What happened? One minute I am feeling inspired and ready to get my chaos under control — then the doubt creeps in.

The nice thing about currently being in my cave without an audience following my content, is that no one saw me regret everything and pull my blog posts down for four months. A future reader is going to see the timestamps and go “wow, what happened there” and what can I say? I had a moment of insecurity. A little weasel crept it’s way into my head and started whispering those familiar words.

You’re making an ass of yourself.

You can’t handle this anymore.

Why bother when you know you’ll give up in two weeks.

Logically I know it’s just the chemicals in my brain acting up in combination with a little fear. But once that weasel wiggles in there and starts rolling around, finding a way to get rid of it can be difficult.

You have to remember that it’s okay to fail and pick up right where you left off.

We fail and we feel guilty. We think that because we failed, we’re never going to make it, so why bother trying again? Even when it’s something as simple as washing the dishes, you think “Oh, I missed today and yesterday, I’m never going to catch up.” But that’s cuckoo bananas, right? We’re not dead. There’s no reason why we can’t pick ourselves up and keep going.

It’s easier said than done. But that’s always the kicker, isn’t it? You have to fight past the weasels and force yourself to keep going.

On the bright side, despite my lack of blogging, I never stopped working on my goals of getting my chaos under control. It’s always a work in progress, even when I’m not talking about it. It has to be, or else I find myself being a couch ornament and talking to no one but cats for three months. I signed up for some makeup boxes so I can play with things. I’ve been working on small household projects to improve our quality of life, tiny things at a time. Deep down in my innards I know I’m improving, even if some days I still have a bad case of the why bothers.

I realized that something very important was missing in my life.

A couple years ago I retired as Admin of Iwaku with the intent to start fresh with a new community. I thought that starting from scratch would bring back all of the joy I used to have for running communities. It didn’t. Everything I was trying to get away from wound up following me to the new site and I couldn’t handle it anymore. I figured, maybe this just wasn’t me anymore. My passion fizzled, it has to be time for me to move on to a new phase of life. I quit and crawled into a cave.

Since then I have been flailing in the wind. I’ve worked on my other sites with little to no enthusiasm. I’ve made plans and then immediately changed my mind. Being a lump became my life, and the more I detached from people, the more lumpy I was getting. Even though I knew what was happening, and that I needed to get in gear and actually be involved again, every time I tried to step out, this overwhelming fear would take over.

After years of spouting never quit, never surrender, I had finally let fear win.

Running a community is hard work. It’s not even the research and the writing and the organizing that gets to you. Over time you develop relationships and then you find them tested with every decision you have to make. From simple things like the arrangement of threads, to serious issues like staff not getting along. Feelings get hurt, power plays happen, you lose friends. I’ve been corralling my caravan of gypsies since 2001. You pile up a lot of feelings over two decades.

Somewhere along the way it all finally got to me and I couldn’t function anymore. Even now in the past few weeks, I’ve had this pit of anxiety twisting up in my gut every time I think about starting up again and trying to manage a group of people. And I’m so angry about it! I let all of these bad feelings prevent me from doing something I truly and passionately love doing! I am so terrified that I am going to be embroiled in more drama and lose friends that I can’t do what I love.

It’s bullshit.

To heal, I have to face my fears and get back to doing what I love.

I love running communities. The joy people have when they find their tribe is something that inspires me and fuels me through all of my ambitious projects. Don’t get me wrong, I am filled with all kinds of terror and dread. It’s going to be hard, and I’m going to screw up sometimes, and sometimes I’m going to do everything right and still have it blow up in my face. But I need to find my passion again, and I can’t let fear dictate what I do.

I’m taking my crown back.