Wednesday, January 19, 2011

on being honest in the blog world. because it's weird.

9 out of 10 bloggers around the world will tell you that the blogging world is "weird". i made that statistic up, but i stand behind it 100%, nkay? and ya, i agree...it totally is. you can spend 3 days straight surfing blogs and by the end of it, you feel like a bad wife or mom, or person in general because you aren't doing arts and crafts with your kids while cooking an amazing dinner you found on pioneer woman that morning...after your incredible 2 hour quiet time. no...that's not true. in fact, your kids are smearing play-doh into your carpet as you blog because it's keeping them quiet and you are trying to write down your feelings...you'll take what you can get.(truly, this is happening right now in my living room)

here's the problem people, blogs are like show and tell. you only put your best material out there, right? why would you write about the massive fight you had with your husband last night when instead, you can show us your cute kids and your new kitchen remodel? now listen, i'm not saying don't show those things...please do actually, this is the story of your life and those things are indeed interesting. great things happen in life. celebrate that. but bad things happen in life too, and when it comes to those things that create deep wounds, we shut down into ourselves and don't share. well maybe a vague side remark on facebook for 400 people to see... but not on my blog because it's too personal. oh and my grandmother is reading this. oh and some of my co-workers. 


what would they think about me and my family if they read that my husband has problems with porn? yikes! or that i am lonely. whoa! or maybe that i struggle with my child that has a disability. what?! or hey, i found out that my husband had an affair. (yes, this last one did happen to me) jaw dropper! no, these are rarely the topics of blog posts...i've seen few, actually.

we have a complex about ourselves that people can not know the struggles we go through because we care about what opinions they may or may not form about our situation. they'll think i'm a bad mom. they'll think i'm not a good person. they'll think i'm not taking care of my husband. and the list goes on.

the problem is, when we write blog posts according to what others may think, we churn out watered-down versions of ourselves. we misrepresent ourselves and dare i say, if you are a christian, sometimes we can inadvertently misrepresent the Gospel. Jesus came because we are messed up, not because we have it all together. when we pretend like everything is perfect, we are doing a disservice to ourselves and to others. and to the story of our lives. your story is important...the good parts and the difficult parts. that's what makes a story good, right? conflict, love, overcoming hardships, tension, great happiness...all of it. ALL. OF. IT.

the blog world is weird because we all make it that way. i do too...yes, i'm writing this to me as well.  i wouldn't say the blog world is a place where one goes to find honesty. that's hard enough to find in the real world, friends...let alone on the "intranet". but what if we started to create a bloggy world where people felt ok about posting their struggles? a she-did-it-so-can-i kind of attitude.

my hope is that people start telling the truth (*in as gracious a manner you can conjure)about what's going on in their lives. it's good. it's good for a people to put themselves on the line. it's called vulnerability and it is super-challenging. it brings about character and honesty. and it also brings people out of the woodwork saying, me too! i'm going through this too! because we are all going through something. no one is perfect. and people need others to say so.

now a little disclaimer, your blog is your blog. you can write whatever you want on there and seriously, that's great. i'd say it's better to be blogging only awesomeness than not blogging at all.  my goal was to expose how much weight our words have and make us all examine why we blog what we blog. and i'm kind of projecting how i wish the blog world worked... a girl can dream...

*also, second disclaimer: there are ways to say what you want to say in a gracious manner. your goal is not to harm others with your words, even if they've hurt you or you feel super passionate about something. so for example, say you want to talk about your love for butter... statements like, all people that use crisco are most likely going to hell, are not kind nor do they make anyone want to use butter instead. a gracious way to say how you feel would be, i prefer to put natural products in my body as opposed to things my liver has a hard time processing...yadda yadda.
see, we can be nice AND honest. but did you like my plug for natural products?? i'm good like that.

now overall, did i offend you? i hope so. L to the O to the L. not really...but i do hope that if you are offended by this post, you can tell me. we can talk it out and i will still be your friend.

47 comments:

  1. so true Jami!
    You are really good at this, that is one of the reasons I love your blog :)

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  2. you just described me to a T. thanks, jami! the "people will think i'm a bad mother, not taking care of my husband" judgements run through my mind every time i think about being really honest. thank you, thank you for writing this!

