When I first decided to offer help for anyone that wanted it if they felt they could trust me, I felt for sure, like most ideas in my head, that it would be a complete disaster. That I’d fail, that I’d be perceived as a weirdo. I mean, this is the Net right? And who wants to put themselves out there to a stranger? A – in their eyes – nobody? It’s a risk. Especially if your trust has been abused before.
I still feel pretty stupid about offering up a chat sometimes, even when a reader occasionally says hello and has nothing but nice things to say about my writing. Like, what right do I have to offer help, you know? I’m just another guy on the Internet.
And then, it’s the little things that come by and warm my heart. Like a few days ago, out of the blue, I received a message on Fetlife from someone I spoke to back in 2017. Admittedly I had forgotten – it’s the curse of being forgetful. But to hear from someone that I helped, that I gave great advice, that I inspired them to find their voice and challenge their fears – it’s very moving. It brings a tear to my eye because just that means the world – knowing in some way that my words are helping. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do since my own experiences led to too many years wasted on torment and self ridicule.
I love this community, you know? This ragtag team of misfits with gentle souls, curious minds and warm spirits. It’s inspiring, not just as someone who finds it fulfilling to mentor, but as someone who might need help one day. I know I can approach someone honestly and receive advice.
Sometimes I doubt myself, doubt my words and think of just giving up writing altogether. But then something happens – it could be a blog post from a fellow writer, it could be an email from a reader, it could be a comment or a gesture of kindness in my world when I’m out shopping – life has a way of bringing back the light and providing a drive sometimes.