sometimes you have to give yourself a shake

My immediate family is small: a mother; a brother and a daughter. Here we are some time in the 70s. I’ve no idea with what we are all so busy with – I keep getting distracted by the horrific tank top I’m wearing.

Interestingly, these days both mother and brother work in media. I have asked both for advice in promoting my book and they have been willing and supportive.

I, on the other hand, have been extraordinarily obstructive.

Phone Conversation between my mum and me – number one
mum: Did you see the What’s App photo I sent you?
me: yes, why did you send me a picture of a wedding?
mum: They’re friends of mine with showbiz connections.
me: and….?
mum: Well, I could show them your book, and ask them to mention it to people. 
me: Why would they do that?
mum: Why wouldn’t they? And why not try it?
me: (feeling a bit panicked at the idea) I don’t know…….

Phone Conversation between my brother and me
brother (joyful): radio history shows would be great for promotion
me (excited): YEAH!
brother (cautious): you’d have to talk though..
me (deflated): in that case, No.
brother (reassuring) : it’s recorded, you would be able to correct what you say
me (plaintive) : but I have nothing to say
brother (encouraging): just be yourself
me (obdurate) : I’ll think about it (meaning no way, never, hate the idea, can not handle that thought at all)

Phone Conversation between my mum and me – number two
mum: I’ve just had thought, what about sending the book to —— (names a prominant Irish woman)
me: Ahh no….
mum: Why not Jen? I know her, she might be interested
me: ahh….. she’s way more important than me…. I don’t know
mum: But love, what harm could it do? 
me: I’m not in that league, …I don’t know….

So what’s going on here? Why am I so reluctant to put myself and my book in front of people?
My mum, who as well as being media savvy, is a trained therapist. She suggested what was really going on with me was an issue of control, a need to fix how I would be perceived and, as this is totally impossible, I was at a standstill.

I think she has a point.

Two weeks ago, someone made a comment on one of my Facebooks posts. The person was scathing about my photoshop skills and pointed out the work was lazy on a particular image. What surprised me, was that they went to the bother to comment – even to the extent of going back to edit their comment to make it longer. What cut me to my Achilles’ heel was that they were right. I too had been concerned about that particular piece of photoshopping. ….I had been exposed.

The fact that 89 other pages of the book were well done did not matter. The fact that many other people offered warm congratulations did not matter. One negative comment had the ability to derail me. I was shaken. Shaken badly.

We live in a culture which celebrates those who get it right. The action of attempting is not really enough. But do we really have to stay hidden while practicing and only emerged when we are perfect?

I’ve given myself a good shake. I’m going to get on with things…. just as I am…
keep cruising, ….don’t stop moving
only listen to the music in my mind, sayin’ it’s gonna be alright’

Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

All together now…

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