I need to warn you right away that I think I’ve written this exact same post before. If you want to just read the other one, it’s right here.
But I need to say it all again. I need to say it again in THIS moment. This is the moment that I’m nearly through the woods on these book edits, which have wrecked me in ways only my intimate friends and my writers’ group could know. This is the moment that my husband is home again and there isn’t another trip written on the calendar at all. This is the moment that I’m preparing a TEDx talk that I’m going to deliver from a stage, in a few months, which is some of the best writing I think I’ve ever done. And this is the moment at which my YouTube channel is gaining hundreds of subscribers every day.
Now, wait. Remember that rule about how you shouldn’t compare yourselves to strangers on the Internet? Please, follow that rule. Please don’t compare yourself to me. And, just in case you happened to forget to not compare yourself to me, then let me tell you that ALSO I haven’t showered in eight days, I’ve been feeding my children scrambled eggs and toast for dinner every single night and I haven’t answered any emails in weeks.
I’m not a poster child. Not for anything. I’m just a messy, imperfect, kind of grumpy person with very strong opinions. If you met me, you’d see. And yet…I am breaking through. I was saying to my TEDx speech coach last night that the timing is almost eerie, that I’m making all these leaps all at once, all at exactly the same time. She said, that’s how it works. You’re opening to your truth. It takes a lot of effort to build false narratives around yourself.
How many years have I (have we?) been trying to build false narratives around ourselves? And what a relief it is, to realize that it’s time to let go of them?
Just let go.
I’ve been confused, I admit, and for right reasons. The world is SO BROKEN. Every day the news is bad or worse. I seize for the pain of it. I want to be silent, in mourning. And I do think that is so worthwhile, to mourn the state of things.
But I’m also coming to understand that sometimes, for me, that impulse translates into darkening my light. And that’s not helpful. I DO want to share about my alternative lifestyle. I DO want to reveal my unusual history, and my ongoing story: how the push to live simple and free has traveled from the previous generation through me and into the next: how that impulse lives even when the world seems to have turned completely from it.
I’ve never gotten as much attention for anything in the world as I’m getting on YouTube right now. And so yes. I’m moving my focus over there. I’m shifting a bit. This is happening.
Now, those of you who have followed my blog forever, you’re still my favorites. I love you most of all, Scarecrow. Thank you for hanging out with me for so long, and through so many changes and adjustments and all the ups and downs. Although I am realizing that I need to reshape my online life — again! — I am not going to give up blogging forever or entirely. Who really thinks I could?
But I want to be transparent about something, which you might not know. I have never made a dime from my blogging. Never. I lose money, on the hosting costs and occasional equipment things. I don’t even make money writing for online magazines. I write online for the sake of my heart, and for making friends, and to practice the craft of writing as well as the spiritual discipline of self awareness.
YouTube is a different thing.
I do actually make money over there. Some money. And just looking at my life — at my wish for Nick to travel as little as possible, my wish to improve our homestead and finish the house in time to move in before next winter, and the wish to spoil my local friends at Christmas time? — that matters. I’m going to treat it like a job. I said to Nick last night, “I think your wife just got a job.”
And so once again, here I am, finding my true gift. It’s not video editing, although I get better at that all the time. It’s not writing, either, although I’m getting better at that, too. It isn’t homeschooling or parenting or homesteading or any of it. My true gift is my human soul, which is my gift from God.
And this is my work — harder than you’d think, but also easier — just to let myself be the vessel, letting go of the fancy add ons as well as all my fears of failure and the fear of stupid YouTube comments. (laugh cry face) Just let go. And accept that my true gift has been there all along.
Thanks for hanging out with me, y’all. You’re my favorites.