Thursday, July 8, 2010

What Do You Want From Me?

As the blog has newly been relaunched, I feel like... brand new. I never go back and look at old posts, mostly because I will feel extremely self-conscious about the things that I write. Good and Catholic, you don't rehash the grief you feel over your cousin's death. You're supposed to just let it be. Overrun you like a kind of ferocious weed until you're consumed and immobilized it.

That's the polite thing to do.

I'm tired of being polite.

But I have to ask... what do you want from me?

I'm a nice, good girl. But that hasn't served me so far. Now I want to write posts that help me take apart my grief, not just of my cousin's death and Mom's illness but all that's been lost from that. While I was busy being a puddle on the floor... so much was lost. But now, I want to lay it out, like when a mechanic is fixing a Vintage car, and examine and inspect and then fix all the things that are broken...

And then put it back together.

I think that's the only way you become free from things.

I just wonder - because I'm a self-diagnosed people pleaser - is that what you want from me? I like this being a give and take, I love your comments, I love that this blog is something you relate to and I don't want you to be disappointed when you read a post.

I notice when I write something honest, truthful, raw, people will read... one person read for 171 minutes last week... but hardly anyone will comment. No comments as others read for 5, 10, 20 minutes.

"What are they thinking? Am I too much?" I am too much for them? I am. I am made of scary little scars that are all on the inside. I should only write happy posts. Put a smile on it. Keep the uncertainty on the inside. That would be for the best.

Who am I doing this for? I thought I was doing it for me. But maybe I'm really doing it for you.

So what do you want from me?

No, really, I'll do it. But you have to tell me. Do you want to talk about figuring your life out after it's thrown you a maddeningly huge gut punch? Can I talk about my cousin's death? Does it make you feel uncomfortable? Sometimes I think you guys think I have it more together than I do. It might be my fault. Sometimes, I'm very rah-rah. I need to tone that down a bit.

All of this started to gently cross my mind as I opened a Facebook and Twitter page for the blog. A lot of people started following me and I think I became shy... a little freaked out. To combat the uncomfortableness of that, I have to be witty, asurbic, sarcastic.

You wouldn't know the girl who writes on that Twitter account writes here. That girl is the me with the mask. She hides behind a wall, she dangles a sparkly ball to distract you from cousin's who are murdered and lives that are turned upside town and cousin's that have brain cancer and life choices that will break your heart and mother's that are sick and court cases and do we go for the death penalty?

Maybe going for the death penalty would be impolite.

I'm wrestling with this... I know people like me on Twitter but that girl... she's having a ball but she's not going to grow and change. She's not going to make the big decisions that I am determined to make this year - I think I want to leave Los Angeles. I think I want a new job. I know I want to live without so much fear and responsibility.

My cousin has brain cancer now.

I want to do the things he's wishing he did. And that is either the most brutally honest thing I have ever said or the most damn selfish or maybe it can be both.

Everything, all these thoughts, doubts, feelings came swirling around yesterday when I read the most beautiful essay on grief by someone who had lost his daughter.

The author spoke of how, after you lose someone unexpectedly, you become consumed with fear.

"Maybe what I’ve learned more about, for better or worse, is fear. I think I can pretty comfortably say I understand fear. I’ve learned to understand fear in and out... I live in fear. I’ve learned how randomly things can go wrong, horribly wrong, and I fear that moment, I fear that moment coming into existence. Logic be damned, it terrifies me."

I found myself nodding, yes, yes. That's how I feel. In a matter of a few paragraphs, the author had boiled down exactly how I feel... a feeling that seems to elude me as I try to turn it into words.

When I am in that uncomfortable place, I gloss it over with a lot of humor. I'm straddling both worlds.

I haven't faced the deep dark fear like the author expresses. You have to be in club to get it. You don't want to be in the club. But it's when... if terrible things happen with no warning and they are so terrible and so terrifying and so unspeakable that just NO ONE will speak of them -- how to you ever feel safe again?

How do you not just completely collapse and fold in on yourself? So nothing can touch you. Or hurt you. Yes. This is deep. Does it scare you? Will you not love me if I speak of scary things?

I can tell you this: I have lived like that and I don't WANT to anymore. But it's like, after something truly bad happens, your blood gets stamped with the "fear" DNA and it just corses through you becoming part of your whole being.

I guess what I'm saying, (Get to it, girl), is I need to talk about those fears more. I know that is everything that is holding me back in life. It's like I have the knowledge that life is short, that you better live it now because Good God, how fast it can be gone in a day.

