Going into this podcast, I got the same questions over and over again: Why are you doing this? Who is your intended audience?
They're fair questions, especially coming from other people who are in radio or have podcasts of their own.
Now that the first season is over, I can say it: I don't care what the listeners think.
Well... at least it's not my top priority.
First and foremost, Good Grief is for me.
It's so I can make sure that, at least once a month, I am working through my grief, that I am confronting my feelings about my father, that I am investing time in my emotional growth and self-development.
This show is for me.
I remember when a few of my favorite podcasters reminded me of that at the popular radio conference Third Coast in November. I was so wrapped up in trying to create a show that others would love; I asked how I could best frame my story so it's appealing and fresh. I threw all of my anxieties about entering a pretty saturated market at them. I asked my low-key radio heroes how they were able to make sure that their stories — one about breakups or job hunting — weren't cliche and added something to the plethora of content out there about the same thing.
Each one of them gave me the same answer: Be genuine and don't worry about what others are thinking. Think about what you're getting from this.
That's what got me here.
On a whiteboard in my room, I have a list of the tasks I have to complete that week. It includes a variety of items from "Get your finances in order" to "Grocery shop" to "Organize your emails."
Beside that list, in big red letters, I have a reminder: Be Kind to Yourself.
As you can imagine, creating this podcast is a work of emotional labor and love. It's easy to get wrapped up in the idea that everything has to be done and it has to be done right. That I need to make sure my marketing plan is working, I need to make sure I'm pitching myself, I need to make sure I'm working faster and better always.
It's in those moments when I get a glimpse of my whiteboard and remember: This show is for me. I can work at my own pace and in my own way.
The reminder to be kind to myself becomes the most helpful late at night. At least once a month, the same process happens all over again: I lay in bed, think about the day ahead and right as I lull myself to sleep, it hits me.
Wow, maybe I have XYZ personal problem because I had to move so often as a child because of the instability my father brought us.
Oh, maybe I can't trust people because my father left. I have problems forming that kind of relationship because I can't trust anyone to stick around and be kind.
Ah, yes, I do think that tendency I have comes from his genetic pool.
It happens and, of course, it ends with me staying awake for hours to harp on it.
Sometimes, those panics can be channeled into this show, and sometimes they're meant to be experienced alone — but having the show as an option, as a creative outlet is what keeps me grounded. It keeps me from ruminating too much on the revelations or from disassociating from their meaning.
Creating the first season of Good Grief was an act of emotional labor and love, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
And, even though this was designed with y'all in mind, thank you for listening anyway.