When was the last time you took a risk (big or small), and pushed your own boundaries — socially, professionally, or otherwise? Were you satisfied with the outcome?
Taking a big risk socially has never been very high on my check list – I’m pretty comfortable in my little bubble for the most part. There was a time though, in tenth grade, when I felt the pressure to reach out and finally connect with people, feeling that I was missing something. I wanted to be apart of the popular crowd, where all of the exciting, noteworthy stuff seemed to be happening. But I had to push myself to be included in their group, to be considered one of the cool kids and earn their respect which felt awkward sometimes because I was going against what had consumed my life greatly for the last eleven years or so – being the strong silent type, too shelled and afraid to branch out and try to make friends. Gradually, over time, the need to be around people and have real social conversations (not just merely a passing “Hey”) outran my comfort of being alone. With the social part of my brain starting to overreact, the logical, fact-based side started to be abandoned; my grades slipped, I had trouble concentrating, and the need to fulfill these new relationships I had formed suddenly became unbearable; I felt that if I didn’t keep on talking to people and trying to connect with them I would be a lonely outcast once more, which would hurt far more than never having any social interaction in the first place. This is the way I feel with blogging now – if I don’t keep on writing and providing fresh content, pretty soon I will be forgotten or shuffled to the bottom of people’s lists of interests. I hate to make this an obligation because it should be fun – that’s what a blog is about, right? It’s not a business, at least for most people, and I shouldn’t feel any pressure to just put something up for the sake of it when I don’t feel like it is necessary. It’s a channel of creative development for me, a chance to pour out thoughts of mine that often get overlooked on congested social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and the fifth wheel Google +, the more popular, established people getting all of the likes, comments, and follows while little old me is on the sidelines wishing I could have an inflated ego and everyone swooning over me.
The question “Should I even be attempting to write?” always comes to my mind when I start writing everyday and the negative chatter of “You’re not going to go anywhere with it” always pops up, especially in times when I am low on anything good to write about. I try to block out that chatter by saying “Hey, I’m trying my best and am having fun. There’s no pressure on me to achieve anything great here. After all, I’m not getting paid or submitting my work to a prestigious organization. I’m just a lowly little blogger – who am I to ask for any recognition?”
I really don’t need any pressure in my life. I’m happy being myself and not being swayed into the conformity standards of the world. So what if I don’t have a job, car, or relationship partner right now? I feel like everything will eventually fall into place sooner or later. They always say “good things come to those who wait.” Well, that saying is somewhat true and mostly false because hidden within it is the reality statement “nice guys always finish last” meaning that if you don’t try hard enough to accomplish something or win someone over, someone else is eventually going to beat you – if you’re too slow to take action, someone else takes the cake. This has been especially true for me – I once wanted to ask a girl out on a date but was too chicken and someone else ended up taking her, me ending up the lone stag once more, which was alright but made me feel helpless and a bit pathetic.
As I respond to this prompt that has beckoned me the whole day, my lovable cat has her head on my hand, sleeping peacefully and making it hard for me to use my left hand to type. I finally move my hand out from under her small head but she still has a white and black leg lying over my arm. Having a cat or any pet near me is comforting and actually makes writing this less difficult and free of distractions.
Professionally, just last July I tried to start a business making videos for special events such as weddings and graduations. The idea seemed rich and awesome at first – I remember first designing a logo and feeling this power that I might actually have something to be proud of for once. But ultimately, in the end, my limited funds and short circle of connections turned my hopes upside down. I had to get rid of my professionally done website because the company that hosted it sucked all of the money out of my small bank account, making it go into red and me getting into some big trouble. My mother said I could still run the business without a website but in my own mind the chances of doing that were slim to none since I still live at home, have no job, or anyone to help me run the business. My Facebook page was also starting to take off in the two months that I had it, getting over 160 likes in a short amount of time, but after I lost the marketing boost deal provided by my host, the likes stopped and my involvement on the page pretty much halted since the interest to keep the business going was small now. To take something good from this experience, I have to say I learned something about running a business, especially one online – when first getting started have a paying job that can supplement the company for all of its essential components, and plan things carefully before you start pouring money into the operation – know what equipment you need, what you are going to sell, and what kind of people you need on board to help you. These things did not come readily to my mind when I first started; I went in blindly with excitement and was overzealous with spending what little money I had when I should have realized I wouldn’t make enough money to cover the costs of the website and everything else I needed.
“What you don’t know will hurt you.”
DP #64: “Envelope Pushers”