Bloggers love feedback. We’ve even been called comment whores. If a post appears in the blogosphere and no one is around to read it, was it even there?
Writing about my personal life in a public space is scary. I wonder what people will think of me and how they’ll react to my decisions. Will people think my trip around the world was extravagant and unnecessary? Will I be criticized for quitting my job?
By putting it all out there, I make myself vulnerable to feedback of all kinds. Fortunately, I’ve never received a nasty comment. But sometimes the lack of comments gives me pause. I wonder if anyone is reading. I wonder if I wrote a bad post. I wonder if I’m a bad writer.
I realize there are all sorts of benign reasons not to comment, but of course my mind loves to jump to the worst possible conclusions. So it’s been especially heartening when people email me privately about my posts. Here are a couple that made my heart sing:
AMAZING! Wow, that was insightful, enjoyable, and provided an awesome perspective.
Your latest blog entry was your best so far in my opinion. It was more of you… It gave and encouraged perspective…
Since I started writing about my life away from the corporate world, I’ve also gotten emails from others who echo my feelings and frustration with the work world. One was from a high school friend, who I lost touch with years ago after we went to different colleges.
I’ve been reading your blog, and just wanted to tell you that I’m in awe of your courage to stop working and pursue your passion. Your latest post particularly hit home for me…
It is so awesome to hear that my writing reaches people and resonates with them (and of course, I love knowing that I inspire awe). This email got me thinking about our shared high school background. We both took the hardest classes (Gifted & Talented or Advanced Placement) and did well. We were taught to excel. We were attached to outcomes. We were ambitious. This competitive culture often led to long hours of homework and a school/life imbalance. My friend is finding that same imbalance in her current work/life situation.
I certainly don’t have the answers, but I have tried to restore balance in my life. It’s a significant change from my academic days when I pushed through, worked harder, and willed things to happen. Now, I’ve taken a step back and am open to new possibilities. I’m trying to let things come to me, but it’s difficult after a life of planning and striving.
Perhaps I’m looking for something that doesn’t exist. I’ve been a perfectionist all my life, so I’m used to seeking the unattainable. Mr. HalfFull often reminds me that even though he loves his job as a teacher, most of it isn’t fun. But he endures it to get to those moments of bliss.
Maybe the experience of working at work we love is like marriage. We are enamored at first and then settle in. We become committed to the commitment we have made: most days average, some good, and a few that take us back to the beginning, reminding us of the inspiration that brought us to the point to be lucky enough to call most days average.
Thank you dear readers for commenting, emailing, and just reading. I love your suggestions, insights, perspectives, and conversations. You feed my soul.
- How much of your personal life do you share in public?
- Do you seek out feedback?
- Have you gotten feedback out of the blue that made your heart sing?
- Do you believe that work is generally not fun?