The miniature units of my human family were given Ipod Shuffles a couple of years ago as a sort of litmus test. They've fared quite well. The kids, not the Shuffles. Although the Shuffles have done fine also, having been lost only a couple of times. By lost I mean the Shuffles fell or were dropped, and were therefore hidden among the piled debris in the depths of the bed-caves.

    Because they have done well with the Shuffles and also because I was tired of them asking to borrow my phone for it's music, camera, and video capabilities, Husband and I decided they were ready for a more advanced Ipod.

    Oh yes, excitement ensued. Mom and Dad were the heroes of the millennium, the best parents in the universe, etc. And now? Mom and Dad exist only to provide food and drink at the designated feeding times.

    “Answer your facetime.” “I sent you a text.” “Oh, listen to this one.” “Did you see this video?” These are the current phrases of choice that I hear throughout my house now. What happened to, “Can we ride bikes?” “Let's go to the park.” “You can't ride the scooter in those shoes because Mom will kill you.” “I can't find my other skate.”

    I do realize there is the newness factor. I know the Ipods will find their place in the activity repertoire. But I never thought I'd miss having to say, “Don't ride that bike through the house.”

I keep trying to come up with a new clever catch phrase. One that deals with procrastination and avoidance and genius. One that will be attributed to me as a brilliant quote. One that will evolve into a cliché. But, um, no luck with that.

You see, I have all these thoughts in my head that are lining up and playing nice. Well, not really. The truth is they are stumbling all over one another. Some are climbing - aggressive little buggers - but not necessarily going anywhere. Others are plugging along at a steady pace. Most are playing a form of mental bumper cars which sometimes gives me a headache.

I like to think these are my masterpiece thoughts. My thoughts which are pure genius. And for one fleeting moment, they are all cohesive and coherent and flow together. But somewhere during the motion of hands to keyboard, they vanish.

So what's at the heart of the problem? That I'm really not a word genius? Impossible! Ultimately, I think there are two culprits: perfection and fear.

First part: I put this unbelievable pressure on myself. A pressure where every sentence must be perfect. The tense must be perfect, the word choice must be perfect. The flow must be perfect.

Second part: After beating myself over structure, word choices, and flow, I'm afraid to put it out there. I'm afraid I'll be judged and found wanting.

I do think that's one advantage to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). NaNoWriMo encourages you to write with abandon, among other things. And for writers like me, that's a great exercise. But NaNoWriMo, in itself, is fodder for another discussion.

My wish is that every time I sit to write, I write without worrying if a word is spelled correctly or if the sentence structure is correct. Or if this modifies that correctly. Why can't I just get the thoughts out? Sometimes I can't complete a sentence without backspacing to reword something or to correct spelling (because of typos of course). I seriously lack typing skills.

The fear is easy to figure out. Fear of failure. Who hasn't been nervous about another person reading what they've written. It's hard to remove myself from my work. But that's what I have to do. Remove myself and push the work out the door. Lock the door if necessary. Otherwise, I'll never face the possibilities. And although these possibilities will probably be good, I tend to look the opposite direction and expect those possibilities to be bad, as in fail.

For many years I've fantasized about being a writer. I was in love with the idea of being a writer. It wasn't the work involved that frightened me. As long as I maintained my fantasy, I didn't have to deal with the reality. The reality that I can fail. I don't like to fail. I'm a perfectionist, remember?

How do I combat this problem. I face my fears. I write. I post. I'll admit to some editing. But the bottom line is that I am putting it out there for the world to see. I'm making those connections. I'm pretending to be confident when I'm actually scared senseless in hopes that at some point, I will be judged, and I'll be found worthy.

I've recently come to the conclusion that each member of my core group of friends represents a facet of my personality. I'm not saying I'm Sybil - *respect*. But we all have layers that make up our personalities. It's my friends' dominant layer that I'm talking about.

Now these friends have met one another but most of them move in different circles. So it's not like I was friends with one then became friends with another because she was friends with the first one. I've had some of these friends for years, while others are relatively new members of my inner sanctum. All were added with great care.

I have to wonder if this personality link is one of the ways we choose our close friends? Do we see a part of ourselves in them? Is that the base attraction that drives us to develop a friendship with them in the first place? I've got to tell you, I could be a smudged carbon copy of a couple of my friends. Then again, I don't feel I'm anything like some of my other friends, until you look at the obvious, their driving force. I think it's that driving force of each of their personalities that I resonate with.

Finding these women did not come easily. Trustworthy friends were hard to come by in the little rural town where I grew up. More than once, something said in confidence made the rounds in the town gossip circles. After that, women as confidants were an extinct species to me. Women friends in general, were kept at a distance as far as my inner thoughts were concerned.

Trust issues? Yeah, I had a few. But they were earned. I didn't just decide on them in one day. It was pondering my trust issues that brought me around to the train of thought that each woman whom I consider a part of my core group, actually represents a facet of my personality. And here's the good part – I know I can go to any one of them, day or night, and they'll stand beside me, no questions. I feel that confident about my core group of friends.

Whereas it may be as few as one common thread with my personality that drew me to them, it's where they are not like me that I find intriguing. It's almost like I've created a personal council for when I need reality checks. These women keep me in line whether they choose to or not. They keep me sane and moving forward.

And so it is with this thought on personalities and trust, which can be analyzed later by persons much more qualified than I, that I dedicate my first blog post – to the women who help me see myself so that I don't get lost; to the women who have taught me to trust again.