I felt the nausea coming on. It happens every time. You would think it would be easy by now. Nope. And yesterday was especially difficult.
It’s a highly predictable pattern.
I hit “post”, I feel like I’m going to puke. I “delete”.
Then, again, I hit “post”. I felt the vomit. I hit “delete.”
The third time I hit “post”, I paused. The usual thoughts flooded in.
” You aren’t really a writer. No one cares about your thoughts. People are going shoot holes in your arguments. You should be making dinner. You’ll probably lose friends. You have lame vocabulary. You’re lame. Surely, you misspelled things. Does what you said even make sense. No one cares. No one cares. No one cares.”
In my pause, I muttered a prayer, “Should I do this?” And I then remembered the words of friend earlier that day.
She was sharing about a dream of hers. A dream that she admitted sounded crazy. But then, she concluded that other people had done it so “why not me?”
Her words countered all the vulnerability. Every time I write or share my heart openly in a conversation, there is a risk. It’s the risk of being rejected.
So I hit “post.” And this happened….
1000 hits in two hours. It established me as a bit of a writer and just recently landed me a job writing.
Her words taught me important lessons. Imagining “Why not me?” is the first step. But also, reward typically comes at the risk of rejection.
My calling in life seems to be to be open and honest about awkward and uncomfortable things. Sometimes people don’t like that. So I often interpret that rejection as my flaw.
But when I look around me at other friends with varied gifts, I can see it more clearly.
I can see the truth of this matter more clearly in you, my friends. It’s sort of like the seven dwarfs in Snow White.
I have a Doc friend – she is wise and insightful. I swear her IQ is like 483. I often find myself googling the meaning of the words she uses in texts. She introduced me to philosophy and poetry.
I have a Grumpy, too- she’s a little rough around the edges but she’s got a heart of gold. The grumpiness makes her heart stand out that much more. She’s more cautious and suspect of situations but that’s often helpful.
Then there’s my Happy- Her gift is making me pee my pants with her stories. Life is always more fun with this one.
Sleepy is the best to vacation with. She’s chill and calm. She reminds me to take in the moments. With her I see the leaves on the tree and taste the tannins in my wine. I savor life when by her side
Bashful teaches me so much because she’s extra cautious with her words and her time. She teaches that selectivity is good.
Dopey friend is just plain adorable. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, she’s kind beyond belief. Her heart gets in the way of her head often and we all absolutely love that part of her.
Sneezy is a hot mess. She bounces from one thing to the next. She’s the one who dreams and goes for it. Her fervor inspires whether it’s with a new recipe or a new business. She’s the one who said “Why not me?!”
Each one of you has your unique beauty.
I can see your gifts so clearly. I also see people that you rub the wrong way. Sometimes you see them, too. But what I’m seeing today is that their rejection of your gifts is usually about them, not you.
You being you is a gift, but every time you put it out there you run the risk of rejection. Someone will think that Grumpy should be more Happy. Happy should be more serious like Doc. But those “someones” don’t know that you being you is your gift to the world; your gift to me.
And it stings a little when your real self is rejected. To expose oneself completely, raw and unfiltered, is an extremely rewarding but vulnerable place. I want to protect you in that place, but sadly cannot always do so.
All I can say to you is that those rejectors don’t understand you.
And when *I* see this commitment to being your real self, I’m inspired to be my real self. To be raw, to be open, to write, to push “post”, and to dream “why not me”. And so I do.
Thanks, my dwarf friends, for the push to be a princess. This unfiltered, passion-filled Snow White takes a full seven to keep her healthy. I’m a sucker for bad apples and the Prince and I aren’t always so charming.
So a few questions….
Who are you? Really?
What would it look like if you were your absolute best self?
Why not YOU? What’s holding you back? Fear? Rejection?
Let’s be brave.
Let’s be vulnerable.
I’ll be me.
And it will be beautiful. Maybe in a dwarfy kind of way, but that’s okay, too. They’ve got cool hats. I like hats. And that one is your color.