Before you read any further, I want to extend my deepest gratitude that you are actually on my blog and reading anything on here. Putting your feeling on full display isn’t easy and I am so blessed to have this platform. I appreciate your presence.
Hey TFM fam! The Filipino Mom blog is officially one month old. Wooohooo!!! (Yup I’m a “wooohooo girl”) To say that I have learned so much this past month is an understatement. I have so many feelings about just reaching this date. I can’t begin to describe all the feelings I am experiencing.
The biggest feeling I have is relief. I know that may sound weird but hear me out. The Filipino culture is big on saving face or “hiya ” (shame) to the family. Once I decided to create this blog, as I stated in “Don’t air your dirty laundry” post, I nervously warned my mom about why I wanted to create this blog. Her hesitated response was proof that there is a possibility that I would bring shame to our family. Yes that sounds absurd to those not part of our culture but that was a real fear.
So much so that I was having anxiety attacks prior to launch. There were many times that I didn’t want to go through with publishing the blog. Hence, the countdown and giveaway for blog launch. I had a time and date for launch to allow my anxious mind to prepare. It was the only way I could “control” the situation, actually launch the blog, and keep a generally sane mind. It helped.
I am relieved that this blog has been received, generally well, by the Filipino Community. So far, I haven’t heard any backlash, chismis/tsismis (gossip) from the Aunties, or random people on any social media platform. While I am absolutely aware that this blog is in its infancy, it still amazes me the amount of acceptance and support I have gotten in this short amount of time. I’ve received DMs from so many Filipinxs who expresses their appreciation that I have created a platform to encourage them to be their true self even in their most darkest spaces. If you are reading this and we have had conversations, know that I appreciate you more than you can fathom. You are encouraging me just as much with being here, reading this blog. Mental illness is very isolating and to know you are not alone in your struggles is truly a blessing to keep moving forward.
The 3 BE’s I’ve learned
While I am not an experience blogger at all. Like if you assumed that I know what I’m doing – here is the God honest truth — I DO NOT. I honestly haven’t even scratched the surface of what a blogger/influencer does on a regular basis BUT I have learned so many things about myself these past three months. YES even if the blog just launched a month ago, I’ve been working on it since the beginning of the year. Creating content isn’t instantaneous, guys. Its been a long three months and I want to share what I’ve learned with you because I feel that these lessons, while simple, have challenged my inner narrative about what I am capable of.
BEing a blogger is hard work
The learning curve to launch a blog is incredibly steep. Imagine, if you will, learning a new language in one week. That is exactly how I felt the moment I met with two friends to pitch the idea for this blog. Both friends’ eyes immediately lit up with excitement and told me this was a fantastic idea. “Cool, now what?” Thankfully, these amazingly talented friends have experience in content marketing and freelance writing. So they each gave me a crash course in what I needed to do in a timeline of immediately, near future, and down the road.
My brain (and anxiety) needs things broken down in those terms because if they aren’t I will do everything at once and then burn myself out. So I was intimidated by the terms and strategies – insert anxiety attack and hysterical crying here. I knew NOTHING and this seemed nearly impossible to even attempt.
Duh – nothing is impossible with God. SO I watched YouTube videos, read blogs, went to WordPress Word Camp (highly recommend by the way), stalked other bloggers I love, asked other bloggers/influencers I knew for advice, researched, cried, and repeat. The blog and social media platforms you see today are a culmination of all my work. While I am satisfied by the look, feel, and flow of the blog and social media platforms, I know I have a LOT to learn, research, and develop — like how in the world do you understand SEO and analytics. If you have recommendations, please send them.
BElieve in yourself
I have a very unforgiving depression/anxiety voice in my head. It is downright nasty. I would never talk to my kids, friends, family or husband this way. My anxiety stems from my fear of not being adequate enough to fill a roll — any roll — like being a wife, mother, friend, sister, coach, small group leader, anything — I am not adequate. YES I put up a great persona of knowing what I’m doing but I DON’T – guys, I’m winging life just like you.
I battled that voice on a daily basis while prepping for this blog launch. Am I looking for sympathy or a pat on the back? — NOPE. I want you to know that voice has no hold over you and what you are capable of. What it is saying to you is NOT true. It’s ALL a lie. All of it. You have already been told who you are in Christ. And, just in case you FORGOT, here are a few verses to remind you who YOU are in Christ:
I am God’s child. – Galatians 3:26
I am a whole new person with a whole new life. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
I am a place where God’s Spirit lives. – 1 Corinthians 6:19
I am God’s Incredible work of art. – Ephesians 2:10
I am totally and completely forgiven. – 1 John 1:9
I am God’s messenger to the world. – Acts 1:8
I am the light of the world. – Matthew 5:14
I am greatly loved. – Romans 5:8
Now don’t get me wrong, I still battle that voice everyday and I still have to talk myself out of my bed and turn on my laptop BUT I want you to know that you are absolutely capable of anything your heart desires. You have already been given everything you need to serve the world with your unique gifts. So go out and do it. Now.
I have always been insecure about my height, body shape, and after having five kids, my self perception is pretty low. Recently, I have been putting more of an effort at learning what clothes look good on my body, how to put on makeup to enhance my natural beauty, make new friends (thank God for MOPS) and exercising my body to raise my energy level. Why am I telling you this? Well its because I am posting photos of myself all dressed up and I normally don’t look like that 90% of the time. I’m usually in yoga pants, jeans, or legging with a top that usually has a stain on it because I can never eat food correctly; without makeup and just dry shampoo’d my hair. My stay-at-home Mom fashion game is strong and I want to transform into who Maryann is. In launching this blog, my insecurities became more apparent. So I have to remind myself AGAIN of God’s promises and that allows me to move forward with a little more courage.
I will never be a GoFitJo, Jordan Page, or Susie Styles, its just not who I am and I am ok with that. I am Maryann and I know I will find my place in this blogger world, I just need time. If you ever feel out of place, don’t get down on yourself, just give yourself more time to grow.
Ok enough about me! I want you to go out there and be the light of the world. I know you can absolutely change the world in your own unique way. It is what we were called to do. To help you do this, I have embedded two audio links to Rachel Hollis’ book, Girl, Stop Apologizing to PUMP YOU UP (If you said that in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice we can be friends). I’m still getting through the book and seriously guys, its so good. Enjoy these excerpts and get started on that dream. I believe you can, so you should believe it too.