After blogging for almost ten years— blogging about politics, cultural trends, alcoholism, television shows, recipes, etc. — I finally found the courage to create a blog about my more private thoughts and experiences. I didn’t know it would become My Blog as in, my website, as in, the place on the internet where one might go to find me and/or my writing.
As a blogger I had grown weary of following the trends, writing for potential readership, and catering to flavor of the month topics. I decided I was ready to write on a blog that would be primarily for me. And while I was at it, I decided, it’s selfie time. Fuck the haters.
Oh.Em.Gee. It was one of the BEST decisions I ever made!
I think one of the biggest swindle/hustle/hoodwink/bullshit-sandwich this society has ever perpetrated on us enmasse is the one we were told about narcissism being a thing for each of us to avoid lest we become lost in …. wait for it! …. individualism. Oh please. Shut up.
In the months since I have been writing here— speaking my truth, holding space for myself, celebrating my own voice, posting selfies, learning to be unashamed of my own image— I have found a kind of confidence which had eluded me my entire life. Blogging like this has changed EVERYTHING in my world. And the world beyond me is better for it, not worse.
Learning to love me and love the skin I am in gives me courage to love all the people in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going around farting rainbows and belching heart shapes. I still have days where either, I feel shitty or I’m dealing with someone in a shitty mood. That’s just life, we’re only human for fuck’s sake.
I have been untangling from all the false messages I was programmed with in this crazy, confusing and beautiful world. I have been deleting all the crappy files— about my face, about my skin, about my body, about my money, about my family, about my mental health, about my sex life, about my dreams— which the world downloaded into my head and I am reprogramming my own thinking. Writing here is a record of how any one among us can go from ordinary to extraordinary without asking for permission. Narcissism? Okay, whatever. You say, tomAYto, I say, tomAHto.
Last summer I came up with the idea for a non-fiction book about friendships among black women, a book I am currently still working on. With this being my first book, I failed to anticipate how often my own feelings of low self-worth might occasionally be triggered.
Whew! Let me tell you, in those initial weeks, I was terrified every single time I hit the streets to survey strangers. I smiled earnestly to cover up how nervous I was. I met a lot of friendly women who were kind enough to let me survey them but there were also some who said no and not always in a nice way. I kept at it anyway because while it was scary, it was also thrilling and fun— the kind of work life I realized I had been missing out on for too long.
And yet, the one part that wasn’t so fun was handing out business cards as a way to point individuals to my blog. I’m not the type to solicit a bunch of different opinions in order to arrive at a decision. But in the case of my blog, I really wasn’t sure how it was being perceived by anyone other than my husband, especially during the first six months of blogging here at OBM.
While there were occasionally popular posts which s
hocked the shit out of surprised me with their popularity and/or random praise from a family member or friend, I have blogged in solitude and unknowing for most of my time here.
When it came to conducting research for the non-fiction book, I realized, if I wanted people to take me seriously as a writer, I needed to be prepared to show proof of basic writing skills. But the thought of having in-real-life people actually VIEW my blog sent my stomach into somersaults and made me throw up a little in my mouth.
Eventually, I asked my therapist to read a few posts and tell me what she thought. She said she loved it and I should definitely share it. I knew she was telling me the truth but the demons of my mind laughed at me for believing her. So I asked my daughters, separately. More praise and encouragement. But those fuckin demons in my head would not shut up. Finally, I asked my husband, warning him to– be honest, I can take it. He promised. Hubby loves this here blog of mine. Four people. Ok fine, they couldn’t all be lying …. right? Ugh! Damn you, mind demons!
You know what helped me to finally ignore the demons? Writing. I just kept writing and blogging through every shitty and victorious day I was having. And so it goes. As a result, I have been morphing and becoming this new and improved version of the woman I used to be. This. This right here could be you just as surely as it is me.
So yeah. Of all the blogs I’ve written on, this one is my favorite.