Friday, May 4, 2012

Things I'm Afraid to Tell You

Thank you to EZ Pudewa and Jess Constable for inspiring and giving me - and many other bloggers - the courage to share.

There is a fairly common assumption (misconception?) when it comes to bloggers with blogs that primarily focus on life's happy, shiny, pretty things, like fashion or design or food or decor or creative living.  And that assumption is that their lives must be one or more of the following: beautiful, easy, abundant, extraordinary, exciting.  Maybe even perfect.  It's not just readers who don't blog or new bloggers who might assume this.  Personally, even though blogging is part of my career and I'm well aware of the fact that blogs showcase tiny pieces of an overall picture, I sometimes find myself looking at other blogs and wishing I could be that awesome, that talented, that special.  Many well-known bloggers with massive readership have admitted that they sometimes feel less-than-adequate when they subconsciously compare themselves to other bloggers.  Unfortunately, as much as relaxing with a nice cup of tea and reading your favorite blogs can make you feel uplifted, there are times that the pretty, perfection-driven picture they paint can do just the opposite.

In all fairness, blogs are places where people come to feel inspired, to enjoy themselves, to be entertained.  So it's only natural for we, as bloggers, to showcase this sparkly, positive side of life, and to produce content that makes our readers (and ourselves) feel happy.  Everyone has problems, and when we read blogs (or watch movies, or go see music, or go out to dinner, or participate in our favorites hobbies), we're seeking enjoyment.  We want to feel good.  We want distractions from our everyday issues.  Most people don't visit a blog because they want to be reminded of the less-than-pleasant parts of life.  But still.  Maybe all the edited photos and fancy graphics and creatively detailed DIY tutorials and gorgeously decorated living spaces and utterly on-trend outfits/hair styles/manicures are giving a false impression of reality. 

When I asked for readers to send me questions a few weeks ago for the FAQ page I've been working on, I got lots of emails, some with questions, some with general comments.  And I noticed several of them included things like "how do you find time to do it all," "how do you always stay so upbeat and happy," "how can you afford to travel so much," "it must be so fun to be a fashion designer," and even "your life is so interesting compared to mine."  Honestly, this really threw me off.  No one was rude or asked anything unfair in their emails, but I actually had trouble falling asleep that night because I couldn't stop thinking about it.  I mean, I've only been blogging for a year and a half, and Bubby and Bean is certainly not one of those ultra-famous blogs with millions of readers. And when I'm working on blog posts, I'm usually balled up in a fetal-style position on my floor, wearing one of Robbie's tshirts with ripped leggings, sporting a very unmade-up face and unbrushed hair, consuming way too much caffeine.  And I don't have much of a social life these days because I work so much.  And I don't own my house and sometimes struggle to pay my bills.  And sometimes I wake up grumpy and negative and sad, convinced that my life sucks and I'm a failure. (In the dark depths of the winter months, this may occur on more days than it doesn't.)  So how could anyone think that way about me or my life?  Am I putting on some sort of facade by keeping the majority of my personal life separate from the blog and choosing to focus mostly on the positive?  Is the content I'm sharing sometimes leaving my readers with the idea that things around here are glamorous, or that I waltz through life with a big charmed smile on my face?  Am I - are we, as bloggers - somehow being deceptive?

I did my best to stop obsessing and just go about my blog business as usual, until yesterday, when I saw an incredible post by EZ of Creature Comforts (inspired by this post, by Jess Constable), called "Things I'm Afraid to Tell You."  It touched on all the things I mentioned above, and, as EZ described it, the "vast cavern between true reality and the presentation of 'reality' on blogs." Another line from her post especially struck me: "The more and more conversations I have with other bloggers and readers of blogs, the more sure I become of the fact that we are all just a little bit sick of all this perfection."  EZ then went on to share many things about herself and her life that up until now, she'd been afraid to share on her blog.  Things that she described as "less-than-pretty." And she linked to other blog posts, from other bloggers, who were doing the same.

I sent a tweet to EZ, telling her how much I loved her post, and how it inspired me to consider possibly sharing things I'd normally be afraid to share on my blog as well.  She responded enthusiastically, and asked if she could link to my post on Creature Comforts when it was done.  So I stopped working on my regularly scheduled blog post for the day, and started on this one instead.  It wasn't easy to write, because like most people, I want to be viewed in a positive way.  And whether or not it's cool to admit this, I care what you guys think of me, and I want you to read this blog, and these are not things that I ever would have considered sharing on Bubby and Bean before.  And yes, I'm worried I might regret publishing it.  I don't know the majority of my readers in "real life," and I don't often share personal things here. Especially this personal.  But the concept of a community coming together in an authentic, unguarded, vulnerable way - with a purpose of breaking down the walls of false perfection and a goal of making the blogging world a better place for everyone - was just too awesome to ignore.


