Thing 13: Show people a blog I’m writing

Hi guys. Welcome to my blog.

I don’t like that word. Blog. More like BLAAHHg, amirite? So many blogs are written and exactly three of them are worth reading. So let’s call this my “project” instead.

I’m doing twenty-seven things for the first time. I started as a way to celebrate my son and his birthday, which is the day after mine. Becoming a parent changed every possible aspect of my life. Through the last year, I found myself terribly ill-equipped for these changes. So many things brought me out of my tiny comfort zone and made me scared. It didn’t take long for me to realize I didn’t want my son to be afraid of people, of the world, of the unknown like I was (am). So I started working on facing my fears by doing new things. Some are big like rotating my tires. Some are small like going to a spin class. This biog is a way for me to document the process.

Twenty-Seven Things serves another purpose. I’ve always loved to write (or at least the ego boost that came with seeing my name in print). As Dorothy Parker said, “I hate writing, I love having written.” I quit my job as a writing teacher to focus on my own writing. The decision was hasty and naive. I thought that I could really just sit at my desk in my sweats and pop out a quick best seller. I imagined meeting with publishers and nonchalantly calculating inches of my book’s shelf space at Barnes & Noble. I had picked out an outfit to wear the first night of my book tour. I had everything I needed to be successful except a book. Because as it turns out, writing books is hard. I need practice and a lot of it. I need a way to write every day and something to keep me accountable. If writing here can help me march toward10,000 hours of practice, I’m thankful. So here we are.

This is actually my third endeavor in the blogging world (not counting the cultural masterpiece that was my high school Xanga account). I started the first one during Rafe’s first year of law school. We were newlywed, newly Texan, unemployed college kids. It was a terrifying, exciting time. I figured writing about our experiences would help others and help us sort through the complicated emotions and decisions of that year and maybe also lead to a book deal that would make us super rich and famous. I wrote one post.

The second was the summer 2014 when Rafe’s job gave us the incredible opportunity to live in London. I had just quit teaching to Be A Writer and was quite smug about it. I pranced around museums and coffee shops writing thought-provoking and witty anecdotes about my experiences in my head. I was a real writer and much too sophisticated for a blog, so my stories stayed in my head next to my National Book Award. It makes me ache that I didn’t write much down.

I was afraid of the failure. I was afraid of looking stupid. I was afraid I’d say the wrong thing and be judged. So that’s where I am now: confronting my fears of failing and looking dumb. I’m certain I’ll be judged because I have judged myself. And that’s okay.

My goal here is to Tell the Truth. In other writing attempts, I’ve told what I wanted to be the truth or what I think people want to be the truth. That’s surely a big reason why they have failed.

The truth is hard.

I’ve seen quite a bit of ugly in myself that I don’t like. I was able to hide it in the safety of my comfort zone. Popping that bubble is sort of like popping a festering pimple — it hurts and it makes a mess and it takes time to heal. So bear with me as I smear my insecurities, my prejudices, my fears with Retin-A and attempt to make my way through the world with fewer blemishes.

It feels okay for me to be afraid of the world, but when I think about passing those fears onto my children, I don’t like it. Though the world is scary, it’s far too beautiful to be feared or shut out.

Follow along with me if you want (though mine probably isn’t one of the three blogs worth reading). Try some new things on your own.  Let’s stop being afraid together.

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