Nomad Online

Fear no more

It was hard to express myself publicly. I would be terrified of the judgement of others.

Every social media post, every opinion raised, needed to be run past my husband. Not for his approval, but as a sounding board.

Would I cause offence here? Would I be laughed at there? It would frustrate my husband very much.

“Either have the confidence to say it, or don’t say it at all,” he’d often say.

Then one day, a friend at work encouraged me to start blogging. To start the process of writing for others to read and to keep at it.

Terrifying stuff!

I was battling anxiety and other emotional challenges at the time. In and out of hospital, struggling with intense and painful feelings that seemed to erupt out of nowhere. It wasn’t an easy time.

But I distinctly remember how tired I was of being scared; of imagining the worst that never eventuated. That shadow boxing with fear was exhausting, both for me and the people who loved me.

I needed to write, even though it was difficult. Even though it was frightening.

So I stepped out in faith, and started to blog. My very first post for Nomad Online was Where are you from?

Even then I was searching for home. For a sense of belonging.

The struggle to find my place in the world was very real back then. And it hurt when people assumed I wasn’t part of the country I’d known the longest and the best.

It’s strange to feel that struggle leave me in London. I am an outsider here. That’s fact. And even if I spend the rest of my life here, I’ll always be from somewhere else. There is a freedom in knowing that.

Being called a foreigner here doesn’t hurt as much as it did in Australia. That was the country of my nationality. It was where I started to speak English with a different twang. It hurt to be told I didn’t belong. Especially when I loved them so.

I feared I would be excluded online too. That I’d come up against all sorts of negative comments and derision.

What I didn’t expect was to find a community of fellow bloggers. People who encouraged one another with their comments. I didn’t expect kindness. And I didn’t expect this WordPress community to be a safe space to share my opinions.

So I wrote another story. Then another one. And another. Before I knew it, close to six years passes, and I am still writing stories for Nomad Online.

That was how I managed to overcome my fear of blogging; of putting my thoughts out there for the world to see. By doing what scared me, and by the kindness of strangers.

Photo by Sammie Chaffin on Unsplash

For Bloganuary – Day 15. What fear have you conquered?

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