Lean in

I recently became aware of the MyIntent project, a foundation created to promote conversations and community through jewelry inscribed with the wearer’s “intent”. The words range greatly (compassion, why, freedom, purpose, etc.), much like the people wearing them, but all mean something significant to the wearer.

One piece had the words “lean in” written across its surface. These words caught my attention and haven’t let go.

I have a habit of shying away from things that scare me. This is especially true with my writing. Ever since I graduated in 2011 and began my career (as an editor of all things), I have become increasingly fearful that my writing is not adequate enough. As a result, I’ve written less and less in both my personal and profession life.

This is silly. Not only was I distancing myself from something I truly enjoyed, I was also distancing myself from the very practice that could help me become better. Like an ostrich burying its head in the sand (which is not a real thing, thanks Wiki!)

Just over a week ago, I clicked on an article which discussed how one might enter a technical writing position, a career move I’ve entertained for a few years but haven’t actually taken the steps to engage. After a few paragraphs, I began to get that familiar antsy feeling in my chest- fearing that I wasn’t good enough- and I moved to close out the window. But just as I was about to, I leaned forward instead. Instead of succumbing to my irrational fear, I just accepted it as a fear and continued on. And, surprise surprise, by the end of the article I felt more than confident that this was something I could do with some preparation and training.

Then I leaned in some more. If I was going to take this new path, I would have to take a few other steps.

Voila*, this blog was born. This may never go past myself, my husband, and a few friends (it may not even get to my friends), but it is one step I’m taking to take control of my fear and one more step in practicing my skill. It will definitely not be perfect, and I will definitely make mistakes, but I’m just going to lean in and accept all that comes as a result.


*Italic means a fancy and much exaggerated French accent, obviously