I can remember falling in love with storytelling as a young girl. I’d hide away in my closet with a flashlight, pen, and notebook (the good ole’ days) and spend hours journeying through an entirely different world. What I’ve always loved most about storytelling is the escapism it offers, the truth-telling it allows the opportunity for, and the way it can make you feel so alive; so empowered. Throughout my entire life, anytime the real world let me down, I could always count on creating my own; and the most amazing part about it is all I needed were my thoughts, paper, and a pen to do it.
Fast forward to today and there are countless tools and resources at our fingertips for telling stories. The growth I’ve witnessed in technology is almost unbelievable. It certainly has its pros and cons, but overall, I am grateful for it because it led me here, right now, to you.
In the past, I’ve created a variety of blogs and social media sites – each with varying intentions – but I ended up throwing in the towel at some point because I was overwhelmed. Looking back, it’s clear to me that I was putting too much pressure on myself to be “perfect”. If I didn’t have the perfect pictures, the perfect words, the perfect timing – then all of it was pointless. I was so fixated on perfectionism that I was forgetting to remember the entire point in storytelling: sharing.
I realized I needed to reconnect with myself, so I tossed all of my social media sites out the window and embarked on a new journey to self. Nearly three years later, here I am with a countless number of notebooks filled with thoughts, experiences, and dreams for the future. If you’ve seen any of my work online recently, it’s no secret that writing has helped me process some of my life’s toughest battles.
During my social media sabbatical, I realized I was striving for perfectionism because some of the experiences I’d written about were things my own family and close friends weren’t even aware of. Not only would I be sharing these experiences with the world for the first time, but I’d also be sharing them with my closest circle for the very first time as well. This thought caused me to agonize over how it would make them feel. To the point where I’d end up talking myself out of sharing anything at all.
And then the guilt came. I began thinking about all of the people in the world who might need to hear what I have to say. How my words could possibly help them break out of toxic situations. How my stories could help them have courage to believe in themselves. This began to consume me because deep down I knew that other people’s words have helped me tremendously. In fact, reading work from varying authors has saved me in many ways at times. I couldn’t help but think that if relating to others can empower me to change my life for the better, what could my storytelling do for someone else?
So, here I am. Trying again. Focusing a lot less on being perfect and a lot more on creating purpose. Yes, the fact that I’m typing this conversation-style post full of grammatical errors is causing the pastime English major in me to cringe, but it’s fine (for now). Someone once told me that a “finished something” is sometimes better than a “perfect nothing”.
So, here’s to the little girl who once hid her stories from the world. Here’s to finishing many somethings & being perfect at absolutely nothing.