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  3. I plan on putting my fat pictures does that count :)

    I rather not remember the nasty things I do. Like the time I screamed at my kid yesterday for throwing up when he thought his food was gross (for the umpteenth time). And that I turned around a wanted to smack my 3 year old across the room, for pooping in her pants AGAIN (four times yesterday).

    I am all over the honest thing. Too honest at times. Ask me and I will tell. Or sometimes it just comes running out without someone asking. I have way too many TMI moments.

    I am trying to learn to actually shut my mouth and not offend people.

    I don't know that I want my lowest moments recorded for all times ya know?

    Plus I tried once and people were mean. Boo to mean people!

    But I am all for showing real life. Not just the glamorous ( try reading that word with out singing black eyed peas). But I guess I want some things to stay behind the bedroom doors. If you know what I mean :D

    If it would make me blush in front of the mil, I don't say it. Sometimes.

    A big rock on to you though. For throwing it all out there. I can relate to most of it. And I like knowing I am not the only one.

    Humph. I could have made this A LOT shorter by just saying I need to learn how to do it with tact. The end. I promise.

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  4. LOVE this post. a couple of weeks ago i bit the bullet and posted this:

    http://thebowtieandtheskirt.blogspot.com/2011/01/sympathy-need-not-apply.html

    NOT the easiest post i've ever written being an interior designer and such. it's whatever. it's life.

    love the post, love honesty. you're right on the money honey. :)

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  5. mmmhhhmmm. i like it. i am able to be about 75% honest. the rest i have to censor 'cause i'm a pastor's wife. and straight up honest?? he would lose his job if i really shared everything i thought-- even in a nice and gracious way. :) but i am easing the church into my brain... it can be shocking to some though. ;)

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  6. i actually love reading your blog. because you are real. you talk about real life. real struggles. real issues. but the key is, you do it without complaining and whining about it. I've read a few blogs that complain, and its annoying. I feel that I have to still find that balance, to being real, and not complaining. Thank you for this reminder to be real. :D

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  7. Love this! I have to say that I have no problem posting the things that I am struggling with, but have to be careful about taking others down with me. Is it fair to my husband, or my parents, or my in-laws for me to air our dirty laundry? Just thinking out loud. Now, my three year old and his tantrums? Those are fair game!

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  8. Amen. Amen. Amen. Seriously I needed to read this today.
    I was "blogging" as I was running this morning and then thought .... i don't know if I should post that...You'll understand when I post it. Anyways. Thank you friend. I have always loved your blog. You keep it real and make me feel like I am normal instead of a failure like so many other blogs out there. Let's start a blog-olution.

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  9. And this is why your blog is one of my favorites. You are always so honest and real about everything, but you have a way of presenting it so its not so....heavy is the only word I can think of. You always remind me that bad things happen, but you have to move on with life and don't let them get you down. Its really refreshing! Thank you for being awesome and inspiring :)

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  10. Oh, Jami...I do so love your honesty. It's what made me want to be your friend.

    p.s. I'm going to take this moment to remind you about that one time when you unknowingly ate my Crisco cookies and ENJOYED the livin' heck out of them.

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  11. we don't have to be so honest that we post about things like sharting. mkay?

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  12. I totally needed to hear this today. I find myself comparing myself to bloggers that I don't know. And you're right, I probably only know about 10% of their lives.

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  13. So yeah, I'm pretty much like lauren. Since I'm a missionary there are some things I think that I can't say on my blog. Though I have come really close at times.

    I have so much I want to say but maybe I should just blog it LOL

    btdub my word verification is Peruirra it made me laugh since I'm in Peru

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  14. I have always struggled with this very thing and have been praying for the courage to be vulnerable this year.

    Here's a song that has been rubbing it in a little more that I can't help but love: http://www.jillphillips.com/albums/nobody039s-got-it-all-together-2006/1/nobodys-got-it-all-together

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    P.S. Stop ignoring my fb friend request. :P

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  15. SO I have pretty much been struggling with this exact thing for awhile now. I am praying for courage to be more vulnerable this year and make it a permanent change. Geesh is it ever hard.

