I’m pretty much always afraid. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t. Afraid of making a mistake. Afraid of letting people down. Afraid of looking like a fool. Afraid I was a bad mom or sister or friend.
I preferred to be invisible. Stay under the radar. Keep to myself.
But I still got hurt. Bad things still happened. I learned a lot, since when you’re invisible people say things they wouldn’t say if they saw you. Things still went wrong and I still had to deal with them. But I was so focused on the fear that I wasn’t really living my life.
A few years ago I made some changes. And I started speaking up. People still didn’t listen, since I was still basically invisible, and they weren’t used to me having anything to say. I was still afraid, but I was also angry.
One supervisor would ask us for opinions and ideas. I started speaking up. He’d nod and thank me for my input. Then a male coworker would repeat what I’d said–word for word–and he’d perk up. “That’s a great idea. I wish all of you were like Eddy,” he’d say. Eddy would wink at me and laugh. I didn’t think it was funny. It was my idea yet it was only acceptable when someone else repeated it.
My whole life I’ve been overlooked, underestimated, belittled and ignored. For a long time I let it go. But then one day, something snapped. I was tired of being treated like crap.
Like I said, I’m still afraid. Of pretty much everything. But now my anger and frustration have taken over and my fear is being pushed to the wayside. I am valuable. I am worthy of attention. I have a lot to offer. I’m nobody’s doormat.
When I was trying to come up with a name for this website, I tried all sorts of cutesy names. I tried to be clever. I tried to hide behind humor. But then my son said I should just use my name. I was horrified! I didn’t want people to know my name! But then he said I should call it MichelleFrancikauthor.com and something clicked. I sat up straighter and I laughed out loud. “No. It’s going to be MFranciktheauthor.com.” As I said the name, in my mind I saw jazz hands!
Now, for someone who’s always preferred being invisible, this was a big leap! But something inside me lit up and just saying the name made me happy. Terrified. Petrified. A little horrified. But happy.
I see it as kind of an inside joke. The fearful Michelle is putting herself out there. She’s THE author. And she’s surrounded by jazz hands! lol
It really does help, though, when things are feeling scary. It makes me laugh. It makes me realize I’m taking myself too seriously. It’s a reminder to have fun and loosen up a little. It makes me happy.
Now I’m starting some new adventures. And I’ve come up with a new name and logo. They make me very happy, too! My new podcast and my new trainings are going to be under the brand name, Michelle Francik Presents! Why, you ask? Why would someone who’s shy and fearful want a brand name that’s flashy and sassy?
Why not? lol. Why shouldn’t I go big? Why should I keep hiding? What am I afraid of? Failing? Been there, done that, multiple times. Am I afraid that people won’t like me? I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t like me. Does it sound pretentious? Sure, but that’s part of what makes it so delightful. Like I said before about mfranciktheauthor.com, it makes me laugh. It’s fun. It reminds me not to take myself too seriously. And I love it!
I’m still afraid of everything. I probably always will be. Anxiety and depression follow me everywhere. But I’m learning to laugh. I’m learning to play. I’m learning that it’s okay to make a mistake or fail or have people not like me. It’s all okay. And I want to have fun. I want to shine. I want to help writers write. I want to help people start a side gig so they can bring in some extra money. I want to help other invisible people find their voice and speak up. Hey! Maybe we can form our own choir! lol
And no matter what happens next, I plan to dance through my fear and keep on dancing! Here’s my new logo. What do you think?