Sometimes in life you just have to push past the noise and do things for yourself. Things that make you you, things that ensure you are being true to yourself.
When I was a little girl we visited an old-fashioned hardware store after church one Sunday. The floors were creaky wide planked hardwood boards and along an entire wall was a glass counter filled with jars of candy by the pound. There was an employee handing out candy and he had me sample the newest flavor of jelly bean...popcorn. It sounded gross but when I tasted that it instantly became my favorite. I loved the way the flavor was so different and so unique.
When I became a teenager though and then even in college, whenever there would be jelly bellys around someone would inevitably say how much they hate the popcorn ones and I found myself agreeing with how gross they were.
I knew I had liked them but seeing them being scoffed I thought that I must have some weird memory of them in my head...that surely I was wrong and they weren't as good as I thought they had been. And just like that I changed what I thought because of other people.
That has happened in my life too. With this blog. A couple of years ago, before I moved to this platform, I wrote a blog I knew to be true to my heart. It wasn't meant to be about someone it was meant to be about what was on my mind when someone outright did not like me and how I was going to react and deal with it. Well, a lot of people reached out and were accusing me of saying things that were not in the blog at all. Ouch.
I didn't really mind the comments because it's easy to see through hurtful comments to see hurt people who react by hurting others. But what I did wonder was...Did those people really see all of those things in my one blog? How did I miss all of these subliminal messages I was apparently putting in my articles?
I found that I started letting that message into my writing...I was putting on different lenses when I started writing anything wondering what yeah-hoo God knows where is going to pull some weird, obscure something out of my writing that I had no intention of saying. Because if it happened that one time...
Just like that I started censoring myself.
Thinking it would help, I reached out for professional help. I attended writing seminars, consulted former editors of mine, participated in book launches, accepted invitations to courses led by other prestigious bloggers: I thought that would help give me direction but instead I ended up with a head full of even more restraints and rules with upon to censor what I have to say. Idealogies such as imagine a person you're writing to, don't have too many topics, don't write about your kids, no one cares!, write about things people want to hear, do seo searches before you write to make sure people will search for your content with the right words.
And just like that I popcorn jelly belly-ed myself all over again. I ended up convincing myself that I must not be good at this. That my "talent" and love of writing was some distorted memory, that I must not be cut out for this after all.
Then last week, one of my amazing friends had me over for breakfast and in the warmth of her kitchen I put all of this to words and revealed to her my two year long struggle of writers block and why it's been so hard. She said the words I needed to hear, "just write whatever you want." As a fellow writer I know she gets the kind of smothering grasp too many restraints can take on your creativity.
And just like that my popcorn jelly belly façade fell away. It is okay to be me. To like popcorn jelly bellys or to write or to watch one episode of Dick Van Dyke every morning. Whatever weird thing it is, it's okay to be me.
Last week I was stealing some of the kids jelly bellys (because Costco had 4 pounds for 9.99, yo). Nick was in the kitchen with me and when I got to a popcorn one I said "mmm. I love the popcorn ones...they're my favorite."
I could tell you I have some super cool husband who said something airy"good for you, babe, but they're just not for me" or something but instead the little weasel teased me about it...because that's how we roll, yo.
So here's the thing...
I've learned that no matter what I do there will be haters (just watch the comments if you want some laughs from people who stalk my blog just waiting and have nothing but mean things to say...I'm sure they are coming!) but one of those haters shouldn't be me hating on myself. There's no need to hate on myself because of my jelly belly awesome flavor love.
And that is how I'm feeling about writing too. I want to write about what I want. What interests me. What I love. Not what I think the world thinks they want to read. I want to be true to myself. True to me without caring about what other people deem as not good enough or weird or gross.
So I'm getting back to me. Back to my roots. Back to Lindsay who does most everything okayish but not too many things particularly well. Blogs like this one that really spill out my soul. Blogs about baking bread or perler beads or how to remove dry erase marker off my carpet. Whatever.
So, friends, this is me, bleeding out on the carpet for all the world to see.
Not really. I'm here in sweats occasionally stealing a popcorn jelly belly from my kids' easter basket. They are the best after all...