You’re So Much Tougher Than I Am

My memories of high school involve a fair amount of anxiety. Whether it was in my small country town or my private all girls school in the city, I found myself feeling like I was always just on the edge of a monumental social faux pas. My place in the world never felt particularly concrete. In year eight I was handed a note as I left PE informing me that my services were no longer required in the cool group. All the girls had signed it. I can still remember the feeling that came as I wandered around aimlessly through the longest lunch hour of all time. The beating heart that felt like it would push through your chest, the nausea in the pit of your stomach, trying to keep calm, just be cool, just be cool.

Sometimes blogging can feel a little bit that way. Words are often described as spilling out onto the page, which must seem so careless to others, particularly those who are not happy with what was said. Anyone who writes knows that words are not easy work, while they sometimes spill the reality is they are mostly prized, and extracted. While I am a terrible proofreader, often missing typos, I always re-read my ideas (as poorly formed as they are).

Blogging has provided me with the biggest of gifts. Friendships all over the world, an online community and a career. It has also given me that same high school anxiety. Often when someone disagrees or is let down by my opinion I feel that same heartbeat returning, the low level nausea sits like concrete, and a general awkwardness makes its way into my demeanour. My hands shake in my replies, my cheeks burn with the thought of someone disliking me so much without us ever having had the chance to meet.

“You’re so much tougher than I am” the neighbour told me.

I’m not.

I just really like writing.

I love the community I’ve made here and I can’t imagine not having it around to talk to. If I ever get it wrong (in your eyes) please feel free to tell me, just maybe gently. Perhaps in the same way you’d tell a friend?

You’re so much tougher than I am. I’m not.

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