Friday, March 8, 2013

Being Real

Tonight I feel pretty lousy. I am second-guessing my dive into blogging. I read what I write and it feels...strange. I've written some things that people thought were funny and I think I've tried to keep emulating that. I see blogs like Camp Patton and others getting a lot of attention and support for being real, in a humorous way, and it pushes me to try and be a way that maybe I'm not really. What seems to come across is an inauthentic version of myself. When I write essays or short stories, my voice comes through clearly (or so I've been told). In blogging it seems more complicated because there's that want of instant gratification. You know what I'm talking about: comments. Or even emails. It's discouraging to know people (somewhere, out there) are reading what I'm writing and not giving me any feedback. I love feedback. When I took a creative writing class recently, we had workshop days where we'd all get to critique each short story. And the author was not allowed to speak at all when their work was being talked about. We couldn't clarify or explain, our writing had to speak for itself. At the end we'd get a chance to say something, but that wasn't the important part. The feedback was. Even when someone was confused by something I wrote or didn't like where I went with something, I was grateful. Because I could work on it. I could make it better and try harder. But's not like that. Once it's published, it's out there. Boom: Forever.

I started blogging again for a few different reasons, but one was to be liked. And accepted. In person, I am fairly outspoken. I do not shy away from speaking my mind. It probably leans more toward being a fault than anything, but it's there. The oddest part is not that I don't fear saying what I feel/think. It's that I strongly fear rejection. Even the word is pretty awful. In everything I do, the fear is there and it's a bugger. Anytime someone doesn't respond in email/text/call/person right away, or return an invitation I've extended, or seem to want to be friends: it's there. Twisted and smiling and waiting for me to wallow. And it damn well hurts like hell.

One of the things that's hardest for me is not knowing why. Why doesn't this person want to be friends? Why didn't they like that? Why haven't I been invited back? And on and on. The thing about life is, there's not much feedback like that. It's rare to have someone say, "You know, I just don't think we can be friends because I have boys and you have girls." Or whatever. It's not going to happen. I always want to know: "What is it about me?" But perhaps that's too selfish. Maybe it's not about me at all. But since I don't know that, it hardly makes a difference with my fear. I've already been rejected. Why matters. Oh, certainly. But the sting has been delivered and it's unlikely I'll ever know why I was rejected (or was seemingly rejected).

The icing on this pity party cake, is that I often go through seasons of loneliness. And each time, I ask God, "Why? Why are You doing this?" Sometimes, I know why. Many times, I don't. I don't know if it's my fault or if it's a lesson I'm really not getting. Tonight I asked God that. Why? Why now? And will I ever get there?

There are people out there that say Jesus should be our best friend. And maybe that's true. I think He should be more than that. But eh, best friend makes sense. There are others that say, your husband should be your best friend. And to be honest, mine is close to being my only friend, so the competition is light. And even if both of those (or one) are true, I still want a girlfriend. Like, a best girlfriend. Because as amazing and holy as Jesus is, he can't grab lunch with me; as much as I love and adore my husband, he doesn't get periods or have saggy post-patrum everything. And I need that. As humans, we long to be known. We long to have relationships.

So I guess I'm saying that I may not give up blogging. But I am going to try and care a little less about being liked and accepted. Even if I want those things. Because all I am is me. And if I'm going to fear being rejected (and perhaps even be rejected), I, at least, want to know I'm being me.


  1. If you didn't live at the top of the world, you guys could come over and play. Well, the kids could play, and we could check for comments on our iPads. :0) No, we wouldn't do that. Too much.

    The best advice I got when I started this, lo these many weeks, was just to write what you WANT to write, YOUR way. And if it fills a need other people will find it. And if not, then at least you got to figure out what you think about one thing in particular and write it down. I get satisfaction out of that.

    And don't forget that you are pregnant, and therefore your opinions on how you feel about things are not to be trusted.

  2. Kendra's last point is really good.

    Funny thing, when you told me you guys are vegans I thought, "I have nothing in the house they could eat!" which isn't true and is funny because you're not coming for dinner from WA to IL any time soon. But then I saw a picture from McD's and thought, "Oh good, she will settle for less."

    I found that when I stopped caring about stats and comments I started to love blogging again. Focus on doing it for God's glory and your enjoyment and nothing else matters.

  3. I went through this very same thing a few weeks ago, or I should say I go through this same thing every few weeks. Blogging is no substitution for real life friends, but sometimes I will find myself treating like it is and that's when I start to get all down on it.

    I definitely use it for sanity and staying connected, but mostly it is just a great creative outlet for me since there isn't much else for a SAHM like me to create (other than babies, but we can't be pregnant ALL the time) where I can see an immediate result, that's why I sew too.

    Anyways, just know you are NOT alone and that I LOVE your blog. I think we'd be great friends if you moved to the mid west :) SO you should probably do that...

  4. I just read this. I read blogs pretty sporadically, and often just skim. I haven't been doing the blog thing very long (just started in January) and wasn't in to reading many of them before that. All of this is new to me.

    But I feel like I could have said about half of what you said. We moved here (Central Florida) about four years ago from a place that was our ideal: lots of friends, faith community, happiness. I supposed we could make the same thing happen here, but we haven't. When you used the word, "loneliness" that just describes how I feel, a lot of the time. When my youngest was born two years ago we had absolutely no one to even be happy for us and celebrate (no one nearby.) Very sad and very strange.

    I realized that I do have to just find a lot more comfort in my relationship with Christ (like you said) and the Blessed Mother. But also like you said, that is very difficult. If you haven't already, try to grow really close in your love and friendship with Our Lady. She is of the greatest comfort to me and I know walks all these paths with me.

    I also realized that God may just be giving me this time of aloneness to grow personally, in quietness. That is why I finally started blogging. It would be wonderful to have regular readers, people who enjoy my stuff, but I know that what I am doing is just for me, to see what my life looks like from afar, so to speak. Before I started the blog, I thought, what the heck would I even blog about? I knew the only way to find out was just to start doing it. I haven't even come up with anything interesting, even to myself yet. But it has been a joy and a source of comfort to challenge myself to go forward with it.

    Sorry for this novel, I was just really touched with your candidness, and I do hope that all things wonderful happen for you here.

    As a side note, I think your blog is charming and only you are capable of telling your own story.

    Your friend, Rebekah


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