May 26, 2019
I’ve been doing yoga for a while and every week my teacher gives us a new resolution to work on. This week’s resolution is to say or do that thing we’ve been putting off out of shame.
I told her that I felt like I was already doing that by coming to class. Confronting the shame of sucking at yoga in front of a full class with much more capable and flexible people than me. It’s not really true though, I love going to class. I enjoy connecting with my body, experiencing my progress, laughing when I fall, attempting poses that scare me, and feeling proud when I achieve them. And doing all that surrounded by people makes it surprisingly special.
But then as I walked back home I found the thing.
I’ve always felt extremely ashamed of writing. Of putting my thoughts into paper and reading them years later. Of sharing them with others and their reactions to it. Of making a fool out of myself. Of not having anything to say that could be worthy of anyone’s time. Of thinking that writing should be about others and not about fulfilling a need of expression. And to add to all that shame, on the rare occasion I decide to write, I write in English. Which is not my native tongue and makes me incredibly self-conscious. “Am I using this word correctly?”, “What will my Spanish-speaking friends think about me writing all this in English?”, “Should I write a Spanish version?”…
At the same time I think all this is kind of ironic, since I write (in English!) every single day. I’m a product designer working remotely for an American company. Writing is a very important part of my job.
If I’m completely honest, I usually forget those weekly yoga resolutions as soon as I leave class, but this time seems like that one struck a chord. So here I am, attempting to write again. I’m not really sure what will come out of this, or if I’ll truly commit to it, but I’m already proud of taking a first step. As with going to yoga, I showed up, confronted the shame, gave myself the time to connect with my thoughts, and hopefully I’ll learn to enjoy the process.
I wrote that a month ago. Then I wrote a bit more. I started considering the idea of starting a blog. I didn’t want to use any of the common blogging platforms, but also didn’t know any other good alternative. It was a good enough excuse for me to forget about it. This week my coworker Yannick shared a link to blot.im and the simplicity of it won me over immediately.
This blog is built on it and, to my surprise, I had to spend more time setting up the subdomain on my host provider than creating the blog. I’m writing all this from Ulysses, every new note I write creates a Markdown file in a Dropbox folder that immediately becomes a blog post. But really, I’m just writing notes on an app. I’m not worrying about any platform interface or hitting publish, I’m just writing.
What’s not to love from a technology that gets completely out of the way and just allows you to focus in fulfilling your goal?
Last night I had almost everything ready to start writing. The idea was becoming a real thing and I had some clarity on what to write about. It shocked me to find myself not being able to fall asleep thinking about ideas. My mind was racing! I suddenly had so many thoughts to share. It made me sad to realize that, because of shame or whatever reason, I have been blocking this part of myself for years. Luckily, it also made me super excited to start, so let’s do this.
Please remember to be kind.