Being Recruited

Guess what.  It’s Recruit day.

Guess what else.  It’s my 999th post.

And I’m giving it to Erin.

I have absolutely no idea how mine and Erin’s paths crossed.

I am pretty sure it had to do with The Red Dress Club since she was a fantastic participant around the time that I was over there. She wrote my absolute favorite fiction piece ever Pink Doughnut Perfection…it is heart breaking and just wonderful writing.

She is awesome.

She is the beautiful Jewish mom to three (twins plus one) and is working on writing a book.

I feel pretty confident that she is the perfect person to give my 999th blog post to.

Read on…

*************

recruit
re-cruit [ri-kroot]
noun
1. a new member of a group, organization, or the like.
2. a fresh supply of something.
3. a newly enlisted or drafted member of the armed forces.

When Katie asked me to be a Sluiter Nation Recruit, I was elated and surprised. I checked my calendar twice to make sure it wasn’t April Fool’s Day. It wasn’t. So then I moved on to the next phase, FEAR.

Because when I think of being recruited for something, I remember the trauma of junior high and high school, when my lack of athletic ability reared its ugly head. Just like the giant zit that took up permanent residence on my chin. Every day was scary.

I self-consciously changed into my PE uniform, surrounded by girls who already had real bras with real breasts to go in them. The locker room was always stuffy from sweaty bodies, and the spray deodorant made it humid and hazy to boot. I choked on the fumes and took comfort crouching in the same small corner. I turned my back, avoiding everyone, hiding my concave chest and trying to squash the dread about the impending “draft.”

A gaggle of girls standing on the football field looking at the team captains. Said captains oozing confidence, ability and superiority. Name after name was shouted out, followed by shrieks and squeals and long legs running to join one of the teams. Someone tossing a softball around. The clatter of bats as they hit the ground. The PE coach dropping the rubber bases at their worn out spots in the grass. And me, digging the toe of one of my Keds into the dirt, begging to disappear. Me. Always, ALWAYS one of the last two or three to be reluctantly recruited. These types of memories are typical when I think back to high school. Shame on those teachers and coaches. They should’ve just counted us off to form teams so that we could’ve maintained some dignity.

Thank goodness this isn’t 1994 anymore.

And fortunately in BlogLand, no one is ever last or alone. There are so many of us, an infinite number of blogs and writers; it’s not just Dooce anymore. It’s an honor and a privilege to be a Sluiter Nation Recruit today, and guess what? Katie is going to be posting at MY place this Friday! But if you feel lost/last in BlogLand, remember these things:

Put yourself out there. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.

Reciprocate when possible.

Reach out to someone in some way.

Spread the (bloggy) love.

Pay it forward.

Write a guest post. Be a guest poster. Offer yourself up. Beg. Bribe. Be funny.

But most of all?

Be you. Be authentic. Tell your story.

Don’t strive to be someone you’re not just to be recruited. It’s okay to admire other bloggers and aspire to be like them in some ways; but it’s not okay to lose yourself, pretend or put on a false facade.

After all this, I’ve realized I’m not last anymore. I’m not standing there all alone feeling like crap.

I’ve been “recruited.” I’m surrounded by all of you lovely bloggers, writers, and people I’ve come to call my friends–even if we haven’t met in person yet.

Thanks to you, I’m getting a second chance. I’m making more memories. Better memories. For the first time, I’m a part of something big. Something real and true and fun. And I love it.

Thank you, Katie, for letting me share my heart here today. And for “recruiting” me.

*************

Aw, Erin.  I love having you here.

And YOU should go find more of Erin!

Read her blog (especially on Friday…ahem): The Road to My Writer Roots

Follow her on Twitter.

Like her on Facebook.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Already know and LOVE Erin and her writing. Have from day one. She is awesome and I think an excellent choice for your 999th post.

  2. Lovely words from two lovely women. Erin, you do have a knack in showing exactly what PE was like for so many of us.

    • Nancy,

      I loathed PE. It was awful. I still have no athletic ability, so everything the girls know and/or can do is because of their daddy and/or participating in sports, i.e. soccer team. I never even attempted that when I was little, so maybe that was part of the problem? Also I am a complete klutz by nature.

  3. I am always captivated by your words Erin.
    You’re a magnificent writer 🙂

    • Kimberly,

      I’m blushing. And I appreciate your compliments. I think you’re a pretty awesome writer too, and am so grateful our paths have crossed. Your words touch many lives, you know….xoxo

  4. You have a following because of who you are, Erin. I remember how we met: we entered a contest together. And you showed me such kindness…true story of how I met my Erin.

    xo

    • Alexandra,

      You are so sweet. I’m thinking of you….I think tomorrow is your big day for The Moth (unless I am totally dreaming and/or confused)? Please please let me know how it goes. I wish I could be there. I cannot wait to meet you. Sigh. Is it August yet? xoxo

  5. Hey Erin! (and Katie, of course)

    PE Class is a torture device for so many kids. My particular torture took place in junior high, and I almost failed (my first class ever with less than an A) because I preferred not to participate than to be embarrassed all. the. time.

