My (not) First Post

Practicing authenticity online is a good habit that will take lifetimes for me to form.

Well, here we are again.

Hello.

If you’ve never met me, I’m happy you’ve stumbled onto my little corner of the world.

If you know me in real life, my thoughts will be nothing new, as I’m usually pretty open with sharing myself in person.

If you don’t know me personally but remember my old blog; or, if you knew me once upon a time but haven’t seen me in ages, then again I say, welcome. I’m not who I used to be, but I’m always who I once was.

I love to write.

All my life, I’ve penned my thoughts on everything from a lock and key diary I received in third grade, to a set of post-it note prayers I hid in shoeboxes when I was pregnant with my first child.

My thoughts and prayers were always simple: I need help, I’m hurt, I’m in love, I’m so thankful.

As I grew older, the shape and context of my journals did, too. I went from noticing things about others, to noticing things about the world around me, to noticing things about myself.

The noticing things about myself part was especially hard: It’s great to look at yourself through a rose-colored lens; it’s infinitely harder to stare in a stone-cold reflection.

There were parts of my life I didn’t like, parts I liked but wanted to keep to myself, parts I wanted to share because I loved myself like a kid loves a sugary-sweet addiction.

I thought I knew more than I did. Sometimes, I still do.

I realized I knew more than I thought. Sometimes, I’m still shocked at the aha moments, as Oprah calls them, of life.

Writing is a form of introspection for me.

Journaling is free therapy that I hope won’t cause others harm, but will instead help them find their own little aha moments.

Sometimes, however, I find myself swimming over my head, chasing foxes, sliding down rainbows and wandering through dark forests.

I found myself doing all of those things years ago, when I began sharing an early blog of mine and was met with a fair measure of success.

Having people read my blog and love it blew my confidence through the roof.

People like me? I thought. They actually find value in what I say?

For a girl who grew up feeling unseen and unheard, blogging publicly for likes and shares was an opiate I found hard to shake.

But we all know, for every like there is an unlike, for every good criticism, pure ugliness that goes with it.

When my confidence grew so much I decided to write more, I was met with more and more criticism.

I was also met with more and more eagerness to talk. How do you feel about x, y or z? Social media always prodded. What is your opinion on politics, religion, lifestyle?

The desire to write every opinion, every thought, every feeling grew with each share of one of my posts to social media. With a click, a like, or a comment, I found I could be seen and heard–and validated–even more.

That all came crashing down with a self-published book, a shaky marriage and the 2016 election. But those are posts to share on another day.

For now, let me say:

I’m not sure why I’m writing again. I’m only positive that I must.

And at this point in my life, mid-forties, having lived and lost a little more each year, I’m ready to get back to my roots.

I want to write from the deep seat of my soul.

Not for likes, for shares, for comments.

Just for me.

I want to create and make a living from my creations.

Can I?

Who knows?

I realize that making a living demands I market myself.

This is the part of the online world that makes me cringe.

Can I market myself authentically without feeling super gross?

Can I maintain a modicum of privacy?

Again, who knows?

This I do know. I will do my best to do my best.

And best enough has to be good enough.

Thank you for stopping by. I’m so glad you’re here for the journey.

Love, Toni

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