And that is in one hand. And in the other is what I am going to do with that knowledge. Every week, through an adventure, I am trying to move the needle as they say... push it closer to the life I want to live and away from the life of fear.

Do yo want to hear about that?

What do you want from me?



Jamie said...

We like you because you're "real". You don't have to be all happy & positive all the time. Life isn't that way. There are ups and downs and your readers want to read all of them. People are relating to your posts. You are helping people! Readers that are going thru similar things want to know that they are not alone. The most response you'll ever get is when you are being totally raw and honest. Don't try to sugarcoat anything. Life isn't full of sugar. Be you. Whatever is on your heart to share, share it. You will help yourself and others and in the process!
That's my opinion anyway. ;)
xoxo -j

Anonymous said...

i know how you feel...i too sometimes feel like i put to much of a "positive spin" on the things i say and people think i'm more together, better off, much happier than i am.
say what you need to say. it's your life. peace.

Michelle/MouseDemon said...

You know, I am liking the girl on Twitter, and I am liking the girl on Facebook, and guess what? I am liking the girl on here.

We all have facets of our personality which we show in different places under different circumstances.

And you are allowed to be as petty, mean, selfish and generally all those Bad Things that "nice girls" aren't meant to do. IT IS YOUR LIFE AND YOUR FUCKING BLOG!!! :P

"I want to do the things he's wishing he did. And that is either the most brutally honest thing I have ever said or the most damn selfish or maybe it can be both."

It is both, it is completely natural, and there is NOTHING WRONG WITH IT! As brutal as this may sound, there isn't one damn thing you can about your cousin's cancer. And I expect if you asked him, he would tell you to make sure you DO do all things that he may no longer have the chance to do. Infact, I imagine he might be a bit pissed off that you weren't doing them.

But FFS, Woman! You are allowed to feel shit about things. And to then blog your soul out about it. And if people turn away...well, what have you really lost there? (And I don't think they would turn away anyway.)

I suppose after all this really really long waffle, I am saying you made this blog for you. The fact that you are an entertaining and enjoyable read doesn't detract from the fact it is YOUR blog.

You do what you want in it.


Hey Jen said...

I read and I don't always comment. Sometimes because just because I'm unsure of how to respond, sometimes because what I really want to say gets lost in translation and sometimes just because I don't have the time to write out the response I truly want to write out.

All I want from you is for you to be you and to keep writing your amazing posts.

I've found that people feel more drawn when you lay your soul bare and rattle your skeleton. I've been starting to do that on my own blog, but I still get kinda skeeved out that people are reading...and judging.

Do what you have to, write about what you want, but don't write for the masses...write for yourself.

Tw!nkleTw!nkle said...

What I want is just to follow you along your journey. No one feels the same thing every single day. If you are grieving, I would love to hear you decode your grief, make sense of why you feel that way. When you are happy, when things are shining through the grief to you, I want to hear about those things too. You don;t need to worry about what WE like, this blog is for YOU, you started it to help yourself through your journey. Honey, we are just along for the ride. If we don't comment it's probably just because we don;t know what to say. A lot of us can relate to how you feel, but a lot of us can't. doesn't mean that we don't want to read it. I still read every single post. I love your honestly, i love your humor but above all I love that there is a normal person over there, just trying to make it through life like the rest of us.

Love always,

Anonymous said...

I have been reading for some time now - love your honesty and can completely relate to not wanting to get out of bed for so long. On April 12, 2007 I lost my son midway through my pregnancy due to an undiagnosed condition, my OB had ignored my complaints and symptoms for over a month before referring me to a specialist. However by then it was too late. Nearly 2 years later my husband's cousin was killed by a drunk driver while he was sitting eating a late night dinner with his girlfriend in IHOP. Many days I feel overwhelmed and just fed up. I honestly thought that feeling like I was at the bottom of a well with no exit was something unique to my husband and I. Reading your posts hives me hope, humor and a sense of humility - sometimes its the seemingly small acts that can turn things around in your mind. Keep writing what makes sense for you! Thank you for being you! Sox Momma

adventure grrl said...

Adventure said...
You comments, I swear, you all take my breath away. I will address each one but I have to deal with one pressing issue first. But to "Sox Mom" (Anonymous Commenter #2), I feel your heavy heart. Regarding the loss of your baby, have you read It's a gathering place for parents who have lost a child during pregnancy or early in life. Thinking of you and your resilience especially today and wishing you peace.

Everyone else, I swear, I will be back later. I just wanted to mention that website while it was on the tip of my tongue :)

Aunt Becky said...

