I wish I had a crazy good story to explain my lack of posting. The truth is pretty boring. I’ve been busy.
this month has been BRUTAL and it’s not done screwing with me yet.
I am counting down the days until it is over. (8)
It’s not been all bad. There have been some great times– Like, when my daughter decided she wants to “pee like a boy for the rest of her life!” SEE? FUN TIMES IN JULY!
The fun isn’t over. Tomorrow, my little brother is getting married and I’m a) going to be the photographer b) learning a song to sing for their first dance. So much potential for disaster! The following week, my other brother is moving to Texas and taking my son with him for a week and then flying him home. Alone. I have never one of my kids fly alone and I am not happy with my decision to let him do so. However, He wanted to do this more than anything and my brother assured me that he’ll be safe (because the airlines will take good care of him?) He’ll be flying home the day before I leave for NYC, so that will be great for my Pre-Flying Stress!
And because things weren’t stressful enough, I waited until 2 days before my brother’s wedding to get my hair done. I love my stylist. She is amazing and her work is flawless. Except, something happened yesterday and she wasn’t.
I hate the cut. I tried to like it. My sister was all “it looks great!” and I was all “you really like it?” And she was all “I do. Your bangs are short, but I like it.” I tried to believe her. I wanted to believe her. But, the day after? I hate it.
Too many layers. Bangs are too short.
(Seriously. I don’t understand it. But I think I just have to get used to it. It’s not a bad cut, it’s just not what I was going for, I think?)
But the color is awesome, so, focusing on that! (So as not to cry or take scissors to my head. Which, we all know would BE VERY BAD. Like, SSUPER DUPER THE WORST, BAD.)
To sum things up.
Busy. Kids. Peeing. Wedding. Singing. Crying. Stressing. Bad haircut. No time to blog.
I plan on blogging regularly again once the kids are back in school (COME SOON, AUGUST 9TH.)
I hope you’re well. We’ll be in touch soon, Wonderful People Who (Still) Read My Blog.
I want to write.
I want to write something that will make you laugh. I want to write something that will make you cry. I want to write something that will make you nod your head in agreement. I want to write something that will make you shake your fist at your computer monitor in anger. I want to make something that will make you think. I want to write something that will make you appreciate what you have a little bit more. I want to write something that will make you jealous. I want to write something that will make you want to be my friend. I want to write something that will make you hate me just a little bit. I want to write something that will make you pick up the phone to call someone to tell them you love them. I want to write something that will make you want to hug someone. I want to write something that will make you want to turn on your music and dance all by yourself. I want to write something that makes you wish you were a kid again. I want to write something that makes you want to grow old. I want to write something that will make you close your eyes and remember the time. I want to write something that makes you weak in the knees. I want to write something that gives you butterflies. I want to write something that makes you crave something delicious to eat. I want to write something that makes you never want to eat again. I want to write something wonderful. I want to write something awful. I want to write something that doesn’t make sense. I want to write something that makes everything clear. I want to write something that inspires you to be a better person. I want to write something that makes you appreciate every minute you have with your loved ones. I want to write something that you wish you had written first.
I just want to write.
Words. Thoughts. Stories. Observations. Opinions.
Good. Bad. Stupid. Funny. Smart. Thought provoking. Silly. Hilarious. Serious. Simple. Complicated.
Words. I want to write words.
But I’m afraid.
I’m a wimp. I’m plagued with insecurities.
I’m afraid you’ll hate it. I’m afraid you’ll love it. I’m afraid it won’t be good enough. I’m afraid it will be so good. I’m afraid it won’t make you laugh. I’m afraid it won’t make you cry. I’m afraid you’ll roll your eyes. I’m afraid you’ll shut the page and never come back. I’m afraid you’ll go on message boards and talk about how much you hate me. I’m afraid you’ll mock me. I’m afraid you’ll call my children names. I’m afraid I’ll never write another post as good as the one before. I’m afraid it’s all been said before. I’m afraid I’m too boring. Too fat. Too dumb. Too ugly. Too bland. Too generic.
I want to write. But I hold back. I hold back so much, so many times. I’ve written and deleted post after post after post. Too chickenshit to hit publish.
