No, no … that’s the old me

Yes, I know, I’ve told you many tales of my life as a hermit. I’ve revealed my social awkwardness, my reluctance to venture into public places, my preference for a virtual life. Just two posts ago, I expressed the belief I’m not confident enough for Twitter. Well, that was just … um … an act. I will accept the Oscar, thank you.

Okay, so it wasn’t an act. But I realized that not only could I not pro2hermit_hafmote my writing in this hermit state, it wasn’t actually true of me anymore. So … tada … I’m coming out of my shell. I’m taking the plunge. I’m stepping out on faith. If you follow Judy Clement Wall’s blog, you know that 2009 was her year to challenge herself this way. And she has now become the flat-out rocking “Incredible J” of 2010 … and beyond. I don’t hope to equal her success, but who knows?

I’ve undertaken my first challenge and I’m so excited about it, I moved this post, intended for Wednesday, up a day. Over a year ago, soon after starting this blog, I came across Mari Mayborn’s. She’s an inspirational writer and speaker. Her beautifully written blog posts were some of the first I dared to comment on. She reciprocated here and, eventually, even dared ask me to give her feedback on articles she was preparing for submission. Then, she let me know she’d be in California this month and asked if we could get together.

Normally, my response would have been to say, “I’m sorry. That would be nice, but _____ (fill-in the blank).” I am now, very glad I didn’t do that. She drove two hours (one way!) to meet with me at a Starbucks yesterday. I will not lie, I had a mild anxiety attack as I was about to leave my house. But I persevered. Mari was as lovely a person as I knew she would be and we talked for nearly three and a half hours! (And I’m pretty sure I didn’t babble the whole time.) It was great. I loved it. I’m ready for more.

So, I’m through with the hermit “I can’t” thinking. There are, of course, still things I won’t do, but only because they’re dangerous, wrong, or just plain stupid. To the other things, I’ll say, why not?

What’s the best that could happen?

Photo credit: Dawn M Schiller – Odd Fae and Autumn Things
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34 thoughts on “No, no … that’s the old me

  1. Sometimes we just have to step outside our comfort zones and you did it!!! It’s not always easy meeting new people and yourself out there like that. I used to find these thing difficult as well. Ans as much as I enjoy meeting people and hearing their story, etc, there are still things I shy away from. I’m not by nature an extrovert and a part of me admires those people who aren’t afraid to take risks.

    But this year, I’ve already decided, I’m going to be daring…When opportunities come along I’m going to say “Yes” even if the thoughts of it scares the pants off me. Oh and like you , nothing dangerous, wrong or stupid.

    Congratulations on coming out of your shell. Make sure you post about all great and wonderful things that come your way.

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  2. 2010 is off to a great start already! Look at you, comin’ out like a debutant! How awesome for you!

    I wait and watch eagerly as you spread your new social butterfly wings. 🙂

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  3. I like this goal, Linda. You need to share your awesomeness with the world. I know that I’ve enjoyed knowing you in “real” life. I have no doubt that Mari found you as lovely as you found her.

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  4. Good for you! Believe it or not (because I don’t think I show it) I feel anxious every time I meet a new person. Last summer I met four new writers I’d never met before and though I was a bit overwhelmed at the thought of meeting them, the reality was just too great to have missed. Like you, I was so glad I put myself out there. Now to go find you on twitter…

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    1. No, you don’t show it. You’re just so cool.

      Yeah, we are twitter friends … you responded to my tweet just the other day! 🙂 I know … blog comments, Facebook, Twitter, it just gets so confusing.

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  5. I know you say you’re a hermit, but you sure don’t come across like one in your blog voice.

    Here’s to an exciting and adventuresome twenty ten, sans sky diving of course.

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  6. Sounds like a great meeting! I’m glad it went well. What a fun way to start off a new year by shedding your old hermit shell.

    I can’t wait to hear in what other ways you take the plunge. I just might ride your coat tails (virtually, or course, since California is a long way from Wisconsin).

