Blogging that fine line

When I started this blog, I didn’t exactly know in which direction I was going to go but I felt instinctively that whatever I decided to write would be written with 95% honesty and 5% embellishment. It wasn’t long before I knew that I’d be writing primarily about my own life. I’ve always said that you should write what you know and, well, I know me.

It also wasn’t long before I knew I’d be writing with transparency and by that, I don’t mean that I decided against conjuring up some fake online persona who was living the single life in New York City and scheduling her next in vitro session but rather, I decided that I wouldn’t use fake names or refer to my husband as The Big Kahuna or my kids as Little Kahuna #1 and Little Kahuna #2. While I applaud bloggers who do just that to protect their privacy, I know my limits and simply thinking about how I would keep track of my online persona and keep it separate and apart from my real life is exhausting. Better to just keep it simple and have my blog reflect my real life and then I wouldn’t have to worry that in one post I referred to Little Kahuna #1 as Helena and in another, as Zoe.  Or that I once referred to Little Kahuna #2 as my four year old son and then three months later, I blogged about how Little Kahuna #2 couldn’t wait to get a padded bra and a Sephora gift card for Christmas and then immediately had to blog the very next day for continuity sake about how I just discovered that Little Kahuna #2 was gay.

That being said, I have set some blogging boundaries. Among a slew of things I don’t blog about, I don’t blog about my husband’s job. Nor do I sneeze intimate details of my children’s personal lives and relationships all over my blog, although dirty underwear strewn on the living room floor is free game. And while many of my posts dance under a billboard with WARNING: TMI BELOW emblazoned on it in strobe lights, you’d be surprised at how much of my personal life I don’t blog about. Happy stuff, no problem. Stuff that makes me cry long into the night, not so much, unless I can find some humor in it because finding the funny and letting it guide me to a safe place has always been my survival tactic. So while I blog with a certain degree of transparency, I also blog with a certain degree of privacy as well.

Sometimes, the price I pay for choosing to maintain this balance is a high one, especially when I can’t find the funny, even with binoculars. It means that when I’m filled with anger or disappointment, I cannot come here and vent until my fingers bleed from typing so much screaming. Nor can I cry and drip snot all over this blog because I’m feeling overwhelmed with sadness. Because my blog is based on my real life which means real people and real relationships are at stake and words, even those written on a blog in the heat of the moment or after a year and a half of emotional turmoil, can affect them all and sometimes hurt far more than a well placed kick to the gut. So while my blog is my creative outlet, my therapy, my joy and often times my solace, it is only to a certain extent and on occasions like tonight, when I need it to be more, it fails me. The fact that I knowingly chose it to fail only amps up the frustration level and makes me occasionally wish that I had chosen to blog anonymously instead because then, I’d only have my own feelings to worry about and I could let my soul weep without caring if anyone else’s soul was crushed in the process, or I could let the proverbial shit hit the fan and not care a whit about who gets sprayed with poop.

But that’s not me. And I can only blog about what I know which is, well, me. Funny how things come full circle, isn’t it? Which means I’ll more than likely be paying a $40 co-pay to some therapist so that she can pick up the slack where my blog left off.

I wrote this post because tonight I realized, yet again, that the life I once envisioned for myself is not going to be and while that doesn’t make me any different than 99% of the rest of the world, it still stings. And while the rational part of me knows that it’s not the end of the world, the emotional part of me turned to my blog, hoping to find some solace within its tight parameters.



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29 thoughts on “Blogging that fine line”

  1. Avatar

    Big squeezy Irish hugs. I definitely am struggling with this too.

    Remember I am just an email and TOO many miles away!

    Maybe you could start a private journal blog just for your eyes only? Might be some cheap therapy !

    Sorry for whatever going on with you.

