Ugly Duckling Blogger

There once was an ugly duckling who did not know his/her beauty…I know you know this story.  It is a time honored tale of separation and returning.  Returning to one’s wild and instinctual ways.

Here’s a bit of the story:

In the reflection in the water he saw a swan in full dress: snowy plumage, sloe eyes, and all.  The ugly duckling did not at first recognize himself, for he looked just like the beautiful strangers, just like those he had admired from afar.

And it turned out that he was one of them after all.  His egg had accidentally rolled into a family of ducks.  He was a swan, a glorius swan.  And for the first time, his own kind came near him and touched him gently and lovingly with their wing tips.  They groomed him with their beaks and swam round and round him in greeting.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

So this is for all of you ugly duckling bloggers out there who aren’t quite sure what direction you’re heading in, or who you really are.  You are Swans.

I send this out most particularily to my friend Karen Swim, who is the author of Words for Hire.  She is a fantastic person who never runs out of the gift of giving -giving -giving.  An eloquent writer and person, I honor her.

She has given me an extra dose of courage to pursue my words and pictures.

It is important to do your own thing; don’t get caught up in chasing the illusion of popularity.  Here today, gone tomorrow.  But your self worth, your self esteem, and your life work, for yourself and others, is the foundation of who you are.  Brick by brick you lay this foundation in your own blogging way.  Why not believe in yourself?  And then maybe the other Swans will show up.  But if not, keep going.

And one by one, because of life and passion and time passing, they all danced away; the young men, the young women, all danced away.  The children and the swans all danced away…leaving just us…and the springtime…and another mother duck down by the river nesting on her eggs. 

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Do we ever really know our true value?  Who we may touch?

Photo Credit: © Ellen Wilson

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33 thoughts on “Ugly Duckling Blogger”

  1. Ellen, I read your words and felt my head rise. Today your words have touched my heart and stirred my soul. With tears in my eyes dear friend, thank you. Simple words that cannot begin to communicate how much I shall treasure these words. In case you did not know Ellen, you are a swan.

    Hugs, Karen

    Karen Swim’s last blog post..The Essential P’s of Business

  2. This is a wonderful post. I have been searching for my own voice over the past year that I have been blogging, and I am finally starting to see it emerge. It is a great feeling to find yourself emerging from the woods and onto a path.
    Thanks for sharing this!

    @Stephen | Productivity in Context’s last blog post..Spring is Here!

  3. Ellen, this really does make sense. Believe in yourself, do what you love and don’t worry about the statistics. Don’t ever give up. The one time, the *one* time you touch somebody, that makes it all worthwhile. At least that’s how I feel.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the hero everyone said they knew.

  4. @Karen – You deserve the praise. I see you all over the blogosphere helping people. If I can give an iota of what you do…

    @Stephen – I’m glad you’re finding your voice. I know it doesn’t come easy. Maybe it comes with mindfulness. I seemed to have stepped away from mindfullness, and need to get back into it. It really is measure of who you are, and you have to practice it constantly. I’m not perfect.

    @Brett – Popularity and blog statistics go hand in hand I guess. At least that’s what I’m learning. I started this blog because I wanted to showcase my writing and pictures. I also like to encourage others, so they too can do their own thing. And sometimes that thing is wanting to be popular. And that’s cool. And sometimes it is not wanting to be popular. And that’s cool too. It’s a matter of staying true to yourself that’s the tricky thing. Thanks for your support. Your writing inspires me, and helps me continue on with this blogging venture.

  5. Brett,

    That’s the foundation of friendship. Helping eachother learn and grow. Plus, just hanging out and having fun, eh? E

    PS. Looking forward to your book!

  6. Hey Darren,

    Welcome to the pond! Glad you could stop by. I think that a few swans swimming in a pond is good…

  7. Well, the Ugly Duckling describes me exactly.

    I just recently started blogging, and I’m writing about everything, everwhere, and in no coherent order. I have no idea what I’m doing and I dont’ know where it’s going to take me.

    Ideally, I’d like to get to the point that I can quit my @#%$ day job and support myself with my writing and artwork.

    But if that dosen’t happen, well, so what? I’ll still have my @#%$ day job, and at least I’ll be writing and having fun.

    But who knows?…I could be the next swan.

    Friar’s last blog post..Friar’s Artist Tips: Cheap brushes work just fine.

  8. Greetings #9 Friar, and welcome to the pond! You are a swan, even if you have to work your ugly duckling day job. Even in chaos there is an intinisic order, though we don’t always see it.

    Regarding chaos theory – you have just inspired my next post!

    Good luck to you.

  9. Ellen, I’m glad you had a chance to meet the Friar today – he’s a good friend of mine from a long time back, and we are 2/3 of the bonfire and beer brigade.

    I am looking forward very much to your post on chaos theory – it will be great!


    Brett Legree’s last blog something crazy.

  10. How strange to meet you and Friar in this sea of synchronicity. I am convinced there is a reason. It’s all percolating beneath the surface now, and will come out in a post featuring the 2/3 of you in the beer brigade.

  11. I know. I think that there is more structure to chaos than we know. Someday each of us will learn the truth, I believe. 🙂

    Now, if we could only get the missing leg of the triad out here!

    Brett Legree’s last blog something crazy.

  12. I first met Brett (what..almost 15 years ago?). I was a lowly grad student, he was an even lowlier 3rd year student. I was his TA for some kind of engineering course.

    I totally forgot about him until three years ago. I was applyinog for a job and Brett was one of the interviewers.

    Anyway, I ended up getting hired (Good thing I was a nice TA, huh?).

