Personal Growth

What to Do When You’re Afraid of What You Truly Want

I’m on that “new year, new me” bullshit hard right now, but I’m a little afraid to talk about something. There’s something real big, and kind of scary that’s been on my mind.

It’s funny, because my guess is that it’s only real big to me because it’s scary in a new sort of way, and it’s entirely possible that you will not actually think it’s real big. In fact, you will most likely not think it’s a big deal.

I know I’ve been vulnerable as fuck on Clo Bare, but this is a new level of vulnerability for me.

New Levels of Vulnerability

I don’t know why, but it’s harder for me to be honest about this than it is for me to be honest about my mental health, my dating life, my body image issues, my relationship struggles, my PTSD, my finances— YOU NAME IT.

Maybe it’s harder to admit because I can so very apparently fail at what I’m about to tell you, and not admitting what I want would be an easier way to stay hidden. No one would know if I failed, and no one would think I was crazy for trying.

But fulfillment does not lie under the covers of fear. Fear traps potential and makes it hard for hope to see light beyond the concrete cage that blocks our line of sight until we stop believing that there can be anything else, anything more than what is in this cage that we’ve created for ourselves.

I don’t want to live in my box simply because I’m too afraid to try for more or even just different.

Fear

Keeping it secret would only be an action out of fear.

I don’t do things out of fear anymore.

Image that says: I don't do things out of fear anymore.

I’m on this “new year, new me” bullshit, and I’m going to do it.

Ready?

Set.

I want to be a mother-fucking-blogger.

Ugh.
That wasn’t even the full truth– fingers! How could you betray me!?

Ok, let’s try this again.

Ready…
Set….

I want to be a MOTHER-FUCKING-WRITER.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Ok.
Ok.

(Nods head to self and keeps typing to remind myself that the world hasn’t imploded).

You’re still here?

Ok, cool.

So what?

Now you may be wondering… Why the hell was that such a big deal for you to say? Why does it even matter that you said it? Aren’t you already blogging which means that you’re also kind of writing?

Well, yes. And no. And a lot of reasons.

For one, I still care way too much about what other people think. There is a little voice that taunts me.

The little voice tells me that it’s silly to want to be a writer.
The little voice tells me that no one is a writer anymore, and the people who are writing? They make $12 a year, so it’s not like it’s something that you can live off of.
The little voice tells me that I’m really not very good at writing.
The little voice tells me that I’m better off taking literally any other route because this is not a safe one, not a secure one and not a guaranteed one.
The little voice tells me that I don’t have what it takes.

The good news is, that little voice that cares too much about what other people think is getting much quieter than the voice that does not give a fuck anymore.

Image says "that little voice in my head that cares too much about what other people think is getting much quieter than the voice that does not give a fuck anymore.

It’s Scary

It’s also scary to admit to because it’s important to me and I’ve let it lay in wait for too long.

It’s one of those dreams that I’ve put on hold for forever. You know, those dreams that you push aside constantly? The ones that you think about doing someday– if so and so and xyz happens first? The ones that you put on a shelf in the back of your brain and only take off the shelf every once in a while to dust off and admire?

Like, look at that dream. Look at what I could do if I actually tried. Someday I’ll try, and someday the world will see just how special I am. Someday, I’ll see that I’m actually who I believe myself to be.

I dust it off, and pop it back on my shelf until next time I need a little pick me up. It’s a little reminder that I could do something great if I really wanted, and it’s a little token that makes me believe that all the avoiding I’ve been doing is actually incubating and not procrastination.

I don’t want to procrastinate anymore.

I’ve wanted to do this– to be a writer– since I was nine. Is that how old you are when you’re in second grade? Ok– maybe seven? I don’t know.

There will never be a better time in my life to do the things that I want to do most, and while I can make excuses and say that this blog as it is is enough for me– that’s not honest.

I love this blog. I love it probably more than I’ve ever loved a romantic relationship I’ve been in or a place I’ve gone to or an adventure I’ve tried– and I’m not sorry about that. I love doing it, I love the people I connect with through it, I love the feeling I get every single time I write something scary. I love how it makes me feel and I love how it makes me grow.

But I want more.

I want to be able to publish weekly.
I want to be able to work with other bloggers and podcasters, writers, and maybe even YouTubers.
I want to be able to connect with people from all over who share similar passions and interests and are working towards the same things.
And goddamnit, maybe I even want to make this my job.

