I haven’t written in a while. I suppose there are a number of reasons for this. The obvious and perennial reason being busyness. The other that whenever I think of something I might like to write about, I’m at work.
Or, the most common, my gremlins tell me it’s not interesting enough. Brené Brown gets the credit for the gremlin imagery – they’re the voices inside your head that tell you you’re not good enough.
Mine keep telling me that whatever I’ve thought to write about is boring.
No one needs to read about that.
What’s the point of writing about that? It’s not profound. You call yourself a writer (sometimes), and this is what you come up with?
My gremlins are liars, but sometimes I believe them. That word, “boring,” gets me every time.
It must have been some unthinking middle school boy who said it. Or maybe I told myself based on a comparison with the other kids my age. No matter. I got this idea in my head during some formative time in life that I was boring. Like, painfully so.
I owned it for a long time. I guess I thought that if you accept something other people have said about you and say it about yourself, you’re in control. If I tell you I’m boring before you figure it out, it’s better for me. Then you can’t hurt me. There’s a wall there, some protection because you can’t tell me I’m boring. I already have claimed it.
Good friends are treasures. I have a couple good friends who, though they may not know the gremlins who remind me of all the ways I’m boring, have heard me own that I am. Their response astonished me. I expected them to pat my shoulder, nod knowingly, and smile, saying, “Oh it could be worse.”
Instead, they usually cocked their head to one side, looked me in the eye and said, “I don’t think you’re boring.”
At first I thought they were just being nice but I’ve realized that they mean it. Of course, by some people’s standards, I probably am boring. But by my own and my friends’, I am not.
I didn’t have to ask them to counter the gremlins. I didn’t even realize I was believing a lie. And really, in the end, it doesn’t matter if I’m boring. It matters if I think I’m worthy. And thinking I was boring made me think I wasn’t worthy of the friendship of people in my life who were exciting.
By the way, if we’re friends, there’s a good chance I think you’re pretty exciting.
The gremlins were just telling me how boring it is to write about how you used to think that you were boring. Maybe it is. But I think I’ll take the chance.