    And now we’re harassing Ellen on her Blog.

    Funny, how these things work out.

    friar’s last blog post..Friar’s Artist Tips: Cheap brushes work just fine.

  13. Thanks Friar, better you than someone else. It is funny how these things work out.

    I hope you post some of your artwork on your blog. But no Caillou, please.

  14. @Friar – it was Pelton’s thermodynamics course (*loved* the assignments, thanks Bob, if you ever read this…)

    It sure is a small world. I remember how pleased I was when I heard you were one of the candidates… 🙂

    @Ellen – if he does post a picture of Caillou, I know where he lives LOL j/k if he did put a pic of Caillou, it would probably be Caillou being chased by a Viking warrior

    Brett Legree’s last blog something crazy.

  15. Now I really am interested. Vikings? Have you heard the Vikings did not wear horn helmets? That it’s all an artist’s rendition? I suppose it’s all up to Friar.

    So happy I don’t have to wrestle with Thermodynamics anymore. Except when I’m eating. Drop the equations.

  16. Ellen

    I have my “serious” artwork which I post (my paintings). But I also am a frustrated cartoonist. I’m going to start putting more of my doodles on my blog and see how it works out.

    So you did Thermo once too? (Do you remember WTF “fugacity” is?). Heh heh. Neither do I.

    As for Vikings, that’s just an obsession of Bretts. Ask Brett to send you some of his “favorite” You-Tube rock videos.

    And be afraid. Be very afraid.

    Friar’s last blog post..Super-achieving for a Cup of Coffee…

  17. @Friar – I prefer the philosophy in Quantum Mechanics, and trying hard to forget everything associated with my boring Newtonian physics class I had to take as part of the curriculum for my BS.
    Looking forward to your cartoons and paintings.

    @Brett – Have you ever studied the Runes? Something I have always wanted to do but haven’t gotten around to it.

    I’m beginning to think the two of you are in the same cubicle. What’s the techie manual of the day? How to build a Rocket Ship?

  18. Ellen,

    I have spent some time studying the Runes, a few years ago. I became interested in it through role-playing games 🙂

    We used to work in the same facility, same building too, and we often have lunch together. Tonight we will get together for some beer and good cheer.

    I’m not sure what Friar’s working on today, but I’m studying cementation of waste (fun stuff…)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..why blogging for profit is like collecting underpants.

  19. Well, cast some runes and have a cold one for me somewhere in the Northwoods of Canada. Soon to be bonfire time. You probably want to wear your underwear a bit longer up there. Long wear underwear.

  20. Ellen,

    We will. Actually, I couldn’t get any wood for tonight, but we’ll still have a cold one in your honour. We’ll have a bonfire for Beltane next Thursday at my house.

    It would be nice if you and yours could join us, we’d have a great time. Cast some runes, have some beers and good conversation.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..why blogging for profit is like collecting underpants.

  21. Ah, yes! It is that time of the year, isn’t it? I really wish I could come. Can I take a rain check? Maybe next year.

    I will be thinking of you guys next Thursday. Don’t forget to jump over the bonfire for good luck!

  22. I wish you could come too! We are *so* on the same page, my friend 🙂 rain check is in the mail, and you are welcome any time.

    We’d better get on our jumping shoes, the fire will be high!

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..why blogging for profit is like collecting underpants.

  23. I don’t know where the #$%. Brett gets these words from (…Beltane?). Apparently it’s some kind of pagan holiday. But I’ll take his word for it, if it’s a good excuse to pound back some pints.

    Did you know Brett’s nickname at work is “The Father”? And we have another buddy who we call the “Fallen One”. He dosen’t blog, but he’s a good beer buddy (who also “gets it”).

    The Friar. The Father. And the Fallen One. We refer to ouselves as the “Unholy Trinity”. You should hear us when we get going on a rant.

    Too bad, Ellen, you couldn’t join us in person.

    Friar’s last blog post..Motivational Posters for Dummies

  24. Yes, it is too bad Friar. I have always thought moving to Canada would be a good thing. The beer and the loonies. Great things.

    The three F’s. I like it. I could join and be the Fool. The trump card that adds all the chaos.

  25. HAHAHAH! The Fool! I love it!

    Yes, we could use a Joker in our pack.

    Friar’s last blog post..Motivational Posters for Dummies

  26. A timely post for me as I am deciding whether to continue blogging… Does it really matter to others what we say or do?
    Your words are inspiring – but I fear it is to late for me.

    kara’s last blog post..Bokeh

  27. Kara,

    Thanks for stopping by today!

    Yes, I really believe that it does matter what we say and do. We expect results from out Western action oriented society, but we don’t always get, or see them.

    I don’t always feel like blogging either, and I was just telling a friend the other day I was thinking of quitting. It is really hard work – sometimes I spend hours designing a post.

    I suppose you have to listen to your gut to see if you want to quit or not. There is no shame in quitting, or just taking a break for awhile.

    All of us don’t aspire to be big time bloggers. I like to have a little fun, spread some knowledge, and mainly, I’m finding, encourage others. Then we have a nice little community of bloggers.

    Take care. E

  28. Ellen, I for one hope you keep blogging as often as you like of course. Whenever you post, I enjoy the post and the pictures. You always inform, inspire and entertain and have been such an integral part of the blogging community. I do understand the workload though, it does a take a chunk of time! Can we bribe you to continue? 🙂 Karen

    Karen Swim’s last blog post..Is it Social or Is It Business?

  29. @Karen – You can always bribe me – with food, wine, or a cigarette. Kidding. I just get tired sometimes, but yeah, don’t we all.

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