It is a blog-writing challenge to break through the mist of this shiny happy pretty blogosphere and tell the real truth about your life—the things you’re afraid to tell because you think they might shatter who people think you are. I have talked about this idea often with my husband—I think the internet is a blessing and a curse—it is amazing to be able to connect with people from all over the world and inspire each other, but it can also be down-right depressing to go around to one blog after another that makes the blogger seem like they have everything all together, and success is literally raining down upon them while they take bubble baths and drink champagne in a beautiful beachfront home. Even though I realize that people are representing only part of the truth (I’m a blogger myself and tend to focus on inspiration), I often find myself feeling depressed and jealous as I make my blog rounds, and tend to avoid reading blogs when I’m in a certain mood.
So, as I just started reading some of the Things I’m Afraid to Tell You posts, I felt such a happy feeling—such a huge weight lifted to see that other people are human and struggling and not wildly perfect. And so I wanted to share this with you so you could head on over and get some real inspiration, and also write a list of my own. Here it goes:
THINGS I’M AFRAID TO TELL YOU
1. I worry about money, constantly. We have enough to get by. This is thanks to my husband who has a stable income. I have worked part-time at random jobs to supplement my art income. I’ve felt guilty to not be contributing a more regular/substantial income to my family. It is because of my husband’s income that I’ve been able to work at an outside job less and do art as part (or all) of my work over the past few years. I have felt resentful/guilty/like a hack for not having made my own way. I have felt guilty for not being more appreciative of being able to do this at all.
2. Some days I get angry and jealous that I have never figured out how to really make a living at art. Some days I get angry at myself for not proving wrong all of the nay-sayers that don’t believe it’s possible to make a living at art. I have recently changed course and decided it doesn’t matter to me whether or not I make a living at art, I just want to make art. Some days I wonder if this is true, or if it’s just something I tell myself to make myself feel better.
3. Sometimes I long so much to be a wild success—to have one million blog readers or write a bestselling book. I struggle with this because on one level I know that as long as you define your worth by what you do you will never be satisfied, but I still crave some outside measurement or reinforcement that I am a worthy human being.
4. I have struggled with body image since I was about 8 years old. I was an overweight kid and teen, and in high school and college I hated my body. I felt so angry and bad about myself to see all the other girls parading around in small clothes I felt I couldn’t wear. I still struggle with this. I have come a long way since then, but I still worry how I look to other people.
5. I like to spend a lot of time alone. Sometimes to a fault. I had a bad time with people as a kid (not fitting in, not having very good friends, being made fun of), and sometimes those experiences still haunt me. I find it easier to spend time by myself and not take social risks. At the same time I struggle with understanding that I like being by myself and that’s OK. I have only a handful of friends. Sometimes I feel embarrassed about that and still feel like I’m 14 and measuring my own value by how many people like me.
6. I have a lot of fear about what other people think of me (do you see a trend here?). I am beginning to learn how to let go of this, but it’s a long road full of prickers and brambles.
If you decide to do your own Things I’m Afraid to Tell You post I’d love to read it! Post your link in the comments here, or feel free to write your Things in a comment.