So here goes...

>> I still cry over how much I miss Bubby on a regular basis.  I feel very blessed to have had him for almost 16 years, but there is an emptiness inside me without him here that I am constantly aware of.  I don't care that he was "just a dog" - I've never missed anything so much.

>> I am SO grateful that I've been able to travel the world and can share bits and pieces of my adventures here, but my travels aren't funded by a big bank balance that resulted from career success (or any other kind).  My husband works for a band, and sometimes when the band visits another country, the spouses get to accompany them.  I still have to work hard to save up to pay for my airfare, food, etc.  But I'd never be able to afford to travel to these places outside of his work.

>> Speaking of my husband's career, I am very proud of him for doing what he loves, being so good at it, and succeeding in working at his dream job.  The organization he works for is awesome, and we get to do really cool things because of his job (like the traveling I mentioned above).  But he is gone a lot.  Almost half the year to be exact. I've touched on the struggles that come along with this on the blog from time to time.  But it's harder than I let on.  I was closely involved in the music industry through friends and styling jobs well before I ever met my husband, so I knew that it was challenging for significant others and families of those on the road.  But I can honestly say that I had no idea just how challenging it actually was until I became one of those significant others.  Spending holidays apart (or in the same place while he's working but only with a few minutes together here and there), going weeks at a time without seeing each others' faces (with very short and sporadic phone calls as our only means of communication), and not having my husband with me for important career or life events (as well as life tragedies) isn't easy.  It's lonely, and there's just no replacement for your partner/best friend.  It's also difficult to make plans for the future - big or small - when we don't know very far in advance when/if he'll be available.  I have a profound respect for those who raise their children while their partners are on the road (and obviously for single moms/dads as well), and often wonder if I would be capable of handling being a mom with how much my husband is away.  Being in my 30s and feeling the pull toward motherhood more than ever, this gives me great anxiety at times. (Disclaimer about this particular "thing I'm afraid to tell you": I am not complaining.  Everyone makes sacrifices in their relationships.  I'm just being honest in saying that my husband's career, as exciting and interesting as it can be, can also be a lot harder and a lot less fun than it appears on the outside).

>> My career of the last 12 years as a fashion designer has been a series of ups and downs, and sometimes I wonder what the hell I was thinking starting a clothing line.  The ups have included a few periods of steady income, some really great press, getting to show at well-received fashion weeks and art museums, the opportunity to promote environmental consciousness through fashion, and seeing my designs worn by happy customers and carried in stores worldwide.  The downs have included periods of unsteady income (that far outweigh the steady ones), debt and serious emotional stress as a result of the majority of the stores that carried my line going out of business and a pattern maker who skipped town with my samples/fabric/money, pressure to compete with chain stores who have their lines mass produced overseas for a fraction of the cost, and 80+ hour work weeks (when my focus was solely on the clothing line; it's not anymore).  I am thankful for the successes I've had, and some of the happiest moments of my life have been a result of my clothing line.  But I would be totally okay with closing the doors on it right now and never looking back.  And that's something I've never said out loud, much less posted online for the world to read.

>> Whether via my laptop, phone or iPad, I am almost always online.  I am constantly checking my email, Twitter, Google reader, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, blah blah blah.  This isn't a good thing, and I can't seem to break the habit.  And it's pretty embarrassing to admit this (especially to myself), because I know first hand how much better I feel when I'm living life instead of glued to electronic devices. 

>> I have Fibromyalgia.  I'm lucky, because (for now) it's mild.  But it still sucks.

>> As I said above, I don't own my house.  It's a townhouse, and I rent it.  As a blogger who posts about pretty spaces and the joys of home decor, I feel like being a home owner should be a goal that's high on my priority list.  But it's not.  It's just not that important to me, but again, for whatever reason, I feel like it should be.  (Also, it's usually really messy.)

>> Over the past couple of years, I've watched little grey hairs slowly begin to invade their way into my head, right along the top of my part.  There aren't very many (yet), but they're determined.  P.S. I dye them.