    I’m so glad you found your “team” here in the blogging community.

    • Angela,

      I can’t believe you can fail PE…then again, I never opted out of participating. Wish that would have even entered my mind b/c I should have. It might have saved me all that embarrassment!

      Thanks so much for coming by to read.
      xoxo

  6. I’m so glad I met both of you ladies out here in the twitter lands.

    • Lindsay,

      And I’m so glad I just read your story about simultaneously barfing and peeing. That rocks. Can we be BFF’s now?

      Thanks for sending me your linky!
      😉

  7. Love it! As usual… 🙂

  8. Oh how I heart Erin, let me count the many ways.
    In her written word and also in the words that tumble from her when she is by your side,
    she has a gift to share with the world!
    I am so glad that I met her both on line and in person – ad she rocks the duckface!

    • Word of Mouth/Nic,

      You are so sweet! You are quite a treasure yourself. I, too, am thrilled that we’ve met IRL. As for the duckface, you make me laugh!

      😉
      xoxo
      p.s. are you going to BlogHer?

  9. Ah, a great person for your 999th post. Erin is wonderful, and I loved pink doughnuts too!

    • Thank you, sweet Pamela! I really fear that pink doughnuts was my best fiction ever. And I’ll never get that close to good again. Then again, I haven’t tried. Because I’m scared. Blerg.

  10. Love Erin! Reading those words still makes my chest go tight. I was that girl kicking her toe in the dirt, almost, but not quite, last to be picked. The thing is, now I wish I could go back and say HA! I’m athletic now! I run while you sit on the couch! I played soccer for 15 years – as and ADULT! And I was decent at it! You would WANT me on your team now! But, back then, any athletic ability I might have had was snuffed out by a major lack of self esteem, so I was always one of the last to be picked. Why oh why did the teachers do teams that way? How did any teacher look at that system and thing “Yes, it is totally okay to let these same kids slowly die in their humiliation and be last EVERY time” ??? Grrrrrrr.

    (Just re-read what I typed here. Wow. I guess your writing touched something in me, huh? 🙂

    • *think. Not thing. Oops.

      • Ally,

        YOU GO, GIRL! I agree about the teachers. A whole lot of us could’ve been “saved” had we simply chosen teams differently. I suffer from low self esteem, too, and it’s likely that didn’t help my athletic ability, either—b/c who’s going to connect bat with ball when inside her head she’s thinking, “I suck, I was last to be picked, there’s no way I can do this…”?

  11. Thanks, Erin, for reminding me of yet another reason why it’s good to be a grown-up.

    – We no longer have to stand around foolishly waiting to be picked.

    – There are more than two teams.

    – And we decide whom we want to join.

    I am now free to play on the side of funny or heartbreaking or nostalgic; of outrageous or controversial or inspirational. I can read and comment on blogs of any kind and engage with their authors; writers who share their pain, joy and kindness with others who could be strangers but who somehow aren’t.

    We are in control now and we get back what we put out. We meet incredible partners in this life journey. Like Katie. Like Erin. People who share their truths even when it hurts, because someone out there can learn something new. About them. About themselves.

    Now, I get to choose to play with both of you.
    And in this game, everybody wins.

    Love you both. And THANK YOU for always making me feel welcome on your teams.

    p.s. 999 posts? Yowsa. Yep. I said it.

    • Julie,

      Your comment at the end (everybody wins) made me think of the SHel Silverstein poem “Hug O’ War” which I adore. And it ends with, “everybody hugs & everybody wins.”

      You summed it up perfectly. WE ARE IN CONTROL NOW.

      WOOHOO for that!

      xoxoxo

  12. Oh Erin. You always have such an amazing way with words, and I already adore you, but this piece is so, so perfect.

    People so easily feel overwhelmed in this space. It’s hard not to feel so very, very lost. But at the end of the day, we each have our place.

    WONDERFUL.

    • Thank you, Ashley!

      How are you doing/feeling?

      And yes, overwhelmed is a very apt description. Which is why I’m petrified of going to BlogHer. But Alexandra told me it’s very easy to kind of get lost and just hang with yourself or whomever you want b/c there are SO MANY PEOPLE….

