Confessions of a People Pleaser

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‘You want to know how I did it? This is how I did it, Anton: I never saved anything for the swim back.’
– Vincent (Ethan Hawke’s Character) from Gattaca

Writing about minimalism has been quite an experience for me. It’s like my soul needed to get rid of all the physical crap covering my dreams. There were reasons I buried them. Deep, personal reasons. I didn’t know it until I started digging and purging and writing. The more I pull away the clutter of my life, the more I must deal with those reasons.

In keeping with my commitment to remain transparent in my writing, I have a confession: I have this constant, inner-nagging to start a money-making blog. “Do what you love” they scream from flashing banners and obtrusive adverts, “and you can be rich.” I constantly go back to my own post about Making Money Online to remind myself that it takes time…and money does not pour in from the sky as I write about my personal struggle with releasing boxes of junk from my attic.

Still my little brain continues to buzz with ideas and strategies.

Which brings me to my second confession: I’ve been holding back. I have ideas and topics I want to write about and decide to “save them for my someday blog.” (You know, the one I’ll create and from which I will instantly get millions of viewers and huge commission checks?) And here is where I argue with my teenage self (my self-righteous, know-it-all teenage self who thought I should always have a very “noble” job) and tell her that I want to write about clothes.

Yes, clothes.

Not saving children in third world countries or how to live without plastic. But clothes. And not just any clothes. Adventure clothes. Clothes that can go from home to work to play. Clothes that travel the world or to the grocery store and still look great. I believe that all of life is an adventure.

It’s one of those dreams I found while digging. Letting it lie dormant was an early lesson in impressing people. When I said I wanted a career in fashion, people often nodded and smiled. When I changed my answer to “lawyer” I got a lot more interest and encouragement. So from then on, I dedicated my little soul to making sure my answer impressed people. Even if my heart wasn’t in it…and I intentionally hid my desire to do anything with clothing as a way to make a living.

But here I am, surrounded by people who choose to read what I write. Encouraging, wonderful, beautiful people. People like you who love to write and explore and discover the dreams we left behind. You don’t seem to mind my strange hue of sunshine. It’s a new, beautiful place. I love it. I don’t have to impress you with my words. I just have to be sincere.

Clothes sincerely fascinate me. I love how lines, and fit, and color, and fabric can highlight our best (or worst) features. I love discovering new ways to wear a sarong. I love figuring out how to coordinate five items into twenty different outfits. Versatility. Quality. Comfort. Function. Style. I love all of this about clothes.

I’m tired of letting my old need to impress people keep it buried.

So from here on out, I’m not going to hold back. Clothes are a big part of my simplicity quest and I have much to share on the subject. I read other blogs (about clothes) that I want to share with you. I want to learn more about the science of style and the beautiful differences in our body shapes and tell you what I find. I will continue to praise the Lily Dress but I want to explore other items I might consider essential. I’m so excited. I’m smiling as I type.

I come full circle with another confession (and a bit of surprise to myself): I don’t care if I make a dime writing about it.

It feels so much better when I don’t hold back. And when I don’t apologize for who I am, what I love, and what I want to write about.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this. It is my heart and soul poured out into words…

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18 comments

  1. Yeah for no holding back! Your words are so important. Glad you are finding a way to voice your passions. As a fellow recovering people pleaser, Go friend go! Please you first, then magically the people who love you most seem to find a way to be happy too. Without you sacrificing your words.

    1. Thank you, fellow adventurer! Right after I hit “publish” I had instant doubts. Yours was the first of many encouraging comments and I’m so grateful. I am currently experiencing the magic and beauty of walking my life’s true path…for the first time in over thirty years of living. The best part – the BEST part ever – is finding people like you along the way. People who get the struggle of self-discovery because they have been there and continue to grow in it. Thank you for your verbal hug and pat on the back. I cannot even begin to express within the limits of words how grateful I am…

  2. Well I, for one, am pleased. Making money blogging… well, I’ve never done it, but it doesn’t sound like a get-rich-quick scheme to me. The trouble with almost all blogs geared towards money and big readerships (and all the blogging tips on getting pageviews etc) is that they tend to lead to writing which sounds like bland, thinly-veiled advertising copy. My brain has trained itself to filter out this sort of writing, even if I’m actively trying to research the subject (seriously, I have trouble making myself read it even when I want to).

    Then again, if you have a genuine enthusiasm and skill (and work ethic, and suitable expectations) you might make the best of all worlds… but I would be happy to pick up whatever tips you’re offering before the riches roll in. πŸ™‚

    1. I just read my comment again and it didn’t sound very encouraging… What I meant to say was I currently like reading your blog and I think you should try not to lose that if you’re going to try and make money with it!

      1. Once again I must congratulate you Ginny on being honest with yourself–and us of course! about what you really want to write about. I too tease myself with the idea of putting ads, etc. on my blog. I find nothing wrong with generating money from my artistic endeavors and have been paid money (not huge sums by any means) for my writing for over 20 years now. My major intention however is always to share ideas and create a positive space on my blog for those who want to join me–but, I also have expenses and wouldn’t mind having them covered as well as a bit of my time.

        With that said, I STRONGLY dislike sites that are clearly “all about the money.” So even if I do end up generating some income on my site I will make an effort not to turn it into a site that appears overly commercial.

