Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fake It Till You Make It

Since this little bloggy came to be two and a half years ago, the one complaint I've heard time and time again is that blogging is fake. Fake, fake, fake with each author painting their own rosy picture of how they want others to view their life. I get that. It's true, to an extent. Each bloggy mama gets to weed through the stuff of her life and put out there what she wants to. Do I mention when my toy room is overrun with unfolded laundry? Or that it took every ounce of strength I have not to scream "BECAUSE! BECAUSE! BECAUSE!" at the top of my lungs to Sienna when she has asked me the 9 trillionth question of the day? Maybe, maybe not. It's all up to me and I love that. Me, me, me.

I've tried to be as authentic as possible in updating this lovely little essay on my life. If you peruse the archives, you'll find everything from stories of my uterus to love letters to my children to the gushiest posts about the Rizz. You'll find things that make me laugh and cry, stories that make me mad, and examples of my love of life and pure, pure joy. You'll even find of tale or two about that which makes me sad and scared, content and complete. Nothing is off limits, nothing is promised and nothing is perfect. But it's my life. The good, the bad and the very, very ugly.

Over the past few weeks, I've found myself doing some unnecessary editing. Something will happen and I find myself thinking "is this entertaining enough?" "Will people think this?" Or that? And do I care?

For example, the other day I was going to race home after visiting the Mariner caravan to say that my children won TWO of the FIVE raffles and came away with $200 worth of Mariner merch, which pretty much made my son's entire life, and then I thought "is that amazing enough? Does it separate my life from any other mommy blogger? And does that even matter?" I don't know. But it's so cool for an 8-year-old who IDOLIZES the Mariners that in it goes. Welcome to my life.

And then I wanted to mention how at the school board meeting, my husband was praised up one side and down the other by everyone at the district office, from the superintendent to the janitor and my eyes got all weepy because I was so happy that others view him as I do but I wavered for a second, thinking "does it sound like I'm bragging? Am I being too prideful?"

And then the words of the great Tina Fey came to me. In response to those who seemed determined to think ill of her, she said the following...

Suck it. Suck it. Suck it.

And my ah-ha moment began. The thing is, people are going to think whatever they want to think about me regardless of what I do. I can continue to try to be all things to all people or I can relish the skin I'm in and say in my loud booming voice THIS IS ME. TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT. I know full well what I write here, in my own personal forum, where I get to be authentically me and say whatever I please is not for everyone. And I'm okay with that. The question is, are you?

My character has recently been called into question and I've found myself juggling a million different emotions. I have laughed and cried, gotten angry and then felt sad but most importantly, I took a minute to examine who I am and you know what I found out?

I like her.

Are there things to work on? You better believe it. Do I have a lot to learn? Um, yeah. But am I doing my best and taking everything I can from the journey I've had so far? You betcha.

There are some blogs that I read regularly and I note that they have a very concrete feel to them. The stories may be different each day but the message is the same and the feeling I get from them constant. I love that. They are safe little places I can go to learn something new and yet feel completely at ease because it's all so familiar. My blog? I don't think so. I think most people turn up to see what in the world I'll say today. Will I mention my wombats? Will I praise my husband? Will I ache for my kids as they hold my entire heart in their tiny little hands? The emotions run high here and chaos is a common theme, but you are welcome to come see the goings on. Come to laugh, come to feel validated, come to see the parallels to your own life. This story is mine and I plan to continue to write it.

I guess what it comes down to is this: I am better at being me than anyone else. Nobody does me like I do and that's the best part. The learning, the growing, the figuring it all out. It's a journey and one that I am loving every second of. I have much to learn, of that I am sure, but please let me learn it.

As I have felt the emotions that come with being under attack, I have concluded one very important thing: as long as the man beside me and the kids below me are proud to stand at my side, I can handle anything. If lightning doesn't strike and I'm given another day to learn more, I will be grateful for the opportunity and continue on my merry way.

