Not that long ago, I came to a rather surprising self-realization that I have a lifelong issue with feeling that I never get heard. Let me explain (and share some of my iPhone photos that have nothing at all to do with this post)…
I grew up in a family that was tight-knit, loud, obnoxious, crazy and of course, REALLY dysfunctional. Being the oldest of three girls, I had a lot of responsibility. Both my parents worked full-time and also ran a small business during the summer which left me in charge of my two younger sisters a lot. Despite the amount of responsibilities I had, I never really had much say in the family because my parents were busy just trying to survive. I don’t blame them for anything. They did the best they could. I learned at an early age that in order to make myself heard, I had to kick, scream and put up a huge fuss about it. Since that generally didn’t go over with my parents very well (or anyone else for that matter), I mostly kept my mouth shut and did what I was told.
I only just recently put this all together and it seems so obvious to me now – I have spent much of my life either fighting to get myself heard or quietly blending into the wallpaper. As a result of this, I have held onto a lot of hurt, anger and resentment towards people in my life who probably didn’t fully deserve it.
Wait…some of them totally deserved it but not all of them.
So, when I received an email last week that my post was chosen to be featured on Freshly Pressed, I wasn’t sure what to do. I checked my email again a few times to be sure it wasn’t a hoax. Nope, not a hoax. It was real and it immediately sent me into a panic as if the Queen just called and said she was coming to visit.
I flung open my dashboard like a crazy lady and started to “clean up”. I ran a spell check, fixed some widgets, added some new ones, changed my About Me page fifteen times and then I waited. And waited. And waited some more. The usual two-day weekend felt like it was the longest wait of my life.
Fast forward to Monday morning, “My Life, Plan B” went live on Freshly Pressed and then the emails and WordPress app notifications started to roll in – right as I was in the middle of an intense two-hour long meeting at work. Gah!
For the next two days, it was an avalanche of ‘likes’, comments and follows that I am still astonished by. In that short time, my humble little blog received over 3,000 page views, 308 likes, 135 new followers and 144 comments. WOW! My iPhone was buzzing so much that I had to turn it off so I could catch my breath.
It was like a surprise party for me and I had absolutely no way of blending into the wallpaper at that celebration. It was fun, exhilarating and damn scary all at the same time. Talk about feeling vulnerable!
Three days later, my post slipped off the Freshly Pressed page and then…there was silence.
[Insert cricket sounds here]
I’m still going through comments and likes and clicking on profiles to check out all your wonderful blogs. This will keep me busy for the next little while. I would like to respond to each and every one of you, but I’m afraid I will set myself up for disappointment if I commit to that. Please know, that I have read every comment and I appreciate everyone taking the time to leave some encouraging words. I must admit, I was so touched by the outpouring of support, it made me cry.
Seriously, I was so deeply moved by your words that for the first time I really understood the reason of all reasons for my need to write and put myself out there on the internet…
…I write because I have a Voice and I deserve to be heard.
That deeply ingrained, unconscious belief from my formative years does not have to have so much power over me, and I see that now. I have something important to say and there really are people out there who are genuinely interested. Imagine that.
Thank you Internet, for stopping by and listening. It means the world to me.
(Todays photos were taken last Sunday on the shore of Lake Ontario, Ashbridges Bay in Toronto, Ontario, using my iPhone 3Gs)