>> I absolutely, unabashedly love blogging.  No I'm serious.  I love it more than my clothing line and my art line and the styling work I've done for bands and my event production gigs and my eco speaking gigs and my freelance graphic design jobs combined.  I adore writing and curating and sharing tutorials and taking/editing photos and putting it all together in a way that (I hope) inspires others.  At this point in my life (and I say that because it always changes; I have a degree in theatre if that tells you anything), my dream job would be to blog full time or to work for an online magazine (or start my own). For real.

>> On a similar note, I have what feels like 182 different jobs.  Gotta pay the bills somehow.

>> I scrutinize and second guess my work - and often other choices I make as well - to a fault.  This applies to everything from blog posts to graphic work to my clothing designs to what I choose to wear to a party to buying gifts for others to whatever drink I decide to order at Starbucks that day. 

>> Once upon a time, I was married to someone else, named Jeff.  We met when we were very young, and got married young, and it didn't work out.  But we stayed best friends in the years following our split.  I've spoken here once or twice about how Jeff passed away on June 13th, 2010.  What I haven't mentioned is that he took his own life.  It was obviously the most devastating thing I've ever been though.  But I never judged his decision.  He had always been sad inside, no matter how hard he tried not to be, and he fought way too many battles for one person to have to fight in such a short life.  Although I wish everyday that he was still here, I know he finally found peace.  And that is the 100% honest to goodness truth regarding how I feel about it.

>> I want to move far away from the city and have a big yard with a swing and a garden that doesn't have to be grown in containers and a nice chunk of space between where we live and any possible neighbors.

>> I worry a lot.  Sometimes this provokes full-on anxiety.  I am happy to say that I'm slowly getting better with this.  Having a partner who is over-the-top chill helps. :)

>> I work too much, and that is my fault.  Like the whole worrying thing, I've gotten better with this, by doing things like always taking one weekend day off and really trying to be done for the day (okay, night) at a semi-reasonable hour.  There is still room for improvement, and I admit this.

>> I would estimate that a good 2/3 of the projects I start never get finished.


I'll stop there.  If you made it this far, you rock.  Thank you.  I'm still a little apprehensive about publishing this, but I have to say, I feel an odd sense of relief in being this open.  And if sharing my flaws and "secrets" with you guys - in combination with seeing other bloggers I love share theirs - can feel this invigorating and awesome, I wonder how amazing the blogging world as a whole could potentially be if the veil of perfection was lifted to reveal "reality" more often.  Even just a little.  

If you're considering sharing the things you're afraid to tell on your blog, I say GO FOR IT.  Seriously.  We're all in this together you guys.  Or if you'd like to just share in the comments, I encourage that as well.  I love you guys.  I may not know you, but I still love you.  Mean it. 

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127 comments:

  1. What a wonderful post. I agree that the blogging world often feels way too perfect. I sometimes enjoy reading about a project that didn't go as planned, etc. Thank you for posting this.

    Etsy Blog Team

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    1. Thank you! I agree it's sometimes nice to hear about a project that doesn't go as planned. :)

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  2. I still love you grey hair and all!

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  3. That is so inspiring, melissa! it really helps to see such a pro blogger like you not afraid to tell us all those things. i'm so sorry about your friend Jeff-how sad, and i will pray for him.

    thank you again dear. you are so sweet and (finally!) real.
    :)

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  4. Absolutely true and honest and compelling and lovely. I've been struggling with this perfection issue, and have been neglecting my blog because of it. These are words I (and many others, I'm sure) needed to hear.

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    1. I'm so glad you feel that way Dana, and look forward to reading your blog. :)

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  5. A lovely post. It must be very hard to have lost Jeff that way. Your blog is beautiful and inspires me regularly!! Thank you.

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  6. Melissa, thank you for so beautifully sharing all this. Such a tender, heartfelt post and I connected to it deeply. I've felt so many of these things and share quite a few of your struggles. *Hugs*
    Catherine Denton

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  7. Inspiring post. It's hard to open yourself up like that, and it's appreciated for those of us who aren't quite ready to share what we're afraid of yet. :)

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  8. love love love this post! as someone who has followed you and your work since what must have been the beginnings (listserv days!) i know that i have always admired your life. at the same time, it is easy to not share these things you just shared - so thank you for that!

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  9. Melissa, this is an awesome post. It is so real and honest - which I feel you've always been - and I love that about you. You actually inspired me to start blogging. (Unfortunately, I couldn't keep up with it, with my full-time job, 2 dogs, fiance in law school and upcoming wedding). I hope you know you are not alone with your "flaws" or "secrets." We all have them. I struggle with depression and anxiety, and while things have gotten MUCH better, I still fret and worry about every detail in my life. And I still have days or weeks of intense sadness that I can't seem to shake.

