This piece was firs seen on Medium.
Personal Story — Skip to 1. below if you want the point right away
Last time I wrote a blog post was over 6 months ago… Why? You ask. Well, I could tell you I’ve been busy, I’ve been sick, I’ve been traveling and many other excuses but the truth is I’ve been worried.
My first blog post turned out waaaayyyy better than I could’ve imagined with over 4000 views. Incredible to kick off 2016 with such great success! A month later, I pushed out another piece and got less than 1% views compared to the last. Instantly I started doubting my ability to write. “Did I just get lucky that one time?” “Why am I even writing, blogging or what do you even call this?” The fear of rejection, judgement and criticism eventually just lead to — Until I have an amazing topic of which I am an expert in, with only neutral facts and tips to share I won’t bother writing.
I’ve actually been sitting on this draft since my birthday in April…
But today that’s gonna change — currently I’m sitting in the hospital lobby waiting for lab results feeling sick, anxious, nervous and quite frankly scared as hell. There’s a really small chance (Mum if you’re reading this don’t freak out, if I tell them this they might not click that red x so quickly, I’m not dying) that I won’t ever be able to blog, write or even talk again. Even though it’s an extremely small chance, nothing seems more scary than that. So screw the possible negative comments, haters and my self doubt, as long as what I’m passionate about doesn’t put me back here surrounded by awful screaming and depressing vibes; I’m gonna go for it.
Adopting the confidence of Elle Woods
Actual content — 2 or 3 things I learned from 23 years of living, it’s really more like 11 things but that would’ve been a less catchy title.
- Always bring a jacket. Mum was right and airplanes are cold AF. A business casual jacket (or blazer) also instantly dresses up your outfit.
- Add seasoning to your food after you’ve tasted it. It shows that you aren’t immediately jumping to conclusions and assumptions.
- Listening can be a hard thing, but keep trying. Often times I try to offer solutions when a problem is shared with me and forget that a listening ear may be all that my friend was looking for. But hey there’s a condition to that, if you whine about something more than 3 times you should either do something about it or zip it.
- We are our worst critic, unless you’re in politics then the media is. No one is going to notice your flaws as much as yourself. But unfortunately when they do notice there’s a chance some will judge you. So go out there and rock it, nail it, kill it; if you don’t believe in yourself how are others supposed to?
- Your GPA matters except it really doesn’t. For the longest time I was so stressed about maintaining a 4.0, to the point where I would lock myself up for dayz to study, missing out on friendships I could’ve grown, memories I could’ve made. Not saying you should ditch studying all together, just don’t stress too much about that little number; your work ethic, experience and personality makes a tremendous difference.
- Drugs ruin lives and so do friends who pressure you to do them. No joke — a guy asked me to do coke with him, I said no, shared the story about losing my brother to drugs and he still pushed for me to “at least try it once”. Don’t be that douche and cut that douche out of your life.
- Ignorance isn’t a bliss for all. If you don’t know the answer, it’s okay to say I don’t know but be sure to follow up with I will find out. It shows dedication and humility. A huge pet peeve of mine is when people say I don’t know, expecting that to be enough reasoning for the lack of effort.
- Driving fast has a cost. Take it from someone who’s gotten 4 speeding tickets in one year paying over $1000 in fines. Have a need for speed? Be sure you’re ready for the consequences. Oh and apparently racking up credit cards also has a high price tag but we’ll save that for another time.
- It’s okay to say no. I have an awful sense of guilt every time the words N.O. come out of my mouth. Which is why I was once on a road trip with an addict, stripper and homeless man (disclaimer I don’t care if you struggle with addiction, but don’t try to steal from me) where I received no gas money and nearly got robbed. Taking on too many things without being mindful of ourselves is actually quite irresponsible. In my experience, I eventually break down and can’t accomplish anything. Take care of yourself so you have the strength to take care of others.
- Travel! Your frappuccino money can most likely afford you a new perspective already, stop making excuses for yourself. To me, each trip shines light on new viewpoints, helping me gain sympathy, broadening my knowledge to hopefully become a better human.
- Join a community. It’s brutal to be alone, especially when you’re in a new place. Social anxiety is a real problem, I’ve found the more I put myself out there the easier it gets (pro tip: no one said you have to go to every event, try moving at a pace that won’t drive you mad). Meetup.com is a great place for local events, if you prefer to stay behind the screen try finding a forum or slack community to be part of. If you’re in CO let’s chill at Women Who Startup or make some DIYs.
Many of these may seem obvious now, but 15 year old me sure would’ve appreciated a heads up, so there it is. They say hindsight is always 20/20, find a mentor, good friend or family member to lend a hand when you’re stuck, that’s probably the best advice I’ve actually got.
Tweet me — I still don’t know how the heck to budget time and money or how to sneeze without sounding like a whale so all tips are appreciated.