    Here's a song that's been rubbing it in and that I can't help but love: http://www.jillphillips.com/albums/nobody039s-got-it-all-together-2006/1/nobodys-got-it-all-together

    Thanks for the encouragement and for paving the way.

    P.S. Stop ignoring my fb friend request. :P

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  16. I don't read many blogs or surf "blog land" for this very reason! I don't any other evidence that I don't have it all together! I like to look at pics and that's about it. And, well, since you didn't put any pics on this post, I was forced to read it. Ha, JK, I read yours!

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  17. Dude why would you go and blow my cover like that. I totally live in the crisp clean house, with the kids who NEVER pick their noses and leave a boogie stash under their beds or take off poopy diapers in their cribs. And I would never throw a toy across the room just now so my son would fetch it like a dog and give me two more secs to type this response.

    See you saturday!

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  18. Well said, Jami :).

    Although, I have to say, I got bitten in the butt before for having what I wrote misunderstood (and I would say it was written in a gracious manner). With writing, things can be read differently. One sentence was taken way out of proportion in my instance.

    Family members didn't want to talk to me. I wrote something to thank a friend for being there for me during my time of trouble, and they said it was like I was asking for pity (I didn't even write details). Some people are just way too private and things like this make them feel uncomfortable. Boy, did I pay for it (and still paying for it in a way).

    I know they can choose to read or not read, but when family is involved, it can get pretty tricky.

    So now, I'm just very careful. What will they say about me now about being a wife and a mother? I was totally brought down and I thought it wasn't fair. Some people are just too judgmental and make me feel "less than", and I'd rather not re-visit those times. (Sorry for the novel!)

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  19. hi, can we be friends? haha but really there have been days where my husband comes home and im crying " im so sorry i dont wear cute vintage dresses and that i dont knit sweaters for you..." he laughs (thank the LORD) but really, i would rather be genuine and real any day.

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  20. Amen Jami. If we were all like this in real life too.....just imagine the love and support it would generate. I choose to just know that what I "see" of a person is about 42% of what they actually are. I fill in the other 58% with the truth of human kind.......we are all messed up, we all lose, we all are trying to just deal. Thanks for walking the walk girl.

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  21. Love love lovin' this post! I've been following for a few months now & this post is one of those reasons. You are real. Real can be very hard to find these days. Thanks! =)

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  22. couldn't agree more. I love how you are so real and honest. Thank you for this. I really needed it.

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  23. amen sister!!! now to practise what you preach I go...lol....xx

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  24. So good. So true. Have totally felt like such a bummer for the way I dress, cook, write, interact, vacation, play, live, just after reading a few blogs. Reality check. You're really cute.

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  25. Jami! I have been thinking this very thing lately! I have been planning a "truth friday" post. Pictures of real stuff from my house like, random stuff. and without me cleaning. This is what is REALLY in my fridge/pantry. This is what my bedroom looks like on a daily basis. I don't know. I like to see some more truth out there because blogs usually make me feel totally lazy!

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  26. I LOVED THIS POST. Every word is true! My goal is to be transparent not only in the blogosphere, but in real life with everyone I know. I want to represent Jesus in a way that makes other people want to know Him, not make them feel like He is too good for them. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this!!

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  27. I agree..I too struggle with wanting to be honest in my blog..but not wanting to share it all..thanks for the ispiration!

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  28. 1. well said!

    2. jealllouuuss of your mexican vacay. ugh.

    3. you've been awarded! http://delightfulgrace.blogspot.com/2011/01/bye-bye-funk.html

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  29. Yo Jami! This one is for you!

    http://bwmortensen.blogspot.com/2011/01/for-real.html

    Don't worry. It's not my fat pictures. We will save those for a special day :D

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  30. you are brave. and hopefully this post will start a revolution! haha! : ) very encouraging.......

