The Ripple Effect
I'm feeling very grateful right now and continually feeling humble over what has happened during the past few months. Honestly, I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I first started blogging for Imagine Northeast Iowa. Frankly I didn't know if I was writing anything worth reading, because I have serious confidence issues over my writing.
Often I will say that I feel if I have the opportunity to write what I want to say vs. just speak aloud-it will come out much more how I want it to sound or be. When I'm talking to someone or sharing personal feelings, I get very awkward, nervous, lose words, and in general have anxiety over saying things "right."
Oh gravy, the pressure that is so easily put on ones self to do it "right" and feel like you are continually falling short.
I was pretty tired yesterday for allergies have been affecting me and there is an enormous amount of stress in my life right now. I had a regular customer come to my line and inform me she's a high school English teacher. Not only is she a teacher, but she recently found some of my writings (I imagine from Imagine Northeast Iowa or perhaps Breathing Happy). She told me that I was a very good writer-that I write with a sense of voice.
Maybe it's because I feel my vocal voice is too small to get anywhere. Maybe it's the act of storytelling that can only be done with typing it out. Maybe it's because it's an easy way to get a message out to more people without it seeming to be TMI (depending on the topic)...for whatever reason, it is what it is.
I was told by a friend that I write really well, and there was a point in time I emailed them very regularly. It was all during my time of self-reflection and figuring out my "next step" when it came to divorce and living after that. I would apologize for writing a page or so of words in an email, knowing full well that they were busy and likely not able to read it right away.
I hope to not come off sounding like I'm bragging about how amazing I am or how "great" I've turned out to be. It's not the goal of this. My message is simple-even if you may not feel confident that you are good at something, but you find enjoyment with it...do it. One thing I've learned and am still learning is that overall, life is too short to not invest yourself in something that brings you joy and fulfillment.
If people enjoy the blog posts I write-great!
If people enjoy the interviews I post-great! (keep in mind, most often than not I've written very little and it's entirely the voice of the person being interviewed.)
A simple blog started because I felt some things I had to write about that were bike related just weren't worth submitting. This turned out into something even more special than just a sounding board for my lackluster rides cloaked with residual "meh"...because we all have those rides.
Opportunities have cropped up here and there-finding myself being an Ambassador for two companies. (Both on a whim and completely clouded in self-doubt)...meeting Melissa (online) from Pedal Love and having future opportunities for her site.
I'm meeting people online, making connections, and finding that I may have to break out of my small-town Iowa shell and go on some road trips someday. I'm finding people I'd like to meet, have real conversations with, and ride with. I'm inspired by those who have opened up and taken the time to answer my questions, also finding new questions to ask as well! I would've never guessed a bike would've brought all this, plus a renewed sense of self, love, and purpose into my life.
Recently I was asked by another blogger, Dianne, if I'd like to do an interview swap. It was fun to actually be on the receiving end-Dianne's interview with me.... This coming from someone (me) who felt they wouldn't be interesting enough to talk to. Ha! Well, apparently I've been proven wrong.
I had a friend and person I respect say some beautiful words of encouragement to me last night on Facebook. I know I'm doing something good for myself as well as the bike riding community here and all over. It's simple, it may not bring in revenue or be massively shared on the internet-but it's another drop making that big puddle ripple. Those ripples are inspiration and they are heading your way. What will you do with your water drop?