When I first began this post it was October. Leaves fell apart in your hands when your fingers crumpled them up into mulch and Halloween was just around the corner.
In October my life was between a rock and a hard place. Interpret that how you will, but I was finding it harder and harder to write and stay honest with everyone around me because of certain life decisions I had made.
How could I even hope to blog about writing when personal issues stood in the way?
The biggest lie you can tell yourself is that you can hide your fallacies and do it successfully without anyone finding out. From seasoned, published authors to those of us just beginning the process, perfection just doesn’t exist.
Some are better at hiding it than others. Some just don’t care and pull the wool over others eyes just for reads/views/attention.
I’m going to use yet another Star Trek analogy because, let’s face it, I’m a dork like that.
There is a fictional “race” called the Borg. They grow their presence in the universe by assimilating other species into their fold because they believe their existence is the most perfect one. If your deemed unworthy of being added to that collective, then you’re either ignored or completely annihilated:
Okay, so I could’ve found a less creepy example, but it perfectly explains my point. There are some things that should be left unsaid because we are on the World Wide Web after all. Even if you’re one of those insanely popular YouTube vloggers, constantly in front of the camera, you shouldn’t have to feel an obligation to air your dirty laundry for everyone to see. That also doesn’t mean you should completely hide from everyone either. Having a presence online is a balancing act, and here’s what I’ve learned in 2018:
I’m going to get all Biblical here and reference Scripture, if you’ll allow me to for just a moment or two (without getting preachy, I promise).
Ephesians 4:2 – “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
James 4:6 – “But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”I could go in depth about the people these Biblical letters are addressed to, but I’d be drawing from my Bible college education and completely miss the mark of what I’m attempting to emphasize.In a time when the people love calling one another out for mistakes they made ten years ago, I think we’ve forgotten that no one is innocent. Painting yourself in that light doesn’t always end well. Neither does practicing humility.I’ve always told myself to stay humble online. Whether I’ve actually succeeded in that, I don’t know. From my time on Star Trek message boards in the early 2000s to now, I’ve learned lessons the hard way (without going into too much detail).
“The Greatest Generation” is leaving us with a great task: who is going to step up? That’s you, that’s me. “Actions speak louder than words.” Remember that saying? In an era of instant communication, words have become more powerful than ever.
It’s how we choose to use them which defines us the most.
I can’t seem to get Scripture out of my head today, which isn’t always a bad thing. There are a few verses in in the book of Galatians that will highlight my next point quite nicely;Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forebearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”By the time the New Testament letters were written by apostles like James, Peter and Paul, Christians were facing trials within the Roman Empire. The lessons of grace and forgiveness are still appropriate today, regardless if you call yourself a Christian or not.Distraction is the name of the game online. Getting ahead of someone else, or giving off a false image of your own persona are often rewarded and tolerated. (Clearly evident in YouTube culture).
Impatience has always been a downfall of mine. Because of the online connections we have it’s easy to want to take shortcuts. I’ve fallen into that trap. No, I’ve never plagiarized or even thought of it. But I have been so convinced that my manuscript was ready and perfect and “the best” that my head grew three sizes too big.
“Girl, please. You’re still mixing up your tenses!”
Good leadership is hard to come by in this 21st century. Most of the role models I try to emulate are long dead. I’m hard pressed to name one or two nowadays who’d I want my future children to learn from.
I know I didn’t really go into complete detail of happenings from 2018, but I think the lessons I’ve learned from my mistakes are more important than the decisions that lead to needing a refresher course in life.
I don’t think I’d ever want to be an “influencer” or a public figure, but I know that is a possibility if I’m ever published and a book tour happens. I pray that the reminders in humility and patience will help keep me grounded in 2019.
Let’s face it, 2018 was (and still is) a tumultuous year.
Who knows what 2019 is going to throw our way.
If you can’t be honest with yourself, who CAN you be honest with?