I want these things, and I don’t want to feel ashamed of wanting these things.

Well, no one is making you feel ashamed, Clo Bare. You’re doing that to yourself.

You’re right.

Wanting to be a writer is something that I have felt such shame for such a long time. It’s never felt like a viable option for me, and I’ve never felt like I was good enough.

I could bore you with my theories on where I learned that I’m just not good enough but that’s only part of the equation.

The not feeling good enough prevents me from doing the things that I need to do to be the writer.

It prevents me from writing.
It prevents me from pitching.
It prevents me from submitting.
It prevents me from trying.

The being the writer part is not the embarrassing bit or the bit to be shameful of– I’m ashamed that I have not been trying but claiming it’s what I want anyway.

I do this sometimes.

I often fall into the trap of thinking that simply wanting something will make it happen. But, let’s pretend that all these ideas in my heads are eggs for metaphor’s sake, the eggs of ideas do not hatch on their own.

They cannot even come into existence on their own.

There must be mating, and love, and care, and feedings, and a lot of sitting on the egg to keep it warm, and even then once the egg stays warm you have to protect it to make sure that it comes into a safe environment that even permits it the chance to grow, thrive and survive.

At least that’s how I think eggs work and the hatching process.

I know, most likely, that eggs do not hatch from merely thinking of an egg hatching.

I know, that the hatching, the becoming into existence– that is not even the biggest challenge which comes into play once the chick is born.

The borning is the beginning of the doing. The birth is when the idea must turn into action.

I’ve been sitting on my eggs for too long. I’ve been warming up the idea eggs for years and years and years, and I’m still waiting for them to hatch.

Except for one.

I did let an egg hatch a little over a year ago when I started Clo Bare, and it was the best “fuck-it” moment I have ever had. It’s time to give my little hatchling a chance to grown and maybe a few siblings, along the way.

Image of Clo Bare sitting in window seat. Image says "I want to at least know that I can't do something before I decide it isn't possible"

Enough with the egg analogy. It’s hurting my brain, so I can only imagine it’s hurting yours too.

So.

This is my confession.
I want to be a writer. I want to make this blog my thing. I want to dedicate all my time and resources to it, and I want to see if I can turn it into my full-time gig.

Boom.

The imagined haters in my brain come at me.

This is also my promise that 2019 is the year that I start actually trying.

While admitting this feels lame and self-serving because I know I am not an expert in anything other than my own journey and my own experiences, here’s what I do know.

I know that I feel alone all the fucking time. 
I know I feel misunderstood. 
I know I feel like I can’t do this sometimes
I know that I constantly feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.
I know that I feel disconnected and confused and like the world was designed in a way that is isolating and unfair and incredibly WEIRD, and like I don’t belong.
I know that I feel angry and radical and unmotivated and depressed and a little bit crazy sometimes.

But I also know that these feelings are not unique to me.
That feelings that make us human are so hard to talk about.  

And I want to talk about it. I want to talk about all the hard stuff. I don’t want to feed you my highlight reel, I want to show you the parts that we are told to hide.

Even if I’m bad at it.
Even if I’m a terrible writer.
Even if it’s embarrassing and difficult and not all that great.

I want to at least know I can’t do something before I decide it isn’t possible. 

And that means doing the things that I know I need to do.
Like writing every single damn day.
Like working with other bloggers.
Like not giving a fuck and hitting publish anyway.
Like choosing to write over choosing to Netflix.

It means managing my time better and engaging in real self-care.
It means taking this seriously and submitting work elsewhere.
It means learning how to code a little bit and transferring this shit over to a real blogging platform like WordPress.
It means failing, rejection and fear and disappointment, and it means continuing anyway. It means opening the door to criticism and feedback and so much vulnerability. 

But I think it’s time.
It’s my time.

I don’t want my eggs to be fucking participation prizes on the back of a shelf that I only look at to feel better about my life.

I want to hatch them and grow them and multiply them and do it all over again.

Clo Bare sitting on chair. Image says "what to do when you're afraid of what you truly want"

​So cheers to 2019 folks. I hope you’ll be seeing more of me this year– scratch that. Not hope. You’re going to be seeing more of me this year.

Thank you for being here, and I am excited to share this with you as I finally decide to do and pursue what has been written on my heart for as long as I can remember.

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