I'm not good at opening up around new people. I'm a friendly person, but I kind of hold myself back out of fear I'll come on too strong or say the wrong thing. With awesome people in real life, I can usually get over this pretty quickly (*waves at new college friends*) but on the Internet, it's a bit harder for me. It's a lot trickier to break the ice with people in 140 characters on Twitter or in the comments of a blog. I can't recover from something awkward I've said with a quip because my words are out there, in print, and I can't take them back. You know, the Internet is forever and all that.
So I do what I always do: I go for perfection.
As anyone who is a perfectionist will know, a lot about perfectionism is being a people-pleaser. You want to make others happy all the time and feel like a failure if you slip up. Does that sound exhausting? It is. I've been blogging for three years and throughout all this time, I've tried to come up with the perfect formula to please my readers and put all of this pressure on myself until there were days or weeks or months where I didn't like blogging anymore.
The thing is, there is no formula to blogging. Every time I would do something differently or put more work into more features or try a new form of social media, I would end up back at Square One wondering why my blog wasn't good enough.
A lot happened in the last few months - I started college, met a group of wonderful new people, started dating a guy I'm crazy about, took phenomenal classes, read awesome books - that has made me reexamine a lot about how I interact with myself. One of the biggest influences was Amy Poehler's Yes Please, which I would recommend to pretty much anyone. It's a quirky, comedic, really honest memoir that I tore through in about a day.
The thing about Yes Please is that Amy conveys this balance of openness and strength that go together seamlessly. It reminded me of one of her quotes (not from Yes Please, I don't actually know where it's from) where she said, "Vulnerable people are powerful people. Opening your heart and sharing it means you're going to get so much love in your life."
And I thought about that, and how in real life I'm a fairly open book with those who know me, and I'm going to try and do that more on The Page Sage. I'm going to be open - which is definitely a form of vulnerability, especially on the very, very public world of the Internet. I want to do it for me. I want to have a space where I can be honest and nerdy and relaxed because blogging is not my job, nor do I want it to be.
Another thing that struck me in Yes Please is how Amy's strength comes from knowing who she is and not being afraid to be ridiculous. I'm a pretty (read: really) ridiculous person at times (read: a lot of the time) and by constantly censoring every sentence I put online, I sap away a lot of the creativity and fun I have on this blog. That doesn't mean I'm going to start swearing like a sailor on here, but I'm not going to worry if something sounds a little weird or awkward because who cares?
Who cares if someone thinks my blog isn't good enough? It's my blog, and it's certainly good enough for me.
As we start to head into the new year, that's where I'm going to try to keep my head. It's hard for me, and this constant need for perfection extends far past my blog, but maybe it'll be a good start to tackle it here. Anyway, wish me, luck (and go read Yes Please if you haven't already).
(Seriously, it's awesome.)