My decision to put into words my thoughts and experiences via Oh yes she did begins and ends with a personal realisation, the decision to value my intellect, feelings, and words, and the willingness to share them with the world in more formalised and public way.
The following is about finding my why — the discovery of self-worth, courage, and the belief that my voice matters.
It’s about the process that brought me here. The way I intend to use this platform. My hope for you in this space.
Finding My Why: Self-Worth, a Realisation
The idea of starting a blog was one I toyed with for a very long time. But as someone with both self-esteem and commitment issues, the decision to deep dive into the world of blogging was never one I felt I could convincingly make. Insert all of the excuses in the world: It won’t be good enough; I don’t have anything profound to say; No one will care; It’s a waste of my time; So many other people do it so well already.
But at the end of 2018, as I sat working on my vision board for the new year in my parent’s living room in my hometown of Santa Cruz, California, it occurred to me that I have a perspective problem. I have confused the narrative I weave for myself as a reality I am forced to accept. I tell myself I am merely average and forget that to believe as much is a choice. To live that way is a choice. My choice.
It may not seem all that revolutionary to you, but for me, it was both an empowering and pivotal moment. Imposter syndrome and a perpetual inferiority complex take their toll, but poor self-esteem and an unwillingness to commit are just convenient excuses that allow me to hide behind the idea that I’m not capable or talented enough to take part when, in reality, all I am is afraid.
I’m not missing brains. I’m lacking courage. And herein lies the flaw of my perspective. It’s not a question of resourcefulness or wit. My problem is not, as I long supposed, that I can’t. The question is one of mental toughness. Can I cope with judgment when I try?
The thing about judgment is that no matter how much you fear it, run from it, close yourself off to it, it inevitably finds you and forces you to reckon with the pain and discomfort of an outsider’s (often unsolicited) opinion of who you are and what you do. And because you can’t possibly please everyone, it is only a matter of time before you’re confronted with a choice that, while evident on its face, is tricky to navigate in the moment.
Do you accept the outsider’s summation of your life or do you reject it for your own truth? As much as no one wants to do the former, the latter requires having a deep and compelling personal narrative from which to draw and I would be so bold as to argue that most of us probably struggle just a bit in that department.
‘The biggest thing I’m trying to implement in my life now is valuing my words and letting them be known.’–Unknown
Finding my why has and will continue to be a process — far from perfect, sometimes lacking in grace. But I’m here now because, like you, I choose a different narrative for myself. I’m here now because I choose to see my life and contribution to the planet through a different lens. Because one of the gifts I have been given is the ability to write and I intend to pursue it, even though doing so scares me. Because I have a voice and to shy away from using it for fear of what others might think is no longer a sacrifice I am willing to make.
Oh Yes She Did 101: Moving on From Other People’s Opinions
In this way, finding my why has been as much about discovering my own value and strength as it has been about relinquishing the desire to be universally accepted and liked.
Whether you agree with how I live, whether you enjoy reading what I write, whether you subscribe to my opinions and points of view, whether you ‘like’ me as a person — none of it is my responsibility or concern, so long as I come from a place of sincerity and truth.
I am here to reconstruct my sense of self, to untangle the behaviours and thought patterns that may, at one time, have served a purpose, but no longer have a place in my life.
Finding my why has taken introspection, focus and daily inventory. But that is really just the beginning. The growth piece will prove to be more laborious, more tedious, more time-intensive, but I’m committed.
My hope is that in sharing this process, in being vulnerable and brave, you too will feel emboldened to live courageously and unapologetically. That you will feel empowered to put in the work required to untether yourself from shackles of other people’s perceptions, too. That you and you alone will decide for yourself what makes you feel whole and pursue that with all of your heart.
My hope is that, together, we actively and intentionally choose not to waste our time on self-doubt, but to focus instead on cultivating a narrative rooted in our accomplishments, our dreams, the a-ha moments and life lessons, the personal developments, the wins — big and small.
My hope is that in times of fear and uncertainty, when our courage may waver and we may question the path we walk, we draw upon this body of evidence to take ownership of our respective stories and define for ourselves how we go forward into the world.
This is my why.
And this is Oh yes she did. I hope you’ll join me.