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    1. Yes, we should all make this the year of new adventures.

      I haven’t been to Wisconsin since I was a teenager. Do you ever get to California? Hey, we could both go stalk Cathryn! 😉

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    1. But how can we be hermits and yet promote ourselves? This is a step of becoming a published writer that I did not count on, but must face if I want to move toward realizing that dream.

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  7. What’s the best that could happen?

    So simple, but I really like the sound of it. Thanks Linda!

    Glad to hear you went – imagine what you would have missed!! May there be many more of those opportunities.

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    1. I know the saying is usually “What’s the worst that could happen?” but the problem with me is that the answer to that question was enough to keep me saying no. So, now, I’d rather not take a chance on missing out on those best things that could happen.

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  8. Something about meeting a virtual friend makes me scared. What if I’m not as charming in person as in virtual world? (who says I’m even charming there, either?)

    That was very brave of you and I applaud your “coming out”. Maybe some you and Judy’s personal challenges will rub off on me and I can make such claims myself.

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    1. Who says they’ll be as charming as they are online? You don’t need to worry anyway. Plus, you’re funny! Who can resist that? The thing was, we talked about writing, which is a passion we share, and we couldn’t talk fast enough. Come to think of it, all the people trying to have a quiet cup in Starbucks were probably happy when the two of us finally moved outside.

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  9. I can so sympathize with the anxiety it takes to stop writing about the world and actually having to go out into it!

    Good for you in facing this for 2010! I am with you the whole way!

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  10. I love this post, Linda!! Good for you for challenging yourself to come out of your shell, and for going to meet Mari! I’m inspired by your ambition and by the sunshine vibe of this energetic post. 🙂

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      1. I felt like a hippie when I wrote it, haha; don’t think I’ve ever used sunshine vibe before, but, well, I felt sunny so that’s what came out, I guess.

        And now I’m laughing at my hippie self. 🙂

        Yes. It WILL be a good year!

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  11. WOW!!! I’m so excited for you. I think you and Tricia and I should plan something this year. A lunch. I’ll drive for you two. And I’m such a complete dork in person, I will put you both at ease. (Or we’ll all be insanely nervous but that could be entertaining too.)

    Thank you for your super wonderful words about me here. I recently told someone that I don’t ever want to go back into that cave. As hard as it is to be out in the world (and it is sometimes hard and scary), connection is good.

    Soon, I’ll be posting about boundaries (something we hermits don’t have much practice at setting). Stay tuned.

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    1. Or we could meet somewhere in the middle. I know Tricia would be braver if she came with me.

      I’m looking forward to your boundaries post. It might keep me from going too far in the opposite direction! 🙂

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      1. I’m READY! (sorry, Spongebob’d out on ya) I first need to lose ten pounds and have my braces off. How does my hair look? I’m not nervous. I can do this. I can do this. I can …

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  12. Every time I meet a writer I’m inspired — be it in person or online. My brother (a generous soul) has offered to fly me from Chicago to visit him in SF. I’d love to meet up with you then (still in the planning stages, but I’m thinking March).

    Of course, if you’re ever in or around the Windy City, please let me know!

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    1. Keep me posted on your travel plans. I confess that I’ve never been to Chicago. Yes, I spent two-thirds of my life only three hours away, but I fell prey to my family’s provincial mindset.

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  13. Hi Linda! ‘So fun to read this post. What a great time at Starbucks, indeed! My little hometown newspaper had a column that reported on family get-togethers and such. Each entry ended with: and a good time was had by all. I think that sums up our chatty afternoon pretty well!

    I am so glad that you didn’t give in to the temptation to concoct a wild excuse to get out of visiting with me! It’s important to know the difference between a sweet opportunity and a writing prompt.

    Here’s to 2010…the year of the sunshine vibe! Sign me up, I think I’ll have one of those, too.

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    1. It truly was a pleasure meeting you face to face, Mari. And this year really does seem like a positive one. And a sunshine vibe is what I get every time I see your avatar! 🙂

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