    I admire you for putting it all out there. I hope this continues in the blogging community. I truly admire you, flaws and all.

    Much love,
    katy

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    1. Thank you so much Katy. And thank you for being brave and sharing you're struggles. Sure it's incredibly difficult to deal with depression and anxiety, but I'm glad to hear it's getting better. Life is such a constant 'work in progress.' I wish you the best of lucking planning your wedding!

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  10. I don't read a ton of blogs, just yours and a few others, and I love how beautiful they are and that they showcase pretty things. Especially yours!!!! But now I love your blog even more. I was one of the ones who emailed you to say that your life was better than mine and I was jealous of you, now that I see how much you work and the struggles you've had to face I know that the good things in your life are things you've made for yourself!!! :-)

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    1. That is really sweet Gina. I appreciate it so much!

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  11. Thanks for sharing with us! I can relate with you on a lot of these things. Especially being constantly connected-I've been on my computer since I woke up 2 hours ago. I need to step away right now! haha

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  12. we love you too. i mean every word. perfection is overrated & boring, right? :)

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  13. I made it all the way through the post and I'm so glad I did. I don't remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but I'm sure it was a Bubby post that brought me here. I'm so glad you shared this private side to your life cuz it only makes me respect you more. I can definitely relate to at least a few of the points you made so you should never feel like you're alone. I think that's one of the truly amazing things about this whole "things i'm afraid to tell you" project, it has made me realize just how much we truly have in common. and i certainly didn't feel that way about a lot of bloggers i follow. I really thought they were so glamourous and had their sh*t together. I love seeing this more human side.

    xoxo

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    1. This is so great to hear Tsuki. Thank you so much!

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  14. You're human and that's okay.
    Bloggers who sound like they have all together sort of annoy me, because no matter how hard I try, my life will never look like that. :)
    Just be you.

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    1. 'Just be you' is definitely solid advice! Thank you for commenting.

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  15. You're even more awesome than you know.

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    1. What a wonderful thing to say Kristina! Thank you. <3

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  16. Well, Melissa. Thank you. I have learned today that me and you have a lot more in common than I thought. In good and sad ways. :) Other than our names. Many things....one being - I always say, "love you, mean it." Again, thank you for opening your heart and soul to us....

    Many blessings,
    meli

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    1. My friend and I have an abbreviation we share with each other: LYMI. :)

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  17. Can I just breathe a huge sigh of relief right now please? Thank you! I love the positive, upbeat aspects of your blog, but they are much easier to relate to now that I see the difficult human side of your life too. I don't believe we all have to share everything about ourselves on our blogs (there are some aspects of my life I don't talk about on mine) but I do love it when, in whatever way, bloggers "keep it real" - you just did that in a very honest, generous and endearing way. I think I'll be following your blog much more avidly now!

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  18. This was a great post... like a lot... Let it be said, I came for a giveaway and have stayed because I think you have something valuable to share, and you've totally just confirmed it.

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    1. That is awesome Kat. I'm so happy to know you'll be back :)

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  19. Thank you so much, Melissa. I respect you even more now than I did before. I know it can't be easy to share these things on your blog, you're amazing.

    I try to keep up a happy facade online...but what I never say is,

    I was raped.

    And everyday I wish that I could disappear.

    Life is so hard, and I am so grateful that you shared that side of it.

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    1. I can't even imagine what you have to live with on a daily basis having been through something so incredibly traumatic. Thank you for sharing it here. I hope that as time goes on, the damage fades, until maybe it really does disappear. Sending so much love. xo, melissa

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  20. This has been a great series of posts. I did one today, too, and while it's not as long and detailed as yours, it was still a huuuuuge relief to just air some dirty laundry.

    Reading this post has made me feel like I've gotten to know you so much better, which might be kind of weird because we only know each other online, but all the same I feel some sisterhood.

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    1. I really enjoyed reading yours and def agree about the sisterhood!

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  21. Oh my gosh, I began choking back tears from the moment my eyes fell upon your handsome Bubby and then through the rest of your beautiful and candid post. Thank you for having the courage to share so openly Melissa. You are an inspiration and I'm so glad that you are a part of this movement towards sharing more of the real in "reality" on blogs. xo Ez

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    1. I can't even begin to express how much you rock or what an inspiration you are to me. Thank you again a million times for helping create this project!