Aubrey is right. You get into a habit of writing these HAHAHAHA! posts and then you realize one day that life isn't always funny. In my case, it's very often not funny. But it's easier to be the clown than it is to bare your soul.

Being truthful makes you brave. Not everyone will like that side of you, I know, but for every person you lose, you'll gain one more that feels like they know the REAL you.

That, to me, is worth any numbers you get.

I lost a number of followers after tweeting about Josh yesterday. You know what? FUCK THEM.

I'll lose more by being open about my struggles with my marriage, about finding myself in the situation as an adult child of two alcoholics who has put herself in this position again. I know this.

Frankly, I don't care. I blog for myself. The validation of numbers is nice, but numbers aren't people.

I like people. Not numbers.

So, I'd be honest, I'd be real, and I'd be open. Friends are better than numbers. Be real, be authentic, be YOU. THAT is what makes a blogger good. I promise.

Loryn said...

I'm pretty new to blogger, and decided to follow your blog because of how real you are in your writing and how you write about such hard things to write about. Death, grief, loss.. it's all real, everyone has to face it, but most don't want to. I want to thank you for wanting to!

So from me, I want you to stop hiding behind that mask and write about anything on your mind- happy, sad, doesn't matter, it's all life.

"I want to do the things he's wishing he did. And that is either the most brutally honest thing I have ever said or the most damn selfish or maybe it can be both" --- it all depends on how you do! Share your experiences with him and it will be the most rewarding experience ever!

"The author spoke of how, after you lose someone unexpectedly, you become consumed with fear." --- it's so true. When I lost my best friend as a child I was terrified to ever get close to anyone again and I was terrified of riding a bike (he was hit by a car while riding his bike). being scared happens, but once you conquer that fear you deal with your grief and overcome the feelings of loss.

Hope this helps!


PS: Just remember, before you please anyone else you should always please yourself. Because if you don't do it, who will?

Kristin said...

Thanks for the link love.

I think you should write the raw, dirty stuff because we can all relate to it. I think you should process out in the open, if that helps you grow and heal. There are enough shallow, happy smiley blogs out there. They don't do anything for me except irritate me. This is your space, so put it out there - whatever you want or need to write. We'll dig it. And only some of us will leave comments even though we all love it. XO

Shin Ae said...

Hi, I found you via Aunt Becky. I relate when you talk about the fear.

I had a blog for a while but I shut it down. I knew I wasn't being true to myself. It wasn't that I was lying about the things I did and thought, it was just that I mostly only talked about the more acceptable things.

I want to start blogging again, but I'm going to do it under a different name. I need to do that for me. I need the anonymity, but I also need to say what I need to say. I don't even know WHY. I just do.

I think maybe you do, too. I would advise you to not rob yourself of that if it's what you need.

Sara said...

I don't think people want anything from you. I don't think you should assume you should be delivering anything specific.

Just be you and people will keep coming back.

I think people in general like to read other's thoughts and find comfort in the fact the they are similar and that every feels things - the good and the bad.

I wonder all the time why people don't comment on my blog too. I wonder if people are reading and enjoying....but in the end - I've realized a few things - 1) people DO read it and they like it, they just may not be the commenting type and 2) Even if no one reads it - I like to write. Even if it's just for me....

Keep it up and just be you!! That's the best part of all.

Sara said...

Also - I CONSTANTLY read my old posts. I edit and re-edit to find better wording or find old mistakes. It's ridiculous, actually.

Angella Lister said...

you are a writer. this is how you process your life. and right now, you are in the middle of a great dark lake trying to reach the shore. So write whatever it is that you feel. We will read. I will read. I know how you feel. I often feel the same way on my own blog. But when you really need to take apart a thing, to grieve, then you have to think of your blog as yours alone, not ours. We will be there, though. We are always there for what is true, even when the true thing is heartbreaking. Be whoever you want to be each day. Write whatever you NEED to write. We will read. I will read.

Quinn Hay said...