And it is merry, this life of mine. It is noisy and loud and chaotic and challenging and exhausting and joyful and full of love and perfect because it is mine. Thank goodness it's mine.

34 comments:

Jen said...

Amen. You said it well. Love Tina Fey too. Thanks for being real.

lindsay>boo said...

Karen,

Thanks for saying all the things I've been thinking! Around here, we love you the way you are and wouldn't want you any other way.

Oh, and the great words of Tina Fey---"Suck it. Suck it. Suck it."---Maybe that could be the opener for your blogging class next week!

Kelly said...

I love you. And YOU are what makes your blog so wonderful.

AOlson said...

Your stories about what REALLY happens in your home, big or small, are what have me coming back to your blog daily. I love your humor and your outlook. I am glad that you like you because we all like you. And if they don't, let Tina Fey answer for you!!

BTW that is WAY cool about the Mariners Merch!! Jacob will be so jealous. I would have loved to read about that. This is the first yeart in a long time that we missed the Caravan because of something else we already had going on. Congratulations!!!

Kris said...

Karen, your blog is very well-rounded. It makes me think, it makes me cry and laugh all at once. And I love that! You just keep on doing what you do, and don't let anyone else influence you to change.

So cool about Brad. He really is a great guy. And how fun that Spence won the Mariner stuff. Soo cool. Keep up with your blog, cuz I enjoy reading it!

Sarah said...

All I can say about this post is - WOW!

So many thoughts and feelings that you put down into words - we are all imperfect and that's what makes life great. Like you said, we get another day to live and learn. Sometimes I actually write posts about some of the bad stuff in my life and then save them as drafts instead of publishing them because I don't want to bring anybody "down". But hey, they don't have to read it if they don't want to right? And I think we all worry about what other people are thinking as they read our blog. Maybe that isn't such a good thing.

Blog on girl!

Megan said...

well said, well said. i usually tune in because i want to hear the words of Karen. i'm sure i will get REAL, funny or sad, but REAL. you are right-it's your choice.
i love choices

Stacia said...

I am sad to hear you feel under attack. But I guess you have turned it into a positive by realizing they are dumb and have no ground because you like who you are!

About the part of wondering if you should post this or that, I have felt the same way for months. I don't have fun kid stories and wonder if my posts will be interesting. Or will people just wonder, why did she post this! So I guess I am not alone in feeling that way about blogging!

I for one love your sassy self and sensitive side too. So keep on keepin on!

Heather said...

Really?? Gosh, doesn't it stink when someday it feels like you never left High School pettiness?

Love you!

meohmyers said...

I so badly want to copy and paste this into my next blog entry. You've touched on and explained EXACTLY what I've been feeling a lot of lately. LOVED this post. Loved it. Thanks for this.

debsters said...

Perfectly said. You are wonderful and I enjoy every word you say, on blog or in person.
Have a great day Karen.

Shayla said...

I really enjoy your blog, Karen. Even though I don't know you well, I appreciate all the things you have to say. I have felt much of the same with my blog at times...it seems like blogging is just another place to worry what others think. And another place to find out that it doesn't really matter, as long as you're being true to yourself. Thanks for this!

TyLeen said...

Karen, I am a long time blog stocker and I have always enjoyed what you write and how you write it. You write what you have to say and I always wish I could say it just the way you do. You are so real and that is what I like about you...I only wish I knew more!

::Jan:: said...

Karen under attack? I am just asking myself over and over again as I read this post of how in the world could that ever be... I am so glad that you declared what your feelings are in you space. It is a take or leave it thing. We can't please everyone. Trust me, I am learning that one still.

Karen, you are the most giving and loving person I know. You feel things deeply. Nothing surface about you. Your life and those around you matter greatly to you. I read it in your words, I see it in your example.

Shine on as Karen and continue to like yourself.

Marilyn said...

Karen, Absolutely ADORE this post. I've been thinking so much about this topic lately. With all of the mean people floating around blogland lately, it just makes me wonder...

