I feel I’ve been rather substandard or negligent about blogging here. Oh, it’s not like I’m crankin’ it out over at WaDD, but when I do “blog in my head” (really just a form of not blogging or writing at all, but I’d like points for thinking), I keep thinking it’s stuff that would be better suited over at WaDD. Why? Well, maybe without realizing it, I have more of a “voice” or “identity” over there. When I started cobbling together this site, it was with the intention of looking all “professional.”
And that’s where I’m stuck.
I have an image of what “professional” (and it’s cousin, “successful”) is supposed to look like. It’s supposed to look polished and flawless and slightly intimidating. You’re supposed to read it and think/feel, Wow, this woman is more pulled together than I’ve ever been. I bet she eats chainsaws for breakfast and her hair always falls, miraculously, into a perfect bob. Or she doesn’t hesitate to keep standing appointments for blow-outs because, hey, what’s 30-bucks* for professional blow-drying to someone who clearly pulls in $500/hour for doing things like “integrating streamlined systems among cross-disciplined departments for improved ROI and logistical savings.”
I don’t feel like I’m close to being this hypothetical woman, but I kind of want to be. Sort of. Maybe. Except that it feels really awkward and unlike me and unattainable. Or to snag a word that is quickly becoming way over-used: inauthentic.
Maybe this is partly a delayed response to reading Brene Brown’s mindworm (I made up that word, but I think “earworm” exists, so why not mindworm?) Daring Greatly. The one that claims I feel pressured to feel/look perfect, infallible, but that actually appearing inperfect–ie: human–makes me vulnerable and more courageous, awesome, etc.
But I also can’t forget this piece of advice someone once gave me: Never show your belly to the bear. (Or something like that.)
It’s possible this was lousy advice. But recently I was clued into a possible freelancing opportunity (not yet materialized, but I’ll wait; hope I haven’t cursed anything with this mention), and I wrote what was probably a rather unconventional cover letter to the bearer-of-opportunity. I included this site, which contains my perhaps unorthodox “bio” of myself as a writer.
Now, I rather liked my own bio when I wrote in my safe, insular world of I-bet-no-one-even-reads-this. But when portions of this bio–and my perhaps unconventional cover letter–ended up on the site for this possible-freelancing-opportunity, I thought: Shit! I look like a total, unprofessional flake! Where’s the fancy parade of ambiguous yet difficult sounding accomplishments? Where’s the lofty sounding list of job-titles? And perhaps most important: where’s that perfect bob?
Oh, Brene Brown and your silly book, you’ve nailed it: I’m not sure I’m feeling like enough! But I’ll hang in there and stand by my current bio, at least for now. And here are the reasons:
1. It’s what I’ve got for now; hoping and working for more growth, of course.
2. If the bearer-of-said-possibility liked my unconventional bio and letter, then maybe it actually is okay to be somewhat unconventional.
3. I’m 40: old enough to know what it feels like to be a circle trying to bang herself into a square opening. If I haven’t nailed that other image of “successful” by now, maybe it’s because it ain’t the right one for me. You know, not authentic.
Feel free to make a drinking game out of the use of the word “authentic”. It’s noon somewhere.
*Adjust accordingly for the price of a good blow-out in your area; ie: if you live in Manhattan, my guess is they cost around $250. Also, if you don’t know what a blow-out is, it’s when a professional hairstylist uses nothing more than a brush, a blowdryer, some goop, and a few hairclips to make your hair look amazing and perfect. They actually are a total confidence booster. You know, until you wash your hair again and reality sets in.