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  22. I feel you, I'm with you, I understand all of it! You really opened up on here, it's amazing! I think you're a wonderful blogger and it's obvious you're passionate about- I hope your future full time blogger/mag dreams come true, you're a voice that needs to be heard! Come to Portland someday so we can hang out and talk about doggies :)

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    1. LOVED reading yours as well and related to it all! For sure need to make plans to hang and talk doggies :)

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  23. I love you (and your blog) even more than before :) Thanks for sharing.

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  24. You're a very genuine person, thank you for sharing this!

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  25. wow. i never would have guessed you had to deal with so much. you're very strong. i have fibro too. people don't understand how much it consumes your life. thank you so much for sharing this.

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    1. Thank you Kara. I'm so sorry to hear you have Fibro too. It definitely sucks, but it's something we can come together about from now on :)

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  26. I just want to tell you, I think it's amazing what you're doing here. I have my own blog, really small, nothing special for the outside world maybe, but I do put a lot of effort and work in it. And actually I'm really proud of it. However, I too asked myself weather it's good or not only to share the fun stuff in your posts. I know you're supposed to make people feel happy when they read your blog but I don't want to give them the wrong impression of my life.

    I am probably the most naieve person you will ever see or talk to. I'm the person who thought life would go like a romantic movie. I'm not complaining about my life, but it was so weird for me realising that that's just not how things go in real life. So for people like me, learning about other lives only going well is hard I guess. I'm trying as hard as I can to share everything on my blog, the good and the bad, but still give a positive feel to it. I only can hope people will appreciate me being honest with them, because I do care about their opinion too.

    Reading this post, I already consider doing one like this myself. So thank you for sharing this post, I am truly grateful!
    Sorry for my rather long respons, I just wanted to tell you I completely understand what you're saying and I am thankful you shared all of it with us.

    Much love from Belgium,
    Saar.

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    1. Hi Saar, thank you for taking the time to comment. I think we all know deep down that everyone struggles, and that some people just hide it more than others. I look forward to reading your blog! And I adore Belgium, by the way. I stayed in Brugges a couple of years ago. It's a beautiful country and the people were tremendously kind. :)

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  27. This is a really great post. As strange as it sounds, it is quite nice to hear that bloggers are real people with real problems, and do not have the perfect lives that appear in their posts. Obviously, as you said, people come to blogs to feel happy and not be reminded of the down points of life but sometimes it can make one a little jealous :P I'm sorry for the sad things that have happened to you, and I understand it must be hard for you with your husband away. I wish you the best with your endeavours :)

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    1. Thank you Olivia. I appreciate everything you said so much!

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  28. My view of you has absolutely been changed. I'm proud of you and it makes your life more interesting, in a way. I'm not happy for your sorrows and pain but I do think it shapes your life more than when it all seems perfect. I hope the table will turn soon for you and you will live a happier life. I applaud what you did, btw.

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  29. WOW YOU GUYS. I am completely overwhelmed with your amazing responses. I'm going to make the effort to personally respond to each and every one of your comments at some point today. I knew you guys were awesome, but now I think you're really, really awesome. So much love. xo, m

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  30. Mel, I love this post, and I something like this is just as encouraging as being happy positive, because it really is being positive to share that it is possible to have struggles and still come through. It is so important that folks know that you have to get up and just try with heart every day.... that's all you can do is try. I have always known you and I have a lot in common - especially the perfectionistic, workaholic, overachieverness. I had no idea you suffered from Fibromyalgia. I am going to be heading back into some medical analysis afresh as I am still struggling with my migraines, hypothryoidism, and worry that I might also be slightly Fibro and just undiagnosed. Having seen you grow from SB days to now it is wonderful to have seen you struggle and yet still be there, still creating, still loving, still an incredibly prolific fountain of awesomeness and always working every day to find your place and share with others. So proud to have known you and witness it all happening. <3 <3 I'm around anytime if you want to talk about anything, nothing, medical/herbal stuff in dealing with chronic health problems, or are just feeling lonely, as I feel isolated a lot of the time too, etc. Of course I know a lot of the time you are editing posts. ;) Much love to you as always and support for your journey....

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    1. Thank you Julie :). I have migraines as well. They're actually very common to Fibro sufferers, so it might be a good idea to get tested. And yes, we should def talk more about natural healing! xoxo

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  31. I feel the exact same way. This is so inspiring, and I love knowing that you're not perfect. I feel like I'm constantly comparing myself to other bloggers, and I have to realize/get over the fact that I'm not them. I'm different. I'm me.
    It's funny, because a year ago, I wouldn't have know what Fibromyalgia was, but my mom was diagnosed with it. I think her's is pretty severe but she just keeps going.

