Breaking my Blog Silence

Breaking my Blog Silence

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A blog is a web log. An online journal. A place to jot your thoughts and feelings. A place to tell stories, share photos and express opinions. But, unlike a true journal (or diary), blogs are written to be read. They are like diaries on display. What that means is simply this: what is said or shared on a blog is always something that is anticipated to be seen and/or read. That’s the nature of blogging. To speak and be heard. To share and be seen. To express and be responded to.

You will never hear me say that this is a bad thing. I think it’s a really really good thing. I love blogging. It’s helped me find my voice. It’s helped me find myself. It’s given me a creative outlet that I value deeply and it’s led me to a career I never saw coming. It’s quite honestly, changed the course my life. And I’m confident that it’s going to continue to do so. And likely bring wonderful surprises and opportunities along the way. That’s how things usually work.

Even still, there’s a part of me that has begun to feel uneasy and discontent about blogging. I have been asking myself the same question over and over again, if my blog is my personal journal then why am I not writing about everything? Why am I not feverishly writing about stuff as it occurs; the good, the bad and the ugly?

Long before I became a blogger, I was a journaler. Ever since I was in middle school I wrote about everything that was on my mind and in my heart as it happened, in real time. That was the best part about journaling, writing through things. It was like a daily check in. And the more tumultuous things were, the more I wrote. My dry spells, when days would pass without a single scrawl, usually meant things were at their best. The writing picked up again when I was struggling. It was obviously therapy for me. And it was confidential so I was always at my most authentic because I wrote without censorship, without fear.

My patterns in blogging have become almost the total opposite. I write when things are good. When there’s something wonderful to share. When I’ve have a marvelous trip or a fun outing. When I’ve got exciting news, a new book, a new class or an event on the horizon. When I’ve got photographs to post. And that’s great, because these things are a big part of my life. It’s natural (and fun) to share good news. But why do I stop writing when there’s nothing exceptional to share? Why do my posts slow to a trickle when things aren’t super-exciting, or even more, when things really stink?

That being said, I guess I have used my blog more a cheerleader than a confident. I enjoy the enthusiasm and well, cheer of the cheerleader; shouting something from the rooftops in excitement. Rah, rah! But, other times I need a place to share my struggle as I am in the most confusing, hard part of it and I need a shoulder to cry on. And I don’t use my blog for that very often. It’s not that I don’t share the hard parts of my life, but I’ve noticed that when I do, it’s almost always in hindsight. I don’t usually share my tears in real time. I only talk about them when I’ve used the entire tissue box (or two), I’ve gotten a good night sleep and I’ve gained enough perspective to speak of my struggle or my sorrow, after the fact.  In other words, after the mess has been cleaned up. The problem with that is that there’s no telling how long it might take for the trials to cease (weeks, months, years?) which means that the stuff that I probably need to write about the most is not getting “out”. Not in my hardcover journal (I stopped writing in one of those when I took up blogging) nor on my web journal.

For years now, my greatest joy has come from sharing the pretty. I have always been a Pollyanna like that and I tell you true, that it is authentically who I am. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle. Everyone does. But, because I don’t openly talk about it, you might not know about what I struggle with, just as I might not know what you struggle with and that makes me feel very alone. And right now on my personal journey, I see that as a huge problem. How is it that I feel alone in anything when I have such a robust network of people that I truly care about, many of whom I know care about me, that I tap into each and every day? I think the disconnect comes because I’m not sharing enough of the actual process of my life. I’m talking the tough stuff, in real time.

So, what about it? Why now? Because lately, I’ve been struggling. Which means all is quiet for me on my tiny piece of blogging real estate. No words, no pictures, no sharing. My blog is barren and I feel more alone in my struggle than ever. And, what I’ve realized is that I’ve become weary of being silent. Of keeping it in. Of holding it back. Of waiting until things are pretty again before I can share how unattractive things feel now. I guess what I am saying through all of this is I want to change things. I want muster up the most courage I can from here and use this space to be my most authentic, even if it means showing parts of myself and/or my life that I have, until now, creatively and conveniently cropped out of my life’s portraits, of the details that I don’t want to talk about in a public forum, of stuff that may change the way people think of me.