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    Andrea Akerstrom

    Well, I unfortunately(fortunately) do not have a degree or license to provide therapy (and you should thank me for that) or I would offer my services for free. I don’t know if this will help at all but I do want to tell you that you provide a priceless service to me (and many, many others I’m sure) of laughter in the midst of a very difficult thing called life.
    No matter what I may be going through at the time (& there has been some serious schtuff in the past year) your posts bring at the very least a smile and, most often, an out loud belly laugh that continues into giggles every time I think of some hilarious way you have described a seemingly normal event.
    Truth be told, I LOVE YOUR WRITING!! I LOVE YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR! And I’m “typing it really loud” as you would say (giggle) in case you are feeling really down and out and cannot hear me, well, through the crap of life. I really admire and respect that you are able to write what you do *transparent* and yet still keep a hold on your emotions at the toughest times. It can’t be easy! Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us and please know that you truly make a difference in my life and many others! Laughter is the best medicine for sure and you provide a dose of it when I need it most! Hope things get better soon! 🙂

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    Well, I’m sure I speak for many in wishing that we COULD provide some solace. You make us laugh at our own lives – at all the resonances with your own. I know there are some things in my life that cannot be laughed at. But they have passed. I hope yours soon pass, too.

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    I’m sorry, sorry, sorry Andi for whatever it is. I decided shortly after starting my blog that only funny stuff belongs on there (even if it’s only funny to me) and sometimes it can be hard to see things that way. I hope your family is ok, I hope your kids are okay. I hope that whatever it is in life that isn’t going right turns out to be good anyway, or changes soon. Jill

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    Oh, Andy, I feel your pain. I’ve actually gone back and deleted posts or portions of posts because of that line and feeling like (or family members feeling like) the line was crossed. There is a LOT I don’t blog about that I wish I could, and sometimes I dream of starting a separate, more anonymous blog so I could let loose on the Internet. So far, I haven’t, but the thought persists…

    If there’s anything I can do, even just lending an ear or shoulder, give me a shout. Otherwise I might start texting you with threats of sending you my paisley parachute panties, so you’ve been duly warned.

  6. Avatar

    Oh my dear cyber-friend. I know exactly what you mean. I have set my own limits within my blog, and blog very similarly to you as far as what is ok and what is not ok to talk about. I’ve even started writing posts about myself, only to stop and think, “Nope. Can’t do it. Just too personal.” Deleted it and either gone on to write just a so-so post, or more than likely, not written one at all.

    I feel for you and I hope that things will look brighter for you soon.


  7. Avatar has a ‘basement’ where you can send her the posts about the bad stuff & she posts it anonymously & people comment on it. and (both run by Aunt Becky of do the same things.

    Like you, I made my blog all light & humor and while I manage a degree of anonymity from people who don’t already know me, people in real life who know me, know my blog, and sometimes I really wish they didn’t. DH’s job drives me 10 kinds of crazy and I can only ever hit the most general of highlights about it on my blog.

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    I am so sorry for whatever is going on Andy. I am just a few keystrokes away if you need to talk, vent, whatever. Big, virtual hugs and much love!

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    I don’t blog because I can’t see putting myself “out there” in any form whatever. You have done what you can in sharing your life with us and making us laugh. You truly have a gift for words and we all are grateful for what you decide to share with us. Please know that you have many prayers coming to you from blogland to help you through the hard times.

  10. Avatar

    I know exactly what you mean… my family reads my blog … & especially my parents, who worry if I say anything a little “down” – so I have to reserve my venting to a private blog I created just entirely for me to vent – scream – pound the keys… but then you miss the gathering of support that is in the blog world. 🙁 I’m envious of the bloggers who do have the freedom to say EVERYTHING on their blogs…

    so I feel your pain, is what i’m trying to get at … HUGS

  11. Avatar

    Once I found out that some of the parents at my kids school had read my blog, and some of my husband’s co-workers, family, etc. . . . that’s when I decided to stop my blog. I put too much out there. I deleted all sensitive posts (although it pained me to do so because I liked what I wrote). How I wish I had set boundaries, like you did, from the start.

    Hugs to you. I hope you find your happy soon.

  12. Avatar

    Oh, Andy, I’m so sorry. 🙁

    You post today is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I don’t have an ordinary blog, so I’ve never experienced the exact frustration you’re going through right now, but not feeling like there’s a place to vent, and wanting to cry because your life isn’t on the track you want it on… that I understand.

    Big squashy hugs, and I truly hope you get some sunshine soon.

  13. Avatar

    I understand. I don’t blog about anything I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing in front of a room full of strangers or acquaintances….

    I agree with Amanda – sometimes writing a post and just leaving it in drafts helps…otherwise if you do want to share that part of yourself with the world – you could keep it anonymous and start a new blog and not tell a single soul.


