Well, it’s over. I survived my first blog panel. I’m having a glass of wine and watching Heaven is For Real, and Adam is at a soccer game at the Rose Bowl. But the panel is over, and wow. Sometimes when you speak in front of people you don’t know, afterwards, you feel like there isn’t anything you can’t do.
I passed out on the couch after I got home. I can’t remember being more tired. It was as though the energy it took to speak in front of people was somehow more energy than running a half marathon. It was a different kind of energy though. It was like, I wasn’t tired physically, but I was mentally burnt out. Maybe it was because the panel was after a long day at the day job. Or maybe it was because I used up a lot of mental energy trying to figure out what to say.
The best advice I can give anyone who is about to speak, is you won’t know what you have to say until you say it. There’s no preparing for it. I tried, but don’t try. I think the brain naturally comes up with answers when you’re on the spot, and they’re better than anything you could have come up with in front of a mirror the night before. I know because I tried that too.
The whole day I wasn’t nervous at all. It wasn’t until I was prepping to head over to the mall that I started to feel ‘shushy’. Shushy is a term I learned to use instead of the word ‘nervous’, from this episode of Marie TV. My entire body was vibrating. It was interesting and scary. A lot of my family and friends showed up, and I was so happy to see them because having them there calmed me down a lot. And then I was ‘shushy’ a lot. And then I was calm a lot. And then I was ‘shushy’ and so on, and so forth.
What I realized though, was that at the end of the day, what pulled me through it was my love for blogging. I realized that this panel wasn’t really about me or whether or not I was worthy of such a panel, it was about sharing the knowledge of what I have learned up until this point. It was about helping to spread the word of blog. It was about relaying all of the good that comes out of expressing yourself on a digital page, in your very own digital corner. I don’t think there’s any other topic that I love talking about more than blogging. Well, I guess Game of Thrones is getting up there too, but that’s neither here nor there.
I’ve found so much purpose through blogging. I’ve become part of this dreamer community, who believes in plug-ins, sparkly themes, etsy shops and Instagram sidebars. A community who believes they can do anything. A community that speaks their mind, goes after what they want, collaborates, invents, excites, creates, and serves. I’ve found something I can do, something that I love to do, and something that gets me excited to do more. I may be on an ‘all-over-the-place’ track, but last night’s session…seeing people there who took a real interest in the knowledge that I had to share, coming in at the end of a work day without knowing a single person, just to learn a bit more about this strange digital world….it made my heart feel like the sun. It made me more inspired than ever to do anything, to go slowly, to absorb and immerse myself in every amazing moment of this life journey, and to want to meet more people.
It made people less scary.
I say that because I rarely go to workshops or networking events because I always feel like I never know what to say when people ask me what my blog is about. I feel like I always have to have some sort of elevator pitch ready if I’m ever asked, and that’s what’s held me back a lot of the time. But why do we need to always be selling something? Can’t we just jam out about how not all blogs fit into niche categories and oh look how glorious the moon looks like tonight and oh hey tell me a funny story about when you were young.
I was more honest than ever last night as the night wore on. I was asked about my goals for my blog and my goals for my audience. I surprised myself by being unafraid to say that goals scare me, because if I don’t complete them, I feel ashamed or in some way like a failure. I said while I had no specific goals, my want for this blog is that you walk away feeling a little bit better about life than you did when you started reading it. That you know that the only thing required of you in this life is that you’re open to love, and that you are always absolutely unabashedly you.
This blog may not always follow the rules in terms of blogging correctly, but it puts a damn smile on my face every time I get to sit down and do it, and as long as I’ve got a sane brain in mah dome piece, it always will. I hope one day we all find something that lights us up, and if we have, that we do it fiercely and often.
I love you guys and this damn keyboard and this heavenly laptop. Heaven is for real.