I didn’t think I was all that worried about people actually seeing all of me (the joy and the hardship) until a few months ago when I first began to consider pulling back the curtain to share my struggle. But, that’s when all the fear flooded in. And then I found this quote from Rosanne Cash, “The key to change…is to let go of fear.”  So, I guess I know what I need to do if I want things to change. Let go of the fear, come out of the closet and start sharing more of my whole, real life. Of both the parts I love AND the parts I don’t love. And that second part is going to be hard. But, I think it’s time.

Gulp.

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53 Comments
  • Myriam
    Posted at 14:43h, 29 December Reply

    Often times our fear stems from the idea that if we show our dark parts, we won’t be loved. Interestingly, it usually the exact opposite of that. When we share our struggle, love abounds; loving compassion for ourselves, love from others, others have a reason to soften to their own struggles…in addition, your sharing is a proclamation that all are welcome, all of your parts and the parts of others are welcome. Wonderful post Tracey.

    • Tracey
      Posted at 09:14h, 30 December Reply

      Thank you my friend for always supporting and loving me. xo

  • Helena
    Posted at 14:49h, 29 December Reply

    I love that you’re ready to get real with the tough stuff. I think you’ll find it cathartic. I find myself drawn to the women whose blogs reflect all parts of their lives. The good rah rah stuff, as well as the painful and sad bits. I makes me feels less alone in the world. I am hoping to restart my blog again in the new year and of course i will write about the things that I am proud of , but I also want to be brave enough to write about my sad bits, my insecurities, my occasional feelings of frustration, my loneliness and more about the inner me. I think that 2013 is going to be my year of change. In fact, I believe that ‘Change’ will be my One Little Word for the year.

    • Tracey
      Posted at 09:14h, 30 December Reply

      I so appreciate knowing I’m not alone Helena. And ‘change’ is a perfect word for 2013!

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  • Marcie
    Posted at 02:47h, 30 December Reply

    Aaaah Tracey – I think we all fall into this blogging conundrum of not knowing how much of ourselves to share…thinking that we need to always present a good and happy front. So very brave to be taking that first step towards opening up and letting show the struggles and not just the rewards. Change is good!

    • Tracey
      Posted at 09:15h, 30 December Reply

      I love that Marcie, “sharing the struggles and not just the rewards”, Yes, to that I am saying, yes! Thank you for your kindness.

  • Boho mom
    Posted at 07:33h, 30 December Reply

    Awww hugs to you my dear. I can totally relate…so much! My blog has also been my online journal of just about every feeling, experience, and thought process I’ve experienced over the past 6 years.
    Lately I’ve had to deal with a mentally ill person stalking and trying her best to make my life a living hell – but to no avail. I am stronger than that. I am real, I am true and I love my blog and the community that holds my sacred truths close to their hearts.
    High five to you and hope to read many many more posts as honest and candid and brave as this one.
    peace
    🙂

    • Tracey
      Posted at 09:17h, 30 December Reply

      Wow Boho Mom, I applaud your strength and bravery! And I thank you so much for your support.

  • melissa
    Posted at 08:09h, 30 December Reply

    thank you, tracey…for this honest, courageous offering. i trust you deeply because of it. may you (and we) feel freer to pull back the curtain and share the ugly, frayed, vulnerable parts of your life/your you, knowing i (and many others) are listening with open, love-soaked hearts.

    • Tracey
      Posted at 09:18h, 30 December Reply

      Melissa, you always know just what to say. Your words and kindness are always so deeply appreciated. Thank you!

  • amy
    Posted at 09:47h, 30 December Reply

    hi tracey,
    so glad you’re back, and that it’s with this intention. so many of us struggle with “showing up” in the online space when our hearts are bruised. i feel like our community appreciates us all the more when we show our scars and our fresh wounds … this is real life, not a movie set. thank you for sharing your truth. especially before it’s nicely packaged and the loose ends all tucked in. i’m inspired to do the same, as i wrestle with the bright new pain of divorce proceedings and unclear next steps. love and light to you, amy

    • Tracey
      Posted at 09:50h, 30 December Reply

      Thank you Amy, thank you so much!

