The hardest thing anyone can do is break down their own mental constructs, realizing they're toxic and destroy relationships. It's part of the journey.
I was sitting outside my little apartment in Marin County where I'll be staying for most of this year and I was thinking about work and what I like to do. And then I was thinking what I'm actually doing.
I really enjoy writing and making videos, but it's become more difficult and I'm not sure why. Over the years the joy has waned and I find that each post or video requires more and more courage to create. Not because I'm lazy, because I'm scared and have a hard time writing the truth.
Any author will tell you: if you're not writing something true, you're not writing. God... what happened to me?
Me being scared is my problem and I like to think that maybe I'm making too much of things. I let myself daydream about a "what if" scenario and I thought about creating this blog. I then found myself on the Ghost website and the showcases and then John O'Nolan's blog and eventually this video John made many years ago:
John's a digital nomad? I had no idea. I did that for a year and I plan on doing it again - sporadically this year as my youngest is in her last year of high school and I very much want to be here as much as I can - but next year, I'm out.
Anyway, at the 1:00 mark John describes something all too familiar to me (emphasis mine):
I've gone from being this sort of free-thinking, open minded person who wrote a lot on the internet to someone who's almost ... just afraid of doing any of that and... scared of what the response might be. I've just come to realize that I don't want to do that anymore.
John read my mind exactly. EXACTLY.
It's Not Us vs. Them, It's Me vs. Me
See even as I write this I hear little voices in my head saying oh poor cis white tech bro can't bleat all over the internet. I'm not joking about that - it's exactly what I hear, right now in my mind. In fact I'm fighting the urge to delete this entire paragraph because I'm worried that it will sound whiny and privileged.
It's easy to see things in black and white and, in fact, it's a common problem for people who have been through an emotional wringer. They isolate themselves and go into survival mode, evaluating everything as threat/non-threat and fight or flight. Let's just say I've learned a lot about this stuff over the years.
The only way out, is through and it's not me valliantly standing up to the voices on Twitter, the negative comments on YouTube or the shitty emails I might get - it's me standing up to me. Breaking the construct down, believing that what I have to say is valuable.
I know I'm not alone feeling this and I don't think it matters how you identify. There's a lot of shit that's happened over the years and it's traumatic. A lot of wonderful things have happened too.
I'd like to think they're going to keep happening.