I want to stop worrying and just start writing again.
I’m going to hit publish on this post and walk away. And I’m going to do the same thing tomorrow and the day after that.
Every day that I can find time, I will write. No matter what you think. No matter what I think. No matter what my one troll in Alabama thinks.
Writing is what I love to do and I’m tired of not doing what I love.
I still remember the first time I found “blogs.”
I had followed a link from a weight watchers chat room. The blog was written by a woman named Melly. Ordinary Morning, was the name of the blog.
It was 2001.
It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen on the internet.
Granted, I had only been on the internet for a total of *maybe* 3 months, but still, MOST AMAZING THING.
Here was this young, single mother, writing openly and brutally honestly about her life. She was smart, beautiful, devastatingly funny.
I found myself wanting to get to know Melly. I wanted to hear more of what she had to say. “I think we’d be great friends!” I’d think to myself as I would read her words.
I started clicking her links and those links lead to new blogs that, yet again, BLEW MY MIND.
I wanted to know these people! I wanted to be in on their “inside jokes!” But mostly, I wanted to write and put my words out there. Maybe someone could relate. Maybe I could make someone laugh.
I love to write. I would most surely love to blog!
I won’t go into the entire history of how I finally got my blog up and running but I will tell you that a complete stranger was kind enough to answer all of my blogging questions and help set up my very first blog on blogger.
I had a blog.
And I started writing in that blog.
And people started reading.
(One of those people was Melly. And I was right. We became friends. The best of friends. She even came to California (twice!) to visit my family.)
I would write stories about my boys, who at the time, were only 9 and 4 years old.
I was mommyblogging before mommyblogging was a “thing.”
I would suggest you go into my archives and see what I was writing about, but my archives are painful to read. I was going through a severe depression and writing through it all. I wasn’t thinking about “attracting marketers” or “My brand.” I only cared about telling my story, as painful, ugly, honest, and sometimes hilarious as it was.
I showed my stretch marks to the world before there was a movement online to do so. And I took the hell that came along with that. People telling me to keep that shit private because “no one wants to see your disgusting body.”
I was just this stupid girl putting it all out there because it felt right at the time.
It felt safe. There was this core group of people reading. And we were all friends. Kathy. Joelle. Mikey. Wendy. Statia. Trish. Robyn.
But things started to change.
Suddenly, what I was doing had a name. “Mommy blogging.”
And then people started fighting because HOW DARE YOU PUT ADS ALONGSIDE YOUR STORIES ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN YOU DEVIL CHILD EXPLOITER I HOPE YOU DIE IN HELL1!!11!%%!!!!!%%@#
And now people are all “DON’T GO BAREFOOT AT CONFERENCES AND DON’T DRINK WINE OUT OF SIPPY CUPS BECAUSE YOU ARE PROFESSIONAL WHO MUST BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!”
And I’m all on twitter going “come see pictures of my daughter’s first hair cut!”
Blogging as I know it has changed.
And I just can’t keep up. Because this blog isn’t a business. This blog is personal.
I just want to keep writing about my life. About my kids. About my struggles with health and weight and body image. I just want to write.
I feel like a complete misfit in blogging, which is so weird because I’ve been doing this since 2002 and what the hell? Blogging is a business! Build your brand! YOUR BRAAANNNNNDDDD!
There’s no denying that I’ve been given some pretty amazing opportunities through blogging. (Interviewing the cast of New Adventures of Old Christine. Meeting Tony Hawk.) And that still amazes me. But that’s not WHY I do it. That will never be why I do it.
And suddenly, it feel like– if that’s not why I’m doing it, why even bother?
I used to be able to sit down and write a post about the most trivial things– like my trip to the doctor’s office yesterday, for example– hit publish, enjoy the comments and move on to the next post. Now I doubt every post. “This isn’t good enough” “no one will care about that” “People are writing about HEALTH CARE REFORM AND YOU’RE WRITING ABOUT PEEING WHILE YOU SNEEZE YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.”
