There’s no way around it: I am a failure.
Make that a Failure, capital style.
Allow me to explain.
It was 5 years ago with a post about oysters that I started on this journey. I like to write, I love Baltimore, I sometimes take semi-appealing pictures. So I thought, “Why not create a blog?” It was a sporadic start with no real goals, deadlines, help, or vision.
But as often happens with hobbies and things done simply for the hell of it, this little part of the internet became something I wanted to spend more and more time with.
Suddenly, instead of just writing about a place I went or food I ate, I wanted to interview people, help with events, and collaborate with others. One day I found myself creating an Instagram account for this site. Another, I was having Lauren Conaway create my very first logo. Before I knew it Melinda Campbell was my editor*. Now I wanted this part of the internet to MATTER.
It’s a continuing journey, and one that is not even close to the finish of where I’d like this to go or be. And that my friends is because I’m a failure.
Here are the things that I fail at:
- In five years I’ve just started to post pieces on this site more regularly and yet I still haven’t managed to do this once a week.
- I refuse to follow the “rules” of Instagram. There’s no unifying color scheme. I don’t post 3 times a day. I don’t even post everyday.
- I have yet to brand my life. I wear what I wear and I do what I do and I don’t worry if it’s representing this website correctly.
- I don’t list this as a side hustle or part time job. It’s still just a fun thing I do.
- I don’t expect this endeavor to make me money. I actually don’t even know if I WANT it to make money.
- I haven no professional photography equipment. No lights, no camera except my phone and sometimes an old point and shoot I have.
- I have no idea what I’m doing. Therefore, I just do things and hope they work out.
- I told myself to publish this piece yesterday but didn’t finish it in time. (*This also means my editor has not been able to see it before publishing. Like really?!?)
But my two biggest fails are the following:
I don’t believe in myself. I compare myself and my outcomes to the outcomes of others. Basically, I fail at being my own biggest fan.
This has affected my success more than any of the other fails listed.
My lack of belief in my vision and ability has prevented me from asking for interviews or attempting to hold my own events. When I have asked and received a “No” I have compared my small beginnings to those with established sites and tell myself my failing is inevitable. On my worst days, those when I tried to network and was ignored, when I reached out to a “freelance community” to get ghosted, I tell myself it is because I am of no consequence and importance.
‘If I had the following of “X” then I’d get better responses.’
‘If I looked like “Y” then people would want to read what I have to say.’
And so I am a failure.
But the great thing is: That’s okay! So is everyone else!
Seriously, somehow we all manage to forget that the fails are more important than the successes. I know I ALWAYS forget this. It’s why I’m so hard on myself. I know what I want, how I envision things to be, and when they don’t occur the moment I think of them I beat myself up over it. (We can also blame my Aries/Taurus cusp traits for that!)
Do I remind myself that I am making different decisions than others, ones that fit my life and my vision and my goals? No. Do I enjoy and celebrate the fact that I have met some amazing people and have fantastic partnership in the works? No. I didn’t.
Because I was a failure at being my own biggest fan.
But hopefully, not any more!
What could just B more successful?
Shout out to Mowgli of Mowgli Art who inspired this piece of writing. If you don’t know who he is, you will. Feature coming on this dope artist in July.