A lesson in Weird

Years ago in the mid-nineties when my niece was around seven years old, we passed a book store during one of our special one-on-one days. I loved hanging out with Sydney (still do) – especially since my sister and I couldn’t be more different.

My older sister Laurie is the left brain, practical, problem-solving thinker. Me? I marinate in my right-brain-ness; satiating on the creative, fanatical, finger-painted wonder that is my messy life. You want neat, tidy, brilliant, finance-managing and scary-smart logic? Laurie is your gal (I’m in awe of her brain, actually). I’ll be in the music aisle dancing to Earth Wind and Fire, swinging my unkept auburn locks while my overly-priced-candle burns away – wondering where all my money went.

When it comes to the thinkers and feelers of the world, no one is any better or worse than the other – we’re all just wired differently. It’s actually pretty great, once we get past our “my way or the highway” vibe.

Two polar opposite sisters in a dysfunctional family always makes for some interesting dinner table talks; and proved surprisingly educational when it was just my sister’s daughter and me on this particular day.

“Eeew, she’s so weird.” Sydney was referring to a magazine cover photo of Gwen Stefani in the

Christine Macdonald

Kickstarter campaigns: logical or unethical?

You’re really no one until someone rejects you. And if you get an email saying “have a nice life, and don’t contact me until you live an ethical one” – well that’s just gold.

Let me back up.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the immense pleasure of learning I was accepted to a very exclusive writer’s workshop outside the US. It took a TRUCK LOAD of balls to send in my writing sample, and even after I did, there was a part of me that really didn’t believe I’d ever be selected. The instructor is a literary rock star; there are only 10 slots open, and well… I’m just this chick with some blog.

After receiving the call that I was in, I cried so many happy tears, I couldn’t speak. I called my mom. I sat there in my living room and allowed myself to dream bigger than I ever have.

Then a day passed. Reality set in. And I needed to think about how the hell I was gonna afford this (I don’t know anyone who has extra cash floating around, do you?).

Then I remembered a few months back, donating to a friend’s Kickstarter Campaign. She’s a

Christine Macdonald

And the winners are…

If you ever have a chance to pimp yourself for a contest, do so immediately. Sure, it’s annoying. And the whole “vote for me!” vibe can be awkward. But think about it – if we aren’t our biggest cheerleaders, how do we expect anyone else to be?

A few days ago, I learned the good people at Forbes Magazine were throwing their fourth annual “Best Websites/Blogs for Women” contest. After nominating my friend and incomparable Aussie transplant Kirsty Spraggon of KirstyTv, I thought I’d throw myself in the ring.

I know the demographic ‘aint up my alley, but c’mon – the exposure of just being nominated, having the opportunity for editors and bigwigs at Forbes to check me out? I’m all in.

I had a feeling a small group of pals and loyal readers would nominate me, but what blew my socks off was the massive amount of shout-outs and praise I received from people throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and even as far away as India (side note: not one family member took the time to sign up and nominate, which is no surprise, and after my initial disappointment, I’m really ok with it). 

Have you ever thought about the shit people will say about you after you’re gone? Seriously. Am I the only sick ticket in town who wonders about the verbal buzz hovering around the cheese and cracker table, while my favorite 80s alternative tunes whisper through the speakers? How’s that whole ‘recovering narcissism’ thing working out fur’ya, girl?

Self-centered thinking aside, reading those nomination comments about this little one-woman-show-blog – how these posts are inspiring, entertaining, thought-provoking, and funny – well, it’s beyond surreal. Like being alive at your own funeral – getting to hear all the cool things people think and say about you.

After perusing through the 100 Website winners over at Forbes, it makes sense that my blog didn’t make the cut (lots of great sites giving financial and career advice, not one “Recovering Hot Mess 80s Coke Whore Finding Self-Worth” page in the bunch). It also makes sense that I’d even think about pimping myself out to keep such company. Because really, why not? Exposure and opportunity for a writer is much like how it goes down on the stripper pole; you gotta make yourself be seen.

Self-worth is a tricky thing when you’re recovering from a lifetime of not having any. When faced with certain challenges (contests, in this case), our brains automatically go to “Yea, right! Dream on! You’ll never win! You’re not good enough!” But when we recognize that those thoughts are mere side-effects of circumstance (how we were raised, living through trauma, etc.), another part of us stands up and says, “Why NOT me?!” – and we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

From the bottom of my dysfunctional heart – I can’t thank you enough for reading and if you were one of the many people who nominated my blog to make the list over at Forbes – please know that you’ve given me an even better prize. You’ve reminded me why I’m doing this.

Everything worth having is worth fighting for, and the things we want most, give us the most fear. Love, security, comfort, strength – they’re all born from struggle within ourselves believing we’re worthy of them.

Each time we enter a contest, go on a job interview, audition for a part, ask someone out, enter a writing piece, raise our hand – we are exercising our inherent belief in the wholehearted human beings we were born to be.

Sounds like winning to me.

 

Here’s the part where you tell me: what would you say about yourself on a nomination form?

Christine Macdonald