Several months ago, I wrote a post about how I sometimes wish my blog were bigger. I got a comment from a very well meaning, kind, and successful blogger asking why I wanted that and if I was sure that being big would be worth my time.
And it sent me into a shame spiral. Which I haven't come out of.
Several months ago.
(This is not intended to call anyone out. Don't dig through the archives to find the comment. You probably wouldn't hear it the way I did anyway.)
I have a lot of shame wrapped around the idea of trying, of wanting. It was hard for me to say I wanted to be bigger and so I felt like I'd been slapped. Being successful was good enough for this person, but me? I didn't deserve it. I should stay small. Who did I think I was anyway?
Which of course isn't what she really said.
It was hard for me to say (and so, well, I didn't) "what I do here is important to me. I value it. I think it matters. And because I think it matters, I want it to be seen and heard. I want people to hear my voice because my voice MATTERS. It's worthy. People need to hear me.
I have a story that matters, and when people heart it, they will be better for having heard it." [SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP, scream my demons, IT'S NOT OKAY TO SAY THIS. EVERYONE WILL HEAR YOU. EVERYONE WILL *KNOW.* YOU ARE WRONG. YOU AREN'T GOOD ENOUGH. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE???]
I know she was asking me an actual question. I heard it as a rebuke. I thought I was being punched in the stomach.
"Why do you want to be bigger?"
Because I want connection. Like all humans do. Because I want people to hear me and think, me too. Because I think there are so many more people out there who would think that if only they heard me, if only I stepped out of the shadows. Because I can change the world. With my words.
"Is it worth your time?"
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Months of that festering in my stomach. We have to tell our shame stories out loud or they own us. The only way out is through.