"Why in the world do people cast stones?" What are they hoping to prove? Because what they are in fact proving is that they are no better than the one they criticize. Seriously. Not one person here on planet earth should be casting stones. At all.

I love you, and everything you write here on this blog. Adore it. 100%

BFF Mafia said...

You're under attack?! By whom? I'll kick his/her/their ass(es). You provide the names; I'll provide the baseball bat. (Or maybe Spencer can loan me one of his :) )

If you weren't quality, we wouldn't still be friends after almost 20 years (18 to be exact... man, we're old.)

Dandee said...

Karen, not only are you a fabulous person, you're an amazing writer! I hear your voice with every post I read. You are you, and I love you that way. I only wish that I was able to verbalize [write] the things that I think/feel as well as you. Keep being you, that's why we all come back.

And for those that may not like what they find here...STOP READING!

Ms. Kristen said...

Awwww! You said it perfectly! You are you.....and you do it best! I think when a person hits their thirties....they feel it! I feel it! You know me, I say, what I say! Thanks for being you! And the kids you made!

hatch said...

You have an amazing talent for the written language. I just kept thinking yes yes yes to everything in this post. When I first found your blog and started to read it, I immediatley knew that you were someone who I would love to be friends with. Fake? that is a word I could never associate with you.

tharker said...

I love you K-Jo and am PROUD to stand by your side.

You are the best You I know ;) Thank you for being such a great friend and for simply being YOU.

Andre said...

Love it , love, it ,love it!!!!! I like my blog because it's a way for me to say what I want without it being in someone's face. I write my true feelings more than saying them out loud. Awesome!

Nicole said...

U Rock.

Alicia said...

I loved this post, mainly because I have tried to say this exact thing many times on my own blog. I can't imagine who would be attacking you or why, but I think everyone can agree that what we all love about you is you are you. You don't try to be anything other than what you are and that's rare. You are bold and funny and aware of the world around you and I would rather read that than some boring, safe blog any day.

stylist to the stars said...

You go girl! I love you for all that you are and more. Love this post!

Michele said...

I'm BFF mafia's sister and am wondering who is attacking you and why? Do they not have anything better to do with their time than attack other bloggers? The world is coming to a new low I tell you! I'll be honest-I think about what others think about my response to your blog since I don't have a blog. But you know how much I love you (and I always call you and make sure I haven't offended you later, when my conscience gets the best of me)-this situration calls for a little profanity...I say f-it! Blogging is about you and your life. If they don't like it, don't read it!!! Love you!

polka dots said...

don't know what went down, but you have a greater sense of clarity because of it. funny how the tough things in life do that to ya!

ps: i am a fan of Karen.

S. Schuller said...

And that is what I love about you: you are real and you are funny, down-to-earth, beautiful and clever. All in one package. And you even handle criticism well (though I can't imagine who would want to be critical of you). You've got it all. That person was obviously just jealous!

Annette Rose said...

K- so I don't think I can add anything to what everyone else has already said, except I am with BFFMafia! I can do a little a** kicking! I just think you are awesome and I love how honest you are. BTW- I am still waiting for my little Karen doll with the witty Karenisms... Someone once told me, "What other people think of me is none of my business!" Easier said than done sometimes but I think... YOU ROCK! Keep being yourself, because, obviously you have lots of friends, who love you for who you are. Ok, for not having much to say, I sure said alot! Luv Ya!

Sara said...

Karen thanks for being the most authentic person you can. You rock and I love all of the great parts of you that you allow us to experience by posting what you feel and what you love. Thanks!

Amy said...

I love your blog and I'm so glad that you are as authentic as you are. I'm also glad that sometimes it makes me laugh. What I have learned over the past year is just like you said, as long as my husband and children love me, that's really all I care about.
Keep being you. I think you are wonderful!

Lisa said...

You go girl!

almond nuthouse said...

Hey you!
After your class tonight, I just had to check out your blog and I must say...I loved this entry as it is something we all deal with at different times in our lives and I loved the way you put it into words. It really helped me!
I will be a reader of your blog from now on.
Rach

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