I will not lie to you, starting a blog scares me a lot. For me, up until the moment I click share on this post, the act of writing served solely me. Occasionally I share something with a close friend or group of confidants, but the majority of my quest to pen words on paper serves as an act of solitude. Until now. I’ve written short stories and jotted down sentiments that I find myself constantly sharing with people in my life, or I will share tidbits with people I sit across a table from or around a campfire with, but never strangers.
I generally avoid small talk and eye contact with strangers not because of a cold demeanor, snobbery or bitterness, but instead because I am wired to first observe. I attempt to figure things out before making a move. I play elaborate games of chess in my mind because I thrive on the complexity of the interactions and the strategy of the play. The flaw of this skill leaves me at times spending the majority of my time watching, not because I do not want to participate, but because I want to know where I fit before I jump. I want to know I belong and matter before I expose myself to the vulnerability of true interaction.
This insecurity of not knowing where I land in every setting ebbs and flows. It mostly flared up like a wildfire in middle school (but really, middle school, the worst). From middle school to now this insecurity’s hold on my actions still exists, but the power it holds decreased immensely.* The security of more fully knowing who I am in Christ and the truth of who Christ made me to be released the stronghold this fear gripped. Its hold has diminished, but is still present and lurking in the background. I conquered the stronghold, but like any enemy, it knows my weakness and plots when to attack.
If currently your eyes scan this page, it means I did something bold. I did something I never truly thought I possessed the courage to do. I stuck it to my insecurity in a big way. I wrote something, and I shared it with the world. I trusted that a step of boldness would not implode the world as I know it. I took another step toward truth and I began to share my story.
This blog represents step two of a process where I can only imagine the steps number in the zillions. Step one, I signed up for a writing conference to maybe hone my solitary craft in my free time. Step two, they made me start a blog. My inner nerd feels like I’m possibly getting a grade, so I of course could not fail. I’m like Rory Gilmore, I don’t know how to drop a class! Step three, I wrote this at 11:32 p.m. when I should be fast asleep because I had to get the words out and on paper before I could rest.
Why do I tell you this? Well, because the writing conference people will check to see if I posted three times by the end of May, and I only really wrote two things that I feel “two thumbs up emojis” about. But mostly I tell you this so you know this took guts on my part. Being open to share my thoughts takes moxie, but if I did it, you can do it too.
Your step of faith may look different. The leap for you may seem overwhelming or underwhelming (but never just “whelmed”, thank you Gabrielle Union for this genius quote). It may mean quitting your job, moving, changing a habit, ending a relationship, working on a relationship or making your bed every morning. Big or small, let’s take a step of faith together. The audience of this blog may very well number two people, shout out to Adrienne and Chuck, my parents, y’all are the best, but even so, I commit to telling my story regardless of acclaim or notoriety.
If anyone can connect with my words or the story God wants to write with my life, then I am a fool to keep that to just me. I need to stop letting fear, and my own insecurities (aka the lies I believe), stop me from trying, from experiencing, from living, from trusting. Even if success looks like simply putting words on a page so that maybe, just maybe, one person connects with them, I will do it. The audience is whatever God wants, one or 100. I trust that more completely and confidently than ever before.
*If you are reading this and you are in middle school or high school or a phase where you feel like you’re back in middle school or high school, know these things:
- If I can blossom, you can too. I feel your pain, and I see you. Hold on, you will survive and be better because of this. I had horrible bangs, wore rope sandals, t-shirts and scrunchies long past their prime (I can’t say I regret any of that). I didn’t lose my “baby fat” until about six years after college. I am still SO awkward, but if I can blossom into loving my weird self, you can too. Hold on. You are exactly who you are supposed to be!
- Don’t do what I did and let fear stop you from having fun. If you love playing the tuba but other people think you’re weird – you play that tuba! I’ll come to your concert! If you love Pokemon cards or pogs or watching a certain tv show that everyone else thinks is childish but you love it – do it. I spent far too much time worried that people would find something out about me and deem me uncool. Girls can act incredibly cruel toward each other, and getting caught up in the madness seems easier than stepping away to be you. Step away and be you. It was a waste of my time and my talents to play mean-girl games. Be better than me, because all those games and the cruelty of pubescent girls is plastic. Be real and be you.
“Don’t be the next anybody. Be deeply, weirdly, completely, totally you.” Shauna Niequist. This brilliant lady’s words ring so true. You are made to be you. Try new things, step out of your comfort zone, experience life, but do not become something you know you are not. Do not try to clone yourself after something others or you think you should mimic. Seek Christ and all He has for you. Just like all those silly, corny, cliche posters hanging in your classrooms say, there is only one you and popular is overrated. Love God and love people. And love who God made you to be, you majestic unicorn of a being, you.