I am a late night blogger, as you may know. It is really the only time I get to myself and that is what I enjoy doing.
A show I have gotten into lately is the OWN Network’s Master Class. Every time I watch it, no matter the self narrative guest, I learn something or find myself looking at an aspect of life differently. I suppose I am starting to understand what that “Aha Moment” Oprah Winfrey always talks about is.
This week the guest was Oprah Winfrey herself.
Oprah and I have had our falling outs over the years. I would like some things about her shows and then she would do one that would have me banning her for life. But somehow, I seem to still have a piece of her in my life. Now it is her network – because, let’s be honest – it is nice to have some quality television out there for once. Especially late at night.
In her talking about her childhood, her early career and where she is now, she said many inspirational things. But when she started talking about “Running My Race”, my heart skipped a beat, my adrenaline rushed, and I held onto her words as if they were my life blood.
“Running My Race”, to her, meant that she did what was right for her and the ones she loved in her eyes. She did not look back at the other people around her doing the same thing. She mostly talked about other talk shows that came on when she was airing that were supposed to take her viewers. But when she said, “When you turn around to see what others around you are doing, you yourself, slow down.”, I almost jumped out of my chair, pumped my fists in the air and said “YEA!”.
But the family was sleeping and I did not want to wake them.
Instead, I started to think.
My personality can be one of a leader… if I have any confidence, or one of a follower… if I am lost. But it is also a comparative one. One that measure how I am doing by what other are doing. It is a frustrating way to live life, because, let’s face it… no matter how well I am doing, someone is bound to be better.
Take motherhood, for instance. And I have posted about this before, but I can not help but compare how other mothers and kids are doing compared to mine.
But lately, I have been doing it in blogging. Sitting here, late at night, reading and reading about how to get this blog thing right, how to make a little extra money at it without upsetting my readers, and how to keep my main goal – to share my parenting challenges – without getting lost in the land of unreadable.
And I see tweets pop up, email feeds come in, and Facebook updates from other bloggers, and can not help but compare them to me.
“Wow, how did she come up with that great post idea?”
“Oh man, I want that giveaway for my readers, how did she/ he get that?”
“They have been blogging as long as me… how come I do not have that readership?”
In my heart of hearts, I am truly proud of every single blogger who sits and works tirelessly to write and manage blogs. Because I do it and know how incredibly hard it is and can be, I stand and applaud anyone who does it and does it well!
But I find myself beating myself up for not being that creative, that ambitious, or that – well – good at what I do. Knowing that I am barely scraping the surface of what the blogging world can offer me and my readers, I still find myself near tears sometimes at my inability to find that “big thing”.
And I agonize, for days sometimes, over a review product or advertising or money making avenue because it might upset some readers. They might be offended and not know that, in reality, I am just trying to find my way and still make my life a little easier with some extra income.
But I wonder, especially now, am I spending too much time looking at the other runners to even allow myself a chance to get to the next hurdle? Isn’t the key to any ‘race’ to keep running, abandoning all self- doubt and internal dialog for the purpose of accomplishing your goals?
And to never look back?
So here I sit, reading this long post over and over again, wondering how many have actually made it to the end, and contemplating what it used to be like. The constant worrying about who I might have offended, how it might be interpreted, and if it is even read worthy when I should really be putting it out there, proud that my heart is able to share without abandon.
But now I am running my own race. In my own tired, stressed out, supportive two feet. Realizing that my only opponent is myself. And my only barometer for success is my self- confidence.
And just as I have let go in blogging, I have to in motherhood. Because I may get a lot of it wrong, especially in comparison to others. But, in my heart – and my girls – I get a whole lot more right.
And taking time to look around will only slow me down.