Don’t give up on what you know you want because someone put you down.
Last year I gave up on something that was going really well. Something I believed in because someone hurt me with their biased and unfounded judgment and criticism. When I started freelance writing, I was ghostwriting for people. I still am. I’d pitch projects on job boards, or they’d find me via my blog and felt my voice was a good fit for them. In 2019, I made it my goal to commit 50% of my time to my ghostwriting and 50% to my blog with the hopes of taking this further. It was scary, but I was so happy. I felt ready. Is it an unconventional choice for work? Yeah, a little, but it’s where I am right now in my life.
Someone close to me viciously spit out that I “didn’t live in the real world.” Their judgment hit me harder than a freight train barreling at full speed, and it stopped me in my tracks. Somehow my new stay-at-home-mom status, freelance writing on the side, made me less of a person and I believed it. I stepped back into the ghostwriting lane, never stepping out again, not only out of fear, but because I didn’t believe in myself anymore. Why? Because someone who was deeply unhappy with their life and unwilling to do something about their own situation put me down. A person who is known right now to surround themselves with negativity brought that energy into my life, and I let it in. I have no one to blame here but myself.
Why am I telling this story after months of total radio silence? Because I believe our stories, when told truthfully and authentically, can serve as someone else’s guide. If we can’t build community and offer support through our experiences, then what’s the point? I know for a fact judgement is everywhere and we have all encountered it in one way or another. This instance taught me a valuable lesson. Those who pour their heart and souls into something are often the most fragile. They just hide their hurt better because they put their strength into something bigger than themselves.
We should be extending our hand out to others and pulling them up, not down. If that isn’t living in the real world to some people then…that’s fine by me. Do I recognize the privilege in my life, allowing me to do this? Hell yeah, I do, and I thank a higher power for it every day. But, where you are in your life, whether things are going perfectly and everything is great, or some stuff has you really knocked you down and you’re struggling, doesn’t define you. Don’t let other people tell you that. Your actions define you. Good or bad, act with integrity and kindness despite it all, and you will be on the right path. No doubt.
I know what I’ve gone through. I know what I’ve accomplished. I know what I’ve survived, and I know exactly where my motivation comes from. I’ve decided it’s not my problem if people can’t check their motivation and be honest enough with themselves to adjust accordingly. I’m sensitive to energy and people. It affects me more than it should. I know a lot of people who can brush stuff like that off. I hope one day I can be that strong, but until then, I know I will always be in the corner of others cheering them on as I watch them do the things that light their soul on fire because they are the people building a better world for all of us.
No one is perfect but ask yourself when I extend my hand or lend my voice am I lifting others up? Yes? Good. No? Adjust accordingly.