Maybe Matilda: On Nerves

Thursday, February 13, 2014

On Nerves

I’m sure I’m far from being the only person to put something off for fear of not doing it perfectly. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a perfectionist, but I often find that I’m talking myself out of doing things I really would like to do with thoughts like you won’t be good at that, you’ll just embarrass yourself or don’t bother, it won’t be as good as so-and-so does it or, especially when it comes to blogging, no one wants to see/read that, so don’t even try. I can’t tell you  how many blog posts I’ve written then immediately deleted because I’ve been nervous to share something personal, or worried someone wouldn’t like what I had to say, or I’ve just thought maybe it wasn’t good or important enough t0 post.

And I’m not sure what has changed lately, but I’m finding myself having those same thoughts and, for the first time, following them up with Rachel, don’t be dumb.

stripes + trench

(^^^ I call this one Deep Thoughts. Alternate title: A Helicopter Flew By.)

All of a sudden (and, might I add, finally!), it strikes me as extremely silly to stop myself from doing things I want to do because I’m nervous about them not being good enough—either good enough for me, or good enough for sharing on the almighty internet. So I’m trying to get over my nerves, and stop procrastinating things that I think will make me happy.

Three examples of this today. And they’re all really small and silly examples, I know, but hopefully they’re the start of a new season of less procrastination and nerves for me, and I hope I can extend this to bigger, more important things in my life that I’ve let fear stop me from pursuing.

Numero uno. I bought supplies to sew myself a knit pencil skirt three years ago. And for three years, the fabric and thread and elastic sat in a closet gathering dust, and every few months I would see them and think, “Hey! I should sew that skirt!” But that would immediately be followed by, “I’ve never sewn with knits. It’ll probably turn out awful.” I can almost hear you saying, “Seriously? Just sew the dang skirt.” And you’d be right! Why would I spend three years—literally. threeeee yeeeeaaaaars—stressing over and procrastinating a project that I was excited about?

purple pencil skirt + stripes

I finally came to my senses last weekend, got out my fabric, and 40 minutes later had the skirt I planned to make 3 years ago. Is it perfect? Far from it. But I like it anyway, and I feel awfully silly for spending 3 years hoping to be magically endowed with professional-level sewing knowledge and abilities when I could have just done something I wanted to do from the start. Is this a huge accomplishment? Not at all. But still. Baby steps.

Numero dos. I’ve mentioned before that I am scared to death at the thought of coloring my hair. I’m perfectly okay with chopping it down to nearly nothing, but for some reason, dye really makes me nervous. But I have pinned and obsessed over countless hair photos over the last few years and wondered if I should go lighter? or darker? or add highlights? And I always, always wimped out because it made me nervous. I’m not trying to take some stance about hair color, but once again, I finally thought, for pete’s sake, I’ve wanted to try some of these things for so long. Just do it already. Love it or hate it, at least I’ll have tried something instead of spending hours and hours wondering whether or not I should.

subtle ombre

So I finally did. A few weeks back, after literally months of collecting ombre hair photos, I finally just nutted up and went to my hairstylist. And you know what? I love it. I’m glad I stopped being so nervous about something I wanted to do, and just went for it.

Numero tres.

Like I said earlier, I’ve written and then deleted dozens and dozens of posts over the years, because I was worried about doing blogging right. I’d fret over what I should or shouldn’t be posting about, and wonder if this post or this topic would be right for my blog, and I’d toss out things I actually did want to write about because I worried people wouldn’t like it or it wouldn’t ‘fit’ on my blog.

Finally, a lightbulb.

I should post whatever I dang feel like. It’s never been my goal to become some big shot blogger. I started blogging because I thought I’d enjoy documenting my life and sharing the things I think I’m good at, and I really do! So shouldn’t that be my only goal here, really? To enjoy it? To write things I want to write, and share things I want to share, and not worry about whether people will like it or hate it or stop following or think I’m ________________ (fill in the blank with any number of things I’ve worried people will think about me over the years).

.

