I've been thinking about the question of proving myself as I read different blogs. Some of the ones I read are simply informational or news-oriented, extensions of an organization's outreach, which are neutral; more and more it's the ones that are individual blogs that I've been thinking about.
Several of them appear to be not simply concerned with sharing information or thoughts but of proving the author's worth as a parent, child, reader, [insert type of professional practice] or person. It's as though the driving goal is to say "hey! I'm actually good at ---! I've got worth and watch me prove it!"
At first I thought I was simply too old to care about proving myself to others, but then I realized that some of these bloggers were my age (or thereabouts). A couple are even older. Isn't that sad? How do we end up, approaching or in our second half-century, doubting that we have worth and value and needing to prove it over and over again? And then there's the corollary question: is it possible to get that using all these Neat! New! social networking tools? Methinks it's not: this is something that comes from within and no matter how much you blog, you'll never feel worthy. Honestly, though, I'm tired of reading those blogs, the "woe is me" posts or the "lookit me" posts don't convince me - and clearly they're not convincing anyone else because these people keep blogging in the same vein.
Now, I'm not suggesting that I'm perfect - not by any stretch of the imagination am I perfect! I'm aware of my flaws (no, I'm not going to go into them here, although the discerning reader will probably have already figured them out) and yes, I'm working to correct them with the goal of being a better friend, daughter, employer, employee, librarian, reader, blogger, etc.. But I don't feel that I have to prove that I'm a good [insert above list], particularly not to a bunch of virtual strangers; those I know in real life already know that I have that worth... or they don't care/don't agree and nothing I am doing or can do will ever change that.
Having said that, it's not easy. There's someone in my life - tangentially now, but moreso years ago - who didn't think I had worth as a friend, or even as a person. It took me years to realize that that's his problem, not mine and I've been able to move beyond that need to say "hey! your life is better with me in it!!" Years. Those former employers who made my life miserable? Their problem. Ditto those colleagues who didn't appreciate me when we worked together, or who didn't want to stay in touch after we stopped working together. Ditto those people who don't want to be friends on Facebook... or Goodreads... or who don't follow me on Twitter... or (even more important) in real life. It's their problem, not mine.
Here's a mantra for all those questioning: I ain't got nothin' to prove. Next step: stop acting as though you do. Trust me, your life will a lot better.