The Rise and Fall of a Nobody Online

Photo by  John Fornander  on  Unsplash

I haven’t written in a long time. Longer than I expected to lay dormant in front of the keyboard when I pulled the plug on my growth as a writer. But the truth is, I was only growing in terms of numbers. And while doing that, I was moving backwards as a person. Because growth is not perspective. Often growth clouds perspective and makes it harder for us to see ourselves for who we are. I forgot something important along the way.

I’m nobody.

Followers make us think we are somebody, but in reality followers are as flimsy as a house of cards. One second our architecture is sound and we are a sight to behold. Then a gust of wind comes. The next second we are lost. Forgotten. Never known. Did our alleged growth even happen? What just happened?

I’m still not really sure I had a rise and fall, but that’s what it feels like. Or felt like because now it’s just another part of my personal growth. But only because I gained perspective. Perspective from zooming out and taking a look at the entire landscape surrounding me and asking myself what really matters.

My kids. My family, what’s left of it. That was really all I could think of. Me, what about me? What about myself? When I was writing and writing and writing online, why was I doing it? What was I after? It wasn’t a book deal because then I would have been writing a book and not three posts a day on a blogging site that I had no control over. I was lost in the vortex of my own inner thoughts. I convinced myself that what I was writing was important. And maybe it was. But to whom?

I wasn’t accomplishing anything. I was checking the stats on my stories multiple times a day. I was responding to my comments right away. I was in the eye of the hurricane and I didn’t even know it. Until I looked around. And saw all of the miscellany swirling around me. I was just a pile of words on a page on a site with millions of other piles of words. And all of our words were being judged first by a computer algorithm. So how much could they really matter? How much could I really matter?

I didn’t matter. I don’t matter. At least not in that context. If I want to matter I have to focus solely on myself and not the potential for future scaling. And isn’t how much we matter just another part of gaining perspective? I’ve always felt like I mattered. That I was worthy of being on this planet. Breathing this air. But every time I wanted to show other people that I mattered, I eventually failed. Some people may have seen some of my eventual failures as success at a time. But climbing a ladder isn’t success because once you get to the top, where else can you go?

So maybe the rise and fall was all in my head. A numeric, computative rise followed by a silent fall. Because how could something make noise on its downfall if it never really existed in the first place?

I stopped writing because it wasn’t fun anymore. I felt like I was bookmarking my life for future use instead of living it. Now I know that perspective is the key to growth. Personal growth. Not online growth. Not a following. Or metrics. Or views. Or clicks. This is just another way to make ourselves feel bad. Because no matter how high your numbers are today, your goal will be to increase them tomorrow. And that’s a cycle that never ends. And I don’t want to be a hamster on the wheel anymore.

So I came back today, to my own blog, to start again. For me.

Because daily writing spurs more. And I need more. I need to work on the projects that really matter to me. And many of those involve putting words on the page. Something I can’t do when I am on a self-imposed hiatus. I don’t care where it goes. Because I can’t control that, no matter how hard I try. I’ve come to realize that I can’t control anything and I don’t want to.

I can’t have a rise and fall again. Because I have perspective. And if everything out in front of me is just part of the journey, the ups and downs are just that, and nothing more. They are just topography on the map of my life. They don’t mean anything by themselves because they are part of a greater whole. Me. And I don’t want to fall again. I’d rather fail. Because failure is growth. And growth through failure breeds perspective. That’s why I’m back at it.

Hi. It’s nice to be back.