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    Others have covered you in hugs, so I’ll just point out a boy going for bras is more likely to be some form of trans rather than gay. 😉

    PS: Anonymous sex blogs aren’t the only reason many bloggers have more than one written outlet, sadly it seems most of those end up short-changing one or more of them, yes sometimes even the sex ones.

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    I don’t know what the trouble is, but I am sending up prayers. If you’d like to anonymously guest post on a blog I know is looking for them, shoot me an email. Sometimes it helps to type it all out, even if you have to post it somewhere else so it won’t have repercussions…

    Hey, just got a brilliant idea. I will start a blog called No Negative Repercussions and let everyone just vent anonymously there, lots of guest blog posts. Anyone with me?! Anyone?! Don’t like that name? How about this one – I love this wordplay but it doesn’t lend itself to much – The Snot Rocket Chronicles!!….??

  17. Avatar

    You know, that’s a particular kind of ‘grown up’ moment when you realize that 1) life isn’t going to be how you envisioned, and 2) that’s the case for most everyone. It’s hard to change your worldview mid-stream, but that’s the essence of our existence.

    Someone once described having a handicapped baby as if you were planning a vacation to Italy. You read all about it, made all your plans of what to see and do, bought all the gear and clothes to wear on the trip, get on the plane all excited, and when you get off… you’re in Holland. Now Holland is a perfectly lovely place, with its own special wonderfulnesses – but it’s not Italy. So now you have a decision to make. Do you mope around wishing you were in Italy and pointing out all the ways Holland is NOT Italy? Or do you explore what Holland has to offer, seeking out its treasures?

    Those of us who’ve been around a while know that there are plenty of Holland moments in everyone’s life. And Holland is an AMAZING place if you just take the time to get to know it. So it’s ok to be sorry you didn’t get to see Italy. You need to mourn that. But grown ups know that then you’ve got to get walking and start looking for the fun stuff in Holland.

    You’ll find the fun stuff. You always do 🙂

  18. Avatar

    Andrea, I am so sorry that you are struggling right now and I wish I could help. Good luck…although that seems so light to say, I really do wish it for you and I hope that things improve soon, or at least that the light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t seem quite so far away.

  19. Avatar

    Really hope the down in the dumps feeling travels to a far warmer local (cause we all know WNY be chilly this time o’ year!) If you need a cyber buddy, I am here for you- you’ve made me laugh through some awful stuff- and we all luvs ya for it!

  20. Avatar

    I have been feeling this alot too lately. I want to share, but then I don’t. I certainly don’t want the world to know my business but I do want advice and hugs sometimes! UGH! Anyways, hugs to you and I pray that everything will be okay for you!!!!!

  21. Avatar

    Beautifully written. And so relatable. Many of us have to figure out our “lines” and boundaries as we blog. Not always an easy task. It’s funny. I’ve been told I need to reveal more of myself in order to connect better with readers. I write the way I write, which is quirky and hopefully with some humor. Just to make people smile. I, like you, do not share the sad and serious stuff. I’m sorry that life has disappointed you. But hopefully, real family and friends will provide you with the support you need. Because that’s who we go to when life rears up and kicks us in the ass…family and friends…flesh and blood. The blogosphere? Virtual, people. Virtual.

  22. Avatar

    Sorry to hear that! I hope that soon you are able to find the humor in how your life is changing (or not changing) and that it gets much better. I don’t know what to say except I have been there. And I too don’t like to put my emotional vulnerability out for the entire world to see. Mainly because my mother reads it and I don’t want her to try and “talk” to me about it. Just know that it WILL get better and I can’t wait to read about how you are going to laugh about it in the days to come.

  23. Avatar

    {{{ Andy }}} I started my blog with much the same thought process as yours. And like you, there have been times when I wanted to use it to scream out to the world that LIFE SUCKS at that very moment. I hope things brighten up for you sooner rather than later.

  24. Avatar

    Whatever it is you are going through I bet there are more than a few of us out here who read your blog hoping for a little strength and peace for your heart and for things to get better. Laughter is a gift and you make me laugh so often the least I can do is stop and offer a big cyber hug and word of thanks and kindness. Wish I had a magic wand, I’d send it your way. And thank you so much for all the laughter you share.

  25. Avatar

    I’m sorry it’s hard right now.

    You raised some good issues for bloggers who want to be positive. Maybe we should store up some extra posts for times we may face when we aren’t – or can’t be – inspired.

    I hope the sun comes out again soon; you have a great blog.

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