What was the impact of Steem in your life ever since you became part of the Steem family and why you would recommend it over a similar project?
In the beginning...
I will only tell this briefly as a recap, but I came onto Steem through someone who knew the financial problems my family faced, and also knew that I could write if motivated. My daughter and wife were physically struggling and I was working all I could while still caring for both of them, living in a haze on about 2 hours of broken sleep a night. We had just found out that my daughter would need a special formula due to her allergies that would not be covered by our private insurance or social services and was twice the monthly cost of our mortgage.
You know those times where you just need a break in life? After a complicated pregnancy, a disaster delivery and 6 months of incessant work day and night - life wasn't going to give us that break.
Along came Steem...
It started here with this post.
And I didn't know it at the time, but I think that the sentiment of that first post is why I have found my place on Steem. For most of my life I have been searching for what makes me unique, what separates me from the person next to me as I have never been skilled, never had a party trick that was my own to differentiate me from the group - I have always been average at many things.
Which seems to be my thing.
That first post led onto another and then another and after predicting that I would post once a week, soon it became daily, then multiple times a day. And they got longer and the topics more varied. I do not read, I don't watch the news - all of my content is me, my experiences, my observations and my thoughts about this world in which we live. At one point, I commonly had over 40 posts active at a time, and I think only once in nearly four thousand main posts have I added one without words - an image.
I am a private person, a reserved person, a person who has never taken the spotlight.
I have a fear of success and we live in a world that is increasingly and perhaps always controlled by the confident, the ones who will take the proverbial bull by the horns regardless of their ability to act well, to act in the best interest of anyone other than themselves, no matter the cost. That is not me, nor will do I see it ever being me - but I have to grab a horn because if I don't and we don't, we have no right to complain about where we are in the is world, or where we end up.
Despite many challenges, life has been one of largely looking after myself and from a very young age my future was in my hands - and I wasted the opportunity. Freedom reigned over by an immature is unlikely to reach potential. With no guidance, I suffered a lack of focus, couldn't find my thing and had no one there with the sensitivity to observe and support my areas of interest.
While I had overcome many things before I reached Steem, once I got running here, I couldn't stop. The potential to explore, learn and most importantly create our own world on Steem is enormous. When people struggle here, it isn't because of the payouts, the community, the UI or the UX, it is because they don't have a fucking clue who they are yet. You are not defined by anyone other than yourself - wake up and take responsibility for your shit.
Being on Steem made me realize how much of my life was being wasted consuming while I am a creator by trade, like every motherfucking one of us in this world. Our purpose is to create. Yes, we consume also, but past the needs of life, our consumption diet is there to support our creative mind and body and, everyone of us has an artist inside, no matter our background, education level or economic position in life - we are creators.
We talk about censorship in the world and what we fail to realize is that the largest case out there is the suppression of the free artist within each of us, hidden from the world because we believe ourselves inadequate. Instead, we have been convinced to give up on our imaginations and consume the creations of others, but make no attempt ourselves because we can't compete with the best the world an offer.
As if competition is the point of our creative imagination.
SMTs and communities are coming to Steem and with them, the possibility to rediscover who we are as creatives across a plethora of topics and niches that may be insignificant to all others in the world, but a narrow few or even perhaps, a minority of one. Us as the individual. It is funny how many think this is all about economic value - this is about taking ownership of our world and the power to not only reimagine it, but rebuild it into something that nurtures and encourages us to create, not consume. Creation takes many forms.
I do not want to control anyone, but I do want to have control over myself, my actions, my emotions, my reactions, my outcomes. Not everything can be controlled and a lot lays outside of my grasp, but I have learned a great deal more about myself on Steem through interaction and reflection through writing than I have in the walking world that gives little space for anything other than chasing survival.
Survival is no longer making ends meet, although that has to be factored in. Survival for me is now freeing the self to be the creative force and whilst doing so, help others along the way. It is incredible how many waste this opportunity laid out in front of them as they complain and moan about their immediate desires not being met. Your blog is yours on Steem in a way that it is like nowhere else on the internet - your experience through it is yours as well. You want ownership - own your own damned experience.
Having a childhood spent largely alone meant that I looked after myself a lot and this meant that I also rarely relied on people for my existence, if I needed or wanted something, I had to find a way to get it. This meant that community for me was largely absent. But, I knew it was important to me and as a result, I was a social butterfly, never painting myself into one group, one genre, one background or perspective. Instead, I learned all I could from all I could.
Some people have wondered how I can write so much across topics and the answer is simple. I do not spend much of my time consuming engineered content, I spend my time listening to people, their stories, their challenges and the things that motivate them to act or remain passive. While we all want to be discovered for a talent we hold, we all fear being discovered for what we truly are and the internet has given people a space to drive one and hide the other. In so doing, it has segmented what was once community and turned it into the world's largest pissing contest, no matter how augmented the reality.
A life of real...
And perhaps this is where I should start to end this - AUTHENTICITY I am not the smartest cat or the sharpest tool, but Steem has provided me a space to be me unreservedly, even though my identity is known. It is a risk, it is a gamble that the future will treat what I have done immutably in the past kindly, that those who read this in the years to come will understand that all of it was written in a volatile and ever-changing world, from the eyes of simple man that changes along with it.
Steem is more than a place to shout into the void to find some semblance of relevance as a person, it is a place to have my voice heard by those who may find solace in the struggle, motivation in between the lines and solidarity with a mind and heart that is not so different to their own.
One day, I want my daughter to be able to read through this mountain of text and find herself as she connects with a father that she will have never known, because like it or not - we hide ourselves the most from our children as we do not want to be lesser in their eyes.
The risk of it all...
We talk about the risk of Steem failure, the risk that the value of the token will never raise, the risk that the competition will overtake us, the risk of development stalling, the risk of users leaving, the risk of government interaction and the risk that we are all wasting our time.
Time is never wasted doing what is loved and trying to build a better world.
If Steem hasn't impacted upon your life -
You are doing it wrong.
[ a Steem original ]