Can I tell you how hard it was to finally hit the publish on my blog? It’s ridiculous how long I held myself back. I’ve had a goal of starting a blog for almost two years now. I let almost anything and everything stop me, but it ended up teaching me a lot about myself.
holding myself back
1. Excuses Excuses
I wanted to have 5 blogs posts finished and ready to go before I published the site. Easy peasy, Right? You’d think it was, but, every time I would go to sit down, start writing, and FINISH 1 post (much less 5), I stopped myself.
No post was ever good enough. I continued to tell myself I needed better images, work on SEO, do more research, get someone else to proofread it. You name it, I used it as an excuse to not launch my blog.
I couldn’t figure out why I was making something that in theory is very simple, so damn hard. After all, it’s a blog and I’m not curing cancer.
2. fear of the unknown
I knew I had to dig deep and figure out what in the world was REALLY going on if I wanted to stop driving myself nutburgers. Of course the answer had been there all along staring right at me. I just didn’t want to admit it to myself because then I’d have to face it.
You see, the truth was simple. The very thing holding me back, was ME. I was standing in my own way and letting FEAR be my guide. It was never all the extraneous things I kept telling myself I needed to do before I could hit “go” on my blog.
It was fear. Fear of what people would or wouldn’t think. Fear of what if nobody read it, or liked it, or got anything from it, or that I’m wasting my time, or, or, or??? Fear of the unknown. Simple as that.
3. worrying about other people’s opinions
I’ve seen some of the RUDEST, downright terrible comments people have made to other bloggers, women, small shops, you name it. Whether it’s on their social media feeds or blog posts, trolls have found a way to put in their two cents.
It’s baffling to me how someone can not only THINK of these cruel things to say but take it a step further and write it for all the world to see. I mean, even Tina Fey has had trolls’ comment on things about her. Really? Some of these “people” have a lot of time on their hands.
I know that putting myself out there opens me up to the possibility of that. And I think we can all agree that nobody wants to hear or see rude, hurtful, cruel things said about them. I mean, life is hard enough dammit, and my inner critic can be a mean girl at times, so I definitely don’t need someone else rudely chiming in.
So, days turned into weeks which turned into months, which turned into over a year and a half. And, here we are. I let the fear win. Fear of the unknown. For now.
holding myself back – a little backstory
I got married ten years ago to my husband, Jay (who is seriously amaze balls). He has been my rock through the good, bad, ugly, and all the in-betweens since we said, “I do”.
If you would have told me what life had in store for us in these early years, I wouldn’t have believed you. In the ten years of our marriage we’ve been through a lot. Like, a lot.
Just to name a few
- Five months after we got married my mom tripped, fell and broke her wrist. She ended up in the hospital to have surgery and while she was there, contracted a staph infection. Her body was rejecting the meds she was on and was put on a respirator for five days. Doctors were pretty sure she wouldn’t be able to recover from it and miraculously, she did. (she is COMPLETELY fine, thank God)!
- 2 years of infertility
- uterine cancer
- full hysterectomy
- My father died very unexpectedly New Year’s Eve Ever two years ago
- 6 months after my father passed away, Jay had to have a double hip replacement because both of his hips had partially collapsed from a rare disease
- My grandmother died
- His grandmother died
- My stepfather died
- His grandfather died
- Our two cats died (not having kids they were seriously fur babies)
- This past March, my mother tripped and fell and hit her head on the steps when she was walking her dog. She was in ICU with a brain bleed for five days (she made a completely recovery…..this lady is strong)!
- Jay got diagnosed with severe scoliosis
And the usual crap thrown our way that WE ALL get hit with. It’s life. It’s tough and unfair at times.
4. feeling defeated and stuck
You can get the full story here, but when Jay and I were trying to have a baby, we were having no luck at all. Like, zero. Nada. NOTHING.
We finally made the decision to see a fertility specialist here in Charleston. The doctor discovered I had a fibroid blocking 90% of my uterus and during my surgery to have it cut out, he found a polyp on my uterus that came back cancerous.
