Thursday, June 27, 2013

You Do You.

You don't need to have been blogging for years to understand that it's a vulnerable work. 

Putting yourself out there day after day allowing complete strangers a peek into your daily life is no easy feat. Blogging on a public platform is making a choice to allow yourself to be judged be it positively or negatively and it is a choice that I can assume the lot of us don't take lightly. 

For some, writing their blog is a hobby. Something they choose to do so after a long day at work, something that helps them unwind or connect with others around them in the same season of life. For others, they've successfully managed to make the time they invest in their space pay off, literally. Whether you monetize your space or not, it doesn't make you more or less of a blogger than the next. 

That's the great thing about blogging. You get to just do you

Some people choose to speak through pictures, often posting less words and more photographs of their days. Be it their children, their latest shopping haul or their dogs, they choose to fill their space with pretty pictures rather than pretty words. 

Others may choose to share no pictures at all, letting their words paint the images they want to convey. Some bloggers may share a bit of both. Maybe their photographs aren't perfectly edited. Maybe their angle isn't the same you would choose but regardless, they're real moments captured in time. More importantly, they're their real moments that help tell their story that they've chosen to share with you.

Years ago when I first started blogging, I didn't think twice about what I wrote or the pictures I shared. I didn't own any editing software let alone a fancy camera. I often divulged the mundane details of my day to day raising a 100lbs. sheepdog with a husband who was hardly home because he traveled for business. Looking back on those days reminds me how much I hated being alone. How much I missed having my husband home each night. I'm so glad I wrote about those days as I find it particularly helpful to look back on when it's 7:30pm, my husband just walked through the door, and I'm two tickets shy of sending the boys off to the circus. 

I wrote without caring what people thought of me. I just did me. 

And the truth is, I still do. I come to this space, some weeks more than others, sharing a piece of my life. Sometimes it's funny and other times it's more of an internal struggle but I continue to show up here because for the most part, I enjoy the community of blogging. 

Writing has always been cathartic for me but for the last year or so it hasn't been easy. 

I started worrying too much about what others would think. I didn't post pictures because I was afraid that people would judge them, I didn't share stories because I was afraid I would be judged for being too proud or mocked for being too vain. And I was all of these things. Judged, mocked, shamed.  

I've seen how easy it is for others to tear apart words and pictures that aren't their own. To judge them. I've been there. I've judged! 

I will never understand, however, the people who feel it is their personal responsibility to the blogging community, bestowed upon themselves by themselves, to outline what others should and should not write about. To publicly shame them. I've read posts designed to be funny but laced with jabs and "constructive criticism." They allow themselves the freedom to share whatever they desire but don't allow the same freedoms to those around them. 

What I've come to realize is someone, somewhere, is always going to hate you. Someone will always disagree with you. They will find fault with your words and your pictures and they will find others who feel the same way. You know why? Because misery loves company. 

Perhaps I will never understand why people feel so strongly about the words and pictures of strangers. Perhaps it's because deep down they're unhappy with their own story. Maybe their a little green with envy or maybe they're making up for a lifetime of being on the receiving end of judgment. Maybe they're just bored.

Let them judge. And shame. And mock. You have nothing to prove and it's evident that they don't care to know you. To read your story. 

Don't let others dictate your voice. At the end of the day, being true to yourself is all that matters. 

Just do you.  

This is something I remind myself of daily.

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  1. Beautifully said, AP. You do you very well, and I love reading what you have to share with us. I think you should keep being you, because lets face it the world could use a few more people like you in it :)

  2. AMEN! It's hard not to get wrapped up in others sometimes, but as much as I enjoy blogging too - it's not life (it is, but it isn't). Keeping living and doing you...I love it and I keep coming back for more! ;)

  3. Keep doing you, AP because YOU is pretty great (bad grammar, but I'm leaving it because you know what I mean).

  4. Wonderful post AP! Your blog never fails to make me smile; whether its from pics of your cute family, a hilarious story you told, or because I am proud that you had the courage to share something so personal (like today). Keep doing you - you're doing great.

    "Haters gonna hate" as they say. :)

    April @Barbells and Bellinis

  5. Preach it sister. You are so right! Those that love you stick around and those that don't can just as easily not type in your web address. It's that easy. xoxo

  6. Like I tweeted to you- I sooo needed to read this. I did a post the other day, even being careful to not sound too "braggy" because I was proud of Andrew behaving out to lunch. I even admitted to him acting like a fool 45 minutes before hand, far from perfect... yet someone anonymously felt the need to make a comment about me "bragging about my perfect child"

    At first I was upset, but then I realized that I just need to take it with a grain of salt... writing on a public blog unfortunately sets me up for that so I had to step back and think that I was being honest and true and that if someone doesn't like it, it's their problem, not mine!

    and for the record, my "perfect" child proceeded to poop in the tub on Tuesday night- fortunately during daddy's bath night! so I guess that was sort of perfect.. hahaha (for me!!!)

  7. I don't have as big of a reader base as you do, but post what you want! I guess if you feel you have to censor what your write and pictures you post because you're being constantly harassed....then that's another story. I know I'm not a pro photographer and that lots of people might edit or crop or filter their pictures differently than I would...but that's okay. I've never been one to blog about controversial stuff because I admittedly don't have a terribly thick skin. I just try to be true and show some of the good, the bad, and the ugly on my blog. I feel that you do that don't blog about it all being sunshine and roses and I respect you for that.

