My First Blog Review

Jul 8, 2013 by

“They don’t know me. They don’t know more than I show.”

It’s About Time, Barcelona


          A significant factor in my prior sadness was the feeling of no one knowing who I really am. For arguably most of my life, I kept myself hidden in fear of judgment. My self esteem had been ripped apart, and I didn’t want anyone reaching at me to steal the remaining pieces. I put myself in a bubble. I didn’t give anyone anything to know. Without realizing it, I pushed the self-destruct button, and waited over four years to lift the finger that held it down.

          Yesterday, after signing up for Facebook, spending two hours trying to find and activate the correct plugin to link my blog to my account, and adding friends, I closed my laptop and walked out of my apartment. My blog, Facebook, and I – we all needed some space. I was uncontrollably anxious and craved a real world outside of the virtual one I had just unreadily submerged myself in. I felt that if I couldn’t see my Facebook account, it simply didn’t exist. I was in shock. I immediately felt over-connected to people, as if I was suffocating beneath the instant online network that I had formed. I like my happy life that, until yesterday, existed in physical reality alone. I had control over that, all of which I had relinquished with my first friend request. Evidently, I was panicking over what people would think.

          Although I knew that I could always take everything down if I couldn’t handle the public exposure, doing so would not undo any intermediate damage. Publicizing my blog was an all or nothing decision, and I had chosen to go all in. There would be no blog deactivation. The Happiness Experiment could help people – people who feel as hopeless as I once did. It could make them realize that they’re not alone in their sadness and that it’s possible to climb out of despair. I’m not about to abandon the people on the floor. If that means I have to face social networking, I planned to suck it up.

          Continuing on my anxiety trip, my biggest fear of all was that I was being completely egocentric in thinking that people would even notice my blog enough to read it. The fact that The Happiness Experiment is vital to my current lifestyle means nothing in the lives of others. The Happiness Experiment could easily remain lost in Facebook’s overwhelming newsfeed updates and unfound in the sea that is the internet. Harsh. I went to bed last night with my head spinning and my stress levels far from the decline.

          Unexpectedly, this morning, I woke up excited. My mind focussed on only my blog during my workout, but this time it fueled positive thoughts. I knew that I had done something amazing. I knew that I had done something a lot of people would be too scared to do. I knew that I had done what I had set out to do despite being afraid. I felt confident in knowing that, though people will have their opinions about me, I had changed my life for the better. Whether people let that inspire or intimidate them is their choice. Yes, I may be ridiculed, but my mindset had shifted: Judge me, I thought, judge me for being happy. Go for it. Happiness is nothing to be ashamed of.

          When I arrived at work this morning, I proceeded to my desk as usual. It’s a normal day, I told myself. People probably accepted your friend requests without going to your profile or seeing your shared post, I convinced my whirlwind of a mind. Just because my blog is an accomplishment for me, doesn’t mean other people care to read it. I was very wrong. (It has never felt so good to be wrong.)

          I made a visit to my friend’s desk. Amongst the I-can’t-believe-you-got-Facebook talk (which has been the buzz of most people’s mouths, texts, and messages since yesterday) and updates on my dating progress, she smiled proudly at me and exclaimed, “Look at you, you little blogger!” I gushed, as she noted how ecstatic I looked in response. I’m a blogger, I realized. It hadn’t hit me until she referred to me as one. It was wonderfully surreal to hear.

          The workday continued to the beat of my happiness. Another friend came by my desk on her way to the kitchen. She stopped to announce that she had read my blog! I jumped back in my seat. “You did?” I beamed.

          “Of course I did!” she confirmed.

          “Oh my God, I need to get up and hug you right now!” I warned her. I rushed to squeeze her in excitement.

          “It’s so good! I read through all of your Happiness Tips’ stories. Your tips are so simple, but so true, and the stories that go with them are so inspiring,” she told me.

          “You read all of them? All of the associated posts?” I clarified. “Girl, there are 32 of them!”

          “Yes, I read them all! I stopped whatever I was doing and just kept reading. You should be a writer. What are you doing here? Your blog is intelligent and informative. It’s beautifully designed and well written. It’s personal, but not too personal. It’s relatable. As I read, I thought, ‘I cry about that too.’ I think The Happiness Experiment is going to really help people who are going through the same things that you did. It’s very positive,” she complimented.

          “Oh my God, I’m going to cry,” I notified, as I fanned myself to prevent the waterworks.

          “Look at you, you’re tearing,” she observed as she smiled.

          “I know! You made my day!” I continued to wave my hands near my watered eyes.

          “Your blog made my day! All I have to say is that I can’t wait to read more,” she announced, “I can’t wait for more posts!”

          “Oh, girl, I’m going to blog about this very conversation!” I declared.

          Even better than all of the compliments that my lovely friend showered me with was the moment she laughed in the rain and she used the mantra, “happiness experiment,” as motivation to trek through tonight’s tsunami toward a (soon-to-be blacked out – fun!) restaurant, where we were meeting her department for drinks and apps. I smiled silently to myself when I heard the words flow from her mouth. Until then, no one other than me had used them to reference such experiences. It had been less than a day since the launch of my blog and The Happiness Experiment was already spreading. I can easily rank that moment amongst the proudest of my life. It was absolutely worth the self-exposure. If people didn’t know me before, they sure as hell know me now.

Happiness Tip: Don’t let fear drive your decisions.

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