It's been a weird thing to become a social media success. Me, who sort of hates social media and wants it to go away. Me, who has never had much reaction to anything on my Facebook account. Me, the introvert, the writer. The one who has often lacked confidence in her own ability to tell a story.
I've become this weird success on LinkedIn the last couple of months - well, in the last month especially. I started telling my story after I was treated shamefully by an employer. They'd tried to buy my silence, and not in a traditional sort of way where you sign a paper saying you can't badmouth a company in exchange for a severance package. This was in an asshole sort of way where they added a clause at the last minute allowing them to charge me $2000, for the rest of my life, anytime I said anything publicly they didn't like - whether it was about them or not.
With no legal recourse, mind you. They'd just send me a bill.
I remember the first post I wrote about what happened to me, and how my fingers shook when I sent it out into the world. My stomach was in knots and I thought I was going to vomit. My heart was pounding and I was teetering on a panic attack.
Because I knew they were watching me.
But I also knew that I had to use the voice they'd tried to strangle. I had to speak up for the thousands of dollars I'd just lost and the bullying I'd experienced. So I hit that button and closed the window, shoving my anxiety aside, and I tried to distract myself for a while.
I think I made it about 30 minutes before cautiously signing back in to see the initial fallout. I was surprised by the bit of support that had started to trickle in via likes and few comments. Ok, the pressure released inside of me a little bit.
Then two hours later I had even more comments, more likes, more support. And by that evening I had dozens of comments, likes and private messages. By the morning, I was on fire.
I knew I had done something right.
Since that day (which was only about a month ago), I've grown an audience of people who seem to be interested in what I have to say. I've always wanted to be the type of writer who could capture an audience with my work, but I never thought I could tell a story. Clearly, Elizabeth, you are wrong about that. Clearly you can not only tell stories but you can tell ones that captivate. Clearly you are doing exactly what you are supposed to do. Clearly you need to stop being afraid.
The picture above is of my most popular post to date, which only went up two days ago. I don't know where it's going to go or where my future posts are going to go, but I'm up above 300,000 views and engagement is growing by the minute. What I know for sure, as Oprah likes to say, is that something is brewing for me. Something is shifting. Something is going to happen and I'm going to rise out of the ashes like a phoenix (to borrow from whomever coined that phrase).
I'm excited to watch everything unfold.
The Big Pause