Over Here, Just Shitting Rainbows

This morning I read a blog post that made me feel all bristly.  (If you don’t like reading blogs about blogging, I apologize, and would love for you to go over to read about this trashy, fabulous purse.)

Aunt Becky, over at Mommy Wants Vodka, offered up a thought-provoking / feather-ruffling post today.  In Why I Do What I Do, she suggests that where bloggers once bared their souls for their readers, there is a new trend in blogging where bloggers completely sanitize their thoughts before hitting publish.  I am admittedly horrible at summarizing, so I know I won’t be able to do her argument justice. Please go read her post (and also the post by Cecily that Aunt Becky references) and come back.  I promise, I’ll be right here waiting for you…

…okay, good!  You’re back. 

So why did these posts fire me up and make me all itchy? 

Because sometimes I’m one of those people out there, just shitting rainbows.

But, I haven’t always been.

It took me decades to reach this place–this place where my life is so good that I often feel obligated to apologize for my happiness.  And, when I’m not feeling overwhelmed by the need to apologize, I’m busy worrying and obsessing that I’ll let my guard down for just a moment and something will happen to ruin it.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know a little of the difficult stuff. You know about my dad and our struggles to have a child.

There is much that you don’t necessarily know yet, but you probably will learn over time.  There is a lot in between that I haven’t had reason to share yet. But it’s there and it makes me who I am today.

And now?  I have a husband I adore and two children who make my heart nearly explode. 

Do my kids ever make me angry?  You bet they do!

Is my husband ever less than perfect?  Yep.

Are all of the relationships in my life easy?  Not even close.

But those imperfections, though they exist, do not define my life.  They are a part of it.  These imperfections make the beautiful parts even better.

When I was growing up, my mother always taught me that what happened in our home was to stay in our home.  We weren’t to air our dirty laundry to others.  There are blogs out there that reflect this ideology.  I read and enjoy some of those.

There are also blogs that go to the other extreme.  They bare all and then some.  I would suspect that those can’t be easy to write. But, I read and enjoy those, too.

Neither is inherently wrong.  Personal blogging is an expression of self.  We all come to this blogging table for different reasons.

Perhaps blogging trends are like a pendulum.  We’ve seen scores of bare-all blogs and now we’re seeing a plethora of sanitized blogs.

Personally, I think that somewhere in between — not necessarily exactly in between — is a lovely place to shoot for.  There are many of these out there, too. 

Thank you, Aunt Becky, for getting me going this morning.  I do so love you.

And now that I’m done with my mini-rant, please go read the trashy purse story!

*As a side note, it nearly killed me to use the word shitting in this post.  There are some words that I have a hard time using and this is one of them, but there was just no other word that worked.  Don’t worry, I have no problem with the F word, the D word, and loads of others.  ;)

22 comments

  1. I bet the rainbows you shit smell just like roses, too.

    I think we make a choice when we start to blog. About the stories we want to tell, the voice we want to use.

    Some people tell the tender stories, some the funny stories, some the angsty ones. A few very talented people blend them all together and they amaze us.

    But just because you (or me, or whomever) decides that the stories they want most to share are positive or bright, it doesn't mean we lack depth, history, grief, trauma or that sometimes it is a struggle to shush those stories in order to to give the thing we have semi-commit to our readers in our blog.

    I *chose* to write domestic-foibled-working-mom humor. I had reasons for that. For not recounting a complicated and abusive childhood, for not writing a tutorial on blended families, for not writing child-language development. I could have written those things, but I did not want to. But those voices are all in here, talking at me, sometimes peeking out on my blog. But that's not what I wanted.

    Don't mean I ain't plenty deep. I've got depths, man. Deep depths. Deep angsty depths.

    I just chose not to go there on my blog.

    You are the voice that's right for you, and there are plenty of people out there (including yours truly) who love your voice, take huge comfort in your existence and knowing that there are people of deep contentedness and love out there in the world.