I love your posts so much, whether they are happy or deep. I also feel like I only blog about happy, positive things and I hide the things that terrify me!I am more comfortable posting my shitty first-drafts of all my stories than I am of posting what really scares me and what's really bothering me. I am the same way in real life, I allow myself a few longer than a day to be truly sacred or upset about something than I try to be happy. Maybe this is good, maybe not. But the truth is behind the boring...though somewhat happy blogs I try to write... is a girl who is scared that someone she loves will die, is pissed off that her mom missed the birth of my first child because of a selfish stepfather, feels so devastated that I consider that stepdad my father, but he doesn't consider me his daughter and he tried to commit suicide and hates his life, and I am also terrified he will hurt my mom, I am so terrified for my only brother and my brother-in-law who will be going to Afghanistan in a few months.I,m pissed off that my real dad drank away his life, abused his kids and after all that...when I try to stay in contact with him...he doesn't return the favor. Instead he puts ME on a guilt-trip.I cry because I have no friends in this state and I honestly have no idea what I want to be "when I grow up" I am scared I will never be able to buy a house and see my daughter play in our yard- and that is what I want most right now. Then I read your blogs and I think that you have the right attitude, you face your grief and sorrow...but don't dwell on them, you look at the bright side but don't avoid what hurts you. There should be more people like you in the world. Like I said before...I just want you to blog more! :) Stay exactly the way you are. Your blogs make me think...even leaving this blog has been amazingly cathartic to me. And I always love that you comment my blogs. It means a lot to me and makes feel a little star-struck because your blogs are so much better and bigger than I ever hope mine to be.

Anna said...

Damnit! Blogger ate my comment!

I'm new - came from Aunt Becky but it only took 1.8 seconds for me to instantly click to follow. I love your honesty and ability to clack out what most of us are afraid to think.

I'm struggling with my own blog - afraid to post what I want so instead I don't post. I think that's a step better than posting fluffy shit if that's not how I'm feeling that day.

Keep it up.

Michelle said...

What I want from you is for you to write whatever is going to make you feel more complete that day. If its about your cousin's death, your adventure that week, a meltdown you had, sea monkeys, any of it. This blog is for you, and we are just along for the ride. :)

Love ya.

Classy Fab Sarah said...

Just because you write sassy little tweets doesn't mean that there are NOT a lot more complex emotions lying right under your skin... so let it out sister!

anji said...

Hey... maybe this story will help. I'm not trying to lessen what you're going through but, I want you to learn this awesome thing called Resilience.

Since February, 2009, I have gone through the following:

- a move away from my house, husband and pets to teach far, far away
- second week on the job, have a gun & machete pointed at me by two students in front of kindergartners and my class room full of kids
- miscarriage
- massive panic attack afterwards
- quit job and go back home
- find out hubby was screwing around on me
- graduated from teacher's college and realised, life sucks ass
- lost 50 pounds (and still more to go) because I'm joining the army
- homeless since August 2009
- massive car accident at christmas, like you, severe injuries
- massive debt because ex won't provide support
- ex engaged to new fiance within' 2 months of knowing her and are getting married on OUR wedding day that was planned for this year, so they get married in about a month

But you know what?
I refuse this time to spiral into ANY depression. Life is awesome. We're both alive today, right? And those around us, may not have much time to enjoy it....

I've been resilient. If this happened to me two years ago? Or even four? I would have crumbled and died and probably would have thought of the deep, dark deed.

But, I refuse to give up and give into anything... our lives are absolutely full of miracles and I refuse to live one day without regret.

Life is too damn short.

Don't be a people pleaser either. Screw 'em. Why should you suffer in your life, to please someone?

This doesn't mean going and being a greedy asshole. It means, do what makes you happy and then good things will come your way.

That accident? Best thing EVER to happen to me. I know I can survive the harshest of conditions and be okay in the end. I should have died that day but... I refused to.

Here is a song that I love, love, love. I cried so much the first time I heard it, when I was in a very bad way....

Life is such a gift... so, how does the story end? This is your story and it all depends... so, don't let it become, get out and do what you were meant to do... we live, we love, we forgive and never give up, because the days we were given are gifts from above...

(Lyrics from that song)....

Take care, stay strong and live a life with no regrets!


p.s. I disapeared from facebook intentionally, but I was a member... needed to focus on the last few weeks before I join the army :)

fd said...

wow! you've had loads of powerful comments and I second/third/fourth all those who say that you should write whatever you want on your blog.

But I also want to give a little extra vote to the adventure bowl posts. These are the ones that inspire me over and over again. I hope your adventures inspire you too!

Jen said...

Life is about good times and bad times. It's about the times that make you giddy and light headed, and the times that you're so scared that moving is physically painful. I think that you should let your life keep going. That you should WANT to live a full life for the people that couldn't. That is what they would want you to do.

That's what this should be about. It should be your adventure through life. And sometimes life gets hard. Sadly you probably will loose some people due to that, but you will gain a lot more. There are more people than you would think who relate completely to what you're going through. <3

Mar said...

