joanne xu ut austin sophomore dallas texas

Caring Too Much: My 2018 Resolution

I’m not very good at being a blogger.

Hear me out: I’m terribly shy in front of the camera (even when it doesn’t look like it), albeit the hours I spend directing others behind one. I love when people give me attention (who doesn’t?), but I absolutely despise being thrust into the spotlight. I keep a consistent journal of thoughts and scribbles and friends often tease me for using pretentiously long words, yet sitting down in front of a computer and translating what I’m thinking into what I type is a seemingly impossible task. Right now, I have five completed posts sitting in my drafts queue – all of which I’ve decided just aren’t good enough yet. I am not of the typical “blogger build”, as I like to call it: my legs aren’t 10 feet long and fatless. In fact, they’re muscular and short and unproportional to my long torso (I most definitely cannot wear low rise jeans). My fat feet mean loafers and most sandal types are just out of the question, my voice sounds like a 50-year-old chain smoker on a good day and a prepubescent boy on a bad one – I could go on.

But I do really love to write – I might even dare say I’m kind of good at it. I’m even better at the social media game (just ask any friend that’s had to sit through a photo session at the brunch table). I’m good at what really counts when it comes to this new phenomenon of blogging: sharing stories about what makes us human. There are all these things happening in the world right now, to us as newly minted 20-somethings and to us as people, that I think are so important to have conversations about: heartbreaks, growing pains, and missteps that surely everyone could relate to.

There’s just one thing holding me back, though. I’ve realized that I care too much about not stirring the pot. I care too much that my writing might not be as eloquent as the next or that my opinions might be too controversial, and so I don’t post them for fear of backlash. I care too much that “vlogging” on my Instagram stories or taking up collaborations or sponsorships with brands will induce snickers and whispers:

“Try hard.”

“Ooh ‘hashtag sponsored.’ Must be cool, huh.”

“Who does she think she is?”

I even care about being called a blogger, as if there’s a certain stereotype attached to it now – something someone could leverage against me. I care that labeling me as one might suddenly mean that “all I talk about are shoes and purses and likes.” For crying out loud, I’m even caring about what other people think I care about.

And thus far, all it’s done is convince me to stop writing and start doubting.

So in 2018, I’m calling bullsh*t on the whole shebang. No more twiddling thumbs or waiting around for everyone’s approval or calculating who’s saying what behind my back. Because in 2017 I watched as women on screen and in real time went after what they wanted; I experienced the loss of a loved one halfway around the world, through a phone line; I mended a relationship I never thought could unbreak and felt several others fade away with time; I saw a year slip right through my fingertips and realized the countdown until graduation the real world hits is less than three years away.

tina fey quote from bossypants

And through all of this, I felt like I was just watching from the sidelines, cheering on as a mere spectator when I should’ve been in the game, celebrating right alongside these powerful women.

I’ve decided that taking the backseat in my own damn car, is no way to continue on.

Here’s to caring a whole lot less about all the wrong things.



  • Reply Mareli Porras January 4, 2018 at 1:26 AM

    I love this. Couldn’t agree more…thanks for this inspiration.

    • Reply Joanne Xu January 8, 2018 at 4:54 PM

      Thank you! So glad you can relate.

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