I didn’t post a blog last week. I wanted to, but I didn’t know what to say. Even now I’m completely in my own head pondering the perfect topics, sentences, and delivery. But that isn’t why I started this blog. To be totally transparent, I started this blog for me. I know that sounds selfish and I don’t want to offend or reject anyone reading this. I love that people are reading what I have to say, enjoying the content, and sometimes even finding tidbits that relate to their lives or that they hope to incorporate into their lives someday. But the truth is, I started this creative journey as an outlet from a truly mundane professional life.
Sometimes that’s the compromise we have to make with ourselves. Not every job will encompass our passion, but that never means we can’t develop those passions. Sometimes reserving our passions as a hobby is enough to feel fulfilment. Who knows, maybe someday they’ll trickle into our professional life, but at the very least we’re not hanging up our cleats, paintbrushes, notebooks, instruments, or boxing gloves forever.
So that’s the reason I write. The same reason you might post deliciously appetizing photos of your dinner, because cooking is your thing. Or why you may share videos of the awesome workout you just had or the new muscle you just discovered from your hard work and grind. Or the drawing you’re about to exhibit at the local coffee shop this weekend, or the piano solo you played by yourself in your loft, or the poem you wrote on the commute home from your day job, or your recent mile time from the half marathon you just ran, or the team photo of your intramural flag football team, or the new hairstyle you just learned how to do on yourself, or the dogs you walk every Sunday, or the new gazebo you just built by hand in your back yard.
Last week, I forgot that I write for me and I let fear creep in about what I SHOULD be saying rather than what I WANT to be saying. I also fell prey to the proverbial, “what if my posts are annoying?” Which leads me to a little side story… A girl I went to high school with who is now a mother of two and has recently gone back to school for a badass higher education degree (don’t want to give too much of her identity away) has been working out hard-core in her little makeshift basement gym. She’s been posting the occasional video of herself doing the exercises and sometimes her children make cameos and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching her journey. Well, on a recent post she confessed how she second-guesses everything she posts from fear that her followers are getting annoyed with constant workout videos, but she posted anyway. She has no idea that her effort and determination has massively inspired me to be more purposeful about my own workout regimen and my work ethic in general. I guarantee I’m not the only one.
But what if she hadn’t shared that basement exercise session? The world would have revolved just as it always does, but with a little less inspiration and positivity. Exaggeration? I think not. Her bravery to post ANYWAY is major. It’s not what naysayers love to coin as being obsessed with ourselves, it’s self expression. It’s letting that inner light shine.
Imagine if Paul McCartney kept his music to himself? What if Jane Austen never shared her prose? Suppose Monet just stuck his paintings in the closet. Can you fathom a world where Alexander Graham Bell was like, nah, people would think this is too strange? Consider if Jesse Owens didn’t want to come across as “too braggy” so he reserved his track and field talents for himself. Those inventors, musicians, writers, artists, and athletes all had passions and they let them shine.
I’m sure there were just as many Jesse Owens and Jane Austens that we’ve never heard of because they were too afraid of what people would think. Putting yourself out there, sharing something that’s personal and close to your heart, it’s scary as hell, it’s against the norm. It’s no wonder we question every single post, picture, comment, or article we share because there’s a much bigger likelihood that it will be met with ridicule rather than rave reviews. We think that because these passions are not our profession that then we are not qualified to share, but even if you may not be getting paid to write or paint or exercise, even if you are not the expert, you’re still able to make an impact.
In letting our inner lights shine, we could spark someone else’s.