When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me.
~The Greatest Showman, “This Is Me”
Taking the Plunge
It takes a lot to do something that’s out of the general norm and out of your comfort zone. And it also takes a lot to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. When you finally take the plunge, you’re bound to encounter criticism, jealousy, judgment or confusion from others.
Growing up, I learned the true meaning of that as I started writing and publishing my work. I mentioned it in this post, but I started various blogs and wrote notes on Facebook throughout high school and college. I loved to write and I was bursting with things I wanted to get off my chest. Unfortunately, after hitting ‘publish,’ I encountered many eye rolls and became the brunt of a lot of my friends’ jokes. I’m assuming they didn’t really get why I was doing what I was doing or didn’t care to understand. It hurt, but I didn’t let it stop me from continuing to write, because it was something I loved to do.
Navigating Negativity & Insecurities
When I launched Lipstick & Ink this past February, I received so much positivity and encouragement. It signified to me that I had done something right this time around. Or maybe just enough time had passed for people to mature and recognize that this was me and writing was my passion. I so appreciate those people who offered their words of encouragement and who have stuck by me, believed in me, and pushed me throughout the last year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
The reality though is that when you start a new venture, while you do get positive feedback and support (and surprisingly, from people you wouldn’t have expected), you also get the complete opposite. You unfortunately get people who ignore everything about it and act like that part of you doesn’t exist. You get people who unfollow you on social media for whatever reason. And you even get people who have harsh words to say that cut deep to your core. It’s been eye opening for me to see who is there to support me and who isn’t.
The thing is, I know a lot of my family and friends don’t really get the whole blogging thing. I understand they probably just aren’t into blogs or care that much about them. But despite that, I would have thought I’d still have their support or they’d at least read Lipstick & Ink because it’s my blog. It’s made me question everything. What am I doing wrong? Why don’t the people I care about want to talk about this part of my life with me? Am I being annoying? Do they not like this part of me? Should I be writing about something else more relatable? Do they even care? It’s honestly enough to drive a girl completely mad.
It had gotten to a point the last few months where I almost felt embarrassed or ashamed even talking about my blog. It made me feel like I needed to keep my blogger life separate from my personal life, which didn’t do me any favors because it’s one of the biggest parts of my life. And because I had all of these insecurities swirling around in my head, I sometimes would stop myself while writing and think, what will people think of me for writing this? or will this offend someone? or will anyone care about this? And then I’d go back and rewrite whatever I was writing until I got it to a point where I felt okay with it.
Not Changing Who I Am
I’ve let the insecurities consume me and I’ve shed tears over it. But once the tears were wiped and I allowed myself to be sad over it the last few months, I picked myself up last week and changed my attitude. I’ve realized I’m not going to change something because I’m afraid of what people will think. I’m not going to worry anymore about how people are going to react (or not react). I’m certainly not going to stop what I love because of the haters and the people in my life who don’t support me. And I’m definitely not going to change who I am.
If you too feel like you aren’t being fully supported or being seen, I see you. I feel what you are going through. Don’t let the negativity get to you. Use the haterade as fuel. Don’t change who you are to appease others. You are you for a reason and you are doing great. Keep pushing and keep achieving. Keep being you. Keep making your mark.
This is Me
I’m listening to The Greatest Showman’s song “This is Me” on repeat as I write this and it’s giving me so much life. This song in its entirety has spoken to me to just be me and stop worrying about what others think. I won’t be a people pleaser. I won’t sugarcoat things I’m writing about. I won’t tiptoe around the fact that I have a blog and that I’m excited about what I’m doing with it. I won’t make apologies for being who I am. If people don’t want to talk to about Lipstick & Ink or what I’ve been up to with it, that’s on them. If people don’t want to support me, that’s on them. If people are going to hate and punish me for doing what I love, that’s on them.
This blog is 100% me and I’m 100% proud of it. It may have started as a hobby, but in less than a year, it’s become much more than that. I am turning it into a side hustle and my plan is to eventually turn it into a business. What I’ve been able to accomplish already boggles my mind and I know it’s only the beginning.
“And I’m marching on to the beat I drum. I’m not scared to be seen. I make no apologies, THIS IS ME.”
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Role Strategy and Employee Engagement Manager at Salesforce and has over 12 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.