You Just Do You

The short version of events is that I freaked out and took down my blog for about a week.

The longer version is slightly more complicated and it goes a little something like this: someone who I genuinely admire and whose opinion I greatly respect found out that I had a blog. Ok, maybe I accidentally let it slip. One thing lead to another which lead to a misunderstanding that made me think he was mocking my work, which really bummed me out. It made me doubt myself and the reasons I was writing in the first place. What was the point exactly? Who was I writing this blog for? If I felt reluctant to share it with people in real life, did that mean that somewhere deep inside I felt that it was worthless? Was I only invested for nostalgia’s sake?

So I took it down. I felt confused and lost. I told no one and nursed all of my secret little hurts inside of me. That is, until some people started to notice my blog was gone.

A lot of people voiced their dismay, but one friend was really honest. After listening to my reasoning she told me, “I get it, but that was kind of a dramatic thing to do.”

Defensive, I asked her why she cared anyway. She didn’t even read my blog. (To be fair, they aren’t really her thing.)

“I don’t read it all the time,” she admitted. “But it’s who you are. It’s so you. I see you all over it- your hard work. Your love. Who cares if I don’t read it? Why is that a reason not to follow your passion?”

I didn’t really have an answer to that and I still don’t. The best answer I could come up with was that there was no good reason. Are you going to stop eating sushi because someone else thinks raw fish is gross? Why give up something you love based on other people’s opinions? What bearing do they have on your life?

Eventually the misunderstanding was cleared up but I still felt conflicted about what to do. Was it a waste of my time? Should I try and improve the things the make me less proud of my work?

Then I remembered something a writer once told me about making the decision to write a book, despite having no formal training or connections in the publishing industry. I asked him how he ended up doing it. He shrugged and grinned. “I don’t know,” he said. “I just did it.”

And then I remembered why I blog- because I just do. Because I love to write. Because it’s a form of release. I write because I have to, because it’s a part of me, and not having that in my life was like losing the thread that wove all of the parts of myself into the fabric that makes up my being. Why would I let someone take that away from? Why would I take that away from myself?

So here I am to tell you that no one is allowed to criticize the things you love or make up the real you. Your passion will not always be the path to success but it will always be the path back to yourself. Do the things that bring you catharsis, that bring you joy. Do the things that allow you to express the real you. Let it out. Be free. Be weird. Dare.

My blog is not everyone’s cup of tea but it doesn’t matter; if you the love the things I love, maybe you’ll like it. Or maybe you won’t. I hope that you do but in the end there’s nothing that I could really change or do differently. This is who I am, not perfect, but the best version of my myself I can possibly be. I’m just doing me.

And you just do you.

Keeping Busy with G

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Sometimes my Mama does this thing where she sits at her box she calls computer and looks for hours until she makes faces and her eyes go funny. She calls it “blog” but I think she says “dog” so I gets confused and I sneaks on box when no one is looking and now I gets really confused because I thought mama called it “Keeping Busy with G” but it’s “B” and that’s HER name not MINE.

Who am I? I am Gemma the dog and mama tells me I am something like collie and German Shepard and maybe whippet because I runs so fast. I have blue eye since I was baby which doctor says is freckle not cataract which maybe also means husky background, but mostly I just think I am dog, maybe mixed with cat. Cats are like small dog which means friendly and smell nice like fish but sometimes not friendly so mama says careful, which is fine, because I am shy.

Mommy is the best and I never leaves her side because the world might explode but I can’t BELIEVES she leaves me out of blog-that-is-not-dog that lives on box but maybe it’s because blog has viewpoints on which we DISAGREE.

Firstly, I loves MESS. What’s the point of kibble if you can’t stores it under the bed for midnight snacks? Dirty laundry is for snuggles, not for hamper. And why do I gets blamed all the time for the fur on the floor? Where else do I leaves it?

I losing count. Where was I?

Also, the thing about mess is it be TASTY. Sometimes mama cooks the good stuff and throws it on the floor accidentally-on-purpose but lately all the stuff mama cooks is for blog-not-dog but if it blog-for-dog why doesn’t mama cook the stuff Gemma can eats? Mama says baking bad for dogs. So why does Mama talk about bad stuff on blog?

I takes over blog now so real blog-for-dog. I changes the password and now Mama makes stuff Gemma wants for ransom. (I sees man do it on box-that-is-called-TV.) Monday it be Baking with G. We bakes the following tasty treats: ham cake, bacon tarts, tuna cupcakes and cheese pie. Mama bakes. I eats. But please to tell me what is Monday. I don’t know time, or days of week.

Mama is coming. Uh-oh. Big trouble now. I sees you Monday!

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Gemma is a part-time scaredy cat and full-time dog that is known for her appearances on Instagram. When she’s not snapping selfies on social media, you can find her mooching cheese and chasing squirrels on the streets of Toronto, Ontario, where she has lived for the first and only decade of her life. This is her first blog post.