What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Have you read the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg?

Yes?…  Excellent!

No?… I highly recommend it!  It’s truly excellent.  Link again, so you don’t have to scroll up.

Throughout the book, Sandberg asks her readers to “lean in” and actually do the things that they would do if they weren’t afraid.  My thing, my dream: start a blog!  (Should I be dreaming bigger?  Maybe…  this is just a start.)

Even the mere thought of putting myself out there makes my stomach churn and my second track (the negative, ever present, stream of thoughts that constantly plays through my head) say things like: “isn’t it a bit narcissistic to write about your own life?  who cares what you have to say?! no one is even going to read it!”  (Then my third tracks says: “and you’re going to put that on your blog?  You sound like a paranoid schizophrenic!”  But that’s a whole other series…)

So, I am working very hard to forget that track, to be done with the second guessing and the negative nelly-ness, and to lean in and do it anyway.  (Oooo… lean in italicized, that’s clever, I like it.)  To silence that second track: who else would I write about besides myself? Isn’t it a bit narcissistic, really, to think I could write about anyone else?  And if no one else wants to read it, that’s fine, at the very least, my mom is obligated.  (Hi, mom!  It’s cool if you just catch up before I visit.)   At any rate…  This is what I would do if I weren’t afraid.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still afraid (omg, do you hate me?!), but I’m also leaning in and leaning past that fear and doing this thing… this thing I really want to do.  Woot woot!

Right, so the blog does have a point besides just being a thing I really, really want to do.

This is a blog about looking for the bigger picture, the blessings in disguise, and the long-awaited silver linings.  The name “Under the Tapestry” is based on a really great analogy for just that… the idea that we’re looking up at the messy underside and the tangled threads of a tapestry that, from the other side, is really rather nice.  More on that to come, of course– tomorrow, I present the idea in the form of a poem, a picture, and as a pseudo-quantum mechanical theory.  You know, for fun 😉  See you then!

25 thoughts on “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

  1. I love this! This is why we’re friends!! You make me want to get out there and do the things I really love! 🙂

  2. Can’t wait! I LOVE the silver linings part and I LOVE the idea of shutting off the negative track in your head… My mom and I have been talking a lot about being nicer to ourselves– we can be so hard on ourselves and it just fuels the negative voice and stress and stuff. Blog away! I’ll be reading!

    1. Aimee– have you and your mom read Lean In?! I know you would both LOVE it… they should make it required reading for all incoming women at MTU. Sometimes I felt like she was in. my. head. It’s pretty reassuring to know that the COO of Facebook, one of the most powerful women in all of business, shares my same insecurities.

      I’m glad you are trying to be nicer to yourself! You are AMAZING and deserve that kindness from yourself. My most recent trick is to say, “What would I say to Emily?” when I talk to myself. Emily is my friend’s daughter, she’s 7 and I adore her and she is a little mini-me. It’s hard not to love myself just a little more when I think about how much I love her!

  3. Rachel!!! I LOVE this! I can’t wait to read. I think this is so cool and I LOVE IT WHEN PEOPLE FOLLOW THEIR DREAMS! Don’t listen to the voices….just type louder 🙂 I just sort of wrote about this same thing on MY blog. Who would have thought some mice with STDs would bring you a blog friend 🙂

  4. Yeah Rachel! I can’t wait to read your blog and all that you have to say. You are one of the strongest women I know. So inspiring!

    1. Thanks, Doug! I know you have a real kid now, but I still get to be your lab child and I’m proud of it! The way you disciplined me with growth curves, I know Zach is going to turn out great! 😉

  5. Yay! I love it! Way to go Rach. I can’t wait to hear more. I love the tapestry visual, I’ve not heard that before.

    1. Thanks, Jess! Your wish = my command!

      I feel a little better knowing you hadn’t heard the visual before either. I was so… struck! But Trista was even describing songs about it to me!

    1. Thanks, Lara! You are a total blogspiration! I follow you on my Feedly. Granted, you are inspiring in more ways than just that! I looked up to you in grad school and I love even more looking up to you in life because you’re fascinating!!! <3 R

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