Today was blessedly quiet. I worked all day on household items and writing – editing a piece and submitting it to EJ editors, writing an article for the content writing site, writing the previous blog post. In between I helped Chase with schoolwork, did laundry, etc. etc. This could totally be my every day. I am totally down for that.
I have another busy week in front of me, with my checkup appointment scheduled, as well as an orthodontist appointment for Matthew. So, this quiet day to start the week with is nice to have. I wish every Monday were this way. Someday. Someday I won’t have to report to an office and clock in. Someday I’ll be able to wear yoga pants and a t-shirt and stop my work to talk to my kids.
For now, I take what I can get.
I posted to Facebook about the success of my latest EJ post, (psst, it’s at 2.9k views, if you’re curious!) and as I noted in my earlier post, a friend and fellow writer contacted me for more information. As the conversation wound down, she asked me if I had been nervous submitting my first piece to be published.
I considered it for a moment and thought about today’s quote as I did.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.” – Marie Curie
I think I was more nervous to post my very first blog post than I was to submit work for consideration to be published through any of the websites that I have recently submitted to.
Four years ago, I wrote my first blog post and shared it on social media for any of my friends to read. I was a wreck over it. I remember pacing my room and calling Sophia and agonizing over my decision to hit the share button.
Slowly, ever so slowly, my trepidation eased as I received positive feedback over what I had written. As I wrote more and received more positive feedback, the easier it became to hit that publish button, and that share button.
My ever-decreasing fear at sharing the parts of myself that most people keep a secret eased with the knowledge that not only did people enjoy my work. . . but it helped people. How could I keep my life to myself if sharing it meant that I was going to help someone else through theirs?
So, this year when I hit that submit button, it was just another button click to get my words out there for others to benefit from. It was no big thing. If the piece was rejected, I had several other options of websites that may like it, that may find value in it. I knew with no doubt that the words that I put out there were valuable. No one needed to tell me. Writing has become so much a part of me that I could feel when something was garbage, and when something had good bones and just needed some tweaking, and when something was pure gold. Now, I’d be a liar if I said that the rejections I’ve received didn’t affect me – of course they did. And I’d be a liar if I told you that I thought for one millisecond that every piece was going to be accepted. I was well aware that I was going to receive rejections, because I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I would be a bold-faced liar if I didn’t mention that I crossed my fingers and made a wish for each piece to be accepted, as well. But nerves at the prospect of a piece being either rejected or denied? No, not so much.
I learned how to not fear the submit button, because I knew in my soul that this was what I was meant to do. It took me several years of learning, of finding my voice and finding my rhythm. It took several years of pacing floors after I hit publish and share. Up until last winter even I would damn near have a panic attack when sharing some pieces of my story.
This writing and sharing bit has opened me up to what Ms. Curie’s quote says. I already knew from life with my brother that people fear what they don’t understand. No one understood my brother quite like I did. No one understood how his mind worked and why he spoke the way he did or paid attention to details the way he did. They didn’t know what autism was or what it meant. And so, they were afraid. In their fear, they made nasty jokes and comments. I knew what a pure soul my brother was, and I knew how very smart he was. I knew what it was to see other people be afraid of someone or something because they didn’t know about it. . . but I didn’t realize that you can be afraid of yourself, because you don’t know about yourself. I didn’t realize that you can hide your best attributes from others out of fear of what judgments they will make. “What will people think when I share this??” was often the thing that crossed my mind and had me agonizing over hitting that button. Sometimes as I wrote I came to terms with aspects of my life and made realizations about things that had transpired. I realized that sometimes I put off writing these pieces because remembering hurt. I also realized that hitting that publish button was like hitting a release button, though. Those particular pieces had sat in my head and on my heart for so long and had held me back. When I hit publish, it gave it to the world and thus relieved the burden from me.
I cannot fear what I know. And I know that I am making a difference in people’s lives by being so open about my own. I know that through my writing I am healing parts of myself that otherwise would have remained scabbed over wounds, ready to bust open without any warning.
I had zero idea that this blog was going to take me down the road that it has. I had zero idea that I would go from being nervous about sharing my story to asking people to share it and pay me to tell it.
But here I am, folks.
I’m not afraid of my story anymore, and I’m not afraid to share it with others. I cannot fear what I know – and I know that what I do not only benefits me, but it benefits others, as well.