A few weeks ago, the fabulous and funny Tessa of Tessa Scoffs bestowed this award on me!
I am honored to have received it and am just so impressed that someone was able to recreate my likeness onto such a small thumbnail. (Ohhh, okay, fine. My fantasy likeness, sans the orthopedic Danskos, prescription sunglasses and with a wasp waist and a poodle.)
In all seriousness, thank you Tessa, and right back atcha.
And now comes the time where I bestow this award on what I consider to be the 5 best blogs, or tell you my 5 least favorite things, or 5 things you don't know about me and my 5 digit pin code for the ATM machine. Welllll... I'm going to choose five things and shake it up a bit, so here goes:
~ If you are on my blog roll thingamajig: this award is for you.
~ If you follow me (and thank you!): congratulations, you just got an award.
~ If I follow you: I like you, I really like you.
~ If you are reading this and you have a blog: you're an award winner.
~ If you're not reading this, but you have a blog: this one's for you.
Because here's the thing: putting yourself out there is damn hard, and I admire each and every one of you. I don't care if you're anonymous, or a persona, or yourself writing about what you had for breakfast. I don't care if you're writing to keep in touch with family or friends, to get your feelings out or getting something off your chest, or talking about what you wore or found on etsy. I don't care if you have 5 million followers or a book deal or if you have never written anything but your name before, or if you're a spelling bee champion or can't even spell cat. What I care about is that you are writing, and you are writing publicly. To me, that is one of the bravest things you can do, because exposing yourself and your thoughts and feelings and words can be downright scary. I find that to be so admirable, and it's something I'm pretty intimidated by. (And a lot of it has to do with atrocious grammar.)
I'll admit, I let this blog lag because of something that happened to me a few months back. I was out at a nightclub, blah blah blah, and I made an offhand comment in a conversation. A girl with whom I'm not friends said to me sarcastically, "Is this going to be one of your long and boring stories that no one wants to listen to?"
I felt like I had been punched in the throat. Yes, true, this girl and I are not friends and do not like each other, so her credibility and anything she says should not be taken seriously. And yes, true, word economy is not my strong suit and I tend to blab. And sure, I may be a little boring... But still, it hurt. She found that button to push, the one thing that would upset me, and she knew it. But I couldn't stop thinking about it. I went from embarrassed to angry to defensive to sad, in no particular order on no particular day. I've had criticism before -- I survived high school, went to grad school and have endured heinous writing groups, for godssakes -- but this was deliberate and mean. It made me reassess a lot of things and wreaked havoc on my insecurity and wreaked havoc on writing the blog. To make a long and boring story short: it sucked.
But what I realized, that even despite this woman's tactless comment that I let get to me when I shouldn't have, is that I love writing, and I love writing this blog, and missed it. I never let it go away completely -- I was writing it in my head, even if I wasn't logging on. And then I sat down and started to type, and grew a skin that looks a bit like a lizardy, thanks to my new determination and older age.
In order to put yourself out there you need a thick skin, and I think all of our skins have grown a little tougher as soon as we signed up to do this. But there is something about the vulnerability and thrill as you hit "POST," and I picture all of you doing it, and it makes me love you all. I think of you coming up with ideas, feeling the sense of Accomplishment when you are finished and pleased with your efforts, feeling good when your ideas come across. I'm happy at the thought of all of you getting supportive and kind comments, and hate the thought of any of you hurt by assholes being assholes for the sake of being assholes. I'm thrilled that you're writing.
In short (See? I can change!): you all deserve this award. Congratulations.
So, okay, maybe I messed up this award giving process a little. (I'm not good at chain mails, either.) But I want you all to accept this award, and pass it to someone else, and let them know that they are fabulous for putting, uh, words on a screen. (Pen to paper sounds so much nicer, though.) And that you and they are Accomplishing Great Things, which is what this blog is all about.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get off my soapbox and go and edit a really long and boring (no kidding) blog entry.
Thanks, again, Tessa, and thank you all!