Hi! My name is Jess and I'm afraid of failure!
"I'm going to start a blog." is a claim I've been making since 2009. My problem is that I've been either too busy, too insecure about my writing skills, too stressed about those two hotdogs I ate at Costco in one sitting that one time, too sad about that depressing Grey's Anatomy episode, too tired, too poor, too constipated.....too full of excuses to get my flat mom bum in gear and start writing. I'm beginning to think that there's a deeper reason behind all of my excuses.
I know I can write, so that clearly isn't the issue. I think I can find interesting, relatable topics to write about. I think that finally tackling something I've wanted to do for a long time would teach my kids to do the same. I think I could bring joy into peoples lives. To simply make myself happy by doing this would be enough for me.
Obviously there are plenty of things that could go right with me starting a blog. The problem is that there are also a lot of things that could go wrong. Before you start asking yourself, "What could possibly go wrong with this weirdo writing a blog aside from nobody reading it?", I'll just give you a list of some very likely scenarios that could result from my blogging:
- writing you're instead of your and my mortal enemy (you know who you are) correcting me in the comments.
- being randomly pied in the face by a reader because they're pissed off about that one time I wrote about The Big Bang Theory being the worst sitcom in the history of television.
- accidentally posting nude photos of myself on the blog because I don't understand how the iCloud works, inspiring People's magazine to do a "Top 100 Grossest Bodies On The Planet" issue featuring my body on the cover.
- saying something that gets completely misinterpreted by a reader and then suddenly having a disturbingly large following by the KKK.
- going to a blog conference and discovering that striped t-shirts are no longer in style.
- spending so much time blogging that I forget that I actually have children and let them starve to death. That one is dark, I know....I listen to way too many true crime podcasts.
- I get discovered by my personal hero, Kelly Oxford, and we become best friends, and my real best friend murders Kelly in a fit of jealous rage.
- my computer literate grandpa discovers my blog and after seeing how much I use the word "damn" sends out a prayer chain email to the rest of my family members.*
That's a very small part of a giant list of potential horrors that I might have set into motion by starting this damn blog (sorry Grandpa).
Mostly though, when I stop to think of what the real issue is, the truth is that I am afraid of failure. I am worried that after all of the people who have encouraged me to try it, they'll realize that perhaps they shouldn't have pushed so hard. Maybe I'll get comments advising me to not quit my day job (jokes on those guys though, cause I don't have one! How embarrassing for them!). Maybe my friends will stop posting links on their Facebook accounts because they don't want the world to know that they're pals with an unfunny hack. Maybe I'll discover that I really am only good at cooking meals my kids won't eat, organizing closets, and pulling hair out of drains without gagging - just a few examples from a long list of pointless skills that would never get me hired for any job on the planet.
Today a friend posted a photo on instagram, and in the caption it read: "It's pretty easy to self judge when you're the only one listening, but whenever I talk to myself the way I would to a friend, the words are much kinder and full of grace." When I read that, I threw myself on my bed and wept, because 1. I have been told that I am dramatic (which I find kind of rude, but whatever), and 2. I realized that I've been terribly hard on myself.
Never would I set out to make a friend feel like their dreams weren't valid or reachable. I would be beyond disappointed in myself if because of my words, a friend would doubt their potential greatness and allow herself to shrink. How can I call myself a good friend when I can't even encourage the one person I know best to try?
I guess now is as good a time as ever to start treating myself as I would a close friend, so just give me a second while I give myself a pep talk...
Hey gurl. What are you crying about now? Stop it. You can do this. You're funny and creative, and you're super pretty despite that chipped tooth, and I'm pretty sure you could kick through a brick wall from all the squats you can do. Seriously though, about this blog: you need to stop talking to yourself all day long and start sharing your thoughts with the world. You make me laugh every time you talk to me in the mirror, so I can't see why you wouldn't make other people happy with your writing! Trust me, they're going to love it! I know you doubt yourself, but I've got your back. And even if you fail, you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going, cause your mom didn't raise you to be a lil' cry baby bitch. Okay? Okay. I'm gonna go find some chocolate to eat.
Okay, wow. I feel so much better. Thanks me! You're welcome me! High five! Good times.
So, friends, family, strangers, kkk members (just kidding, YOU DON'T BELONG HERE) welcome to my blog. Be prepared for the odd story with no lesson to learn at the end, lists with titles such as: Ways To Show Love If You Hate Hugging and The Top Ten Worst Family Secrets My Son Has Revealed To Strangers, and maybe a rant or two or ten thousand...I can get really worked up so it's hard to put a number on it. Hopefully though, some laughs and happiness will come from this because honestly, life can suck and sometimes laughing is a better alternative to crying. I could be wrong about that though. I'm not an emotions professor or anything.
Thanks for reading. I'm gonna go eat a bagel now (#4 on Ways To Show Love If You Hate Hugging).
* When I wrote this a few months ago, my grandpa was still alive, but has sadly since passed. I almost left it out of my final draft, but changed my mind last minute. Rest in peace, Grandpa, please don't judge me from heaven. I'm a good person, I swear.