with this blog (which I touch on in the "who & why." section), so stay tuned for more! :)

x Nic