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  31. I find that as I learn people I know IRL read my blog (and I was surprised--how did they even FIND me?), I censor myself a bit more. And I'm super careful about what I write about my family because I don't know that they want THEIR lives revealed quite so honestly. But I hear what you're saying about needing to keep it real.

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  32. Thank you for writing this. I am a Mom of 4 boys (5 and under)..and I read a couple blogs - and sometimes I think "WHY??!" the blogs end up making me feel less & that's NOT the way to be - really, blogging about how wonderful your husband is, this great craft you just had time to do in your daylight hours (HOW?? with kids? the only time I find time to do anything for me is after 9 PM) and how you're going to yet another photography session that costs $1k for a weekend (how can people afford this stuff??)- I just leave the blogs feeling...yuk. Blogs would serve a greater & much higher purpose if women felt brave enough to be honest & NOT paint such perfect depictions on their blogs ALL THE TIME. I appreciate your honesty. Thanks for listening to me vent!

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  33. Thank you for posting this! I would like to say that I'm an honest writer. But let's be honest... I write about crafts and homedecor. Not really a way to be honest. The title of my blogis 20Something for crying out loud! It's supposed to be about my newlywed journey as a 20Something with crafts thrown in... I would like to think that I was gracious in this post about reality


    http://20somethingdesigns.blogspot.com/2011/01/beginnings.html

    but I need to do things like that more often. Thank you for encouraging us bloggers to be more honest.

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  34. Whew, glad you feel the same way, I was a bit nervous about posting the truth, cold hard facts of life on my blog. I read somewhere (on a blog, lol...that was telling how to have a good blog) that being personal is okay, but not all of the time. Thanks for the encouragement sister-

    Heather

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  35. Wow, thanks so much for that post! I've been thinking about that a lot lately. I think it's so important to write about how you're feeling. But it can be so hard sometimes. Epsecially, for some reason, when a lot of people you know are reading it. Who cares what the "internet" people think, my family is reading this blog!

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  36. I agree that many people don't write what they're truly feeling...I do! I think blogging is like an outlet of emotions and can help you archive your experiences with struggles in your life. I tend to like to talk about the struggle I have with managing my son's Autism.

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  37. Told ya girl that I love your honest little blog, thanks for checking in on mine.

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  38. I so love REAL.

    That you are.

    Thank you.

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  39. Preach it sister! I totally agree. It is hard to sometimes say the things that make us feel ashamed, but it's a lot better to live that way, and forgive ourselves, accept ourselves like Christ does :)

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  40. I just started falling your blog, as I read your love story on Danielle's blog. I must say, this totally resonates with something I've been talking to a lot of the women in my church about lately. Not in just the blog world, but in the real world. Why are we so afraid of sharing the nitty gritty stuff about our lives...and try to put off this "I'm perfect all the time" persona. Thanks for writing this!

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  41. came over from buggie and bean. oh so perfectly said! your an amazing writer btw! for the longest time i didnt post about my real life. i was embarassed that i was not like the rest. here i was living in the country, growing our own veggies, live in an nasty 1/2 finished house with my kiddo's that are always running around 1/2 dressed or in their j's... on our perfectly unmowed grass. then i realized the real reason for my blog...me! i wanted to document me and my life, along with sharing my crafts. while i try to keep my blog positive, i don't want to remember all the bad stuff honestly but im am trying to keep it REAL. this is who i am. and this is what i want to remember most! and in all honesty all those blogs that are sugar coating it are just hurting themselves in the long run, being true to oneself is most important. ok, im done. i see your comments over on emily's blog and your dang funny, think im gonna follow you and your "perfect life now!"

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  42. Awhile ago I was reading back in your blog and this post inspired me to post the story of my boyfriend and I. I generally post pretty honestly but I don't necessarily like to divulge certain information. However, leading up to V-Day I posted two posts on Feb 12 and 13th that were inspired by your words of honesty.

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  43. Wow. LOVE this post. I've just come across your blog recently, can't even remember how. But I have to say your honestly and vulnerability are awesome. Seriously awesome. I've just started my own blog and hope to be "just like you" when my blogging self grows up. Umm, was that too weird? I hope I'm not scaring you. Anyway, super LOVE you.

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