I have a secret. I think it is a secret we all keep when we are on the verge of something big, something wonderful, something we've dreamed of doing. I think it is a secret that can overtake projects that are small in size and those that are so expansive they are hard to explain to another human being. It's a secret that overtakes anything that is significant, even if only to us.
I am scared to begin this site.
I have been talking to my close friends about the dream to launch my own website for women for years. I've been scheming it in my head for longer, taking mental notes about how I will do things when it's my time to carve more space in the internet. And then a few months ago, the idea started to take a real and recognizable shape, making me so excited and full of plans, there have been nights I cannot sleep for thinking.
I began talking about the idea, sometimes vaguely and sometimes spilling detail after detail, for a few reasons. First, I needed to hear feedback from my most trusted friends and from women who get me and have heard my dreams. Second, I needed the idea to be floated in the universe. And finally, I needed to hold myself accountable. How could I tell people I am in the middle of something that has not yet begun? How could I be seeking partners or ideas or input on a project that is really just a white screen with an impatient curser blinking at me over and over and over? What if someone beats me to it?
And worse: What if I never make it happen?
The fear of that happening is the biggest deal. And right under that on the list of stuff that scares me is: What if I do make it happen?
I know the time is right for us to open up the conversation about what it is to be a single mother and how to get through the toughest spots and how to recognize the blissful bits and how to thrive through it all. I know we need more spaces to share advice and seek help and to find a trible of welcoming, resourceful, supportive, strong, tender, amazing women who have experience and questions to share. I know I can ask questions and offer tips and tell stories and suss out answers and laugh and cry and question in a way that will tell you over and over that we are all in this together.
Still, still. I am scared. I am scared because I want this to be perfect (it won't). I want it to be beautiful (ohh, here's hoping). I want it to be hilarious (fingers crossed). I want it to be helpful (it will be). I want to be confident and clear and full of enthusiasm (and I am!) even if I am afraid (and let that be OK).
I have all of these expectations (and many more) in my head, and like the idea, I think I need them to be in the universe and in conversation, too. I want to begin this all by being honest. And the truth is, I have a lot of fears in just typing the first words.
So here is what I am telling myself today to set the fear aside, even if just for a few moments: I have done a lot of big and hard things before (and so have you). And every time I have pushed past the gripping, scary feeling, something amazing has been waiting on the other side (remember childbirth?). This place and project and site will evolve beyond my expectations (I am sure of that). And more than all of those things I want it to be, I just want it to be.
Whether you are beginning a big, new thing yourself. Whether you are facing a life-changing decision or feel your identity being born anew. Whether you are in need of feedback or have something you need to whisper (or scream) to the universe. Whether it is a nagging little bug buzzing around your head or a mountain crumbling at your feet. We all feel scared sometimes. We all can relate.
So, how about this? Why don't we choose -- together -- to put our fear on the shelf next to perfection and past experiences and worry and obligation and anything else that is keeping us from making the amazing stuff happen? Just for now, for ten minutes, maybe the whole day.
Let's not let being scared be a secret any longer. But let's not let it keep our ideas or next great project or ourselves from being, either.
Are you in?
PS. Meagan Francis at The Happiest Home wrote this beautiful, relatable, wise post on feeling skeerd about stuff called (and ain't this the truth?) "The fear of the thing is worse than the thing." It's about having a hysterectomy, but I know you will connect to the sentiment whether you've had surgery or not.