Discover more from Sparkly Dark
I want to inspire you, and that scares me
On stepping into the unknown, and doing things you've never done.
I had just about finished up a draft here, and was thinking about when to send it. And then I realized with a sinking feeling…I haven’t written a newsletter, I’ve written a blog post. I have written blog posts for a long time, and as soon as I sat down to write on Substack, a blog post came out. It was well-structured, clear, good advice…and not at all what I was planning to do here.
I wanted Sparkly Dark to be like a sunny meadow where I could frolic and be a freer version of myself. I wanted to give my inner voice a chance to play and dance. I wanted to set aside the teaching mode that I’m really good at but is not all of who I am or want to be. I wanted to find a different way of having a public voice—one that felt more immediate, present, authentic, and alive.
I wanted to share what I’m doing as I do it, not present the neatly packaged end result of years of processing.
But this is a new thing, and habits are habits.
I fell back into a familiar place: resignation.
I started feeling this sense of tiredness about halfway through my blog-post-y draft. But my first response was not to change course, it was to feel resigned.
I even wrote a private blog post to myself lamenting that I felt sad and frustrated that I can’t be myself after all. This is just my public voice, I guess.
I wanted to share my deep, dark, sparkly heart with the world. And I guess I don’t know how to do that. I just go into teacher-explainy mode. It’s not the same. 😔
In that moment (and most of the day), it didn’t occur to me to just keep trying to do the thing I wanted to do. I moved right from this is not it to oh well, I guess this is just who I am.
But luckily, something in me rebelled at the last minute, and I started over.
Here is what I really want to say.
Dear reader, I don’t want to send you a blog post. You can go read my blog if you want those. (It’s at joynina.com).
I want to send you a window into who I really am, what I struggle with, and what I dream of. Because my dream is not really to be a teacher. It’s to be a catalyst.
I want to inspire you to believe in yourself, and go for what you really want.
And I don’t mean in that ra-ra-ra lets-pretend-we-are-invincible-until-we-crash kind of way. I don’t want to inspire you to try harder, I want to inspire you to listen deeper, and be on your own side.
I want to inspire the feeling of that 3-am conversation you have with yourself where you get really real about what is missing in your life, and you decide to believe that it’s possible, even though you have no idea how to get there.
I want to inspire you to believe in your inner self and it’s soft, personal dreams, rather than maintaining your ego and its attempts to look good and stay safe.
I want to inspire you to align with what is most deeply real inside you, and bring it out into the world, not because the “world needs you”, but because it feels awesome to live that way. I want to inspire you to make a personal choice to live as your deepest, realest self.
What is real for me is that I already know how to teach people, and I already know it’s not enough for me. Because I don’t wake up every morning wanting to write blog posts. And if there is one thing I’m committed to right now, it’s figuring out what would make me want to wake up every morning and write.
I want to inspire you, and that means I have to be inspired—by myself. I have to be doing the thing that is my own personal edge. I have to be growing, or how can I lead you to your own growth? How would you trust me to do that, if I’m not doing it myself?
I’ve learned to hide out in my competence, in my wisdom, in my knowledge. It’s a strategy that lets me gain your respect, and have a place at the table. She knows stuff. She gives good advice. She’s quite helpful.
I am not knocking my abilities, but I want more. I want to give voice to something bigger than me, that moves through me. There is something inside me that pushes me to tell you that you matter, your dreams matter, and they are worth pursuing. And I want you to believe me. And for you to believe me, you have to trust that I’m out on this limb with you.
Being at my edge means constantly stepping into the unknown.
It’s scary and exiting at the same time.
It means showing up at the page with no idea where I’ll end up. And that’s what excites me--the uncertainty of the unknown that unfolds in every moment. I want to trust it.
And I want to inspire you to trust it too. Because I believe we can do so much more when we lean into that something that is bigger and broader than our individual ego selves.
This kind of dream used to scare me. How can I promise I’ll be inspirational on a regular basis? That’s fucking impossible, I can’t promise that!!
And it’s true. I can’t promise that. But I don’t have to.
None of us can promise a future that has yet to unfold. Nobody can ensure their own success. You just don’t know how it will turn out. You never do. And that’s OK.
It’s OK to begin something without knowing where it will go. In fact, it’s the most exciting way to begin.
I’m at the beginning with this newsletter. And all I can promise is that I will keep showing up in the present with you. And I hope you will keep showing up with me. And I hope that in all this presence and showing up, magic happens. In my experience, it usually does. 💚