Those who can’t do, teach and other lies

Eric and I co-taught a Sunday school lesson this last week about sharing messages about our faith on social media. Afterward, we took a quick inventory of how we did.

“You are a very confident woman,” he told me.

I scoffed internally.

He was right in some ways. I am pretty confident in a lot of areas. 1. My chocolate chip cookies will change your life. 2. I make cute babies. 3. Get me in front of a classroom and I can talk for hours about journalism, writing, social media, etc.

Cue the old adage, “those who can’t do, teach.”

This actually originates from George Bernard Shaw.

“He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches.” That’s the actual quote.

And I’ve actually spent far too long believing it.

I have always been so passionate about writing. Ever since I was an angsty pre-teenager writing dramatic accounts of my middle school days and making up stories about two twins separated at birth who meet later but are “from totally different worlds.” (An actual quote from 1999 Emmilie. Bless her.)

CIMG0094
September 2007

When I discovered blogging when I started college in 2007, it was magical. No, that sounds juvenile. It was bigger than that. It was transcendent. I knew I had stumbled upon something that thrilled me to my core. It combined my love of word-crafting with my borderline obsession of over-sharing.

I have always felt that one of the talents God blessed me with was the ability to share my experiences in the hopes (and some times success) of helping other people. This blog (and about 6 others that I’ve started) have tried to do just that.

For me, vulnerability is electricity.

It connects ordinary people in an extraordinary way. I have tried to teach this to my writing students each semester.

Comm 111 Spring 2015
Spring Semester 2015, Comm 111

When I entered BYU-Idaho again three years ago, this time as a faculty member, I was surrounded by colleagues that once were my professors. It was very intimidating. I found a niche teaching, but it came at a surprising cost. I suddenly felt self-conscious about my writing. Like it had to be perfect. Weird, right?

It was enough to make me stop writing.

This blog has been spotty at best. Part of that has been thanks to a battle with mental illness, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say my own insecurity got in the way too. Eventually I felt like an imposter teaching blogging every semester. Even more so giving guest lectures about my blog to the business department.

But today, I stumbled upon a blog by a friend of a friend. I don’t know why I clicked on it. But I did. It was brilliantly written. And I instantly found myself feeling foolish about my writing. I want to write like her, I thought. And that’s the irony of it.

Her post (PLEASE read it) was all about confidence. It was amazing. She talked about writing every day and how creating her own blog gave her an increased measure of love. FOR HERSELF.

I needed her words.

Because she too shared her own battles with insecurities, which I related with in my own way. But what was jolting was that I related more with her confidence. I think I just spent so many years of my life believing that I was stitched together with insecurity that I never took time to relish in my, well, awesomeness.

It was a great reminder that I have worth at my best and at my worst.

And so. do. you.

This is a screenshot of my first blog post. It was written almost 10 years ago and is precious.

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 7.21.50 PM

Since that time I have written hundreds of thousands of words. Each one has molded me, shaped me, building my confidence with each keystroke.

I love who I have become. I love the mother, wife, Christian and human I am still becoming.

So yes, Eric. I am a confident woman.

Interestingly enough, it’s in the doing that I’ve learned that the most.

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4 thoughts on “Those who can’t do, teach and other lies

  1. This was so sweet to read! Thank you so much for the kind recognition — and I’m glad you clicked on my blog. It’s so great to see other women finding strength in…other women 🙂 I loved your post here because we should all be confident! And keep writing! ❤

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  2. I love reading your blogs etc. In fact, just last night my husband pulled up an article you wrote (saved in his journal!) about your mission to Montana. He reread it to me and again got all choked up and said he would be sharing this with others who need to hear this message. The sad part is in our busy world we don’t take enough time to thank those who have made a difference in their writing or their teaching etc. So I am doing it right now. Thank you for sharing…the good…the bad and sometimes the ugly of life that so many of us can relate to but can’t always express as well as you do!!

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  3. Emmilee!

    I love reading your blogs etc. In fact, just last night my husband pulled up an article you wrote (saved in his journal!) about your mission to Montana. He reread it to me and again got all choked up and said he would be sharing this with members of his ward (he is the Bishop 😊) especially to a young man who was just called to serve in North Dakota.

    The sad part is in our busy world we don’t take enough time to thank those who have made a difference because of their writing or teaching etc. So I am doing it right now. Thank you for sharing…the good…the bad and sometimes the ugly of life that so many of us can relate to but can’t always express as well as you do!!

    Elaine King

    ________________________________

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