I belong to a couple of private Facebook groups. Most are about blogging, but some are not and because I’m seriously getting tired of social media, I started to clean my Facebook house. See, I almost left one of those private Facebook groups that touts itself to be a space where women can say what they feel in a safe place with like-minded women. When I posted about something that got under my skin, I got accused of being mean, nasty and bitter. The like-minded women jumped ALL OVER me. I was bewildered. I don’t see myself as mean, nasty OR bitter, but I licked my superficial wounds and stayed in the group.
That experience got me thinking about me. “I’m not a mean person, but if people perceive me as mean, am I?” Am I a mean person? Down deep I knew the answer to be no, but that one event shook me to my core, and I couldn’t write anything. I was afraid I didn’t even know who I was, so how could I be expected to write anything that didn’t sound like it would coming directly out of Donald Trump’s brain. It scared me right into to the deepest writer’s block I’ve ever experience. I had a conscious thought that I was no longer going to write and put up my laptop.
Shortly after I cleaned house, I got an email from one of those pages I left but didn’t mean to leave. “I noticed you left our group, is everything ok? We’d like to run a post of yours but need a bio”. I DO NOT HAVE a bio I thought out loud in my head. I can’t even seem to form two coherent sentences together, how am I going to write my bio…I started to panic.
How could I write a bio about myself if I was a mean person? I really wanted my post published on this website, so I took a deep breath and opened Word and stared at the blank page, and stared and stared. I looked at the clock and realized it was too early for some liquid courage and stared some more at the blank page. I had written; Gina DeNicola. That was it. Who was I? How could I make “she seems mean, but she’s not” sound good? I couldn’t get past people thinking I was mean, nasty or bitter. It bothered me so much that I couldn’t see the real me. I walked back to the fridge and stared at that Grapefruit Vodka and closed the door saying “you can do this” and with a little help from my husband, I came up with this.
Gina lives in Nashville TN with her husband and her chickens who have recently flown the coop. Only recently she came to terms with the fact that her son and his new wife were unapologetic hipsters with no plans to reform. The Ying to that Yang is her “Lisa Simpson” daughter who just completed her Masters degree in Education and English Literature in just 5 years – yeah, who does that. Making change at a gas station led to 25 years of motherhood and running her own business in what everyone in the world seems to think is the “IT” city. But when she’s had her fill of the constant parade of bachelorette parties on pedal taverns and man buns as far as the eye can see, she travels with her husband who is in the entertainment business to see what real crazy looks like. Her blog, Heart Written Words (https://heartwrittenwords.com), is the product of her day to day life as seen through her unique, possibly broken but definitely scratched lens.
I was proud of that bio, but then I stupidly asked for feedback from the same group of “like-minded women.” The bio, for the most part, got slammed. “Lose the stuff about your kids,” “It’s too long,” “Don’t ask for advice if you don’t want it.” I was mad. I realized staying in this group was damaging to not only my self-confidence and buy my overwhelming sense of self. So I left that group. I’m sure all these women meant well and even though I’ve been blogging for two years, I’m not very good at receiving criticism, but I’m especially not good with it when I know it’s wrong.
I’m a good person, damn it, just read my bio!