So, I have been wrestling with my fear of blogging. This has come in the form of some serious avoidance to include, most recently, convincing myself I need a lot of time to create a blog, posting on Facebook instead of a blog, and distracting myself with things like setting up a new apartment, turning 40 in New York City, and watching a Carpenter Bee hard at work.
Well, ok, the apartment and the trip weren’t done specifically as a means to distract myself from creating a blog, and watching the Carpenter Bee has been fascinating and has actually inspired me, but I’ve certainly been convincing myself that I needed to have internet at home, a lot of time to focus on the creation of a page, and some sort of technical help first. And, of course, that it had to be perfect from the get go.
Well, that was bullshit.
My Ego likes to feed me a lot of bullshit actually. Convince me that I can’t do something or that I need to have something else in place first, before I actually do that something. And granted, sometimes this is true. We may need help from someone else or to learn certain skills before we can do things like, say, riding a bike and playing an instrument – doing these at the same time would be exceptionally skillful – or driving a car, using a computer, reading and writing.
I’ve been noticing that many of my connections on LinkedIn keep ‘endorsing’ me with skills I have not been trained to do such as this skill, this ‘blogging’ skill, so I’m finally taking the plunge. And my Ego, scaredy-cat that she is, is certainly welcome to join me. In fact, I may need her from time to time.
I recently posted something on Facebook about my time spent in a somewhat isolated cabin last summer. I had gone there with the intention of meditating and working on a writing project. The girl in the cabin closest to me had asked me if I was going to blog. I had started a blog once to review theatre shows but it all felt a bit self-absorbed and too personal so I stopped.
I think I thought I might blog again but none of the things I thought were going to happen that summer did. Instead, I procrastinated allowing fear to destroy any possibility that I might write my story or take the time to meditate daily. And this kind of fear is a direct result of the Ego.
Luckily, when I do procrastinate I do so by keeping myself busy doing other things and these other things are often educational or enlightening somehow. One of the ‘other things’ I did that summer at the cabin was read Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth.” In doing so, I actually came face to face with my Ego, the focus of that book.
What little I outwardly remember about the book, still tucked away in storage somewhere, is that it simply introduces its readers to their Ego Self; that part of us that is responsible for psychological fear, that fear of change and of the unknown.
Have you ever got lost on the way to an appointment or an event that you knew would change things somehow, an event you wanted to go to and knew exactly how to get to but somehow couldn’t quite find? That’s your Ego.
The Ego also likes to get in the way by attaching itself to things that are not authentic to us – in an attempt to feel better about ourselves or gain respect – such as the desire to know famous people. It is our Ego that wants to tell its friends that it knows this famous person or has met that famous person. In doing so, it makes us feel more important and implores other Egos to want to know us.
But are they really going to know the real you? And do you really know these so-called famous people you have met or are you simply name-dropping? And aren’t we all just people with different jobs to do? Sharing stories and experiences can certainly be interesting and fun provided we don’t define ourselves by them.
I went to a bar in New York recently. I was waiting to see a talented vocalist I know perform. I arrived quite early so I sat at the bar where I began having some interesting and playful conversation with the bartender. A somewhat disgruntled guy came up to the bar to order some food and we struck up a conversation. Turns out we both worked in the film business and both ‘knew’ somebody famous. He subsequently asked me to join him and his friends.
I accepted the invitation and left my friend the bartender only to return five minutes later. It seemed that my Ego had led me astray. I had wondered if this guy and his friends were in any position to help me with my career – even though I’m still defining what that is – while they had obviously thought the same thing. In fact, he practically offered me work before he introduced me to the group as someone who knew said famous person.
I like to think I’m more interesting than that.
Once we got chatting and they got to know a few more things about me, during a rather strained conversation, one of them rudely turned his back to me. They weren’t interested in me, the real me, and I was no longer interested in them so I politely excused myself.
Oddly enough though, in that brief conversation, I was also encouraged to blog.
So, here I am. I’m sure this blog will take on many shapes and forms as I get more familiar with its technology, or perhaps not, but fear or no fear, it’s happening whether my Ego likes it or not.