Thirty-six years old and celebrating reaching 1000 followers of my stories. As a storyteller and an artist, I was born with a desire for an audience. I was that little girl that was constantly muttering “watch me,” to whomever would watch. I have grown into a woman who intrinsically desires to share her own human experiences in as many forms as possible. As someone who is married to the worlds most private person, I have been forced to reflect on why that is…is it a desire for attention and approval? Is it because I want the notoriety and fame that praise and mass followings brings? Why do we desire to become contagious?
At the end of the day, I have rested comfortably with my truth that my desire to share my stories is because the words and stories of others from Brené Brown, Oprah Winfrey, Glennon Doyle, Shauna Niequist, Elizabeth Gilbert are what have changed the inner dynamics of my well-being. Had those storytellers not opened themselves up; and had their teachings not become contagious, I would have never had the opportunity to learn their lessons that truly changed my life.
Yesterday I was texting with my cousin Julia Mae (who is really more like my daughter) after she had read my post on suicide and mental illness https://christinaeclat.com/2018/06/11/2259/. Her words really spoke to me. She said “isn’t is weird how many people will read that and not get it. Like they don’t even understand what that post is about.” And it made me think about how few comments and interactions it received.
There is always that moment after you put something so big and so heavy out into the world and it is met with silence that you second guess yourself. It creates a vulnerability that leaves you feeling a bit insecure and raw (think Jerry McGuire – it was a mission statement moment).
But then I realize that the 1000 followers that want to read my stories are everything to me. And I think about my favorite quote from Velveteen Rabbit (I also have a serious passion for children stories) “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
And I am reminded that my 1000 followers are the ones that understand – and the ones that get it. And so thank you to my tribe of followers for giving me an audience to share my stories and for following me on this big, messy, beautiful journey we call life.
I need to thank a few people who have been insurmountable in giving me the courage to show up and speak my truth through all my typos, inabilities to organize, and insecurities that I wasn’t enough to be a real “creative.” First to Julie Engler Miles– you were the first when I was twisted up in what plan to take who told me to listen to God and to write. To Samantha Rudolph with Babyation – thank you for being the real deal advocate for women to have a voice – it is the mission of your company – but you were the first person to pay me to write and you are always the first to cheer me on as I walk my journey – thats why I know you are real and why you are going to take the world by storm. To Suzanne MacDonald Tucker with Generation Mindful – thank you for being my lighthouse and healing me from the inside out to know that I am love and I am enough. To Erin Joy with Black Dress Partners – thank you for teaching me boundaries and how to have the strength to believe in my worth and to demand it. To the absolutely incredible Stacey Moyer Goltermann – who gave me my first real break and the opportunity of a lifetime in my first creative director title with The Scout Guide. I cannot thank you enough for being the one to legitimize me as a storyteller – for being the kind of mom I always wanted, for putting up with my ADD, and for believing in me and supporting me as a boss more than I could have ever dreamed. You are the partner of my dreams. I also have to thank all the incredible business owners I have met the past three months through @tsgsaintlouis for allowing me to tell their stories and for letting me in. It has truly been an honor.
Last but not least, to my husband who has given me permission live out loud – who has allowed me to open up our life for others to see (much to his dismay) and for always supporting me in reaching my dreams.