A post like this one, for instance? With pictures of myself and no real point to it? 6 months ago, I can guarantee I would have deleted it right away. Even though I have secretly wanted, from the very day I started blogging, to do the occasional outfit post to help me hone in on my personal style and get more creative with my closet (because I love reading those posts when others write them!), I’ve always been scared to.

What if someone thinks I’m conceited, posting pictures of myself? Or thinks I’m a cheapskate, since my clothes are always from thrift shops and Walmart? Or what if people think my outfits are ugly and stupid and not trendy enough to be worth sharing? Or what if they think, why is she bothering with this nonsense, she should just stick to crochet?

stripes + trench

So I’m taking steps here. Hopefully not just on the rather silly, unimportant topics of blog posts and hair and sewing. I’m trying to be less nervous in general, and just DO things I want to do without spending so much time worrying about them. If I want to try something, I should just try it, whether or not it comes out okay. And if I want to blog about things that maybe people won’t love or care a ton about—like a skirt I (very belatedly) sewed for myself and the outfit I made around it--I’m going to just do it. Maybe I’ll lose some followers by branching out and not sticking solely to things I know I’m good at. But I started this blog for me, and I’m reclaiming it.

For the sake of strength in numbers . . . will you tell me something you want to do but are nervous to try? Maybe we can all be brave together. (I’ll start . . . besides those I listed already, I’m interested in—but totally petrified at the thought of—getting a Masters. Working on narrowing it down between 3+ potential fields. Ha!)

Outfit deets . . . go ahead and judge me and my miniscule budget!
Jacket: c/o Dresslily
Top: thrifted + altered
Skirt: homemade
Scarf: Walmart
Booties: Kmart

41 comments :

  1. I actually read your blog mainly for your writing style - your wit really comes through and makes me laugh out loud (sometimes loud enough to disturb my sleeping cat). Write what you want, I'll keep reading :)

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  2. That is a great skirt and a super outfit. Well done for just going for it :)

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  3. This is pretty much one of the greatest posts ever. I love your honesty, and your style!

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  4. This is pretty much one of the greatest posts ever. I love your honesty, and your style!

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  5. We are so much alike! I have been the same way about my hair and yet to change it other than cutting and never anywhere as short as yours was! Getting back into sewing... I could never do outfit posts I don't think at least not until I lose some weight but that's another bag of worms I will leave alone for now. Oh and I have also thought about a Master's off and on for a while myself... a few different thoughts there too - and not to mention the fear of spending big money and not being 100%. I would love to know what 3 you have on your 'short list' ;)

    So happy you posted this! I always get excited to see your blog pop up in my bloglovin feed! I love the way you right and relate to you sooo much no matter what you post!

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  6. I absolutely love your blog!! You are adorable and have great style! And as for what you should be posting, you are right....what ever you darn well please! Just be you!! (let's not even go into how many projects I have bought supplies for and never done them because I'm not sure they will turn out....I could probably buy myself a whole new wardrobe with the money I have in them, yikes!)

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  8. [Singing] " IIIIIIIIIIIII will always lo-ove youuuuuuuuuu!!"
    I am with Trish. I will read anything you write because you're hilarious.
    So funny you wrote this because we had an RS meeting this week & one of the classes was on journaling & they gave us all these prompts if we couldn't figure out what to write. One of the most intriguing ones was, "Write about a time when you acted a certain way out of fear. What would you do differently now?"
    I want to start an etsy shop. I will compete with your sis in the printables market. It's been on my want-to-do list for almost 2 years, but I've been too afraid to start it. Just writing that seems silly. You are right. Seize the day (etsy shop)!

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    1. Go for it, you will do amazing! It took me and my mom like 4 years to convince Bekah to open her shop :-P

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  9. I love this! You're so not alone in this! I have always wanted to add more beauty (hair and makeup posts) to my blog and questioned it all the time!! I thought all the same things but then you really need to realize, it's your blog, you can do what you want! If your passionate about it then people will love it and your hair looks FABULOUS!!

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    1. You are amazing at hair and makeup, I'd love to see more of that from you!

