my 2nd byline

my 2nd byline

I was thrilled to have my If I had a million dollars story published in the Globe and Mail today. My 2nd ever byline! “THAT’S what she said” has been my standing joke today as I work to reclaim this phrase to my feminist sensibilities.

Between sharing the online edition, the print edition, and my various postings on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter I have selfishly humble-bragged this all day to those I know and have been so deeply grateful to have many of those folks offer their congratulations and support.
But I had an “aha” moment today when I realized how excited I was to receive the validation from perfect strangers: the G&M editor who chose to publish this; the people who commented on the newspaper’s online platform; people that I don’t know who retweeted my posts, including (woo!) the Barenaked Ladies twitter account retweeting me. It was almost as if THOSE validations held more power over me than those from people I know and love.

Weird right? But I think an interesting reflection on the human ego and it’s endless black hole need for recognition. I consider myself a pretty self aware and confident person, but the thrill of some level of external approval has proven to be quite intoxicating. Maybe it’s the thought that these people have no relationship with me, so no “requirement” to support me, which somehow makes their opinion more valuable? Of course that’s ridiculous and I’m ashamed to even frame it that way, but I guess I’m being honest about how hard it is to create something and then share it, and then to sit back and wait to see what the response is. It is lonely work writing. I imagine that sentiment is echoed by anyone who steps into the vulnerability of sharing something they care deeply about. It is challenging – challenging to consider rejection, but surprisingly equally challenging to consider support and positive reinforcement. It’s as if you have proactively steeled yourself for rejection, (or worse, indifference), so any reaction you receive is seen as suspect.

So, no conclusions here today. I’m just trying to process my happiness and be truthful about my reactions because I think it is fascinating.
And, at the end of the day I am over-the-moon that anyone has taken the time to read what I’ve written and be moved by it. THANK YOU. My heart literally can’t take it. I’m split open.

The article in the Globe and Mail can be seen here.