To look at me you would think I enjoy being noticed, being in the limelight and center of conversation... considering I am a blogger, now do YouTube, and live weekly chats on my FB fan page, you would think I am outgoing. If you were to meet me in person and had a conversation with me, you would think I was a social butterfly. All of the above is so far from the truth. Truth be told I am filled with anxiety, social and situational, and inside I am always in a panic, an instant fight or flight mode. Fear might as well be my middle name. Somehow throughout my life I have been able to hide the outward appearance of these issues, even in situations where I swear I am going to either throw up or pass out. I have built a persona, that is like another personality, that I can hide behind and not show that I am just a bowl of quivering jello. Oh do not get me wrong, I do like people, and can be very chatty, but it seems to be a nervous reaction the latter part, because for so many years I was a shy wallflower and could barely say a word when meeting new people and quite often came off as rude or stand offish.
There would have been a time when I would never have thought or considered putting myself out there either through the written word or otherwise. I hated talking about myself. It was always hard to let anyone in. I never wanted to be in front of the camera, and would only do so when others would request a photo to be sent to them, such as family members or pen pals. I could never look at a photo and not see what was wrong ( in my eyes) either physically or even deeper, the pain and discomfort behind the smile, when I could muster one. Then came social media and it seemed it was necessary, expected, even in the early days when it was just myspace ; people wanted to see what you looked like. Then once I started blogging, an outlet for my pent up emotions and a form of self therapy to deal with my deep depression over my life situations ( in the beginning of this blog) , it became more so evident that people wanted to put a face with the words, clip art and old time photos was not going to cut it all the time. Fast forward to finally relenting and getting an Instagram account, and it was not just expected but almost demanded. I never wanted to be a pin up or selfie junkie, I am simply a retro housewife in a modern world.
It became a necessity to put myself out there more and more however when I decided that I wanted to start a promotional business for retro products; something that occurred quite by accident when someone asked me if I would share their products. I could not just simply share the products, as that did not seem to garner as many likes which is sort of the point, to have things seen... I noticed when I shared myself more along side the products that it helped quite a bit. I once used to have to wait for people to not be looking in the early days, hubby and I would go to a deserted part of a street or location, or he would sneak photos if it was too busy to do otherwise. Quite often not many photos would make it onto the blog or other social media platforms as you could see the fear shining through on my face or in my body language. I can not always hide it....and it was not just the fear and anxiety that would show it was my battle with my chronic pain issues from fibromyalgia and arthritis among a few other physical ailments. No one was ever the wiser, as I only shared the best of the best and even then not as many as I was not yet on Instagram.
Flash forward to now. and my Instagram feed is full of photos, as are my blogs. Photos taken while people are walking by, standing and watching, or even asking to be a part of them at times. I am even going to be going on what I am calling the Ruby's Musings Blogging Tour, turning my vacation with my husband into a working promotional trip and even *GASP* a meet and greet opportunity to both meet fans and potential clients. There is even to be a professional photo shoot, not just my husband on the cell phone....and vlog episodes that are possibly going to be included on the online documentary Pinup The Movie! I have nearly made myself sick from the anxiety, sheer panic and trepidation surrounding this. To prepare I went to a large car show in the area and had photos taken and met with fellow retrophiles/pin ups and went to Reno and spoke to a shop keeper there as mentioned in my last blog, getting used to chatting with a possible client. I have so much weighing on this as I also put a call out for sponsorship, never truly expecting too many to respond or step up and when a few larger companies did just that, trusting in me to send me not just small items but full outfits to wear and promote. It put a lot more pressure on myself and as I want to make them happy and glad that they have given me the chance to be a brand ambassador for their companies/products. It is not just the larger companies, but smaller home based businesses as well that are counting on me to get the word out and build up sales! My friends and family keep telling me "you got this!" , " you are going to do wonderfully" , etc etc , and inside is that shy wall flower that really just keeps screaming " what did you get yourself into??" ; time will tell and hopefully I can conquer my fears and great things will come of my efforts and help me get past my anxiety and panic over it all.