    But you are not a pollyanna, and writing as you do, being who you are, does not make you one.

    Shitting rainbows indeed.

    You hard-talkin, profanity-slingin' gal.

    And you…are lovely. *wink!*

  2. SkyWaitress skywaitress.com

    I had a very similar reaction to that post. My life too has had many hard times. Right now though? My life is very good. Fantastic in fact.

    I think because my life has been so bad before I can truly appreciate these amazing times.

    This is why my blog is so often full of sunshine and rainbows. Not because I don't want to share the bad but because sometimes my heart is so happy I could burst.

    I also know the feeling of having to apologize for my happiness. When I read that though it seems sillier than apologizing for being "real" and blogging about bad times.

    Honestly and openness goes both ways. If it's your reality then blog it.

  3. What Lori and Abby said. I read your blog because you remind me not to focus on the angry but on the fun and joyful. You have truly changed the way I think about the day. In a good way. Now if you excuse me I’m off to clean up princess paint from every surface in the dining room.

  4. as always, I love you. and I love that you're brave enough to just be *you* and defend your writing voice. isn't that what it's about after all?

    and don't worry, I'll say things like shitting enough to make up for it. :D

  5. 2bkate Twitter.com/2bkate

    I almost peed my pants when I saw your title I thought OMG she said shitting … Haha… Anyway in the middle is perfect I love your blog.

  6. kate Twitter.com/2bkate

    I almost peed my pants when I saw your title …OMG she said shitting … Haha… Anyway in the middle is perfect I love your blog.

  7. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you, Lori. __You always know exactly what to say.

    I love the diversity in blogs out there…and I love knowing where to go if I want to laugh, cry, or just think.

    What an amazing, diverse blogosphere it is!

    p.s. Is it Saturday yet?

  8. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    In a post that I wrote after Craig's mother died, Kris (Pretty All True) left me some words about the importance of both the highs and the lows that I will always remember and hold dear.

    If you have a minute, and would like to read them, they are here: http://inthesesmallmoments.com/2010/06/how-do-i-d

    And? I'm so glad that you are happy, Abigail. You truly deserve that. :)

  9. Alli_n_Son

    I think it's important to have balance in blogging. I tell some of my secrets (like my infertility issues) but some I hold back. I don't want each and every detail of my life preserved on line. Some things are just for family, you know?

    And above all, just be you.

  10. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Phew, I'm happy to leave the shit talk to you.
    Can I be in charge of "damn"?

    I love you, too, sweet girl.

  11. ksluiter

    I loved this post. For one, I liked reading the posts you linked to. And I liked how you unpacked your feelings about them.

    I found myself feeling much the same as you. I consider myself more memoir-style than "shitting rainbows" for product endorsements, but sometimes? I am actually HAPPY, so i write about happy stuff. I am just getting over a HUGE hump called PPD. Yes, my blog gets the most traffic when I talk about the shitty stuff like PPD hurdles or Cort's dad dying. People like to know they aren't alone.

    But can't it be that way with the happy, funnys stuff too? I love my husband and little one. It was hard for me to stay pregnant. Eddie is my miracle and Cort is my support. Am I not allowed to also be joyous?

    Our blogs are our places. If I took one thing away from those posts that I can use it's this: write like you. be your own voice. carve out your own place. be true.

    maybe some people see true as letting ALL the bad out. But that is not my true. And I am just going to be MY TRUTH.

    If people like it, sweet! More conversations the better! If they don't? Well they can just go away.

  12. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Remember when you were a teenager and you'd have a fight with your boyfriend? You'd run to anyone who would listen and tell them all just how terrible he was. And then? You'd reconcile. The only problem was all of those people you ran to, didn't forgive or forget quite like you did.

    That's kind of a life lesson.

    For me, no good would come from running to my blog, telling everyone something negative, and then asking everyone to just move past it. It just doesn't work like that. Does that make sense?

    So, there are some things I share, and some that I don't.

