Thursday, 18 June 2015

Coasting on the West Coast

The temperature has dropped a bit, which I don't really mind, and brings cool fresh air scented heavily with the briny beach aroma that brings tears to my eyes because I am a sensitive emotional sort of person who writes poetry.

Today I am stumbling around Blog Land trying to visit friends and keep up with everyone's absolute awesomeness.  I am amazed and thrilled on a daily basis to have found such an outstanding community of women, who inspire, elevate, support and encourage each other and celebrate the gift of being ourselves.  I am certain I do not manage to visit, support, encourage and cheer you all on enough and definitely not as much as I wish to but I will let you in on a secret.
You are helping me to grow in a way you may not have imagined just by your existence, just by being who you are.

When I began blogging I only had vague ideas of what I was doing.  There were a few false starts as this is essentially my third blog since 2009.  I wanted to write, I wanted my writing to connect with people somehow, I wanted to challenge myself to be brave enough to write and make it public.  I didn't have a theme, and still don't, I have never figured out what my brand is or how to sell myself or even if I wanted to.  I have a strong need to think and express myself in writing and a strong need to connect with people.   

But...

I remain an introvert, someone who cannot sustain a very large quantity of connecting actively and this has become a large source of guilt.  I hold a belief that I do not deserve and should not expect any blog visitors unless I visit and comment on other blogs.  Add to this, that there are many blogs and bloggers I have discovered who I truly wish to visit and it becomes quickly overwhelming.  I am also aware that there are many successful blogs out there whose authors do not visit or follow all of their own followers.  I have briefly envied this arrangement at times and then realised that it lacks the very connections with people I so value.  The unwavering believe that people would be interested in me simply because of who I am and what I do and not because of what I give them is not a belief I was raised to hold. A belief that I do need to further develop is that my way of being and doing is enough.  It is fine.  And if I live in a way that is true to it I will naturally fall into alignment with similar people.


In having been raised not to be a selfish person, not to put myself first, not to self promote, some of my efforts in a new direction have been a struggle and if you know anything about me, you know I tend to over-think, or as I like to say, think-over, pretty nearly everything.  Whether it was intended or not, the message I got when growing up was that what would make me likeable would be selflessness.  No ego, no self promotion, no putting myself first, service to others, this was the way of my grandmother and my mother.  I am often like this myself but anytime I deviate from it the guilt is enormous. Or perhaps it is fear.  Yes, I think more honestly it may be fear.  Fear that I will not be liked for who I am but only for what I do for others. In my limited social world offline-no limited is not the best word but at the moment I cannot find another-I do not have to worry about this too much.  I have fewer than ten friends and family members altogether whose company I genuinely enjoy and am willing to give up my alone time for.  I have created a world for myself where I can manage the balance of give and take, and I learned a great many lessons about this in a dysfunctional marriage as well.

I am still learning.  I am always learning how to make my way successfully through life.  I learn from my mistakes and I share what I've learned here.  If my blog has a theme, that's what it is:  One woman determinedly making her way through life, stumbling sometimes, but getting back up again.


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I was going to apologise to those of you who read this blog looking for clothing and style inspiration but then I changed my mind.

16 comments:

  1. haha, love your honesty and the "over everything" phrase. Me too. ;) And I guess I enjoy my alone time between the job, husband, kid, errands, etc...to be able to fit much socializing in. I do feel guilty sometimes too because I know I don't reach out as well and nearly as regularly as others do. We all have our limits.
    Are you still doing the blogger meet up? Now that's one big outting!

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    1. Yes, I am going to the meet up, but I will not be able to participate in all of the tramping around. I will have to pace myself. xoxo

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  2. Life is all about learning, no? Blogging too.
    I don't consider self-care to be selfish, looking after your own needs is surely sensible. xxx

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    1. Which makes you a very good role model and inspiration! xoxoxo

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  3. awwh - shawna! this and the lovely comment on my blog today make me want to hug you!!!
    and yes - we are here because of you! everytime i see a woman making her way to her true self i´m very very glad! and you became a role model in emancipation! you´r still on the way - but on the right one.
    and of cause you´r a very exotic and beautiful sparrow in all your purple and green and rosewood, with your sparkling mind and talents!!
    i know how hard it is to overcome things we learned as a kid - but let me tell you a secret - the people who come to you because you serve them are not the best company. i had to learn this the hard way....
    do i have clothes pic in every post?? no - because i´m not a fashion blogger. if i would blog only about fashion it would be about the dark side of it - but that would be unhealthy for myself in the long run.
    bravo for not apologizing! :-)
    xxxxxxxxx

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    1. Hugs are always welcome! I give good ones. I spent a long time in a dysfunctional marriage where I was given the message on a daily basis that I was a flawed disappointment and pretty much always wrong. I am in recovery from that but I am doing okay. :-) xoxoxo

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  4. And what a perfect blog theme it is. Your honesty is refreshing.

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    1. Thank you, Glenda. You are a lovely woman I am proud to call my blog-friend! xoxo

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  5. I relate to this very much as a fellow introvert/non-niche blogger! One day I want to talk about clothes, the next I just want to talk about anything other than clothes - I don't understand how people carve out these little prescribed blogging boxes/themes and stick to them so adherently. You write what you need to write, that is the most important thing. Not stats or comments or shiny blog prizes. Of course some can treat it like a business and do so admirably, but I find that those are not the blogs that stick in my mind or make me want to return to read. Sharing what you want to share is inspiring different things in different people every day - maybe someone who is too shy to comment on a clothing post might really connect to a poem you've written and reach out,or be inspired to write a poem themselves. You don't owe anyone an apology, you share what you want to share! :-) xo

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    1. I think introverts fall into blogging thinking it will be easier for them and get a big surprise! LOL Stay awesome, Steff! xoxo

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  6. I could have written this post!
    Love!
    Xo Jazzy Jack

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  7. Hey Shawna, I know it is always nice to know that someone you follow in blog land follows you back and of course the comments are always wonderful however you need to do what is right for you and for the strength you have to do it.

    I do not believe that any apology is necessary for you not having the strength to do everything your mind wants you to do ... Relax and enjoy blog land!!!! I am always delighted when I get a comment from you and that connection is what is important.

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    1. You are such a sweet, lovely lady and of course that means I just want to hang out with you even more than I manage! Thanks for being you and making the world a better place! xo

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  8. Ha ha! Glad you changed your mind. It is your blog after all. People choose to come and visit. If they don't like it, they don't need to.

    I have been a bit on a hiatus as of late. Losing a bit of my bloggy enthusiasm for all the reasons you have mentioned. I do so love the women I meet online but there is a certain amount of extra effort required to maintain an online connection.

    The number of blogs where the people aren't responding or interacting with their readers are very low.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  9. you certainly don't need to apologize...your blog is there to share whatever you like...and you should never feel guilty for not being able to visit all the blogs you think you should or that you would like to. I personally think it is better to visit a blog once in a while and really devote a minute to it than visiting blogs when you're tired and just not feeling it. Genuine connections are always precious and when those are establish one doesn't have to worry about replying to every comment or visiting every blog...what is important is that we support one another. People often criticize bloggers for being this and that but personally I think it is wonderful how supportive they can be one of another.

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I love visitors and I love comments. I will try my best to respond to everyone! Thanks for stopping by.