We’ve all heard the expression “It’s lonely at the top.” What I’ve discovered is that it’s also lonely in mid air, when you’ve just leapt off the branch and don’t know whether you will crash and burn or soar with the eagles.
I started this blog on a whim. I was reading some random blog about life with Asperger’s Syndrome (because I’m the curious sort). I’m not even sure how I ended up there, but I clicked on this post and that, eventually arriving at the one piece of advice that has echoed in the corridors of my mind since.
Write whatever comes to mind. Write garbage. Write jewels. Just write. I’m not sure why that provided the impetus I needed to get started, but the next day, I started blogging. Perhaps because it removed the pressure of having to be awesome, to be polished or to know what the heck I’m doing.
I started writing, having no clue what to write about about or who would listen… which is good, because it turns out few are. I told my friends and family about my Sweet Chickadee blog, and was confused and hurt when so few people responded. Do I suck? Am I boring? All manner of dark and insecure thoughts raged free for a few days.
My husband, who is my rock in every storm, had to remind me that I am doing this for myself, and whether or not people appreciate it, appreciate me and my efforts, is irrelevant. If your goal is to get kudos, what happens when they stop? What happens when people are snarky or actively try to tear you down, rather than just ignoring you? (One of my favorite bloggers actually has a counter-blog titled “(This Woman) Sucks”… who does that?)
I had to accept that, like a vein of fat running through a roast, people are flawed. They are busy, distracted, self-focused, sometimes mean-spirited and jealous, but mostly just not all about me. So I stopped taking myself so seriously and started just having fun with this blogging business
… and I started verbalizing my appreciation of other people’s creativity. It costs so little and means so much.
My mother always says that she wants flowers while she’s alive (i.e. on her grave is a little late to mean anything to her). So I would like to encourage you, while you’re pursuing your own dreams, to extravagantly spread encouragement and to be wanton with compliments. Spread joy. Build people up. Life is so short. Why not?