I’m No Expert

The Internet has become inundated with “experts.” People who make their living, or at least try to, by making the most of what the worldwide web has to offer and selling us their step by step plans for everything from SEO to organic farming, online marketing, parenting, artisanal pencil sharpening, whatever.  I’ve thought a lot about how to access the wealth of the online universe. I’m entrepreneurial. I’m motivated. I’m also easily overwhelmed and I have a pretty short attention span. 

The only thing I’m an expert at is not knowing what the hell I am doing. 

I have my talents – as everyone does- but the thing I’m really best at is not something that can really be taught so much as it is an in-born pathology to say things out loud that people have generally been taught to not discuss, recognize or validate. I’m a feeler and an expresser. Better or worse this is it. 

There are a lot of “experts” who write books that people read to help them tackle life, feel more in control, and be inspired. I hope to be one of those people who inspires and motivates others – but here’s the thing – I don’t have a multi-tiered process for success to sell. My only expertise lies in saying out loud – there’s no such thing as a multi-tiered process for success. The only thing that anyone can do is show up, listen, be respectful, work hard and repeat. I can’t write a book about that. It would be very short.

What I can write about and talk about is all the times I showed up, looked ridiculous, figured some stuff out, benefitted from the hard work and talents of those around me, and emerged victorious – even when the outcome was not what I anticipated.  Wow – that’s a very long sentence. But it would still make a very short book. 

The truth of my life – and yours – is that you can royally screw-up and everything will still be ok – just maybe not the way you thought. That’s really the only truth I have to offer. 

Maybe (likely) you’re not looking for me to sell you on my expertise but I’m always looking for the reason why I haven’t been successful in things I don’t know how to do. To this day I’m still disappointed in myself for not being a chemical engineer. I don’t want to be a chemical engineer, but I feel pressure inside to be able to do everything, be good at everything, and know how to do everything. So you can understand my disappointment when I discover I DON’T know way more than I DO know. The longer I live, the more this becomes true. 

The success of this experiment – It Runs in the Family – depends entirely on our willingness to share life’s challenges, bring to light the shame associated with not having all the answers, opening our mouths about the impact of mental illness on those who struggle and their families – together. 

Instead of selling you on a package that is going to make life perfect, I’d love for us to just keep trying to be better together – every day or every week or at a show or on Richmondmom.com, or at the JCC, or over email, in the comments section, at the grocery store, on Facebook, via text message or wherever our lives cross. 

I’m looking for a community in all of this and so far I have found such amazing people. I hope it keeps growing. I want to become an expert at giving love and acceptance in the same way that you have all shown me.

Thank you and here’s to next steps and figuring out life as we go.

Much love,

Erin xo 

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