I can’t believe I’ve waited so long to update my Linkedin and invest in myself in terms of marketing. But honestly, though, I never thought what I did deserved the care and attention it needed to enhance my self-promoting skills...Self-promoting…ugh! It sounds so boastful, arrogant and the perfect anecdote for creating delusional thinking about one’s own capabilities...However, in this case, I'm on Linkedin to jump start the new year by placing last year's publications front and center of my resume – not because I'm self-promoting, I’m self-advocating.
My New Year's resolution for 2019 and one that I've come to realize is long overdue.
Last month, the harsh reality slapped me across the face whenever I fell short on keeping my self-promise that I was going to have 10 articles published in various publications by the end of 2018. Well, I missed that goal by 2 articles. As a family matter catapulted my sudden visit to Texas, I sat in a Tex-Mex restaurant with my mom confessing my failure as I dug into my chicken fajita salad - “8…I only published 8…How the hell will I ever be deemed trustworthy when I can’t even keep a promise to myself?!” After my mom got her earful of angst, her reaction was something that was a surprisingly familiar, both in her tone and choice of words: Her opening sentence went a little something like this, "8 is not something to sneeze at...” but following that sentence with “Try cutting yourself some slack” and I swear, I thought my husband was sitting at the table with us. (Yes, as shocking as this may seem to some readers, they do give similar feedback, sometimes, during my creative struggles.)
Still,though, I couldn’t let it go. When I made my way back East the following week, I decided to turn to one of my artistic, yet realistic, friends whom I realized, mid-way through our conversation that I did not want to do the norm and vent to her. Instead, I wanted something different by asking her for help. I don’t know if it was my strong ability to trust her constructive criticism or if I was just beyond desperate to get out my own self-criticism, but little did I know, I was about to discover that I am not ashamed to ask for help... and that asking for help doesn't make me a weak person.
Her feedback was supportive and yet dared me to challenge the unexpected. That being said, I did tell her about 2 blog entries I wrote over the summer - when I was going through some pretty dark times that are still really difficult to talk about, freely. She thought that the subject matters were very important, which indicated that she was wiling to help me by offering her editing skills - leading up to the final result of publishing them before the end of the year. From her viewpoint, it would be a climactic way of achieving the goal I had for 2018.
But one look at the first unpublished blog “17” and my heightened emotional state was triggered by the reminders of such heavy stress. Every breath I took to relieve myself of that time was suddenly zapped from me. Not good! Not only was the stress hemorrhaging out of every sentence shown on the page, it was very telling how my head had spun so far out of control that the number of mistakes I made in almost every sentence was surreal. The decision to shelf “17” and the other unpublished blog, “Why Am I So Sad?” became the nail on the coffin for my last attempt to achieve this goal. As it disappointing as it was, at the end of the day, I just couldn't stomach it.
As I am now adding the 8 articles on my Linkedin profile, I look at the titles and the dates of these publications all staring back at me on the screen...
Suddenly, my mom’s and my husband’s words are starting to seep through these accolades staring back at me and with a deeper breath, I guess I am finally seeing what they’re saying.
Now it is up to me to see if these pieces will propel me to publish what’s next for 2019. I may not have achieved what I expected of myself from last year, but at least I know that it's possible to have 10 articles published within this year, given my track record. And starting this year with acting upon self-advocacy has, so far, brought upon a new dimension of empowerment as I am transitioning out of "Wanting more at 34 to rise and thrive at 35."