Audience of One

A few days ago—like maybe a week—I got an achievement badge from WordPress. Whoo! It was congratulating me on making 20 posts on my blog.  It was nice. I even sent it to my best friend because I was proud of myself. Making 20 posts on a public blog is truly a huge step for me. I went from being petrified to write to posting stuff online whenever the mood hit. It’s really a big thing to share my words with the world; especially my poetry which  might be shitty is lovely.

But, getting that award from WP just showed me how far I truly have to go. While I was happy about breaking down that barrier, I realized one thing: I was still craving validation from outside sources. How do I mean? Instead of being happy that I actually stuck with this blog (this is my second attempt, btw) I was caught up on the fact that no one really reads or follows it. It bothered me that I’m essentially writing for an audience of one (four, if you count my best friends and little sister but they love me so they are supposed to read).

It’s a really big hang-up of mine. When I started this blog, I knew that it was supposed to just be about me getting all the words out, but I now realize that wasn’t the only motive I had. Somewhere in me, there still lives that little girl that was never noticed—and thus, never validated—by her peers. Sure, I had friends, but some messed up part of me always feels like secretly I’m a burden, like they are friends with me because someone told them that I could really use one. Not because they truly like me. If either of my best friends read this, I’m sure I’ll be in for a world of trouble.

I know we humans all just want to be loved, but I’m somewhat on the extreme end. I want validation from my peers. Having someone validate me, having someone say “I see you” is a real reason for a lot of the things I’ve done. It’s why I’m smart; I studied so hard so that I could be that smart girl. (I never thought I was outstandingly pretty, so I knew brains were the way to go.) I just needed to be recognized.

I know I’m not alone in this, but I really wish it wasn’t a problem. I don’t know how to let this need for outside validation go, but I do know that every time I do something just for me, every time I post a poem that no one sees I’m breaking free of the ties that bind. It’s a strange, somewhat scary process to undergo but I know it’s necessary. I’ll be my own audience of one a lot in my life a lot of the time, so I’m working towards being okay with that. I know it’s worth it.

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