    You've done a really great job of striking that balance. :)

  13. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    To me? Both Becky's and Cecily's posts were about authenticity.

    Remember a couple of months ago, when you and Kris were encouraging me to let loose a little more, to write the funny and light and ordinary parts of my life? To stop being 100% mom-of-Carter blogger and let myself into the thing?

    That.

    It doesn't mean that things are always tragic, dramatic, and devastating. It just means that they are REAL. And you are very real here. I don't know everything ABOUT you, but I KNOW you. I know what matters to you, what you care about, how you feel about many things.

    This blog? Not a soap commercial. Bright and shiny much of the time? Yes. In a lovely, honest, and inspiring way.

    Damn, I'm feeling bossy tonight. Off to spread it around elsewhere!

    Love love love to you, and I don't love nothing that's plastic!

  14. Natalie mommyofamonster.com

    I was surprised to see "shitting" too! But not in a bad way :)

    The post of Aunt Becky's stirred up quite a commotion, and I've enjoyed reading everybody's takes on it. I guess I blog both ways – it's good when it's good, and when it's bad, well there it is. I don't care who takes it and who leaves it.

    And I think you made a good point here: a returning reader will understand the ups and downs.

  15. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    I love when you get all bossy with me!

    When I was little, my grandmother used to tell me that if I wanted to be happy, I should put a smile on my face. I still remember her saying, "fake it til you make it." She wasn't telling me to be someone I wasn't, but rather, she was teaching me something about choosing how to handle things. I'm grateful to her for that.

    And, bright and shiny? I so love that.

    Thank you for being equal parts bossy and kind.
    I love you!

  16. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    You have absolutely no idea how much it killed me to use that word. I seriously NEVER use it in conversation. Other words, perhaps, but not that one. There really was no better way to convey what I wanted to say. ;)

    You are a genuine person and that shows through in your blog. Whenever I stop by, I feel like I can just walk in and have a seat. I love that about you. I'm all comfortable at your place. Because you are real. :)

  17. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you, Katie.

    Yes, memoire-style is exactly how I would describe your writing. You do a beautiful job of letting your life unfold before us, which allows us to get to know you more and more with each post.

    "Be true." I love those words, Katie! You are a wise woman.

    And if true means shitting rainbows, then so be it! We're all technicolor over here. ;)

    (As a side note, we had a terrible time staying pregnant with Katie, too. I'll write about it one day, but we first went into labor with her when I was 24 weeks. Lots of terbutalineand eleven trips to L&D later, we went full term, but I was on bedrest for months.)

  18. SkyWaitress skywaitress.com

    I loved that post and that comment.

    In fact? It inspired me to write a post of my own. I never actually published that post though. It was hard to finish. I still think about it from time to time. It's definitely one that stayed with me, even though I probably never told you that.

  19. susie newdaynewlesson.com

    I don't like cursing in general. Sure in anger the words do escape and WTF at times goes through my mind. I have no problem reading it from others if it is done in taste and not every other word.

    I write about my life the good and the bad but I choose to look at life as lessons learned and to see it in a positive light. What I can learn about it all. At times I guest post on other blogs when things I want to say are going to hurt people or make people who read my blog and who know me in real life uncomfortable.

    So yes, lots of rainbows over by me.

  20. Lindsay Www.expressingmotherHood.com

    I enjoyed MWV’s post & yours, like what you say about things trending.

  21. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you. :)
    So glad that you stopped by!

  22. kris prettyalltrue.com

    I am so not going to curse here.

    Promise.

    I will just say that I post nothing. Nothing. That I regret.

    I have lived a long enough time in silence, and it is my turn to talk.

    I have given it much thought. I continue to give it much thought.

    In blogging, as in all other places in my life?

    I am only me.

    And I?

    And generally?

    Not a rainbow kind of girl.

    Although when rainbows unexpectedly appear?

    Oooooh . . . they are gorgeous.

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