During the last few days of 2020, I felt the urge of shutting myself out from social media and from being a public figure altogether. This included closing down my blogsite www.miss-mars.com and discontinuing my plans to vlog for #MondayswithMissMars. I have set my mind into it that I was prepared not being able to access this website anymore.
So, you may be wondering what the heck am I doing now?
During those days of social media detox, I reveled in my new house and reflected how good the Lord was to me despite everything that happened in 2020. I said this before (and still believe that), the best moments do not reach social media, and though I have been very active publicly for the past ten years, I chose to bask in 2020’s last days in gratitude, hope, love, and happy tears.
I was able to get back to my core and recollected why I wanted to do this. I also took the time to understand why I wanted to stop, and although Covid played a huge role, I reminded myself that I am responsible for my actions and decisions.
So, why did I want to stop?
I was not confident.
I felt that I wasn’t credible. I doubted myself and my skills.
I wanted to make it look extra good.
I was scared that no one will read or watch.
I felt pressured with the reviews – positive and negative.
(Put a finger down if you’ve ever felt any of this!)
Looking at these reasons, I realized that they all boil down to one thing – I allowed others’ judgements to control me. I was thinking so much on how people will see me, instead of focusing on how I can share myself effectively. Recognition became my driving force.
I was too pressured to make my vlogs/ blogs look good that I even hired a video editor to help me. Don’t get me wrong, I have high respects for people in this field. I have worked with the most talented individuals and have met the most genuine people in this industry. But what I’m trying to say is, it just doesn’t work for me and that I am not cut to be doing such craft. I’m not even comfortable in putting heavy filters in my photo! And while I understand that well-edited videos and blogs are necessary to boost views and traffic, I know deep down that I wanted to be raw and unfiltered. And that I feel the most alive when I’m able to share a piece or two of me – of the real, live version of me. Once I’ve gotten the knack for it, I may work harder on editing my entries, too. But for now, more than the aesthetics, I have to focus on my message.
I remembered in one of my talks, someone asked me: “Miss Mars, how can I overcome my insecurity?” It’s funny that my answer to that young lady has been the same statement I’ve been giving myself. It’s always funny that we give good advice to other people but can’t seem to calm ourselves down, don’t you think? I told this lass that the reason she is insecure and that she’s not confident is because she compares herself to others too much. Seeing how others are better or lesser than us affects our confidence and integrity in one way or another. So I told her, ‘You do you. Focus on yourself.’
To be or not to be. To blog or not to blog. That has been my constant question ever since I started this blogsite in 2012. And it’s never an easy feat because as much as possible, I do not like publishing stories that sound half-baked to me; but at the same time, the hours, research, and thinking that I squeeze in to write one article consumes a month’s worth (or even more) of creative juices. But what I’ve learned is that perfection can sometimes be the number 1 killer of our dreams and purpose.
Let me give you a glimpse on how I spent the last few days of my 2020, as I contemplated whether I should continue blogging or not.
I went back to my “why”.
In re-reading my very first blog “Are you sexy?”, I was reconnected to my 20+ year-old self that looked at life in rosy hues (la vie en rose) who wanted to share her stories, her love, and her faith to the world.
I asked Juneaue one day, ‘baby, do you think I should stop writing? I’m just so tired.’
“Don’t”, he said. “You may inspire someone.”
It’s funny (and amazing) how kids can bring us back to our purpose. When I started blogging 8 years ago, that was exactly what I had in mind – to inspire someone. I may not change the lives of a thousand, but I know I’m here on Earth – virtually and physically- to touch a life one day at a time.
I asked myself if what I’m doing aligns to my true identity.
Mark Manson in his book “Everything is F*cked” wrote that “the stories of our past define our identity”. It is hard to know what or who our true self is unless we are able to determine a clear vision of our future, the values we want to keep or adopt, and which stories of our past we wish to consider to be lessons or projects. I pondered on these points. And though the answers may come to a blur at times, there’s one thing I know for sure – I’m not attempting in changing back to who or what I was anymore because everything that I am now is a version of what I am and used to be – as honed by my victories, my heartaches and pains, my accomplishments, and sufferings. All of those and more is my true identity which I accept wholeheartedly, despite what other people think.
When we put ourselves out to the world, we are opening our selves to public scrutiny. Getting negative feedback can be heartbreaking and stressful for sure, but there are always good things that we could get from it. And as long as we are comfortable with our own skills and our own identity, the hell with what everyone thinks!
I reflected if blogging still sparks joy.
Paulo Coelho, in his interview by Oprah, mentioned that we’ll know we’re doing our personal legend (purpose) if there is enthusiasm and joy in doing it. Not for the outcome, but more on doing.
As someone who values independence and freedom so much, I wish to do things out of sheer pleasure. I realized that blogging as a means of sharing myself gives me joy, but blogging for other reasons makes me want to stop doing it.
I assessed which posts were the most fun to write and had me talking non-stop. To be honest, it’s still a work in progress, but what’s important is that I am happily working on the process.
I guess these steps also apply to anything else we have doubts on. When Hamlet uttered, “to be or not to be, that is the question”, he questioned whether living is worthwhile and if ending could’ve been better. For me any thing that we do in our lives has its own share of beauty and of madness, but lies and deception could only make things worse. To be or not to be? To blog or not to blog? I choose freedom and authenticity.
So, this is me again sharing myself to you, to the world. Love me or hate me, it’s all up to you really. I humbly wish to be able to touch lives as I attempt to use my voice to tell our stories. And as to the words of Sir Stephen Covey, I’m here to find my voice so that I can help you find yours.
Cheers to more story-telling in 2021!