Showing Up

m6rT4MYFQ7CT8j9m2AEC_JakeGivens - Sunset in the ParkIt is nine o’clock on a Monday night. I am sitting in bed listening to Sugar and the Hi-Lows’ cover of “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” There is a stack of books on my nightstand—a combination of books for class and books for fun. But I have this feeling of guilt about my blog drought.

I am very aware I have not blogged in a long time. The longer you let silence be the victor, the easier it is to remain silent. I can offer “writer’s block” as the excuse. I can cite preoccupation with work or school. I can keep doing that until another month passes. And another.

Or.

Or I can simply begin. Not with something pretty, but something tangible. Because sometimes starting is the hardest part.

Showing up is also sometimes the hardest part.

I know this because I occasionally go to the gym. By no means am I about to post inspirational health/fitness quotes on my Instagram (because hi, I am too busy posting pictures of the latest crazy Oreos flavors I can’t stop won’t stop trying), but I do try to work out when I can. It is never real intense. I mean, I bring a book so I can read while I bike and walk. So put your phone down; don’t call me—I am not about your next personal trainer. Whenever I put on my workout clothes and hair in a ponytail to head to the gym, I repeat “showing up is the hardest part” as if it is my personal mantra.

I hate going places by myself. I know you think “hate” is a strong word; it is a strong word. Maybe it is too strong of word, but when I am giving myself a pep talk to go anywhere by myself, it is how I feel. Fortunately, one of my friends lives in town so we are able to be each other’s partner in crime for most events. Here’s the thing: I do not like to go places by myself, but I do like to spend time at home. I am an introvert, so being alone actually recharges me. That and my uncle is kind enough to share his Netflix account with me.

I know I rarely regret stepping out of my comfort zone. (With the exception of going on rollercoasters. I say no, thank you to rollercoasters.) One of my classmates from college got married last summer. I was actually surprised I was invited. We became friends because I made fun of his email address. What can I say? I have mad social skills.

I know showing up is important, so I went to his wedding. By myself. This involved walking in by myself, not knowing if I would know anyone to sit with. It also involved driving into Kansas City, which always freaks me out a little. Driving around the suburbs? No problem, I can listen to NPR for hours. Driving in Kansas City proper? Not my jam.

But showing up is important.

I left after the ceremony because I can only handle doing so many brave things in one day. Going to a wedding reception without friends to sit by? Eleanor Roosevelt tells us to “do one thing every day that scares you.” I did. Check.

Showing up is the hardest part. I have a friend who went to Jazzercise even though she did not know anyone. I think she had a Groupon. It might seem silly to admire someone for that, but I do. She shows up. Showing up does not have to be this big, elaborate event.

I have not always done a great job of showing up. I have let people down. I have let fear keep me from experiencing certain things.

I have not known what to write for a while. The longer I stayed away from my blog, the harder it was to click “write new post.” Showing up is one of the hardest parts of writing. Sitting down and starting. There have been things I have wanted to say, but I have not known how to say them. I know this post is not glamorous, and it’s not going to get me a book deal, but it’s a beginning. I have been stuck in my blog drought, and this is the only way I can think to get out.

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