    As you say, putting ourselves out there somehow warrants judgment. When I blog about my faith I don't do it for the intent of making other people feel bad about not believing what I do - I do it for myself. I don't do it that often, but it's something I need to do. When I blog about my baby being content and's because it's true, it's not to rub it into the mother of a colicky baby's face. You know? We're always going to offend someone somehow, but as far as I'm concerned it's their problem not ours.

    Keep calm and blog on!

  8. I just posted about my bloggy anxietied yesterday. I wanna be me but I wanna make my readers happy. It's a balance.

    Also- you're totally the reason I'm blogging now. You made it seem like fun and so far, it is :)

  9. I'm a long time reader and lurker (even way before I ever started a blog) and never comment, but I love this. I didn't start a blog for so long, even though I really wanted to, because I saw others get rude anonymous comments, knew about the awful GOMI site, etc. I finally got over it but I don't get why people can just click the little red X. If you don't agree with me, like what I write, or like me, then don't read it. It is very simple.

  10. I know exactly what you are saying. I try so hard to be genuine and real on my blog, but it's super hard to be so vulnerable and know that there are people out there judging and picking me apart.

    People love to hate. Just this past year I found out that there are snark communities out there, with a sole purpose of stabbing at bloggers, just criticizing them and being plain mean. I just do not understand this behavior, and I don't get why people concern themselves so much with other people's lives. Anyway! Thank you for this post!! I love what you write so keep on keepin' on! xoxo

  11. So true! I've been dealing a lot with people who I know IRL thinking they have me figured out because they read my blog, when in reality they barely know me. Blogging definitely has its ups and downs.

  12. YES! Keep on rocking on. I love to see your kids, and sheepie and even you from time to time ;) And if you want to brag, boost or exclaim to the world that you are beautiful, your kids are geniuses and your house should be on the front cover of better homes and gardens - GOOD ON YOU! (Said with an Australian accent). You be you, girlfrannn!!! and F*** all those judgie mcjudgers!

  13. I am one that has probably shared way too much on my blog. But everyone has a different comfort level. My blog has been a very healing place for me. I love looking back on the good and the bad times. I'm not really big enough to be judged and I'm kind of glad for that. Not sure I could take the heat.

  14. Thank you for posting's easy to get blog envy, especially when you are starting out...perfect photos and perfect words make my rambling paragraphs & I-phone snapshots look completely amateurish - but that's exactly what I am.

    I just enjoy learning about other people and having a place to be a little creative. As I spend more time doing this I find that I skip through the "perfect" blogs but become absorbed in the "real" yours :)

  15. Amen, sista! A-FRICKIN'-MEN! I blog & post to IG whatever the hell I want! People are ridiculous & the whole "envy/hating" attitude has got to go! Why can't people just be happy for others?!?! Ain't nobody got time for that shizz!


  16. I think as long as you remain true to to your voice and be authentic, then people have no room to judge.

    Just keep on keepin on :)

  17. Good words momma! I can relate to so much of this post... Thanks for sharing!

  18. Well, I big {puffy heart} love you and your blog.... and what I love most is that you are in fact real and honest.

    Truly, what I've never understood is who has the TIME to be so ugly, envious and judgmental? I mean, really???????

  19. Wonderful post. Agreed, live and let live. I don't relate well to the "perfect" blogs. I love reading about women that have the same struggles as me!

  20. This is the 2nd post I've seen like this. Is someone being a mean girl again?

  21. You go girl! Just be you!

    I just read this quote this week...
    "Some people are going to like you, some people are going to love you, some people are not going to like you at all, and some people may even despise you. You might as well be yourself. That way, at least you will know that the people who like you, like you for who YOU TRULY ARE." (Matthew Kelley)

    Didn't we learn this in Kindergarten??

    Also, question for ya... I don't mind *putting myself out there* in front of people I don't know/can't see on the Internet, but I get nervous to write about things in my every day life sometimes on a count of what my close friends/family may say/think. Do you run into this problem? How do you handle it?

  22. Very well said, AP. I worry about being judged for my writing, pictures, or whatever else people will decide to judge me for. None of us are perfect and we'd do well to remember that and not point fingers at each other.

    Your writing and pictures inspire me to be a better blogger. Thank you for sharing this!

  23. I rarely comment on blogs I follow, but please know that your ability and willingness to be you and not give us (non)lurkers/bloggers "I have the perfect IG/FB life and you don't so there!" is so well appreciated, admired, and thanked. Keep being you!

  24. I probably love this post, A TON!

    See you on Tuesday at the Zoo!!!



  25. Preach! I'm just back to blogging after a very long hiatus and don't know how I want it to fit into my life. I just really want to connect with some other people (come visit me!) and have a journal of my family. Heart this post.

    -ABS (

  26. I couldn't agree with you more! I started blogging almost 5 years ago and although I have improved in my photography with much hard work I like to think my content has remained true to myself. Its super hard to want to compare your blog to others but then that just takes away from why to blog at all. As much as Iove having readers, getting comments, and stats, I love having my own space to get down my thoughts even more. I love that my boys will hopefully have something to look back at about their childhood.

  27. I love your honesty, and this was such a beautiful post! Such truth. We should all lift each other up!


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