I don't know what my ultimate destination is and I'm not sure I could choose it if given the choice, but I like the path I'm meandering on these days. While I still step on the occasional pebble and find myself approaching a speed bump, sharp left turn or landing in a pothole--the edges are lined with tall luscious trees and strikingly bold flowers.
A Little History
For the past ten years or so I have lived quite reclusive. I left my job with a major corporation when my daughter was born only to discover that all of my friends had moved out-of-state by the time she began school. Before visiting Twitterverse I was living my day to day life in fear; avoiding people, places and things. There were things I wanted to do, but couldn't. I'd put on a good thirty+ pounds and was more self-conscious than ever. I didn't want anyone to see me, and I certainly didn't want anyone to see me as incompetent. I'd lost my silly.
I never had an interest in social networking sites. I just didn't see the point until an uncle invited me to join Facebook. I reluctantly signed on. I didn't log in again for six to nine months when a long time friend found me there...then another, and another, and another. It's become a great blessing allowing me to stay in touch with out-of-town family and friends.
In the spring of 2009 I joined Twitter. I don't know why I did. Initially I kept my updates private and no one I knew was a part of Twitterverse. A few months later I was reading @momservations blog via Sac Moms Club Twitter, Zac, Oprah and Me (and, yes, I had to search that link out) and noticed her "Follow me on Twitter" request.
Hmm...I have a blog and want to start a business selling homemade cards and other paper crafts. I collect quotes and desire to inspire others.
I closed my original Twitter account and opened a new one: @kreativenotions. I made my updates public and began sharing inspiring morning thoughts and, of course, began to follow @momservations. I found @SARK and in browsing through her followers I found Carla of @SanityJournals who led me to Suzanne the @delightedsage. My very first mention came in October of 2009 from Suzanne:
"Terrific Tweet. Just purchased one of your amazing imperfection t-shirts. Can't wait for it's arrival. You're awesome!"
As the months have passed I have begun to follow and be followed by some amazing people. To round out my top five list: @GratefulKim, @MeganMonique (also a representative of @OwningPink) and @PerceptiveCaren. While there are many other fabulous folks on Twitter, these are the women I have interacted with the most. These are the women who have opened their arms, welcomed me and supported me.
A New Song Begins
To all the social media nay-sayers; Twitter is a blessing. It has led me to some wonderful people; inspiring, active, creative people. I am a member of Carla's Journaling Lounge and Lissa Rankin's Owning Pink which have led me to even more wonderful people. I've read stories from women who have faced a fear, overcome an obstacle, discovered their mojo, found their joY, gone within and practiced the art of letting go. It was an entry by Suzanne at the Lounge that inspired me to take a photography workshop earlier this year. Kim Jenkins is passionate about Zumba and inspired me to give it a try. Now in a more challenging Zumba class twice a week I recently realized a Zumba-inspired shift was taking place. I described it to Kim and other members of the Zumba Posse at Owning Pink like this:
This new class is faster, more challenging and forty minutes in, after the belly dancing and moving into a salsa routine I can't seem to get the hang of, I'm wiped out. But I keep pluggin' along. I am gonna get it...eventually.
Instructors might appreciate the mirrors because it allows them to keep the class in view and interact with their participants; but for me they are inhibiting and distracting. I do not like to look at myself in the mirror and avoid looking that way as much as possible; staring at everyone's feet.
The mirrors, the mess ups, the lookin' silly, uncoordinated, out of rhythm, out of step and sweaty red hot is not discouraging me. Even the look-e-loos peeking and watching through the windows has not stopped me from attending this class which takes place at a gym. All of this from the person who has avoided people, places and things because she's riddled with self doubt, lacking confidence and often overcome by the fear of being seen as incompetent...strike that...FAT and incompetent. This from a person who once said, "I'd like to learn more about photography but I'm afraid to take a class because I don't know anything about photography." :)
There's a definite transformation taking place and all because I took a deep breath and signed up for a Zumba class. I was one of those women who figured she'd take an exercise class--after--she got into shape. Can't got to a gym fat. LOL. Going to Zumba, giving myself permission to look silly, make mistaeks, admit I have no idea what I'm doing yet still doing it has awakened the beginnings of self confidence, allowed me to have fun and discover a way to experience even more vibrant joy.
Instead of constantly avoiding people, places and things I am actually looking for new things to try. Sharing myself at the Lounge, admitting what I say to myself about my weight and accepting support and encouragement from others at the Pink Pounds Posse and taking that deep breath and entering that first Zumba class has allowed me to begin letting my courage bubble up and release some of my doubts and fears.
And it all started with Twitter.