Fast forward to a year of meds and biopsies, being watched like a hawk from a team of doctors and oncologists, my cancer was finally gone only to return in less than three months.
This time was different, though. It came back aggressively and with a vengeance. Three weeks later, I had a full hysterectomy.
To say that I was devastated is quite an understatement. I was grieving the loss of someone or something that I felt like I had always known in my heart but would now never meet. That chapter of my life closed the day I had my hysterectomy. It was final.
But I did and DO know just how lucky I am. Uterine cancer is extremely rare and VERY rare at such a young age. I probably never would have known that I had the C word if we weren’t trying to have a baby. Wherever this sweet little baby is, he or she has saved my life.
5. Staying in my comfort zone
hiding behind my weight gain
Since I had to have a full hysterectomy (ovaries, cervix, uterus – yep, they took it all) it sent me immediately into surgical menopause. (#funtimes). With menopause comes hot flashes and weight gain. Oh, the freaking weight gain.
I’ve always been in good shape and on the smaller side but the past few years I’ve packed on the LB’s. It was gradual at first and then I felt like overnight I had gained over 60 pounds and up ten sizes. Yes. Over 60 pounds. Yep. 10 sizes.
I wasn’t used to not being able to eat or wear what I wanted or just being bigger.
And then I started to feel embarrassed and somewhat ashamed that I had gained so much weight in a short amount of time. I found myself making jokes that I was the fat, funny friend.
It’s like I had resigned myself to just accept the fact that I was going to be overweight now. And, if I wanted to lose any of it, it was going to be almost next to impossible because I was going through menopause.
complacency and excuses
But, here’s the thing; I wasn’t doing much to try and lose it. It was easier for me to blame the weight gain on the fact that I was going through menopause (as a result of my hysterectomy) instead of taking responsibility and doing something about it.
That became the excuse I started to believe to make myself feel better for not doing anything to change the situation. Why? Because I knew (and know) losing 60 pounds is not going to be easy.
So, I got a little complacent for no reason at all. I already felt a little defeated because I had had uterine cancer and wasn’t going to be able to have children.
6. self doubt
And then I started to let little miss self-doubt rear her ugly head.
Should I roll out new charm necklaces for Templeton Silver? Will anyone like them? What if no one buys them? Should we adopt? Or use a surrogate? Is the reason I got cancer because I’d be some terrible mom and I shouldn’t have kids? Should I really start working out? Will it do any good? Would I stick to it? Who am I to start a blog? Will anyone read it? What if it sucks? How can Jay still think I’m attractive? Am I a good friend?
Little by little, I was literally letting (say that ten times as fast as you can) self-doubt, fear and what ifs be a part of my daily internal dialogue. Not a ton, but enough to feel stuck and afraid to move out of my comfort zone.
What holding myself back taught me
1. complaining solves nothing
Who knows? Maybe I thought if I complained about it JUST enough, it would finally motivate me to start doing something about it. And me hiding behind menopause being the reason I gained so much weight? The ugly truth is that I was doing NOTHING about it and expected the weight loss fairy to cover me in weight loss pixie dust and it all magically disappear.
And, if I’m really being honest, I wasn’t exactly helping the cause, either. I was eating whatever. Even though my diet is almost always organic, an organic pizza, organic burger and fries and organic wine is not exactly diet food lol.
In a way, I think I was feeling sorry for myself because on top of all the other obstacles that we were going through at that time, I wasn’t going to be able to have babies and was going through menopause at such a young age.
I finally got to the point where I was SO sick and tired of being sick and tired.
2. do something about it
Whatever your “it” is, do something to change it. I realized that complaining about the situation and doing NOTHING about it was pretty much an exercise in futility.
We’ve all heard the expression – The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I needed to have a picture of me with that plastered on it because that’s exactly what I was doing.
So, I finally pulled the treadmill out of the corner and dusted it off (yes, there was dust on it….and LOTS of it). I swear that thing would taunt me and whisper my name every time I walked by it.
I started to run (and by run I mean walk/run/try and not have a heart attack) on it a few times a week. And, the weight watchers app that I downloaded over a year ago and haven’t used? I started to use it and track what I was eating.
