I’ve been quiet and polite on this journal long enough and tonight I am speaking up for myself. I’m super riled up right now and grateful to be taking the time to use this frustration as fuel for a journal post. Since committing to a daily writing practice six days ago, I have worked really hard to check in with the journal and get some words on the screen. I haven’t written any essays or poems, but I have kept up with my gratitude lists and that has felt really good. I’m incredibly busy right now with clients and projects and between mountains of emails and everything else that needs to get done in a day, I am happy to set aside fifteen to twenty minutes to share something meaningful and thoughtful here in this safe space.
Tonight I received your very nasty comment on one of my recent gratitude lists and felt like I got punched in the gut. I’m a super sensitive person as you probably know since you are clearly paying attention to what I write and are checking my journal daily. If you had been paying a little closer attention you would also know that I have worked tirelessly for years to develop a thicker skin and not absorb your negative energy. While reading your incredibly hurtful and judgmental comments about how my gratitude lists don’t count as real writing I started to let your words take me down. Your words felt like such a slap in the face to authentic creatives who are doing their best to show up each day and stay devoted to their practices.
Today was a full day and I am exhausted this evening. I miss my partner, I spent most of the day writing copy for a sponsored post I have coming up, dealt with the intensity of folks at the DMV, and I held space for several clients who have a ton going on in their lives. And you know what, I moved through my entire day with ease, joy, and grace, no small feat for a woman who used to be just like you, a serious hater and judger. In fact, you might want to revisit my essay about judgement, it’s a really powerful post.
After a long day I sat down to eat dinner and check in with the journal. I always get excited to receive a notification that someone left a comment and was looking forward to reading it. Tonight was a bummer. Reading your shitty words made me feel, for a few minutes, like I was failing. They made me feel like I am not doing enough because god knows if you had to do as much as I do in a day you would not have energy or time to leave people rude comments on their blog.
But hey, I get you girl. And I see you. I spent years judging other people. Though I didn’t troll their journals and leave disrespectful comments, I did more than my fair share of gossiping and stalking their websites only to txt my friends so and so did xyz, can you fucking believe her? Yes, girl, I was you, which is why after just a few minutes of feeling crappy from your words I snapped back into reality and patted myself on the back, because you know what? I am actually doing it. I am writing, in one place, everyday, and the fact that it doesn’t meet your standards is absolutely irrelevant and meaningless to me.
I am living.
And I am living out loud. As Brené Brown says, I am in the ring dancing with my fears of not being lovable and those annoying and thankfully infrequent voices that tell me I am not enough. And you my dear sister are in the bleachers, screaming your self doubts at the top of your lungs to those of us in the ring. I heard you for a moment and recognized you as a younger more discouraged version of myself. I took a deep breath and kept on dancing with that fear, fire, and passion that burns deep within my belly and drives me to keep showing up and doing my work because it gives my life tremendous meaning.
The truth is I cherish my life today. I am proud of myself for committing to a daily writing practice, something that has been very challenging for me in the past because I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself which it sounds like you can relate to. That comment that you wrote struck such a chord because it was exactly the kind of unsupportive and mean spirited bullshit I used to tell myself all day long. And I remember, when I was in that place how much pain I was in. Oh girl, I really see and feel you and my heart aches for your suffering to end.
Looking back I wish I could have been in the place I am this evening earlier. I am reminded of the first time shared in an incredible writers group that I received a nasty comment on my blog and was very upset. It really threw me off. My teacher encouraged me to write a post like this on the journal but I wasn’t quite ready for it. I needed to do some more healing. Tonight I am taking his advice and wow does it feel liberating. To write something that in the past felt like it would be too much or viewed as too negative, to just let the words fly and use the fire to out create the frustration. Damn does this feel good.
So my dear hater child, tonight I have nothing but gratitude for you. I know deep down that you are angry, longing to be seen and heard and are fighting hard to make yourself known. I get it. I’ve been there. Thank you for taking the time to express your disdain with my writing practice. Thank you for preparing me for a glimpse into the reality of growing my platform and reaching even more people with my work. Thank you for reminding me that the best litmus test for my spirit is living with integrity, not measuring my worth against your limited idea about who I should be. Thank you for bringing to light what an incredible and supportive community I am part of with radical women who are in the ring, dancing with their fears, and living with their gorgeous hearts open wide. And mostly thank you for showing me that when the rubber meets the road, I have everything it takes to be a damn fine writer.
All my heart.