Late last week, I caught the tail-end of a Twitter conversation between Ez, Erin and Nichole, who were discussing a blog post by Jess of Makeunder My Life. In it, she had courageously shared a lot of the less-than-glamorous things about herself (that we all have), in an attempt to be more real with her readers and break through that wall of "perfection" I think many bloggers feel is necessary to put up. I don't know if it's to look like more of an authority on whatever it is we're blogging about, or because it's easy to conjure up a world online that's different from our reality. But I do know this: The blogs I go back to over and over are the ones that aren't trying to prove something; they're just genuinely there to let people into their lives and inspire them.
But more on that later.
Ez decided to take this idea a step further and invited other bloggers to write a post today in the spirit of Jess's, where we can air dirty laundry, get things off our chest, even share personal struggles. And my hope in doing this goes hand in hand with my hope for everyone who reads the little part of the blogosphere I've carved out for myself: That you not be afraid to be you.
So, without further ado...!
|Thanks to Ez for designing these buttons!|
I am not a "people person." I'm ridiculously shy when put in a room where I don't know anyone, mostly because I'm very insecure. I will just sit there, or stand there, silent as the grave unless someone strikes up a conversation with me. So if we've been in a room of people together and you've seen me do this, don't take it personal, and don't think I'm stuck up (see next bullet); just come save me. :)
Over the years, through the good friends I've miraculously managed to make, I've learned that my silence is in fact intimidating to others, and almost all my friends said that when they first met me, they were afraid to talk to me because I seemed so "sure of myself." Ironic, no?
I've traced my insecurity back to two specific incidents, both of which happened when I was young. The first was in kindergarten in ballet class, when a girl walked up to me and said, "You're fat." (Thanks.) The second was in grade school, when I was given the name "Bubble Butt Beth." I mean, I can appreciate good alliteration, but come on.
Ninety percent of the time, I am happy to be the tall, curvy lady that I am (something I came to terms with and even started loving about myself in college), but those two incidents still haunt me the other 10 percent.
Semi-related: I am quick to forgive (or so I like to think), but very slow to forget.
In another twist of irony, I am fairly quick to judge people, but I desperately don't want to be this way.
I would really love to do outfit posts, because I love getting dressed; it's like painting a canvas and you get to be as creative as you want. But that stinking 10 percent (see three notes above this) keeps me from wanting to see myself on the blog more than I already am (which is hardly ever). I'm also worried people will think I'm stuck on myself.
I have road rage. And it's getting worse as I get older. Sorry if you've ever driven in a car with me.
I tend to be OCD about certain things, and have mini panic attacks if someone tries to mess with the system I've carefully curated. This includes making macaroni and cheese from the box, going to estate sales and suggesting a different route to me while we're driving. :)
I also have mini panic attacks if I feel physically constrained and can't move. Or maybe that's mini claustrophobia.
If you want me to stop following you on Twitter, just talk about how much email you currently have in your inbox and how you dread having to tackle it all. I don't know why bloggers tweet about this...do you really need to feel that important? (Sorry...there goes that judgmental side of me again.)
This past Christmas Eve, while we were in Texas, our house was burglarized. I didn't blog about it, or really tell very many people, because I just wanted to forget it ever happened. I didn't care about losing material things that are replaceable (except my great-aunt's pearls that I wore when I got married); I cared about walking into this place I had dubbed "home" and imagining complete strangers rummaging through every drawer, putting their hands on things I hold dear, making me feel completely unsafe. Those things are not replaceable. And even though we both decided we wanted to stay, because we love our neighborhood, I am now much more paranoid and jumpy when I'm home by myself. And when my husband goes out of town, I call and ask my mom if she'll come and stay over here, because otherwise I won't sleep at all. And I hate that the burglars did this to me. I hate that anyone feels that it's okay to do something like this.
Even though we are doing just fine, and even though we don't ever want to be mega-rich, I sometimes get jealous of people who have a lot of money. And if I'm ever around such people, I feel completely uncomfortable and out of place, because it's a lifestyle I cannot relate to.
Semi-related: I actually read a very small number of blogs now because I got sick of feeling like what I have, or who I am, isn't good enough, isn't perfect enough. If you read someone's blog and afterward feel bad about yourself, or that you're not creative, or not beautiful, or not rich enough, or you don't have enough blog fame or notoriety, then I beg you: Stop reading it. I hope I have never made any of you feel this way. If I have, please accept my sincere apologies.
I read something from a blogger once that said you shouldn't feel obligated to respond to every little email, tweet, or Facebook/blog/Instagram comment that your readers write, and I heartily disagree. True, you shouldn't feel obligated, but you should want to. You should appreciate your readers taking the time to let you know they actually care about what you have to say, and I think bloggers who don't do this are kinda self-absorbed. Even if you don't get around to responding for a couple days, still respond, have genuine interaction with your readers — who are also human beings, not just robots reading your words. If it weren't for them, you wouldn't have all those sponsors on your site, or that feature in the national magazine, or whatever else you use to measure your "success." Again, if I have ever done this to you, I sincerely apologize.
When I get upset, I start cleaning the apartment. So I guess it's good when it's messy...like right now.
When I get stressed out, I over-pluck my eyebrows. Weird, I know.
Because so many of my family members have died from cancer, I'm very paranoid about getting it myself. Heck, whenever something in my body seems off, I'm convinced it's something serious.
I am terrible at finishing things that I start. I love thinking of ideas for projects, and getting the supplies, and starting it, but I always stop just before it's finished, and then it sits there, unfinished, for months and months. Case in point: I recovered all but one of my dining room chairs; I currently have a some wall art sitting on the dining table that just needs to be glued together and then I can hang it, but it's been sitting there for weeks; I have four projects where I have the paint and the item that needs to be painted, but I just haven't done it; and I am awful at updating my online store, which is kind of necessary if you want to sell things online. My husband is kind enough to say it's because I'm an artist who is still trying to figure out her medium, but I sometimes think I'm just a quitter.
I think that's enough therapy for today, ha. Not as bad as I thought it would be!
Be sure and hop over to Creature Comforts, where Ez has a list of links to those bloggers who wanted to share their posts with the world. I've already read a couple, and am feeling very inspired!