Next week, I will be sitting on a panel of bloggers at Illinois State University as part of the Communication Department's 'COM Week.'
Here's how I feel about that in emoji form: 😳.
In the interest of full disclosure, my dad is an ISU faculty member working in that department; so if there were money changing hands, this would all boil down to a clear-cut case of nepotism.
Here's the thing: I live in a constant state of concern that I will be revealed as a fraud. This is true in exactly all areas of my life.
EXAMPLES: I am genuinely worried that someone will soon identify me as a totally mediocre Physical Therapist (I had some brilliant and now wildly successful classmates, so this one is totally valid). As a cook, it is not secret that I am genuinely a colossal failure; whether I am overcooking the vegetables or undercooking the pasta, I really have no business in the kitchen. As a friend, well...let's put it this way: if Facebook fails me, I will probably forget your birthday. I am sure to finish no better than square in the middle of my age group for any given race and I will scale down the WOD like it's my business. Sending me a houseplant would essentially be issuing that poor plant a death-sentance. Finally, I am 100% certain that I am a doing this parenting thing totally wrong.
And yet, I have been asked to sit and speak as some sort of authority on something. I'm sorry, I just can't help it, here comes the emoji again:
Here's the thing. If we aren't related, there's a good chance you're not reading this. Furthermore, I happen to know for a fact that some relatives actively avoid my blog...for reasons that are completely fair.
Also, here's the extent of my insider knowledge on blogging: I can purchase a domain name, provided someone talks me through the process over the phone and I have set up a 'Google AdSense' account, which has possibly generated enough revenue over the past 4 years to buy myself a beer. But the amount generated really is irrelevant because I am not sure how to access it anyways. Oh, and I just got an email threatening termination of the account for lack of traffic at my site.
So there, now I can simply send a link to this post rather than actually sit on the panel (maybe that would effectively save my AdSense account?)
I would do it too, if not for two things:
1. I am super-excited to hear from real-life, actual bloggers (I spied on them, and the other panelists are totally legit).
2. My parents are fantastic people who live 175 miles away and I am thrilled to have an excuse to chill with them for an afternoon.
Here's the thing. I want to be better. At everything. I want to be one of those uncommon and crazy-irritating people who just excels at life. It doesn't help that I come from a family of extraordinarily remarkable and successful people. The bar is just set so impossibly high and my vertical is not what it used to be. Also, I may just barely qualify as a Millennial, but I still feel like I should be winning at everything. Still, when I could be reading up on how to access my AdSense account, mastering the 'double-under,' or honing my skills as a pastry chef, I turn around and there is a mountain of laundry to fold, or one of my children has another in a choke-hold (Bare-Minimum Parenting Tip #1: keep them alive). So chasing perfection just doesn't always fit in my daily routine.
So I press on as the master of mediocrity. I tread water as hard as I can, and sometimes I sink for a moment. And sometimes I blog. And you know what? It doesn't have to be great writing or boast a stunning, professional layout. It's not really for you anyways. It's really for me. When I inevitably have severe dementia and sit around at the old-folks home drooling on myself, maybe someone can pull a Notebook-style move and read back to me all the nonsense I posted to the Internet back when I was busy being a hack on all fronts. And maybe I'll be okay with that.