Here goes nothing.
I don't know if it's a first born thing. Or maybe my extremely competitive nature. Or just the over achieving personality I have been blessed with. But I've spent most of my life, pendulum swinging from an over-achiever to a quitter.
Take for example the book I wrote in high school. I literally had such a passion for writing and my days were full of scribbles on lined paper, tiny note books and eventually on our huge family desktop. I began a project of writing a personal story of sorts. Really a compilation of funny stories from growing up in a big family. Through a random course of events, my entire story was wiped from our computer hard drive with no back-up anywhere. I was devastated. Literally crushed and broken. I almost felt like someone had died All those hours of work. Gone. Zip zero nada.
I've never worked on a story since then.
Second case in point. When I was 17 I started a home based business selling a nutritional product that changed our family's life. I actually had a fair amount of initial success, but as I began to hit road bumps along the way, I allowed my fears to overtake me. I eventually quit all together.
Fast forward to last year. I begin blogging immediately after we got home from our honeymoon. My sights were set high. I had my goals. My purpose. When my computer fell several weeks ago, I was forced to take a two week break from regular blogging. Suddenly I felt like things began to fall apart. My purpose and focus became muddled. Suddenly the dream seemed silly and success seem unattainable. I seriously contemplated deleted everything the whole blog and just forgetting it ever existed.
It all seemed rather pointless. I don't have the ever elusive 'brand'. My posts are all over the map. My brain felt dried up. Numbers dropped. Followers unfollowed. I began to ask myself, what the heck am I doing?! Has this hobby turned into an obsession? Is there really a point to what I'm doing. Maybe quitting would be easier than risking failure.
After my serious funk today, lots of Husband drawing me out and some chest heaving sobs, I realized my problem. And though there's no easy answer, I think I'm beginning to understand my own self a little more.
I am a dreamer. And helplessly impulsive. I get an idea in my mind and bolt off to make it happen. I dream of making it big. Dream of being that creative person I want to be in my mind. Choosing to push past status quo. And as I look at those who have been successful in a particular area I'm pursuing, I immediately want to be one of them. I envision myself accomplishing the same thing. And in record time no less.
The thing I fail to realize is that those who are insta-celebrities in many fields (bloggers, writers, small business owners, etc) are actually a very small percentage of the rest of the population. Most people are successful after years of hard work, rarely hitting fame after just months in the arena. Somehow I expect myself to do the same and when it doesn't happen, I resort to quitting.
I also realized that I am a pathetic comparer -- is that even a word?! I look at those people who have been successful and I think, what do I have to do achieve the same. Take for example blogging. My very first blog crush was the adorable Sydney from The Daybook. She suddenly starts posting her adorable outfits each day and her blog hits overnight fame. When I feel like I can't achieve the same thing, I resort to this silly thinking.
What if I became a fashion blogger? That's seems to be all the rage. Could I pull it off? Would that be my ticket to successs?! I need funnier posts. Or maybe more heartfelt. Shorter. Longer?
On and on go the games in my mind.
Seriously no duh, Nicole. Why do you feel this need to be a pathetic copy of someone else's success?! Why can't you embrace who you are. Embrace the passions and gifts I gave you. Allow me to use that to change the world around you. This is God talking, in case you were wondering.
It's like this quote I stumbled upon on Pinterest:
Can I live that?
Because if I really did, it wouldn't matter if it took me one or seven or ten years to achieve success. I would embrace the journey. Embrace ME. Embrace the very unique expression of life that God wants to pour through me.
So I guess I still don't have the answers. I don't know how to take a decrease in followers in a way that's not personal. I don't know how to gauge my success by the number of site hits each day. I don't know how to accept that I may not be in the top percentile in every area.
I only know that I ache to be the best that I can be. I ache to stop these pathetic games of comparison. I ache to dream dreams bigger than myself and then to trust God with the outcome. I ache to move past status quo, knowing that there is a whole exciting world waiting to be lived. In a unique way that only I can.
In light of all this. There may be some changes to this blog in the coming days. Or maybe not. I'm literally tired of trying to be what I think other people want me to be.
I want to just be ME.
Literally thank you, though, to all of you who have shown so much love and support these last 11 months. You have no idea how special you are to me. Thank you for listening to my midnight ramblings. You should get a gold star or something. Thank you for bearing with me as I just do life. I've really been amazing how much God has been changing me this year. Showing me who I really am. And who He wants to grow me into.
So here's to not quitting this blog. Here's to many more months and years of friendship, honesty and dreams.
It's really such a beautiful life.
PS. Are you laughing over my plethora of inspirational quotes?! I am.
Sometimes you just have to tell your soul truth though, ya know?!