I know. It's your first article and it just *has* to be perfect. Well, newsflash: it will probably be your worst one. And hey- that's totally normal! If we started being great off the bat at something, I'm not sure there'd be any point in doing it. Now, as an Odyssey creator, I'd hope you'd have the *slightest* interest in writing before you applied for the position. However, if you wanted to try something new and Odyssey was the answer- that's great too! Take great comfort in knowing that we all started somewhere.

To be honest, I'm not proud of my first article published on here, but it's a good reminder of where I started. I started writing from a place that didn't know how to be vulnerable on such a public site. I managed my personal blog for 4 years before even applying for the Odyssey. Once I did, the little voice in my head was always like: "WOW, The Odyssey Online is actually a BIG DEAL. And they wanted me to share my posts on Facebook? Where all the 40-year-old white moms can judge me? Nope, no way."

I thought that I could just talk about school or write about very *basic* white girl things. And you know how far that got me? Stuck on an idea. Every. Single. Week. Sadly, this pattern continued for about 6 months. Six of them. I'd think that something was actually a pretty good idea, then I realized that there was no original thought behind it and I had seen it somewhere before.

May 9th, 2018 was a big day for me. It's when an article about my life was finally published because I got over the looming fear of being judged. I wrote about something awkward, new, and extremely personal: my boobs. Talk about being judged by middle-aged women on facebook! But do you know what was surprising? That article was the one that got the utmost support from everyone around me. I got so many "I'm so proud of you!" comments, it was unbelievable. That article launched me into a place where I wasn't scared of the middle-aged women commenting on my Facebook posts. I then felt like it was time to open up with my battle with Anxiety, and how God defines me instead. Again, I got a lot of praise. I didn't write for the praise, however. I wrote because I was finally comfortable enough to be vulnerable on the internet. I was comfortable in who I was and also with realizing that I wasn't alone in my struggle.

There's a beautiful thing about this site and it's that this is the biggest opportunity to share your heart and realize that you're not alone. The community of responses and shares is truly amazing. So, thank you, Odyssey for giving me that opportunity.

New creators, don't feel the pressure to hold back anything, because it's one of my biggest regrets. But also don't put a lot of pressure on yourself to create something absolutely magical right off the bat. You can do it. And if you need help brainstorming, your president (me) is ALWAYS a text away. Or, in this case, a Facebook comment.