“I don’t know if I have the guts to put myself on the line for things that I completely recognize I might be wrong about.”

I’ve been thinking a ton lately about how to put myself “out there” more. Start a vlog, for real this time (the one I was going to launch at work has been put on the back burner… again)? Write another (gasp) book?

And also wondering if it’s possible to promote whatever I’m putting out there in a way that doesn’t seem arrogant, or like I think I have the answers, or risks my flying too close to the sun and melting my wings hubris lightning bolts vultures etc etc… AND also keeps me accountable to a higher purpose, rather than sucking me into the corrupt, or even just “fashionable,” version of power that so often seems to take over when people start gaining momentum.

(I really, really want to dig into life coaching as an example of this, particularly in light of this Quartz Obsession piece, but I’m trying to focus on the positive here!)

As I seek role models who have built platforms for their quirky selves and/or ideas in ways that don’t make me cringe, I have grown more and more a fan of Hank Green. Latest case in point: the description for this video (you’ll have to click through to the video’s YouTube page in order to read it).

Wow, EVEN HANK grapples with how to handle (and I’m assuming, not become similar to):

…people who figure out how to capture [a certain type of] energy [that you should read his description to learn more about] for their own gain and do not consider the responsibility that their power brings, or think that they are righteous when they are in fact leaning into culturally destructive ideas.

And: how can we balance the desire to offer some sort of insight into the things we observe without becoming an asshole, and even more complicated, how can we become ever more compassionate toward the full range of humanity without getting attacked for not hating on the people or things “everyone” loves to hate:

I feel more and more drawn to stability and that means compassion for people who are intolerant, but don’t necessarily know they are. And I feel like people often (maybe rightfully, I don’t know) get roasted for that kind of behavior… I don’t know if I have the guts to put myself on the line for things that I completely recognize I might be wrong about.

All this to say: I’ve been sitting on an idea that I have convinced myself to start putting out there BEFORE I have clearly outlined for myself what exactly it is. Partially because I want to challenge myself to go outside of my comfort zone, but also because I have a sneaking suspicion that if I head out there with a bunch of questions and incomplete musings rather than claim I have all the (any!) answers and/or wait to figure out how to perfectly launch this thing, it will be really fun to muck through the possible next steps TOGETHER, with other people.

I very nearly also convinced myself to put together a video pitch to to Hank and his brother John to produce this idea, which at the moment I believe would make a really excellent addition to their video empire. I know I know, ridiculous, but also kind of awesome! How fun will it be to bumble through the actual logistics of starting a video series, knowing full well that the best-of-the-best could theoretically be watching, because that’s the POINT? Regardless of whether or not I actually pitch Hank and John, is walking into something that you don’t really know how to do, very publicly, an exercise in humility, or hubris?

It will be interesting to see how far I take this, and how far it goes. Worst-case scenario, I’ll get to have some really interesting conversations with friends I miss, people I admire, and people whose questions inspire me (etc) and you’ll get to be a fly on those walls. I’ll learn a thing or two about producing videos. And I’ll have all sorts of fodder for another book 🙂


Postscript: the funny thing about YouTube descriptions is that nobody really reads them. But The Algorithm likes it if you write them, and even YouTube encourages you to write them in such a way that they will increase the likelihood that when people are searching for something on YouTube (aka the 2nd most-used search engine in the world), your videos will come up.

Which means, I’m guessing, that a lot of great writing languishes in YouTube video descriptions. But if you put some writing there, or anything anywhere, someone might find it, and it might make a difference. Thanks, Hank, for sharing what you do, where you do, and for inspiring me share something in a more creative way than I had previously imagined.

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