        Can we walk the fine line? I think we can. Especially if we continue to write about what we feel called to write. If we start dissolving that line in the effort to bring in better sponsors then that is my learning lesson and I will reap the consequences. Is that wrong? How can it be if I learn as I go? Ultimately the right readers or followers will follow us based upon the consciousness we put out….I don’t think it can be any other way.

        And clothing? That never ever occurred to me to write about that–isn’t that why blogging is so great? We are all so different and as long as we are true to ourselves we are putting out something unique and special.

        Go for it! ~Kathy

      2. Hi Kathy!

        The WordPress theme I’m using did not include a “Reply” to your comment at this point in the comment thread so I hope you find this.

        “Especially if we continue to write what we feel called to write.” Good one. So true. I can tell when I’m “forcing it” and I can tell when it “flows”. If I keep the “flow” writing as my standard, I think I’ll be okay. Whatever I need (monetarily or otherwise) to keep writing will come my way.

        I love your Zen style. You see the good – the beautiful lessons – in all of life. And you bring that to your writing and I reap the benefits often. You teach without trying.

        Thank you for your encouragement to “go for it”. With people like you cheering me on, I will. πŸ™‚ I look forward to that drink and hang out time we will have someday…

    2. You make me smile, Ms B! “…before the riches roll in.” You have this great way with words that carries a lot of meaning in a light-hearted manner. I love that about you.

      I found your original comment very encouraging. But I thank you for your clarification.:) I too filter out the obvious blogs/sites that seem to be selling something. I certainly don’t want to be like that. I’ve come too far in my simplicity quest to settle for anything so cheesy (though I know I can be pretty cheesy sometimes…). If enthusiasm alone could create wealth, I’d be rolling in the dough…

      Thank you for your gentle way of saying “Don’t go changing.” It’s nice to be loved.

  3. Thank you for this post, Ginny. You have no idea how much it resonates with me. I’ve mentioned in a couple of my posts that I lost my job with the software behemoth going on two years ago, due to a corporate restructuring. I made obscene amounts of money during my time there, and they were pretty generous on my way out. That said, the well has run dry, and I’m now dipping (heavily) into savings – which is not ideal.

    I’m at a fork in the road. I could go back to the industry, and obscene gads of money (perhaps not as much as I made with the behemoth, but big buckets of coin, none the less), or I could do something different. Different is scary.

    And so I’m paralyzed with fear. People pleaser, through and through.

    The peace and inner happiness I’ve found through this ‘year of sweat’ journey has helped me tap into what I love and am passionate about. I don’t want to slide back into Type A, crazy person, elbowing others out of the way as I climb the corporate ladder.

    GAH! I’ve made this comment all about me. That wasn’t my intent. I guess what I’m saying, Ginny, is that I’m behind you 100%. Write! Write about clothes! Write about adventure clothes and the fabulous accessories that turn 1 dress into 5 outfits. You love it. You are good at it. Do it!

    xoxo nancy

    1. No, thank YOU, Nancy. I went back and read some of your posts from January. I get it. I really do. In January, I quit my job at a small start-up business where the money was great (lots of big dollar investors) and I thought we could only go up, up, up. But the owner/founder was quite the nutter and it didn’t work out (it’s a long story). It was sucking the passion from my soul. So I quit – no nice severance package for me. No last paycheck in fact.

      But it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I got my life back. I hated admitting that I “didn’t have what it takes” to make the new company work. It offended my inner perfectionist to the core. I read about this struggle in your earlier posts. And that is why the universe decided that we needed to be friends. Our shared struggle, physical challenges, and personal growth instantly connected us and we did not even know it.

      I think it’s awesome that you are in your forties and the future is wide open to you. No matter what you choose to do to earn income, I know you will be great.

      Thank you for your vote of confidence. I’m grateful. So grateful for your comments. With people like you in my corner, I feel like a winner. Rock on, Princess of Sweat!!!

  4. Your words resonate with me – I remember when people used to ask me what I want to be when I grow up, and changing the answer a hundred times until I got it “right”. Unfortunately and due to the lack of support I had from others, I trained and am now working in the one job I knew I did not want to do when I was younger. From here it’s so difficult to find your way back to what you really want and need, but I know it can be done! At the end of the day you only have to please yourself and none of the nay-sayers. Good luck!

    1. Thank you, K! I love it that you stopped by and I love your blog. Your thoughts on style vs fashion really resonate with me. “At the end of the day you only have to please yourself and none of the nay-sayers.” I don’t think I believed that in the past. I’m learning to believe it now and my world is a different, beautiful place.

      Thanks again and I wish you the best in all that you do. Cheers!!!

  5. That’s beautiful! Good for you! πŸ˜€ I, myself, am having to be brave because I’m wanting to change my career path and I’m afraid of people judging me or telling me that it’s unrealistic.

    1. Thank you, Diana! Big decisions are such a great adventure. They force us to really examine what we think we are capable of. I’ve learned to like that part. Well sort of… I’ll get there. I’m terrible at advice. But I really want to offer you one tiny bit… Don’t let fear guide or hinder you. Take your time. Search your heart. Get to that place where fear is not invited.

      No matter what, I’m in your corner – thinking about you and sending lots of light-filled thoughts your way. πŸ™‚

      Hang in there. Good stuff is right around the corner.

      Cheers!

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