This is incredibly timely as I polish off this amazing manuscript. It’ll be hard to say goodbye to these characters, but they will be back for a second chapter. As will I. As will all the new projects coming up the pipeline. I have so much gratitude for what the past year and a half has brought me.
I was talking to my brother recently and, on occasion, he’ll say something completely on point to my internal dialogue. He doesn’t know he’s saying something that will spark a reaction from me, but that’s okay. His head is big enough. 😉
Whenever I talk to someone who genuinely knows me and knows my heart, they are the first people to read this title and say, “How much more honest can you get? Have you MET yourself?” This title isn’t about dishonesty or coming clean, though. It’s about getting honest about goals. I can only speak for mine.
The words, “Oh, you have a blog.” are particularly demeaning to someone who is an experienced writer who uses this as a platform. I didn’t create it for any other reason. Its sole purpose; a writers platform. I’m the writer. That’s pretty transparent from where I’m sitting.
I, personally, only use the word blog to describe my beauty blog or anything that feels more like a blog, as opposed to a singular voice. That’s not an insult. I’m friends with some incredibly lovely bloggers who are kind, caring, creative introverts, much like me, except I’d never use the words “kind” or “caring” to describe myself. Ever. I’m the evil fairy on your shoulder; not the angel.
There are likely billions of blogs on the Internet. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration; I’ve never looked at statistics. Everyone wants to stand out. Some people go to great lengths to make themselves seen and “heard”. Many make the move to YouTube.
Initially, that was the plan. I had EVERY intention of taking Shadows & Highlight, my beauty blog, to YouTube. I started filming last Spring and only shared the videos with my best friend. I filmed, didn’t edit because I couldn’t figure it out with my phone and because I speak the way I write, which leaves editing a question mark as opposed to a necessity. I would listen first and then share.
My take away from the experience is that I hate the camera. It’s extremely odd to see your face in a manner that is foreign to your own eyes. It’s awkward; kind of like EVERY bathroom selfie I see posted across the Internet, and it’s uncomfortable. It’s NOT who I am and it’s definitely NOT what I actually look like. Anyone can show you makeup and explain how to use this or that. It’s all been done. I want a broader audience. I want depth.
Ultimately, THAT is who I am. I’m the girl who’ll dig deep if I care enough to help you, or hide a body. Just because I wear makeup doesn’t mean it’s all I want to talk about or show people. Over the past year, I have found myself less and less interested in moving forward with it. I’ve been far less interested in makeup, too, often forgoing it entirely, which isn’t a strong indicator that this is something I remain passionate about. And so, as I listened to each video, I realized my voice is always going to be my strongest gift.
I deleted every video where I had to watch myself speak and realized that it truly is awkward as fuck, and not something I plan on getting used to. Because it’s something I do not feel I can get past. I’m my own harshest critic. For the record, there’s nothing wrong with my face, but leave it to me to find small things that I suddenly want fixed yesterday. It’s sad, because in this heavily edited “Instagram perfection” and obsessive use of filters, Photoshop, and Facetune culture that we see every day, rarely do people point out their own facial or physical flaws. I am the first person to tell you that I have two completely different eye shapes, which I expertly correct with makeup. And yet, when I look in the mirror I see one that is more uptilted and the other is more round. I will even argue which is which, at times. If I didn’t point it out, no one would ever see it. I pointed it out to someone early last year, long before I started filming, and even behind the makeup, they were like, “If you hadn’t pointed it out, I never would have noticed it.” Only recently did I notice my brother has it, as well. How weird that I’ve had it from about age 3-5 and he’s developing it as an adult. I don’t pretend to understand such things. Genetics isn’t my line of work.
I’ve been using my voice for a long time in different ways. I have always had specific goals in mind, and I’ve earned my various platforms. Nothing was handed to me. I’ve never made an ass out of myself or tried to be a different person. The second you try to be fake, your readers, as an audience, will figure it out at some point. Buying subscribers and followers is NOT who I am. I’ve watched people do it, but they aren’t fooling me. That which is natural and authentic has a good feeling to it, and that which is “trying too hard”, I pick up on immediately. I can tell when things aren’t kosher, for lack of a better word.
I’ve set specific goals for this year and will be sharing updates as things come to fruition. There is a plan in place. I want to keep this close to the vest because imitation doesn’t flatter me. I want to bring this to you in an organic manner, and I don’t want to force it down your throat. I want people to be interested because they’ve been on this journey with me, and for no other reason.
I don’t worry about being liked. That is something you need to leave in junior high, where it belongs. If you can’t, I strongly suggest speaking with a qualified therapist. We all have issues and drama in our lives and, sometimes, in our families, but when you can leave that at the door and not take it with you everywhere; that’s when you start getting honest with yourself.
It’s important to me to remember precisely who I am and what I bring to the table. It is important to me to work from a place of strength. Dealing with abuse for the majority of my life; I am constantly criticized and picked apart, and often told I am worthless. The words are vicious, ugly, hateful… Until you realize they stem from another person’s issues and you do NOT have to hold on to the ugly, hateful, bitter rhetoric others might spew in your direction. In fact, you can walk away from it completely. I have been doing this for over seven years (walking away) because if I engage with low level bullshit, I will rack up a staggering body count. People often think I’m a nice, sweet person, but I’ve never owned niceness or sweetness. I have, however, owned the fact that I don’t care that deeply about another person’s life if they’re mistreating me. As a friend often tells me, “Yes, you can be harsh, but you are also supremely FAIR in dealing with others.” These are facts. It’s the people who know me best who help keep me grounded in reality, as opposed to allowing me to believe that I’m worthless when I am anything but.
Unfortunately, true friends are few and far between. I am reminded of this whenever I talk to my best friends. They’ve known me for such a long time and I’ve grown, but I haven’t changed. They always remind me of these facts. Even my brother often reminds me of just how far I have come on a personal and spiritual level. But I don’t absorb these things and allow them to make me egotistical. I keep them in the back of my mind and allow them to fuel me and help me heal when things bring me down.
Inevitably, not every day of your life is going to be happy and perfect. We all have bad days. I’m insanely honest about mine. Are you?
Will this year be the one where you get honest and realistic with yourself and your goals? I am taking baby steps. I’m stepping into a new comfort zone for overall betterment. I look forward to the new, better chapter because the last one is boring me to death. As it turns out, I can grow and still remain true to who I am, without sacrificing my soul in the process.
Recently I expressed how sick and exhausted I have been. A friend said to me, “Let us know when the Phoenix rises.” How perfectly apropos.
copyright © 2020 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.