Last night, while checking my blog stats, I realized that someone had unsubscribed from my blog. I spent a frantic ten minutes tracking down who it was–thankfully it wasn’t someone who knows me “in real life.” And yet, I still felt sad. Why don’t they like me?
I told Eric, and he said “So? You don’t care do you?” Well, kind of. I want people to like what I’m doing. He said “I thought you were doing this for yourself?” I am, but if I didn’t care what anyone thought, I wouldn’t do it quite so publicly. I want people to read it, I want an audience. I want people to think it’s worth reading.
I want people to like me…
Ah, there it is. The problem, the central issue, the heart of the matter. I don’t want to be famous, I want to be adored. I want permission, I want approval. And it hurts so much more to get rejected for who you really are and what you really care about. In an article in the January 2011 issue of fear.less magazine, the author Steven Pressfield says “I think we’re all terrified of that, to be what we’re meant to be. Because then all the responsibility lays on us and we can’t hide behind anything.”
And yet, once I realized who had unsubscribed, it made sense. She was a 20 year old student from New York who loves books and reading and who’d found my blog because of a post I’d written about how much I loved reading. She thought that this was a blog about reading, the love of the word. And it is, in part. But, I’m sure that my posts this weekend about death, cancer, and marriage freaked her out a little. This wasn’t what she’d signed up for.
But it is what I’ve signed up for. I am going to show up, I am going to try. I don’t want to stop, and there is still work to do–great work if I can just figure out exactly what. So, here I am: all in. The habitual numbing out that I have practiced for so many years is sticky and I feel claustrophobic in my stinky little cocoon where I’ve spent most of my time. It isn’t working anymore. Something has to change. I have to save my own life.