      Thanks for coming over!
      xoxo

  13. Well I can’t think of anyone better to share a day with, a 999th post or otherwise.

    Erin, you make me smile and you make me want to just HUG you because you just don’t know how wonderful, amazing and talented you really are. I too, wish away a lot of the junior high, high school stuff because I was trying soooooo hard to fit in, when I really shouldn’t have cared at all…I should have JUST STOOD OUT, against the odds and against the things holding me back.

    if I could go back, that’s what I’d do, I’d be MYSELF in every single moment.

    I know you’ve learned that, that who you are today is so authentic and real that it’s what everyone loves and admires about you. It’s definately what I ADORE about you my friend.

    xoxo

    • Thank you, sweet Kirsten!

      You rock my socks off with how amazing you are and how far you’ve come in such a short time—I mean, JUST LOOK AT YOU! You’ve blossomed! So you do stand out now and you’re totally making up for lost time.

      xoxoxo

  14. Erin, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your advice about blogging and how we can ALL participate without waiting for the approval of a few “chosen ones”. Since I am relatively new to this blogging thing, I find it can be overwhelming at times. I am still finding my voice, but my blog has finally taken on a life of its own, which is really pretty fun! I love the variety of blogs out there – humor, advice, inspiration, fiction – you name it, you can find it in the blogosphere. And meeting all these different writers is exciting and refreshing.
    Katie, what a great choice for your 999th post, and hats off to you for your upcoming 1000th post!! Looking forward to reading many more 🙂

    • Dawn,

      So happy you stopped by and thanks for leaving us some comment love!
      I’m glad you’re entering the blogosphere and that you’ve already found such a diverse community here. It is so inspiring.

      🙂

  15. I’m so glad you’re finding your place here in the blog world. And you are one of THE best recruits I know and love. Thank you for always sharing your heart with US! And Yay, Katie on 999 posts – WOW!!!

  16. Hi Erin! Great to see you over at Katie’s place. And? Seriously excellent post. Gosh way back in the olden days when I went to high school (and even before), I remember being one of the last to be picked on dodge ball, basketball and other teams at school. You never forget that. And you are so right that our blogosphere provides us a place not to be last but rather to be a part of something pretty wonderful. You reached out to me early on in my blogging career and I am so very grateful for that. Because of you, I have many amazing new friends and followers. Bless your beautiful heart Erin.

    And Katie, you frieaking rock, too, sweet lady!

    Terri

    • Terri,

      Omg, you said dodgeball. Shit. I HATED THAT GAME. I was terrified of someone beaming the ball at me and getting socked in the stomach. Ugh. Why does that game exist? I fear for my children. Oy.

      Meanwhile, I’m so excited for you, Sarah’s sleep, and everything you’ve been doing and posting and working on. SO AMAZED BY YOU!

      xoxo

  17. I remember once in gym class, we were playing basketball and I kept getting called for traveling. The teacher asked me, “Why don’t you just take the foul?” I had no answer, but what I was thinking was, “I don’t want to get hurt. I don’t want everyone watching me when I airball two free throws. And I don’t want anyone to notice how really, really horrible I am at sports. I’d rather melt into the floor than take the foul, you crazy lady!”

    I’m still finding my place in the Blog World. Some days, I’m OK with that. Other days I wonder if anyone is reading anything I write. Some days it is very lonely. And others are wonderful. I haven’t found the sweet spot yet…

    • Courtenay,

      Oh basketball. Terror of terrors. I mostly just stood around or ran back and forth trying to pretend I was playing. No one ever passed me the ball b/c they knew better.

      As for the blogging, it’s hard. Seriously. Comments are down for everyone. But just b/c you don’t get comments doesn’t mean people aren’t reading. Also, Twitter and Facebook and Google + really do help drive traffic, or so I’ve found. But you are not alone—everyone gets down about their blogs and wonder who cares or who is reading. TRUST ME!!!

      xoxoxo

  18. That was awesome, Erin. Loved reading this and feeling a little push to get over myself and be myself and just do my thing. So thanks. 🙂

    • Susi,

      Thank you so very much for stopping by and I’m glad you found something here to hold onto. YOU GO, GIRL! Don’t be afraid. Just do it—whatever “it” is.

      HUGS!

  19. Hey ladies–great topic. I think the absolute key in blogland and anywhere is exactly what you said about being YOU and being authentic. Too much imitation out there. The most interesting blogs are people just being themselves. True offline as well. Right!?

    • Nina,

      YES! I agree completely. I try to just be myself and if someone doesn’t like me, well, they don’t have to read or talk or comment. We’re all different and we attract different readers, etc. But I do see a lot of imitation out there.

      So pleased you stopped by and I Hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday!
      😉

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