Yesterday I was staggeringly rich (see my post if curious) but today I am inordinately successful. My high from yesterday had disappeared by the time I woke up this morning. It was tempting to wallow and take the unhealthy path of thinking I must be bipolar afer all and that I had no magic formula to retrieve my happy mood; that it is granted by the sleep fairies and I have no control.
However I decided to examine it. If I was completely honest I realised that my already good mood had been prolonged by the fact that I got my first ever follower – a real person, a courageous young woman in Scotland called Lisa who is taking 6 months to force herself happy – http://forcingmyselfhappy.com/2012/08/06/forcing-myself-happy-what-is-this-all-about/, swiftly followed by four more. It wasn’t because my writing improved, became more succinct or more interesting. I just put tags on my blogs. Today, already feeling a bit off, I looked at my stats, the pinnacle of which was 16 views in one day over the month, (thanks to Barbara Sher) and realised that only 3 people had actually viewed my blog yesterday, and none in the countries of my ‘followers’. That leads me to deduce that people who follow my blog don’t actually read it; they just want me to follow theirs.
I was a little despondent thinking that maybe all of us bloggers, no matter how many followers we have are not really helping or amusing anyone else in any way. We are joined for all the wrong reasons, falsely thinking we are doing some good in the world. But here is where the quote comes in. I quickly found my enthusiasm again after this apparent ‘failure’. I remembered why I am writing each day. It’s because I love it, I feel I have really done something creative with my day, and I learn from it more than any follower possibly could. Exploring the quotes and seeing where I really stand is a learning experience. Exposing my thoughts and myself to the air is liberating. Putting my life’s learning and reading to some use is fun and a good test of how far I have come in my life. In fact this morning I didn’t write before work like I usually do – I wasn’t yet in the mood – but I read some of my own posts! It’s like learning from another person sometimes – the real me, the sensible, optimistic me and the one I love the company of. By blogging I strengthen that side of me. The inner critic/top dog depressed me rarely gets a look in these days and this morning it was so fleeting. And that is what I wish for everyone. I see those top dogs howling all around sometimes and want to hug those people deafened by their bark and muzzle the beasts. I find myself telling all and sundry to start their own blogs, just because they can. I have even created accounts for people on the spot!
So today my ‘failure’ caused a wonderful rocket launch back up to enthusiasm, purely by existing and giving me something to overcome. It’s easy to be happy when all is going well and you are completely free to enjoy your Sunday. But how proud am I to get really happy on a Monday morning when my mini dreams were shattered? Very.
What do I secretly want out of blogging? Fame and fortune; for the world to go ‘Wow that woman really is brave and remarkable, creative and full of wisdom, and has such a good heart?’ Heehee. Maybe. But I have learned that I have to let myself accept that before it will happen. I couldn’t accept it because I don’t feel I deserve it. So I resist improving and editing past blogs even though I know they are too long (and boring) for people to have time to read. I resist making them original and putting my own photos on. I resist all but the thing I love – the outpouring of everything I have learned. So it’s like I am doing it only for me. And that is the real reason to blog.
So, on I go through life. I fail all the time – when I talk too much and see people’s eyes glaze over. When I write long emails to new acquaintances for a while but then they just stop writing. When friends stop calling. I am enthusiastic because I am no longer hurt by it, not in spite of being hurt. In fact these failures give me a chance to realise how far I have come because I would have been devastated in the past by these things. Now I know it is just how things are. People get busy. It can be daunting to reply to a long email. People find me too intense. Not everyone likes me. I sometimes think they see me as a stalker because people don’t know me and how enthusiastic I am. They might worry that I expect too much of them. But that’s OK. I read a book called Brief Encounters 15 years ago which explains the value of them. I think I secretly knew that already. There is no need to cling to people forever. You change too much. If you walk the same path for a while, really appreciate it. It is spontaneous and natural and it’s fine to wish each other well when you choose to part. I am grateful for all the people I have connected with in any way. Even the old supermarket queue encounter is always enjoyable.
Anyway I love this quote (and I appreciate most of Winston’s wisdom) because it defines my success and tells me why I am one, in the same way that yesterday’s told me why I was rich. Rich and successful? I’d better believe it!