Today, I blog…

Just because I want to.

I write because I need to.

Not the kind of need that comes out of trying to meet expectations or schedules. But, the kind of need that makes me ache inside if I don’t fulfill it.

Like many days when I long to blog, but find myself too tired or too busy, I end up feeling that ache. It’s the type of ache that turns in to cyclical pain because I want to do something, so I ache from all the wanting… And, I end up not being able to do it because of that ache. So, the ache grows with each passing day.

But, enough is enough. I’m showing up. Here. Right now. To blog about nothing. And everything. Just because.

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... To Celebrate Friendships. And Being Disliked. And Authentic. 

One of the things that inspired me to blog today is reading a few posts shared by one of my good friends, Christina. Like this post from Gluten-Free Girl, where Shauna James Ahern, a very popular food blogger ruminates about shifting gears in life and blogging. She also shared this post on ‘likeability’.

Both posts resonated with me because not so long ago, I was thinking about this very topic when I Tweeted this post about Stop Being So Nice. To which another friend responded as such:

Ah, bless him.

Truth is, I do want to be likable. I’ve spent a huge part of my life trying to be liked. But, the harder I work, the bigger I accomplish, the more I encounter challenging people and personalities.

So, yes, I’ve come to the conclusion that if I’m doing anything meaningful or great, I’m bound to be disliked by some. And that’s okay. It’s not an excuse to be horrible. It’s just my permission to be authentic. And to do things that matter to me – and the people that matter most to me.

As I said before, I don’t like everyone, so it shouldn’t really matter if not everyone likes me. Of course, it doesn’t mean I want to be disliked. I still want to be liked. Every thumbs up still makes me happy. But, encountering a non-liker no longer devastates me. And, that’s kind of liberating. The writer of that likeability post shared this so well, so I’ll just quote her:

“The truth is that we don’t need everyone to like us, we need a few people to love us. Because what’s better than being roundly liked is being fully known—an impossibility both professionally and personally if you’re so busy being likable that you forget to be yourself.” – Jessica Valenti

… To Be Fully Known

I like being fully known. Both personally and professionally. That’s why I keep this blog. Online, it’s where I can be who I am. Or at least, snippets of my life that I like to share.

That’s why I like having a space online where I can talk about anything that fancies me at any given time. Because that’s me: I can talk about politics and social justice first thing in the morning some days, but be all silly and talk about my latest favourite shoes the next minute. I’m a multi-depth pool: shallow on one end and way in over the head in another. 

Yes, it’s almost an impossibility – being known fully, as we do end up presenting versions of ourselves to different people at any given time. Sometimes, it’s because we don’t always fully know ourselves either. We don’t always allow ourselves the liberty to have different depths and shades.

But, when we’re in the company of good friends - people who accept us completely and wholly, neuroses and all; shallow and deep – nothing beats that experience. Knowing you don’t have to be a certain version of yourself. Where you can just BE.

One of my favourite authors, Natalie Goldberg, shared this thought in her classic book, Writing Down the Bones, when she discovered a friend who ended up reading her private notebooks:

“I feel good because I don’t care that she sees how I really am. I’m glad. I want someone to know me. We walk through so many myths of each other and ourselves; we are so thankful when someone sees us for who we are and accepts us.”

… To Say Thank You

Knowing that you allow me to be authentic on this blog is something that I’m grateful for.

You, who come here to this blog, not knowing whether you’ll get good advice or great inspiration – or just my mundane ramblings. Depending on how inspired I might be at any given time. You don’t even know if you’re going to get a recipe, a travelogue, or just a bunch of notes and favourite quotes.

You come here, in spite my inconsistencies and my lack of brilliance on some (or most?!) days.

And, I am always, always amazed when someone says that what resonates with me resonates with them too. That allowing myself to be who I am,  gives them permission to be who they really are too.

Such notes help me to stop second guessing myself so much when I blog here.

That’s why I’m thankful for you.

Thanks to you, I can blog here exactly the way I wish to blog. Today. And any day I’m up for it. 

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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