It can be really scary to put your opinion out there for the world to see – and attack. When I was knee-deep in my journalism career, we used to tell each other “if they’re attacking you, at least they’re reading it.” I guess having no one listen to you can sometimes feel worse than being attacked when they do listen to you. And that is one of the biggest fears I’ve seen from my friends who, like me, run a blog: that no one is listening.
I’ve felt that way myself from time-to-time recently. Is anyone paying attention to the stuff I care about? Am I shouting at them or inspiring them? Is it worth being a political activist or should I just shut down my online profile and buy a cabin in the country and quietly write books? Recently, I think that’s crossed my mind more often. Is anyone really listening? Does anyone care? Am I genuinely inspiring anyone?
Perhaps that’s why it was so surprising when I received this email the other day from a Facebook friend. She doesn’t ever comment on my posts so I was pretty shocked when I read it. It read, in part:
I wanted to reach out and say THANK YOU… you truly are an inspiration. If not for following you on your journey I don’t know if I would’ve finally been able to take the step I have set in motion…Your ability to do a pulse check on what’s working or not while still pursuing your dreams made me realize what is possible, as long as I am clear about what matters most. That is FAMILY and this new opportunity allows me to be there for everyone especially my girl … With all the negative stuff going around I just wanted to say I’m grateful our paths intersected and you are AMAZING! THANK YOU!!!!
Like my children, you don’t realize what an impact you have on them until you see that this whole time, they’ve been watching you (for good or bad). I didn’t know that certain friends were paying attention to my posts and I certainly had no idea how much I was inspiring some of them. When I received that email, I was truly touched. I read it, then re-read it and then after I was a little less emotional, I told my husband about it. Unfortunately for those who aren’t a fan of my posts, her message to me inspired me to keep going, to keep sharing my thoughts and being a voice for others.
So when you think about giving up, remember that someone is probably watching you and you may be inspiring them without even knowing it.