    Thank you for being brave and doing this, letting us strangers into your life a little bit.

    xoxox

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    1. Thank you Jasmine. My heart goes out to your mom. I have extended family members with more advanced Fibro than mine, and they struggle so much. I hope she is able to live wIthout too much pain.

      I think it's natural for humans to compare themselves to others. We just need to remember that things are often not as great as they may appear to be...

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment :)

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  32. I too was one of the jealous ones. Im still jealous but only bc now youre brave and real on top of being stylish and a great designer and blogger lol. I feel like I love your blog even more now though bc before even though I loved it I thought you were perfect and didnt have real problems, now I know you do and youre still cool! Here my thing to share. I have mild Aspergers and Depression and have a really hard time being social bc people think Im weird. But I dont tell anyone the truth. You inspired me to be more upfront and not so ashamed. I going to try. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing something that is probably very scary to share. The fact that this post inspired you to be more upfront about your challenges makes my day. :) And never be ashamed of the things that make you unique! Even if they're struggles, I bet they're part of what makes you awesome too. :)

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  33. I'm so glad you posted this! I absolutely love reading all of the tons of blogs on my reader but sometimes I do need to be reminded not to get too hung up on the fact that my life isn't as perfect/exciting as everyone else's. Posts like these show the importance of being thankful for what we have.

    Thanks for sharing, it can't be easy and I have a lot of respect for that.

    xo

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    1. Thank you Rach. I have respect for you too, for taking the time to read and comment!

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  34. I do not feel it is deceptive at all, it's the perception that goes wrong to no ones fault. It's tough to not paint the picture of a Ms. blogger perfect rolling in the fashionable dough writing effortlessly when you read and view their fantastic work.

    These posts are a critical reminder that we are all human with struggles. I wonder why it is that many creative people are so over critical of there work? Things that make you go hmmm.... No joke, sometimes one sentence can have me hung up forever!!!

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    1. You are so right - creative people do tend to be overly self critical. I bet it has something to do with how detail oriented our brains are. Thank you for commenting!

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  35. This might be my favorite blog post of all time. To know that bloggers I look up to are normal and have similar or even more serious problems than the rest of us is reassuring. I already read your blog everyday, but now I love it even more.

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    1. Thank you Anna. That really means a lot to me.

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  36. what a beautiful, messy life! that may seem like a strange thing to say-- but I say it because your life is so real and that's beautiful. i struggle with so much and have chosen my blog to reflect happy things (partially b/c of fear of my day-job employer reading the blog) and because i do want to be an encouragement. but at the same time, i don't want to alienate readers... being more real on my blog is something i'm slowly working up to.

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    1. Thank you Erika! Really appreciate it and look forward to reading your blog!

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  37. thank you! what a refreshing, grounding, and inspiring post to share with us. your passion and genuineness shine through. love!

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  38. Glad you faced your fear. Authentic is best. You are a strong woman to have maintained a positive outlook through all those losses and challenges. We still love you.

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  39. I also have fibromyalgia (mildly), and wrote about my furry child...we all relate on so many issues. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. I look forward to reading your post Susan. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  40. Another word for Creativity is Courage....
    ~thank you for a beautiful post~

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  41. I love this post! And I can only imagine the sadness of losing your beloved dog. I get choked up just thinking of about it. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much Holly! No longer having my Bubby is really hard, and I appreciate your kind words very much.

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  42. Respect your honesty. Afraid has been replaced with relief.

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  43. You are brave. I respect this a lot. Thank you.

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  44. Well I guess I rock because I made it through the whole post! Juuust kidding. Because it's really you who rocks. Basically, I 'ditto' all the awesome compliments everyone gave you about this post. It was a great read! I've always been of the mind to never forget that everyone is going through something, so you should never assume or judge anyone's behaviors. And because of this I never thought you were perfect (sorry! ; ] ) but I'm glad you shared all this just the same. I do, however, think your blog is perfect. To me, perfection can mean so many different things. There are so many blogs that is think are just perfect the way they are--not necessarily because of the people behind them, but by what's presented and written--the feel of the blog as well as the look. And your blog with all the inspiration and pretties (and now honest posts about your life!) is just wonderful! It's all very you, which is just perfect. ...Am I making sense? I know I'm saying the blog is perfect when you just wrote about how you're not perfect...haha it makes sense in my mind! Anywho...

