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  • Jasmine

[Blog] Showing up: Expressing myself through writing & filming

Updated: Jun 7

If you are reading this, hi :)

I apologise for the lack of posts.

It has been quite a journey, showing up online. Before I started my own offering, I had almost given up showing up online.

... but did I actually give up, or I just did not try?

Probably the latter.

I haven't been expressing myself, for a very long time. I used to, actually. Ever since online diary/journal/blog came into existence on the internet, I had one. In fact, most of my friends had one. And of course, I had a friendster account (yes, I am that old), then facebook came into existence.

I used to write, probably mindlessly. I never really knew if people were reading my blog, but now thinking back, I never really cared that much. That was way before likes and comments existed. But amongst our own friends, we kinda know we are reading each other's blog. In fact, rather just fearing no one read my blog, I was more afraid of the judgement eyes of those who were reading my blog.

Fast forward to social media that included likes and comments into their platforms, things got way more complicated too fast. My fears and thoughts were oscillating between "I am too vanilla for anyone to bother about me" and "They saw it and they are gonna judge me for it.", and sometimes "I am too inconsiderate to be seeking attention. I am taking away their precious time."

It make sense now that I get my duck (thoughts) now in a row. Back then, all I felt was anxiety creating any content, and the anxiety paralyses me even more so when I was about the click the "post" button.

Eventually, things just organically, faded off.

I stopped social media entirely.

I mean, I wasn't rely on it to make a living anyway. So it wasn't a big deal.

But what the big deal was, I didn't realised I was giving in to my anxiety.

I didn't realised I was letting my anxiety win, letting it register in my body that showing up is dangerous.

And on top of that, I started deleting all of the posts I posted in the past that had my face on it. I thought I was practising social media hygiene (I was, in a way), but it was actually my anxiety influencing me in the background, keeping myself even safe, at the same time, informing me that hey, showing up is dangerous and threatening, it's time to pull back even more.

So when I needed to put out my offering, I panicked. I wasn't even joking.

Anxiety immediately flooded my body, and my mind immediately showed me-- pointing me to all sorts of ways social media was not needed to do this.

If people in the 80s can do it without showing up, so can you.

You can get referrals.

And it stopped there because even my mind couldn't think of any more ideas even though it's very determined to stop me.

Then it changed it strategy.

You will get crucified.

Your gossipy and judgy ex-colleagues are gonna find out and laugh behind your back.

Your relatives are gonna start questioning you.

You are gonna bring shame to your family, and you.

I have to admit the list seems to be longer here.

But I know I had to start showing up. If not, my soulpreneur journey is just gonna end here. And more importantly, at the back of my mind, amongst all of these anxious thoughts, is that I know I have deep-seated trauma with showing up that I need to seriously look at, and work through.

And so I set the intention to work through it.

Probably since June/July last year.

And it had been quite a painful journey.

On the surface, it seems, how tough can it be, right?

Take a photo, write some stuff, and click post.

Beneath the surface, it was

Am I gonna get crucified for this photo?

Am I gonna get likes or comments?

If I don't get likes or comments, does it say something about me and my worth?

And when my inner critic attacked me too hard, my mental and emotional body get exhausted. And when I couldn't do this anymore, 2nd inner critic started kicking in.

Is it wise to take a break? The algorithm is gonna think you are not doing enough and stop pushing you content out.

You are weak, aren't you? Just look at your friend XYZ doing this consistently and effortlessly, why can't you? Hurry up, do something. ANYTHING.

I couldn't keep track of the number of time I fall off the wagon. And the duration of me off the wagon was significantly longer than on it. I posted one time, and I took a month to recuperate.

It was an excruciating journey. The journey was akin to a seemingly calm ocean with a crazy and out-of-control undercurrent.

But it slowly shifted. Not unlike watching a travelling snail. It doesn't seem like it's moving, and you stopped watching because you got bored. But before you know it, you suddenly remember the existence of the snail, and you turned your head to check on it, and hey, it's at a different place.

The break became from a month to fortnight.

I was posting photos with my face instead of just words.

I was making reels.

I was writing from my heart.

I was making YouTube videos.

I was not crashing as intensely as I used to from my inner critics (maybe from sugar instead)

I stopped asking what do people want to see, and start asking, what do I have to say.

I never thought I'll get here, if I'm being honest. I thought I'll be struggling with it for the rest of my life.

As I work through them like that snail, my reality started to shift as well.

When I posted my first reel, I was met with a rude and mindless comment, though I know it harbour no ill-intention, "why you posting so much ah? You influencer now is it?" Now, I am surrounded by a circle of supportive friends who are doing the same thing, showing up authentically, and showing each other love, support and encouragement, and inspiring one another at the same time.

When I reflected on my reality, that is know I am doing something right.

Funnily enough, I started out wanting to write about something else (control actually, gonna be the next blog), but I guess this piece of me wanted to flow out. I guess what I wanted to say the most is-- with time, almost everything is possible. While you are sitting (or standing, I don't want to assume) chancing upon this post, looking at this one thing, seeing from where you are right now, thinking it's impossible, the only question I want to leave you with is,

... or is it? Given time, it is even impossible to move forward, just even an inch?

You can do this.

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