I also used to be able to write about important things, like depression or body image and feel safe. Feel like it mattered. Like by writing my story I was helping people and that people were helping me by reading, by sharing their stories. I know that is still true, but sometimes? I feel like the stories aren’t being heard because we’re all too busy about traffic and page views and twitter followers and OUR BRRRANNND.
And that’s fine! It’s wonderful that women are finding success because of their blogs– I mean it, it makes me so proud. But also? A little sad. Sad that those of us who are just here for the writing, for the stories, for the good content are feeling so out of place and irrelevant.
I don’t even know where I’m going with this anymore other than to say I’m struggling with blogging right now and I hope that by writing this out I will be able to make some sort of peace with it all and stop over thinking this shit and JUST START WRITING AGAIN BECAUSE I MOTHER FUCKING LOVE TO WRITE.
The Mom 2.0 auction, which is raising money to go to Haiti, is now up and running.
It would make me very happy if you would go and take a look. If there is something that you love (and trust me, there will be photos you will love. And that will look beautiful hanging in your home) please make a bid.
(I’m about to bid on my own photo. Is that weird?)
I took this photo in the presidential suite of a hotel in Chicago. I’ve always been incredibly proud of this photo. Mostly because it has 3 of my favorite people in the world in it.
Last weekend, I had the privilege of seeing that photo hanging in the Fotofest “Defining a Movement” gallery in Houston.
(Can you tell how proud I was feeling? Because I was feeling proud.)
The experience was overwhelming. To see something that I created in such a beautiful space, among so many incredible photographs, moved me to tears.
Having friends there to share the experience with me made the experience richer, sweeter. (If only Lena could have been there. Sigh.)
As I walked around the gallery, admiring the other photos hanging on the wall, I thought to myself “THIS is why I love blogging. The women. The creativity. The friendship.”
I’ve written before about how little I feel in this world. But that night, I felt like I belonged. That night I was embraced by women I admire. Intelligent, creative, loving, wonderful, honest, real women. They wrapped their arms around me tightly and they told me how proud they were of me. They cried with me, they shared in my joy, in my moment. I felt so loved, so understood.
“What you do matters.”
After this weekend, I am choosing to believe that.
The last post that I wrote (Just a Mom) wiped me out emotionally.
It needed to be written. I needed to write it.
I thought I’d never speak of it again. But the comments. The emails. Wow. Each one that I read gave me something to think about. And I’ve been thinking. And thinking. And thinking.
I’ve come to realize that the shame I feel really isn’t about not having gone to college– it’s bigger, deeper than that.
I will write about it again.
And I will call that post My Piece.
But that Piece (ha) will have to wait for another day. Because today? Is National Delurking Day. Do you know what that means? That means today, you have to stop being “Just a Lurker” (see what I did there? That was kind of awesome.) and leave me a comment. Introduce yourself. Tell me a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? Do you watch The Bachelor? Cash Cab? Do you have a raging crush on Ben Bailey like I do? ARE YOU WITH COCO?
I look forward to hearing from you!
One of the first people I met on Flickr was Rachel Divine. Her photos blew me away. They were perfection in every sense.
I have since gotten to know her and to know her is to love her and her amazing talent.
Rachel recently revealed her latest project– Beyond Snapshots. Here is an excerpt from the “about” page:
We are ready to answer the one question we both get asked most often, ”How do I go beyond snapshots and take my camera off auto?” Since we are both self taught, we have gone through the often disappointing and occasionally humorous learning process of trial and error. We feel like we can save a lot of people the same trip or at least shorten the trip and make it a bit more beautiful.
Last week something really awesome happened to my son.
I sent the link of a review my son wrote to Tony Hawk via Twitter. I didn’t expect he would actually read it, but of course, I hoped he would.
A few minutes later, I saw this reply:
And then I screamed, ran down the hall and said “OH MY GOD EEEETHAN! You have to see this!”
He read it. His eyes got big. “Is he talking about my review?”
“Yes!” I replied.
He tried to remain cool and calm about it.
Then, he smiled the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. I got up and hugged him. “How awesome is that? Tony Hawk just called your review ‘the best one yet!?'”
“Pretty cool.” he said. “I’m glad he liked it.”