Yikes! I hope I didn't start all this doubting (and of course I don't think that little ole me could possibly be responsible for something so big) but as you know, I struggle very much with the same thing. I don't have the readership or the positive attitude that you do, so I don't have any words of wisdom for you. But I love what and how you write and will keep reading no matter the subject.

I am interested in all facets of your journey whether they be triumphs or tribulations. Ultimately at the end of the day, be true to yourself, be comfortable with what you write and know that you have all these readers/friends who care about you!

thehorizontalyoyo said...

Writing has always been very therapeutic for me. I suspect it is for you, too. Therefore, your blog needs to be about YOU and for YOU. We readers are just along for the ride. Unless you start blogging for money and making money from your blog, your blog shouldn't be about readers - if you don't want it to be.

I know it means to be a people pleaser. I'm still very much of one. But I have to say, honey, if you're mood is set by the number of comments a blog post gets, it's a bit like allowing the number on a scale to dictate your day, isn't it?

Just like you are more than a number on a scale, you are also more than the number of readers or blog comments you have.

You need to give yourself credit and allow yourself to be who you need to be at any given moment.

This is your journey, not ours. Do we glean much-needed wisdom from your words? Many of us do but I'm sure some of us couldn't even imagine the dark places you've kept residence in the past, if we tried.

Put your words, thoughts, feelings, and not-so-niceties out there. They will reach the people they aren't meant to reach.


thehorizontalyoyo said...

*ARE* meant to reach...

Stupid typos


Sherene said...

I started reading because the blog idea was intriguing. I stayed because you were real - you write about things I've felt, things most people will probably feel at some point in their life, things that a majority of people choose to unecessarily suffer alone. You manage deep and serious without it feeling too heavy and you do funny and light without it being fluff. I came back, hoping this perfect mix continues its necessary and cathartic work.

As a member of "the club," I've noticed people deal with this dark knowledge in two ways: they cling, control, and suffocate their lives to unsuccessfully prevent the great unknown from happening, or they accept, embrace, and cherish what they've been given because they intimately know the transcience of it all. I hope the latter is true for you - that's what I want from you.

Babbalou said...

I think there are a whole lot of reasons why people do or don't comment on particular blog posts, and some of the reasons have little to do with how much they liked or related to the post. Sometimes we're interrupted by our children or the telephone - or the dog barking or perhaps a small kitchen fire. Sometimes we might really relate but feel uncertain about the level of wisdom we're capable of bringing to the topic. I'm not a blogger myself, but a reader of a few blogs (yours, Aunt Becky's and just a few others) so I don't know what metrics or information you have on your readers - for instance I had no idea you could tell how long someone spent reading a post for example. Anyway, as someone who has rather fearlessly moved across the country more than once (four times to be exact and never with a job or place to live lined up in advance) I've thought of telling you if you want to move, then just go for it. But I think you have to come to that conclusion yourself. My only other general comment is that most of your readers can tell when you're keeping it real - fake cheerfulness isn't very interesting to most of us. So I vote in favor of talking about what you need to talk about, most of us will be here for you even if we don't always comment.

Nikki said...

honesty, plain and simple and raw.

Stephanie ;) said...

Hi! Thanks for the lovely comment on my blog, I'm so honoured. :)

Well, what I want from you, is to be honest. This is YOUR blog, dear, not others. It's something that documents your life, not a place that you let others direct your life. Your honesty was what attracted people to your blog, so stick to it. If you end up living for others, you'll lose more than you initially have. My encouragement for you, is to be yourself. If you lose readers because of that, then fine, so be it, they're not worth it anyway.

You've got to be honest with yourself. Hope that helps. *hugs*

Tiffany said...

I want to hear it all~ It solidifies the things I have been trying to do with myself and my life since the moment my mom died, way too young and way to quickly, of brain cancer last year~ You confirm it all for me and at the time when I was getting the most resistance and the time when I needed it most, I found you!
Thank you!!

Jaime said...

I've only recently started following your blog, but it struck an immediate chord with me - my life is very different from yours in many ways, but I recognize that horrible empty feeling of being kicked in the head by life over and over again, until you're not sure if anything you do will mean anything at all in the end. I love reading the thoughts of someone else who's decided to take the steps to move forward - whether those thoughts are positive or negative. Because the journey isn't all forward movement; there's always backsliding, and there's always another emotional mess coming around the bend.

I like how honest your blog feels - I recognize so many of the underlying emotions in what you write about. So I am happy to read whatever you want to blog about ... it reminds me that I'm not alone. Thank you for that!