I FELT liked I’d been punched in the stomach on Friday.
For about five or ten minutes, I felt short of breath and just absolutely gutted.
Because I couldn’t spot my blog name you see.
I couldn’t spot Pouting In Heels on a list of blogs that had made the finals for a major blogging award.
And I couldn’t spot Pouting In Heels because I hadn’t made it.
Boo blinkin’ hoo, my beloved blog hadn’t made the cut.
My blog didn’t make the final five in the writer category for the BiBs 2015 and even though I wanted to be ok with it, even though I thought I would be ok with it, the reality is, I wasn’t.
The reality is, it bloody stung.
The reality is, I felt wounded.
Not easy to admit, but that’s the truth.
I’m not even sure I should really be sharing this and I’ll be honest, I’ve been in two minds about writing this at all.
One, because I know that in the grand scheme of things, missing out on being chosen for the finals of a blogging award, is absolutely no big deal. No big deal AT ALL. Just a microscopic, disappointing blip on another wise, blessed life.
And two, because well, it’s all a bit woe is me, which is isn’t, well, really me at all!
But I asked you guys to nominate me for these awards and I asked for your votes. And so I feel I owe it to you to be honest.
And to my fellow bloggers too.
Because the truth is, no matter how well you think you’re doing in life, no matter how confident and self assured you think you are, feeling like a failure, hurts.
It hurts your pride and stings your ego. It makes you feel unloved, talentless and like a big fat loser, with a capital L.
And let’s face it, none of us like to feel like that. But yet not many of us will admit to it.
And so I’m saying it. Rejection hurts.
Not making the finals of the BiBs hurt.
But I’m also saying this- that’s OK. And I am OK.
The hurt didn’t last too long thankfully. After the initial ‘stomach punch’ I accepted the fact that I hadn’t made the finals because clearly, I just wasn’t good enough.
I visited the blogs of the final five who had made it, soaked in their words and smiled. Because they were all fan-f**king-tastic and I got it.
They deserved it.
More than me.
So things were as exactly as they should be.
Their writing was awesome and if nothing else, at least I’ve now found five new fabulous blogs to read and love.
So I accept I’m not good enough yet. That this blog isn’t good enough yet.
I didn’t touch enough hearts, minds and souls with my words.
Not enough people thought I deserved their vote (which is perfectly ok).
And the judges didn’t think I deserved to go through on merit.
All of this is hard to swallow. I’d be lying if I said it isn’t. (I’ve always prided myself on touching people’s hearts and imaginations if nothing else.)
But clearly I haven’t done enough yet and that is something I accept. That is something I have to accept.
Because when you feel like a loser or when someone chooses someone or something else over you, you’ve got to think like a winner and ‘get real’ and face the cold hard truth.
You have to force yourself to face the reality, suck it up, learn and move the hell on.
And I have learned, that I’ve got much more work to do.
So if I’m never nominated for another award in my entire life, one thing’s for sure, this whole experience has inspired me to be a better writer. To be a more emotive writer.
And that is no bad thing.
My favourite writer on the planet, James Altucher, says that to become an expert at something, we have to spend 10,000 hours on it first.
So in blogging terms, this means I’ve probably got about 8,500 hours left before I deserve to be on any podium in a fancy frock, thanking my nearest and dearest. Remembering this helps too.
And what else have I learned?
Well I’ve learned that being a good loser is hard and requires effort.
When you’re feeling like utter s**t, it’s often difficult to celebrate other people’s success and only natural to want to shoot a few poisoned arrows in their direction at first (I think!).
But I’ll be damned if I’m going to let my dented ego get in the way of me celebrating my blogging friends that did make the finals or wishing them well.
So I do and more importantly, I mean it.
I wish them and every other blogger who’s made it to the finals, the very best of luck and will be cheering them on, with bandaged pride or not.
And I’ve learnt that losing can actually offer some relief. And a bit of respite from pressure.
No longer do I feel the urge to perform at my absolute best because I need to impress. No longer do I have to feel embarrassed about asking for votes (does any blogger ever feel comfortable doing this?!).
No longer do I need to worry or wonder ‘what if’ because the universe has spoken.
So in a weird way, although I did feel like a total loser on Friday, I actually feel lighter now. Freer too.
Finally I learnt that just because you feel like a loser does NOT mean you are one.
Nope. Not one bloody or bruised bit.
And as I was reminded over the weekend by some very kind people, not making the cut, not making the finals, doesn’t mean that my work is wasted.
So I’m focusing on to the bits that make me feel good.
I’m remembering making the shortlist and being so bloody grateful to those of you who got me there.
I’m remembering the comments I get daily, that make me giddy with joy and I’m remembering that an award – whilst it would have been nice – does not determine my worth.
It’s not my time. I’m not ready. And the universe clearly has different plans.
So thank you for your faith in me.
And please, be rest assured that even though I ‘lost’, I’m holding firmly on to mine.
Big thank you to EVERYONE who did vote for me and best of luck to every single blogger who’s up for one of the awards. x