I tweeted it, dm’d a few people, called a few people. I was happy for my Son. He had been nervous about writing the review, wondering if people would like it or not. But he had received great feedback in the comments and then? He got approval from Tony Hawk himself. It meant a lot to him. He was feeling pretty damn proud of himself.
Later that night, I got an email notification of a comment from someone named “Poop.”
If there is one thing I’ve learned in the 7 years I’ve been blogging it’s that any time someone named “Poop” leaves a comment on your blog, it’s not going to be good. (Same goes for “Nunya, Anon and SUCKMYDICK, fyi.)
I opened it up and as I read the cruel words that were meant solely to hurt my son, I could feel the rage rise up within me. I was pretty sure I knew who it was, but hard to know for sure because blogger does not note IP’s. (HATE YOU, Blogger!) I was so angry that I started to cry. I can take all of the assholery in the world directed at me. Call me whatever names you want, but my kids? Aw Hellz Naw.
I panicked because I did not want my son to see it. I deleted it as quickly as I could and immediately turned on comment moderation.
I’m still angry about it. I don’t understand that kind of behavior directed at an innocent child. What is so bad about that person’s life that drives her to do such a thing? And I don’t mean to be all “YOU’RE JUST JEALOUS, HATER!” But to stoop that low, to be that cruel, there has to be something sad about your life. There just has to be.
I’ve wanted to write about this before, to hear the different perspectives on the subject and I feel like what happened on my son’s post is the perfect time to bring this up. Deleting comments.
I’ve never thought twice about deleting negative comments directed at my children. They come down immediately and the commenter is automatically blocked. But when it comes to comments directed at me? I leave them up. I’ve had friends email me and ask me why I allow such comments up on my site. My answer usually is as follows: I don’t really care if complete strangers think I’m fat or ugly or *insert insult here* It’s meaningless to me. With the exception of a very, very few Asshole Comments (And when I say “asshole comments.” I don’t mean “negative comments” or “disagree with me” type comments. I mean “crazy, obsessive, cruel, has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion” comments.) I don’t delete comments.
I’ve always felt like removing the comments is dishonest. I don’t want it to appear as though I only allow the kind comments and shut out any and all negative feedback. Not everyone appreciates, likes or tolerates my writing and I’ve always been okay allowing people to express their dislike. (Again, with the exception of the extreme assholes and by “extreme assoles” I mean “Christine in Alabama.”)
I have friends who don’t agree with the fact that I leave shitty comments up. Stefanie, for example. “It’s YOUR blog. You don’t have to allow people to be disrespectful or cruel in your comments.” She once said to me.
And I really couldn’t come up with a good response to that. Because it’s true.
Except that I can’t seem to get past the idea that deleting negative comments is dishonest. And please understand I’m not talking about dissenting/different opinions. Let me give an example.
I write a post about marriage and how it can be difficult at times. What I write makes some people upset.
Jessica writes: I think you are being incredibly selfish by not giving your husband blow jobs every night. Maybe if you tried that, he may be more willing to help you around the house.
POOP ON YOUR FACE writes: Your husband is so ugly and so is your stomach. No wonder he likes to have sex with you because your both SO UGLY. P.S. PUT THE BEAN DIP DOWN YOU FAT COW.
One comment is not very supportive, but appropriate in that NOT EVERYONE LOVES THE WAY YOU DO MARRIAGE WITH YOUR HUSBAND. Also? if you put it out there, people are going to have an opinion! And those opinions may not always be something you want to hear! The other one is just… assholery. The other one shouldn’t be allowed to stay, but if it were a real comment on a real post, I’d leave it up.
I’m not afraid of The Hate. The Hate doesn’t control me or effect my life. Like my good friend Jenny once said while drunk and wearing a wig “Celebrate The Hate!” (And trust me, The Hate can be HILARIOUS. See: WINNERS DO THE MATH!)
But the more I think about it the more I wonder. WHY? Why do I allow that kind of negativity here on this blog (that I pay for)? Not sure if I’m doing the right thing by allowing and condoning that kind of ugliness here.
What say you? How do you handle hateful comments on your blog?