    I read an article in school about sports players who are forced into a particular role for the media. Once a story portrays a player a certain way, that player will always be expected to act that way afterward. So these players feel like the have a media persona that's different from who they really are, which can sometimes lead to inner conflicts and like a loss of self or something (goodness it's been too long since I read that article...) But maybe that's what bloggers feel. Maybe they feel like once their readers have them pegged as a certain type of blog, they feel the pressure to keep up with that in fear of losing readers or being mis-taken as something they're not if they try something different. Hmm. I can already see a sociological study being formed in my mind... (I majored in sociology...)

    Whoops! I apologize for the rambling. I tend to think in words when I blog and comment other blogs, so I write out everything my mind thinks. Hah. Sorry about that! Bottom line, great post! I loved it and gave me a lot to think about!

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    1. Thank you again Beckie for taking the time to read this post and leave such a well thought out comment! Rambling can be good, and I really appreciate everything you said :)

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  45. You (and your hubby) ROCK! :)

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  46. What a wonderfully brave post. I am so glad it's catching on all around the blogosphere. It's been really inspiring and uplifting to read all the honesty that has been coming about because of posts like these today. It exudes positivity, courage, and so much strength. Thank you for having such a courageous soul and sharing your fears with us all. Bravo darling!

    You have inspired me.

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    1. Thank you so much Hillery! It means a lot to me to hear that. :)

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  47. I love the refreshingly honest nature of this post. It's true that as a reader, I see these amazing blogs where amazing things are created, makeup is always top notch, and the bloggers have more creativity, style and photography talent than a diy section in a library. It's good to see that behind all of the fonts and photos, there is a real person with many wonderful imperfections.

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  48. I love this post so much. Thank you for writing it! I wish I had the words to write a more eloquent comment in reply to such an amazing post, but I just can't find any. So, just thank you.

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    1. Thank YOU Stacey, for taking the time to read it. :)

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  49. I've been reading a lot of these posts over the weekend. I'm not confident enough to post one myself, truly let all my insecurities and quirks out, but it occurred to me that I'm doing a disservice by lurking on when you've shared of yourself with us. I want to return the courtesy of your trust in us by opening up too.

    I love this movement. I really like you as well, now that I read more about you. I liked you before, but in an abstract sense. You seem more.. human now. It sounds like an insult, doesn't it? I don't mean it like that, I mean it like - there's a real person behind this blog. And she has her struggles, ups and downs just like me. So it's ok to be jealous of her, or happy for her, or anything. I like it.
    I'm going to repeat your words back to you. "I may not know you, but I love you." You're awesome like that.

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    1. You're awesome Naomi! If you do a similar post, I'd love to read it.

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  50. oh sweet friend, you know how much i love this post. it is liberating to free yourself on your blog now and then with these honest to god real moments. as far as im concerned it has always made my blogging experience feel more real and connected, and alot of the friends ive made have been more real b/c of it, and YOU are a prime example of that! i feel so honored that in reading this post, already knew 100% of it... and although we dont know each other in real life... and i until the day we do (fingers crossed), i feel so connected to you on a real level. even though im usually pretty open and honest on my blog, this has inspired me to delve a little deeper. thank you. thank you for sharing your beautiful human heart. love you.

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    1. I love you my sweet friend, and am consistently inspired by the openness and honesty on your amazing blog. You are a special person.

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  51. So I read every word of this and thank you so much for sharing. I think I relate to so much of your honest points, and you articulated them so well! I am so happy Ez started this so that we can all be reminded that every one has their own struggles.
    Have a wonderful weekend ahead!
    Anna

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    1. Thank you so much Anna. I hope you have a wonderful weekend too!

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  52. I always love your honesty.

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  53. melissa,
    love love your post and most of all, i am so happy you wrote it because it's how i found your blog and i can't wait to explore more. i found so many commonalities when reading your about page and look forward to following along! my husband and i traveled all last year in a vintage airstream and it's always fun to meet and chat with others who have also rv'd a bit (; and can completely relate to how what seems like it would be non stop fun and excitement is maybe a lot less so (like traveling full time in an airstream) (;
    xo, t.

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    1. Thank you much Tiffany! I'm so glad you found my blog too! And that's awesome about your airstream! I'm looking forward to checking out your blog as well. :)

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  54. You are so brave to be so candid here. Thank you! If you ever want to talk about having kids with a half dad, I'm all ears.

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  55. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us.

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  56. Thanks for sharing, Melly - I know this was a tough one, and I'm so glad you felt you could open up...much love.

