For the last few weeks, I’ve been struggling with a decision. I’m a wrestler, in that I spend a lot of time in my head arguing with myself. Wrestling.


I feel like this really captures what the inside of my brain looks like lately.

I had planned to go to a blogging conference pretty much since the day I started this blog. I have always known I wanted to be a writer, and this blog was the vehicle by which I would finally make that happen. There was no question about me not succeeding – I had to be a writer, because my “safe” career choice already didn’t pan out. That’s right, I worked on the “safe” choice first to avoid the pain and rejection involved in selecting a career in the arts. In a terrible twist of irony, being responsible did not pay off. The artist inside of me gets some secret pleasure from knowing that fact.

Going to this conference would be an educational trip for my career. If I walked away from it knowing that blogging was not the Yellow Brick Road to publishing my work, the lesson would still be worth learning. Even the husband supports my decision to go! I have the green light! I should be packing my bags! Well, in three months anyway.

However, for the past few weeks, I have been questioning that decision. Money is tight, we’re trying to do all kinds of investy-real-estatey-grown-up stuff, and everything I want from life is being put on the back burner. Sure, I don’t like it, but the past few days I’ve started noticing something about myself…

…I always put other people before myself. Not in a good way.

If I want something, that is secondary to your desires. If I have a need not being met, that is secondary to your needs. More often than not, my wants and needs go by the wayside. Sometimes I don’t even voice them, so I don’t have to suffer disappointment or feel guilty for being selfish. 

I question myself, my skills, my likability, which I’ve not made a secret on here. So I’ve put off buying my ticket to the conference, thinking, “that money could go to so many other things. It’s selfish of me to spend such a large chunk of cash on myself. What if I don’t succeed at this? Then it would be a waste. Then the world would self destruct and the apocalypse would be ALL MY FAULT.” I would be a failure out a couple hundred bucks, instead of just a failure.

So yeah, I’m that person. Ugh. No one wants to be friends with a self-flagellating martyr, not even me.

So yesterday, like a grand piano landing on my head, all of these realizations smacked me down flat with nothing left but clarity:

Why didn’t I deserve this?  I work hard. Like, really hard. I don’t have the highest stats. I am not the funniest person. I am not the most inspiring person. But I want this more than I’ve ever wanted anything. I am a great writer. Ouch, that was hard to say.

More importantly though, I need to rescue myself.

I know how cheesy that sounds, I know, but if you’ve ever wasted years of your life at a meaningless job for which you are ill-suited, then you understand. I know I was created for something different from what I am doing. I’m tired of wasting my time.

So I’m going to go. I owe it to myself. I deserve good things from life. What a concept, to let yourself be deserving of the life you want to lead. No, we don’t always get what we deserve, no one knows that better than I do. But this time if I don’t succeed, it will be my own fault. I can’t live with that. I can’t live without having at least tried.

Even if it means I don’t get to bitch about it later. Goodness knows how much I like to bitch about things.


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How I Talk Myself into Good Things — 40 Comments

  1. I’m glad you decided to go. The feelings you’ve been wrestling with are child’s play compared to the regret, maybe even resentment, you’d be knocking around if you didn’t.

  2. So many things you say in the post are just so true. Like when you decide to not to voice something to not have to feel guilty for feeling/having been selfish. I mean, really, that’s like you took them right out of my head. So what you are doing by going to the conference, is THE only right thing to do. It’s good to live for others but somewhere you have to think about self for you deserve that. Good post, you are a great writer. 🙂

  3. Did you buy the airline ticket? Because we all know that you deserve to go. You owe it to us to go, learn and share. Okay, I made that up because I really want you to WANT to go. But don’t do it for us. Do it for you.

  4. I know exactly what you’re saying. Hey girl, you are doing it for me, too. I put everybody first all the time, still do, and I want to know that you broke free, you did it, and then maybe I could too, and not just be this quasi anonymous writerybloggery voice that is sort of read but not like I would like (or I secretly think I should be, like the whole world reading my words and thoughts) So I am rooting for you to be brave and GO! Do you want to end up as old as me and never having really done anything completely self…..ish.

  5. I, too, virtually always put other people’s needs before my own. And a lot of the time it feels good, but sometimes you HAVE to put yourself first. In this instance, it sounds too integral to not only your happiness, but your life’s purpose to not do it. So congrats on deciding to go! You won’t regret it, I’m sure.

  6. Hell yeah! I hope you go and have a blast. I’ll still blame the apocalypse on you, but I’ll continue to love you no matter what. I know how you feel 100%. I think you have a lot of talent and I enjoy reading all of your blogs. You’re funny, descriptive and captivating- all with a smart-ass edge. I love it! You deserve to live the life you’ve dreamed of. Why is it so hard to actually do it? I wish I knew the answer to that because I do the same thing with music all the time. I’m rooting for you!

  7. Good for you for deciding to go. I have also wasted so much time at my safe choice. It’s “worked out” if you can call it that and I still do that which I don’t enjoy, just for the money. I went to BlogHer last year and I’m going to Type A this year. I struggled with the decisions to go to both and I know part of me will always feel a little selfish, but I do feel like it’s worth it for the me time and the personal growth.

    Enjoy your conference, you DO deserve it!

  8. Are you referring to BlogHer? Because I’m wrestling with myself about whether or not to go, and I live in Chicago! I’m kind of leaning on the not going because I’d rather save up for a writers conference or retreat, not that there isn’t anything wrong with a blogger conference, it just might not suit my needs.

    At any rate, I totally know what you mean about arguing with yourself. I do that all.the.time.

    • Yea, I’m talking about Blogher. I’m not sure it will help, but at this point it certainly won’t hurt. Plus, after perusing the program, I saw several panels that are covering my weak points/places of ignorance.

  9. I keep hearing that these type things are where the “magic” happens. I keep being told to go to a writer’s conference, and how people get signed at these things all the time, because they have to see your face, blah, blah, blah.

    Only writing conferences are really expensive. I hope yours goes really well. And, yes, you do deserve it (especially since your “safe career” has no openings).

    • I know, right? Since when did becoming a college professor become such a precarious career choice?
      All I know is I feel like I have so much to learn – if I make it, it’ll be worth the money!
      I don’t want to even think about NOT making it and having spent so much…gag.

  10. There are a lot of us out here that have the same feelings. You are not alone and good for you for realizing you DO DESERVE this. I hope you have a wonderful time!

  11. Sooooo, if this is, like, career stuff isn’t there a way for this to be a tax write off?? That doesn’t help with finances NOW but it could pay for NEXT year’s conference…?

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