I’ve just finished watching my first ever television appearance, talking about my blog on “The Nate Berkus Show”. And while it was very exciting, to say the least, it was also a watershed moment for me.
Making the decision to start a blog was bigger for me than just the blog itself. My daughter was home from college on winter break and was working at an internship she’s held for several years. Every night I’d pick her up at the train station, and on the drive home she’d tell me about her day. Although she was cold and exhausted, she was also clearly exhilarated. And all I could think was, I’m so jealous. She’s happy, knows exactly what she wants to do and is DOING IT. And it occurred to me that part of the reason for that was my encouraging her, as I’ve always done with both of my “big” kids, to pursue her passion. To do what she loved, whatever that meant for her. To go for it.
It was then that I realized that I wasn’t taking my own advice. And hadn’t been for a long time.
When I started my landscape design business it was certainly with the intent of doing what I loved. And for a long time I did love it. But in the last year I realized that, along with my life changing drastically with the unexpected arrival of Noah, I had become profoundly dissatisfied. In addition, I had new interests that I was anxious to pursue. So I sat Mike down for a long talk, at the end of which he looked at me and said, “go for it“.
So I did.
I started by making a “wish list” of all the things I enjoyed doing/was interested in/ever wanted to try – regardless of how impractical or silly the ideas seemed. I tell you, even just writing them down was liberating! I reviewed what I had written and the blog seemed to be a natural outcome of those ideas.
But the thought of a blog – of going so “public” – was not something I relished, to put it mildly. I am a very private person, even more so in the 10 years since my divorce. I cringed at the thought of certain people “seeing” me. What would they think? How would they judge me? What if it wasn’t perfect? And I realized how much control I was giving “them” and how empowering it would be for me to take that control back. To just not care. To go for it.
But I still was not completely comfortable with launching myself out there right away. So I established a timeline that felt comfortable, while allowing me to put my plan in place immediately.
The first step was scaling back my business, by eliminating the type of work I no longer enjoyed. With the “found” time I would be able to maintain the pieces of the business that I still loved and devote time to the blog. I would keep the blog private for 60 days, and then show it to a small handful of people I admired and trusted. I would gather all of their collective input, revamp accordingly and maybe, possibly, share it with a wider circle.
At “some point down the road” I’d “think about” creating a Facebook page (whoa!!) and then, who knew?? By now my “phase-in” plan had me safely into 2012 before I’d have to deal with any kind of major public response. And that felt just fine.
So I started writing, posting (privately), making lists of ideas for future posts and tweaking the appearance of the site (with the tireless help of my amazing husband). And I was LOVING it! Things were falling perfectly into place for my projected, 60-day “roll-out” date.
I had an opportunity to respond to a search by the Nate Berkus show whose theme was “Passion to Paycheck”. I sat and stared at the inquiry for a long time. Nope, can’t do it. It’s too soon. I’m not ready. It hasn’t been 60 days. My parents and closest friends don’t even know about this. And then I thought about what started me on this path to begin with…… go for it. So I wrote a letter and clicked “Send”.
Three days later
a the world’s nicest film crew was at my house, and 3 days after that I was in the studio of the Nate Berkus show – appearing on the segment that aired today.
I watched the show “live” with my daughter – who was home for spring break – and 3 close friends. And there I was. Out there. Ahead of schedule. With my “imperfect”, “too soon” and “not ready yet” blog.
And guess what? I not only didn’t care – I was actually very proud.
I went for it.