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  10. Love this! I struggle with that a lot too and am constantly second guessing myself. I need to just be braver.

    Your hair look fab by the way! Love it!

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  11. I love this post and ditto--you have such a great sense of humor that I gladly look forward to every new post, regardless of what it is. I want to go to nursing school but am scared of taking out more loans. I should just do it! And I want to dye my hair red! And learn guitar, but I'm too worried about other people making fun of my practicing. So you are inspiring! And I never think about style posts as conceited. I follow PLA, too, and they really just enjoy cheap clothes so much--like you--that it is fun to read about people enjoying LIFE! So thanks :)

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  12. I'm scared - terrified - to:
    -find a job that doesn't make me miserable
    -move somewhere I don't hate
    -write a story I can stand to live

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  13. You look so lovely!! The skirt is gorgeous and I love your hair :)
    I love your writing style, and enjoy anything you have to share, so keep the posts coming!!
    Happy Valentines Day!

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  14. You are easily one of my favourite bloggers, mostly because of your honesty and humour. You are real -- and that is incredibly endearing and engaging. I am thrilled to see you blogging more lately. I've missed you! (That totally sounds weird and creepy. Sorry. But it's true.)

    Just over 6 years ago, I took the biggest leap of my life … I quit my job and became a full-time Master's student. It was terrifying and exhilarating. I am now just months away from finishing my PhD and I am terrified all over again as I start thinking about re-entering the workforce. Big change should be scary and make you think twice about it, but it shouldn't stop you if know in your heart it's the right path to making you happier.

    Besides, education is never a bad idea. :)

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    1. Wow, that must have been SO scary! Good for you!

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  15. Girl, don't ever be embarrassed to post where you found your adorable outfits. It's inspiring to see you put together great-looking outfits using pieces from places us normal people shop. And that jacket is darling!

    I also love your Rachel don't be dumb line. I wonder how many beautiful, inspiring, wonderful things have never happened or been shared because we're afraid of what someone else might think.

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  16. I agree with everyone here - love your writing style and absolutely love when you post about thrifting or your hair or fashion in general! In fact, you were very instrumental in my own hair adventure. I had long hair and wanted to let it go natural and your pictures of your pixie grow out helped me so much. I'm totally natural now, got a pixie two summers ago and now it's almost down to my shoulders, no hair dye and I love being gray! (I love your hair though! I had just had enough of coloring at this stage in my life). Now I'm facing my biggest fear - I've actually gotten my realtor's license, never thought I would pass the test but I did! Yay! Now I have to get over the fear of actually using it, haha.

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  17. I love this post! I've felt almost paralyzed by fear so many times. I'm sure everyone is judging me and I don't want to try something just to find out I'm terrible at it. It's hard to think of just one thing in scared to do, (ha), but here is my most significant want/fear. I, too, would like to get a Master's Degree. I would love to get a PhD. At Byu I thought I wanted to be a high school teacher and realized that while high school was not actually my cup of tea, I would love to be a college professor. One day.

    By the way--your hair? I love it. The ombré looks great! And your hair has gotten so long--it's beautiful! I for one am impressed that you put together such a cute outfit on a budget. And I love your blog not only for your amazing crafting abilities but for your witty writing--your writing voice makes reading any post enjoyable!

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  18. I love this post also! I love your being honest.. That is hard sometimes.. But I love your new little skirt--it's adorable on you! And love your hair too.. You are brave to face your doubts.. I love reading your little blog.. Love seeing your babies and your crochet too.. Keep up the good work.. And thanks for sharing with all of us out here in the world! Blessings..

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  19. Good for you! Way to be brave. I'm not a good blogger... haven't been for awhile. I've had posts running through my head too, but am too afraid to post them. Sometimes, for me anyway, composing them is enough to let the steam out. Usually they are things that I'm upset about and just need to vent. I love your skirt and am a total scarf freak. Have you checked out scarves.net? They are awesome!!!

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  20. I got hooked on your blog literally the first time I read it. You wrote about a trip to the grocery store with Forrest when he wasn't exactly in the mood to be there. ;) And I thought, Yes! I've been there too! This girl is just so real! So please, just keep writing. (Who knew Wal-Mart clothes could look so good??)

