Let's Get Real Here

February 21, 2012
I've been incredibly inspired by a recent outflowing of blog posts dedicated to promoting authenticity in the bloggersphere.

It is so refreshing to hear from those women  - women who you've followed for years, yearned for their seemingly perfect lives, felt inadaquate because your life isn't as pretty/buttoned up/design inspired/whatever as theirs - and to hear about their true struggles. Depression, stress, anxiety, post partum difficulties, unhappy marriages, and a host of other things have been thrust out into the world for everyone to see.
Oh, and my running shoes are seriously dirty. 
After our last trip to Branches and the consequent car conversation with Matthew, I felt a little tug with regards to blogging. Then I read this post and this post and felt moved - to stop hiding the things that are tough in my life. It's not about airing out all your dirty laundry or bitching about the things that upset you - I want to avoid creating a space here where things look perfect.  I've seen first hand what can happen when your whole life becomes a facade and then it somehow shatters- you have a full blown mental breakdown.

I'm not in that place, thankfully. I've been pretty open on this blog - clearly no one is in danger of over-glamorizing my life or believing that I'm perfect. And yet sometimes it is such a struggle to come up with Happy Blog Posts That People Will Like.

Since November I've had a ca-razy bout with depression. After college I suffered from such intense anxiety that I was on medication just to get through normal everyday activities. This time it was so different. I felt nothing. There were times where I just felt nothing. And that was the one thing that really freaked me out - because that is not like me in the slightest.

It was the first time in my life when I felt truly on my own. Of course I've had the love and support of Matthew and my far off family, but this time I didn't self medicate or hide things. I just felt like crap. And then I felt worse. And I just kept telling Matthew that things were going to get better, but that for the time being, I was pretty much going to be the worst. He just smiled and gave me a kiss and told me that he still loved me. I really was the worst. 

I am doing so much better now. I've had to make some hard choices, but I feel stronger for it. For the first time in my life things are starting to click. What is important. What I want. How I want to live. Who I want to spend time with. (And I know you'll roll your eyes, because yes, I'm talking about them again - but Ryan and Heidi and Branches have been a huge part of all this. Literally. Life. Changing.)

So that's a part of me. Not all of me, maybe not even a big part of me, but it definitely exists.

Here's the truth: I'm afraid to meet new people and that I might not know what to say. Last minute changes of plans freaks me out. I am extremely introverted. I'm glad I don't work with Brides anymore. Really glad. I cry, a lot. I worry that I'll never be successful or that people will never think I'm cool.

Reader, whoever you are, remember that even behind the glossiest pages there lies a real person with real problems, stories, faults, and trials. No one has that life. No one.

Let's celebrate one another in our triumphs and joys, all the while acknowledging the hard work it took to get there.

"For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning." - T.S. Eliot

*Post update: Today I realized that I've been saying Bon Iver in the 100% wrong way. Hello, I'm embarrassed and humbled. Nice to meet you. 


  1. I really love this :) and I am laughing because I cry A LOT and last minute change of plans freaks me out too. My husband surprised me with a trip the beach last week and I just couldn't do it because it was too last minute. Oh I so relate. Thankfully I am not alone :)

  2. Katie, thanks for your comment! Yeah, you are definitely not alone. :)

  3. Preach! We should all just write whatever the HELL we want. If peeps don't want to read it, they don't have to follow us. That's the joy of the blogosphere... so much out there. There should be something for everybody. You can't please 'em all! Kudos to you, chica! : )

  4. Jess! Glad to see yet another honest post floating around the Interweb. I have had quite a few conversations lately with other bloggers and just friends too about the "white picket fence" blogging that's been ravaging the internet lately, for lack of a better way to say it. I recently cleaned out my Google Reader (I follow over a hundred blogs...hellooooo how do I have any REAL friends? Gross, Maddie)...anyway, I went through and unfollowed a bunch that just were not uplifting me in the slightest because they were presented as "too perfect." This, in turn, forced me to feel like I wasn't doing enough...or that my life wasn't as great. Hellooo angry evil comparison demons!

    Keep the honesty flowing. It's refreshing!

  5. @Ami: Thanks girl!

    @Maddie: I did the same thing. Reading those perfection laden posts was making me feel like a total slouch in just about every way.
    I want to hear from REAL people about REAL life. That's one of the reasons I love Spidatter. Also because you're super hip. :)

  6. This is a beautiful post and thank you for your honesty and bravery.