For years I’ve wanted to write and share more of my own thoughts and experiences. And for years I found creative (and not so creative) means to put it off. I would make promises to myself to deliver on an article and then let the deadline slip. When I did write it was always through a filter, never letting my own personality shine through out of fear that no one would care. I’d write so rarely that my dream of being a writer was merely that – a dream.
I dream a lot. From crazy ideas (“I want to ride naked in the Fremont Solstice Parade”) to heartfelt desires (“I want to become a better writer”), but getting from dream to action isn’t always easy. I let fear and worry stand in the way of moving forward, ready to back out when things get too scary.
However, just when I’m most ready to give up, Betsy is there to remind me why I wanted to do this in the first place.
A Writing Dream (Slowly) Realized
This week I published a piece on Medium titled “A Love Letter to Confident Women“. I wrote this letter to acknowledge the profound effect confident women have played in my life and to articulate my love of those who stand up and speak out. But the post itself never would have happened without my own partner in life helping to get me comfortable in sharing the piece.
I wrote this love letter…a year ago. Yep, that’s right, I wrote the bulk of this piece 12 months before publishing because I was too nervous to send it out in the world as I was not sure I was ready to share that much. I worried that my writing was not good enough. I feared that no one would really care and that a piece that meant so much to me would be released into silence. I was not sure I could handle that reaction. So instead I sat on it, letting my own lack of confidence keep me from taking the step of sharing with the world.
Through out the entire year, Betsy encouraged me to write every day. She coaxed me to be more comfortable sharing myself through words and was there with support when my confidence waned. Betsy read every word I wrote and provide suggestions for how I could improve a piece by injecting more of “me” in it. On those tough days when the blank page just kept staring back at me she’d ramp up the encouragement and remind me why writing is so important to me.
It was this encouragement and support that finally allowed me to be comfortable enough to release my love letter to the world. I’m proud of this work not just because it reflects my honest feelings, but for all that it encapsulates about my relationship with a confident women. The article is the reminder to me of all of Betsy’s little comments of support and the reminders of why I wanted to write. It is her unwavering dedication to helping me become a writer that gives me the courage to keep trying.
Betsy “Gets” Me
I love being in a relationship with a woman who “gets” me. By knowing what I want (truly listening) she gives me the reassurance and support I need when my confidence wavers (or when I just need a kick in the ass). My life has improved so dramatically because of her support that it is inconceivable to imagine being where I am today without her help and guidance.
The key is Betsy always knows just when I’m at the point of giving up. She never judges or scolds, she simply reminds me of my own motivations for why I embarked on this adventure in the first place. She’s helped me to step away from the fear and to remember why I wanted to leap from a plane, ride naked in a parade, learn to cook, become a photographer, or share my thoughts through writing. It is through gentle (though not always subtle) reminders she keeps me moving forward in spite of my self-doubt. By knowing me, in some ways better than I know myself, she has helped me to become the person I want to be.
Today I am not a great writer, but that was never the point. I am a writer because I wake up each and every day, put my butt in the chair, and start typing. I’ve leapt from a plane and faced my sometimes paralyzing fear of heights. I’ve ridden naked in a parade and as a result become more comfortable in my own skin. I’ve learned to make a mean spaghetti bolognese and can comfortably capture the entire process in pictures. All of this because Betsy listened as I shared what I wanted to accomplish and never let me forget or give up on it.
Betsy has made me a better person because of her support and I hope that as the years go by I am able to do the same for her and her own dreams. I’m listening and ready to encourage whenever it is needed thanks to a great woman who’s taught me to be a better partner.