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  21. I love your blog, whether you are writing about family or DIY or renovations or something mundane -- you make all topics into really interesting reads!

    I am trying to change career paths and keep talking myself out of jobs I want because I don't feel qualified for them and I am afraid I'll get my hopes up and be disappointed.

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  22. I love your blog! Although I am a knitter and not a crocheter, I still enjoy your fabulous creations. If a blogger writes on a topic that I'm not interested in that particular day I simply skim it or skip it. That doesn't mean that I will no longer follow that blog. I LOVE your budget outfits. I don't have the money to go out and buy designer duds. Besides, I like the creativity of hand sewn and altered pieces. And don't even get me started on thrift store shopping. LOVE it!!! Write for you, enjoy it, and I'll keep reading! :-)

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  23. Posts like this light up your blog with a sparkle and sunburst. Just believe in yourself. Love yourself and be happy

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  24. I love that you are sharing more of yourself with this post. I used to be nervous about what I "should" be blogging about and now I just post whatever I want because otherwise I would run out if stuff to say! I also love that scarf! And I would totally go to Walmart and buy one. I didn't know they sold such cute stuff

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  25. I've noticed that you have been blogging more lately, which makes me so happy. One of my favorite bloggers. And your skirt is adorable.

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  26. I love your blog and your style! It's one of my favorites and glad you are blogging more. I am trying to increase my style as well, but never feel like its stylish with what I have in my closet. I am also trying to learn new crochet stitches but they scare the dickens out of me!

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  27. I just like you! I love your writing style, I feel like I'm just having a (one way) conversation with a friend. :) So I say YES to the "post whatever you dang well please". I noticed your new hair right off the bat! It's very cute! Way to go!!
    And let's see...I'm a huge pussy. I made my blog private because some people were being mean and judging me for it. Oh, that's not the encouraging thing you were looking for.... The first thing that comes to mind is that I always wanted to keep cutting hair and keep my skill but was nervous about putting myself out there and everyone and their DOG in Utah does hair. When we moved out of state, I saw it as a fresh start on that and I am doing more hair than ever and it's going so well, and my clientele is growing, which still continues to make me nervous, but I guess it's better than doing nothing!

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  28. Hi, I recently came across your blog on one of the crochet sites, and I really enjoy reading. You are a very talented writer, and you are HONEST. I'm not a blogger, but I do understand where you are coming from. You just keep writing and being yourself :) You are a very pretty young woman, and have a beautiful family :)

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  29. Dude. Blogging messes with your mind. Seriously. It's been a huge mental challenge for me. But in a really good way. I sometimes fail to remember to beat my own drum but it all comes back around. I miss the "old days" of blogging where people talked about their weekends or that cute skirt they've been meaning to sew. I still feel like I need to the blogging game but I think I can only handle it like one day a week. The rest shall be nonsense like it was back in 2011.

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  30. I've had those same thoughts all my life and let them hold me back sooo much. Well not anymore, I'm with ya girl! I found your blog back in May when I whacked all my hair off and have loved you since. You've inspired me to try crochet and just be crafty in general. Thank you!!! You have a great since of humor and I love reading about your adorable family!

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  33. Great post! Two quotes come to mind when I read this and relate to it completely:
    1) perfectionism is the mother of procrastination, (Michael Hyatt), and
    2)Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. (From Akeela and the Bee).

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  34. Procrastinating because of fear is one of my personal challenges!!! There is such freedom in just doing something because you want to - it doesn't matter how it turns out. I'm with you on the sewing with knits -- just made my first shirt using knits. Also not perfect but I'm very proud of myself because it was also my first attempt at matching stripes and using a twin needle. And my husband was impressed with it!! Its great to read honest blog posts -- your post about Forrest misbehaving in the supermarket is still one of my favorites. I just wanted to dive into the computer and give you a hug!

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  35. how long is this after growing out your pixie? im trying to grow mine out and im so nervous im beginning to psych myself out...

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