And you know what? Slowly but surely, the weight has started to come off. Who would have ever thought that taking action would help? 😜 I’m down 16 pounds.
3. figure out what the issue really is
The truth is, me not just biting the bullet and publishing my blog has nothing to do with my weight, what I look like or this reason or that. It never was. But everything to do with me worrying about the unknown.
I let my own insecurities about how I was feeling keep me stuck in what felt most comfortable. To just do nothing. I certainly didn’t like where I was and definitely didn’t like feeling stuck, but it was what I had come to know.
Rather than me having to feel uncomfortable being uncomfortable for a short amount of time, I became stagnant in my new normal.
4. go easy on yourself
This body of mine? It’s actually amazing. It fought and beat cancer. Not once, but twice. That’s a miracle.
My body has been more than good to me and deserves only good things. It deserves to be in healthy shape, fed nutritious foods and to be taken care of.
What it doesn’t deserve, is me feeling embarrassed or putting myself down because I’m on the heavier side. This body of mine saved me. Twice. And, that’s pretty damn cool.
4. Have a positive attitude
People always joke with me and ask how I’m still smiling through everything we’ve been through and maintain such a positive attitude (okay, well 90% – 95% of the time) and not in the corner curled up in the fetal position.
The thing is, we are all so much stronger than we realize. You never really know how strong you are until you have nothing left but to be, well, strong!
Life has thrown us some major curve balls and we’ve stood by each other through it all. It’s been tough, but we are both stronger today because of it.
Have Jay and I had a lot of things not go our way? Um, YES! Does it suck that I had uterine cancer and as a result can’t carry children? Of course. But I’m ALIVE and healthy and that is a miracle and I thank God for that!
There are so many other ways for us to have a baby and become a family. And, it’s so exciting to think of who this sweet little baby is that I KNOW will one day be our son or daughter (hopefully one day soon).
This was how it was supposed to happen. God’s timing is always the best timing, even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment.
5. Just do it
I’ve never been a quitter and I’m certainly not going to start now. Every single one of us is going to have doubt creep in from time to time or feel stuck. It’s what we DO with it when it does creep in that matters.
So, I’m hitting the publish button today. No more getting in my head. No more what ifs. No more hiding behind fear because something doesn’t feel comfortable. No more excuses.
This actually ended up being a good thing. It’s taught me that I can’t let a little fear of the unknown stop me. And I won’t anymore. It’s been almost two years of putting something off that is NO BIG DEAL AT ALL.
I mean, it’s not rocket science and I’m not over here trying to split the atom. It’s a little silly now, in hindsight.
know your self worth
There is only one you and only one me, and that’s pretty freaking awesome! We are all unique in our own God given ways and nothing should stop any of us from putting our good out there for everyone.
Will everyone like it? Probably not. But, that’s okay. As one of my favorites (Marie Forleo) says, “The world needs that special gift that only you have.”
Nothing is perfect but I’m healthy, blessed with amazing friends and family, live in a beautiful city, have a great job and most important, I have a husband who loves me for who I am. Every single imperfection, every single fault, muffin top and all (hmmmmmmmmm….muffins).
And I certainly won’t let the possibility of some internet troll who has nothing better to do than try and hurt someone else to make them feel better about their own insecurities, stop me from doing a damn thing. Bless their hearts.
The silver lined life
I named my blog The Silver Lined Life 1. as a play on words for my company Templeton Silver and 2. I really do try and look at the brighter side of things.
I’m not Pollyanna and fully aware that sh** happens. But I don’t want to waste a lot of time feeling sorry for myself or asking, why me? Repeatedly.
I may not always see the silver lining at first. Looking back on tough situations (most of which I wondered how I’d ever make it through), a positive attitude, my faith and inner strength (okay, and lots of wine) helped get me through every single one.
It’s helped shape both Jay and me to be the strong, loving, steadfast couple we are.
I feel so very lucky. Yall, things are good, and life is GREAT if we can just remember to get out of our own way.