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  57. So inspired by this post Melissa, I came back to share my own. Thank you again for being so amazingly courageous. This is an amazing movement! Here's a little link to my post today.

    Have a beautiful, beautiful week dear!

    http://handmakemylife.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/things-i-am-afraid-to-tell-you/

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    1. Like I said in the comments on your post, you're so brave and I'm so grateful that you shared!

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  58. Somehow I missed this post until now, Melissa, but I can relate to a lot of the things you wrote about. I don't know how you do it with Robbie being away so much; I know it must be incredibly hard. And I also have to say that none of your admissions are shocking because I think you've been real and genuine and authentically you from the beginning. xo, Mary

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    1. Thank you Mary. I think you are real and genuine as well, and I love reading your blog. <3

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  59. I'm always on the internet too. I gotta say, it's very refreshing to hear I'm not the only one. I agree, it's such a hard habit to break but I really want to break it because I KNOW I'd be happier being less attached to it.
    Also I really appreciate your honesty about your work as a Fashion Designer. That has been one of the careers that I have been considering and it was really nice to read about what it's REALLY like. So thank you for that.

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    1. Thank you for sharing Haylee... I had to say I've gotten better since I wrote this post. I think actually admitting how much time I spend online has been a wake up call! And you are so welcome about the fashion designer part of things. It's definitely not an easy profession - one of the business of fashion classes I took said that the only industry to have a hire "mortality" rate in terms of going out of business is the restaurant industry. But if you really, really love something, I still think you should go for it. Because you never know. :)

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  60. >> I want to move far away from the city and have a big yard with a swing and a garden that doesn't have to be grown in containers and a nice chunk of space between where we live and any possible neighbors.


    ---me too! don't be afraid to tell us that ;)

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    1. I've always been a "city person," so I think such a big change in what I want was hard to admit to myself more than anything! :)

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  61. Don't feel bad, I own a home, that I then couldn't sell when we moved. We still own it (with renters, thank g) but I can't wait to get rid of it. I love renting! :) For now. But I see why people want to own, but it's not all it's cracked up to be. Decorating and painting is fun, cracked foundations and broken water heaters no so fun.

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    1. I owned a house once too, for a little while. It's just not on my priority list anymore. I think when the housing market crashed, it really opened my eyes. I'm glad you're loving renting and hope your house sells soon!

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  62. I barely made it past your first point about Bubby, One of my kitties died last year (only 6 years old - kidney failure) and it truly broke my heart. I cry a lot when I think about her and I miss her more than anything. You're not alone and they aren't "just" a cat or dog (or turtle or fish!) they are our special friends and deserve more than fleeting thought :) I can relate to a lot of your other points as well and you're really brave for sharing. Thanks for your honesty.

    Kitty xo
    Kitty & Buck.

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    1. You're so welcome Kitty. And I'm so sorry about your loss. I lost my other doggy Tabha (and Alaskan Malamute) in 2008 to cancer, and she was only 8. So I know how hard it is when they're so young... Sending love.

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  63. I am in a similar situation to yours with my husband traveling a lot (like 75-80% of the time). Just wanted to say I can completely relate and have the same thoughts/feelings you wrote about. Thanks for the post.
    P.S. I'm a UW-Madison grad too. Go badgers! :)

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    1. It's very, very hard. Thank you for commenting - it's nice to know I'm not the only one. And yay! Go UW!

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  64. Hi, this weekend is good designed for me, as this time i am reading this enormous educational piece
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  65. OK, so obviously I'm a little late to this post but I want to tell you that I LOVE IT. Thank you for having the guts to share it. I wrestle with how much to say on my blog as well, and have shared some of the 'bad' stuff. But I do always wonder if I should.

    btw.......ditto on these. ditto. ditto. ditto.
    >> I absolutely, unabashedly love blogging. No I'm serious. I love it more than my clothing line and my art line and the styling work I've done for bands and my event production gigs and my eco speaking gigs and my freelance graphic design jobs combined. I adore writing and curating and sharing tutorials and taking/editing photos and putting it all together in a way that (I hope) inspires others. At this point in my life (and I say that because it always changes; I have a degree in theatre if that tells you anything), my dream job would be to blog full time or to work for an online magazine (or start my own). For real.

    >> On a similar note, I have what feels like 182 different jobs. Gotta pay the bills somehow.

    >> I scrutinize and second guess my work - and often other choices I make as well - to a fault. This applies to everything from blog posts to graphic work to my clothing designs to what I choose to wear to a party to buying gifts for others to whatever drink I decide to order at Starbucks that day.

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