However, in my case of not blogging for a month, I wasn't thrown from any horse. Instead, I haven't written because I brought back a little something from my recent trip that I didn't anticipate: self-doubt. Self-doubt as in "I have nothing worthy to write about." Self-doubt as in "why would anyone want to read what I have to write?" Self-doubt as in "who am I to blog?"
I can see why historically emotions such as jealousy have been personified, because this self-doubt is very, very tangible. Instead of being a green-eyed monster, however, my Self Doubt is more like a muscular, stoic bouncer outside an exclusive nightclub. You know, the kind of hulking guy who stands there, arms crossed, not saying a word, his look alone conveying "do you really think you are coming in to here?" And as this Self Doubt stares you in the face, you shift uncomfortably in your high heels questioning everything about yourself until you come to the conclusion that of course you don't belong in there.
So for almost a month, I have allowed this taciturn, phantom bully to be in control, becoming an impassable obstacle to my writing. It took a chance encounter this past weekend with a stranger at a carwash for me to realize it was time to do something about this.
While I was waiting for my car to be dried, a woman sat down next to me. Instantly, we eased into conversation, about how we both loved the car wash we were at to how she met her husband. By the time we walked out to the attendants waving their rags signaling our cars were done, we felt a connection. When she asked for a way to contact me, I gave her my blog URL. This piqued her interest.
"A blog? My friends have always said I should write," she responded.
"Why don't you?" I asked.
"Four letters: F - E - A - R," she said, as she drove off in her shiny, clean car.
This is when I realized that I'm not the only one being ruled by Self Doubt, and this realization lit something inside of me. In that instant, I pictured rows and rows of people sitting mournfully, not painting or writing or dancing or asking someone out because of Self Doubt. I saw words disappear from books and music go silent from instruments. I saw paintings being drained of their color. I felt a well of creativity and innovation and discovery dry up as men and women and children and teens felt overpowered by this emotional ruffian. I saw my life past me by, void of something that I love doing.
I had it. It was time to face the bully. I called in my horse, grabbed its reigns, and went back to writing.
I know, of course, that there will be days that Self Doubt will try to keep me out of the nightclub again and that's okay. You know why? I don't need to be let in. I've decided to kick off my shoes and dance unabashedly right where I am, for everyone to see and join in.