(Note: This disclaimer goes against everything I believe in, but I feel it’s necessary: This post is NOT speaking toward any particular blog. As I write it, I don’t even have a blog in mind. It’s just a phenomenon I’ve run across.
I’ve seen a number of these Tell All link-ups out there, and I’ve never really given them a second thought. I definitely appreciate the benefits of getting something off your chest, but I either a) vent to a friend when I need to or b) don’t feel something quite qualifies for these link-ups.
See, to me, these posts imply an inherent … shame. Like, “Oh, my gosh, I cannot believe that I feel this way, tell me I’m not alone!!” I have deep admiration for the bloggers who put themselves out there like that.
I have never been one of them because it’s pretty hard to shame me. I love what I love without apologies. I feel what I feel without guilt. This is me, and I’m all right. (How Stuart Smalley of me.)
However, recently, I have been feeling something that sort of shames me a little bit. It worries me. It makes me feel like I’m not good enough, like I’m not smart enough.
And here it is: Sometimes, other bloggers make me feel badly about myself.
It’s probably due in part to the blogs I’m attracted to. I, in case you hadn’t realized, make jewelry. I love to be creative, and I love to create. As such, many of the blogs I read are creative. They’re lovely.
And, often, they’re written by people who quit the 9-to-5 world to do What They Love All. The. Time.
Talk about living the dream, right?
Sometimes, when I read these amazing blogs written by these amazing people who can do what they love in lieu of a 9-to-5, I feel like a failure. Like my jewelry will never be to the point where it can sustain me. That I’m a Fake. That since they Made It, they’re better than I am.
But then I have a little pep talk with myself. Yes, I have a 9-to-5, and you know what? I like my job. I’m a features reporter. I get to talk to someone new every day if I want. Or if I don’t feel like being social, I get to sit at my desk and write all day. I get to come up with my own story ideas, assign my own photos and cover assignments that often make me think, “This is work?”
For my job, I have spent an overnighter in Amish country, seeing how an Old Order Amish woman’s day works when she has eight kids. One of those kids, upon meeting me, threw a tomato at me and hit me on the ass. (Nice aiming, Ben.) I have been turned to by an editor who said, “Will you localize this wire story?” To do this, I went to a local Mexican shop and ate four of their dozens of ice pops to write about what they tasted like. I’ve been at a graveside birthday party for a little girl who didn’t live to see her fourth birthday, and I’ve sobbed in my car after. I’ve worked a carnival game at a fair, showed my “portfolio” to a modeling agency that told me I have vagina ear and hot dog neck, and helped a young woman who couldn’t otherwise afford a prom dress pick three out so my paper’s readers could choose what she’d wear.
I’ve been thanked, yelled at, appreciated, loathed, questioned and apologized to. I’ve been told to never quit what I’m doing, and I’ve been told I should probably move because I don’t really belong here.
None of that happened because of the jewelry I make. No, that jewelry helps me stay at this job I so enjoy — secondary income is your friend, especially when your 9-to-5 is in a dying industry. Of course the daily grind can get to me, but I haven’t woken up and dreaded coming into work for more than three years. I’ve never not had insurance. I’ve never not known how much I was making on payday. When I get sick, I still get paid.
I write for a newspaper, and who knows if it will exist next year, or in five? And if I find myself without a job, without an industry, will I try to amp up the jewelry sales? You bet your ass I will, and I will be grateful that I’m lucky enough to have found not one but two passions in my life: I’m a story-teller, and I’m a gal who makes jewelry.
So sometimes, I admit, I feel very “La-de-frickin’-da that you were able to quit your shitty job and be a Creating Goddess for your life.” Ain’t the green-eyed monster a bitch?
In truth, and most of the time, I’m happy for you. But in truth, some of the time, I feel like my face is being rubbed in me not being good enough to do the same. Doesn’t matter if that’s not your intent — that’s what it feels like.
Intent, unfortunately, doesn’t always match up with reality.