Writing is a very new hobby of mine. I have always believed that I hated writing and thought of it as a chore. This blog and the occasional journaling kick have been the exceptions. I think it is because I get to write about things that matter to me and are directly related to my daily experiences. I put my heart into it and put my truth out there for others to see. It’s a bit unnerving at times but immensely rewarding.
Last week I was told that there was a group text between some guys making fun of my blog. Then when I mentioned it to a friend he made an offhand comment that those guys probably weren’t the only group making fun of it. I had gone into this expecting some flack from a certain group of people, but the idea that others were saying nasty things about me was really uncomfortable and something that I had never even considered.
There were a couple of breath-constricting moments where I tried to pretend that it didn’t bother me. I was unsuccessful. The tears started to well up in my eyes. This thing that I had seen as a challenge and a way to share myself was being mocked. Ouch. I picked up my phone and shot out a text to one of my closest friends. His response stopped my panic in its tracks. Don’t pay any mind to those people. You are amazing and I love your blog. Do it for you. Such simple words, yet they made all of the difference.
I would be lying if I claimed that my feelings weren’t hurt by people making fun of the things that I do. After all, I am a sensitive girl regardless of how tough I pretend to be. I’m just like everyone else. I want to be liked, respected, and loved.
Do it for you. It was exactly what I needed to hear. In that moment of panic I had forgotten why I do any of the things I do: travel, love, write, follow my heart, and open my life to all possibilities. These things are not done for other people, I do them for me. I do not do them to gain acceptance or love. I do them because they make my heart happy and fill my life with joy. I do them because they are challenging and help me to grow as a person. They build my character and they give me strength. They make me excited to wake up and in the morning and begrudge getting in bed at night because I want to experience more. They make me know that I am exactly where I should be. They make me someone that I have grown to respect and love.
What does it matter if others don’t understand me or judge the things that I do? It doesn’t, but it is hard to internalize this lesson. Thankfully I have reminders of how amazing life is all around me. I have a wonderful, loving group of friends spread out all over that I can count on to lift me up and encourage me. They are the ones whose opinions are important. Sometimes though, it is easy to forget about that amongst the fears and desires for acceptance. Then I get reminded, I am truly blessed. Even moments like these that are painful have their silver lining. They make me realize just how lucky I am, how full of love my life is. They also remind me of the kind of person I do not want to be. If it weren’t for the moments of feeling hurt or judged, then maybe I wouldn’t appreciate living the life that I live or how beautiful it is to have the friends that I do. Even when I don’t see them they are there and it is nice to be reminded.