  • Meghan @ Life Refocused
    Posted at 09:48h, 30 December Reply

    I am sending a giant virtual hug and a loud, resounding “YES!” your way, Tracey. I deeply believe in us sharing our whole selves, and not just the pretty parts. In fact, I’m so tired of blogs and spaces online that ONLY focus on how seemingly perfect the writer’s life is — I think it’s because I can’t connect to that nor to them. My life is far from perfect and so reading and hearing about only the good parts of someone’s life is disconnecting to me. So bravo for you for stepping into the fear and the courage to be whole and to feel less alone in doing so. xo

  • Shannon
    Posted at 09:51h, 30 December Reply

    Hey you. I feel ya. I do. I write about fun travel things and where to go all the time, but you know what? I never share what’s REALLY going on in my personal life. People look at the outside of the package and they never know the backstory. Like….when I first met you, what was going on my life. Yes, I went to Lanai just after that event as a new media artist in residence, and even brought my husband along. What a once in a lifetime opportunity! I took some great photos, wrote a few blog posts, updated social media. But no one knew that each night I slept on the bathroom floor at the Four Seasons because the medication I was on made me so sick. All they saw was the sunshine and beaches. It was still an amazing trip, but oh my goodness it isn’t always rainbows and rosepetals! Sending you a big hug. Write it girl. Own it! Be YOU!

    • Tracey
      Posted at 11:44h, 30 December Reply

      Shannon, you rock! Thanks for the honesty and for your support. Here’s to sharing more REAL life in 2013. : )

  • Tracey
    Posted at 09:51h, 30 December Reply

    Meghan, I so appreciate your support and am hugging you right back!

  • Julie Marsh
    Posted at 10:02h, 30 December Reply

    I keep forgetting that a blog is not supposed to be about rough drafts and revisions and polishing (at least not according to my definition and vision), and yet I find myself doing the same: putting off writing until I have something polished (if not always beautiful) to share.

    Can I join you in this effort?

    • Tracey
      Posted at 11:41h, 30 December Reply

      Yes yes yes Julie! Let’s do it together.: )

  • Ali
    Posted at 10:24h, 30 December Reply

    Love you. Miss you. Would love to have a conversation with you about this soon.

    • Tracey
      Posted at 11:42h, 30 December Reply

      Thank you Ali. I would love that. I miss you too. xo

  • Sara Kiiru
    Posted at 12:24h, 30 December Reply

    Hurrah to you, Tracey, for your willingness to be vulnerable by being authentic. Oh, how freed we will all be if we join you in this. I, for one, am IN! None of us are perfect and none of us are alone; I commend you for shouting out that truth.

    • Tracey
      Posted at 07:59h, 31 December Reply

      Thank you Sara, yes, let’s do this thing together.

  • JUlie
    Posted at 14:03h, 30 December Reply

    Tracey,
    I hear you sister! Blogging or not blogging, talking or not talking, asking for help – Ah…WHAT asking for help – that’s just crazy! Women are tough, we have to put a face forward, at home, at work, on the web, heck at the grocery store. It’s hard to ask for help, to ask for time to talk, to ask for money…how many times do we just need a quarter to get a drink at lunch and we feel funny asking our coworker for a quarter. A person who I see everyday, work with , chat with, etc. How SILLY is that? Anyway, I derailed….thank you for being open and honest. I support you. Say what you need to say…..you may help someone going thru the same darn thing.
    Peace…..
    Julie

    • Tracey
      Posted at 08:00h, 31 December Reply

      It’s crazy how hard it is to ask for help, isn’t it Julie? Thanks for your encouragement!

  • Juliann
    Posted at 17:11h, 30 December Reply

    So good to read this today and to be reminded that we have companions on this journey who will listen without judging. Thank you for opening that door today. Your words are like a balm.

    • Tracey
      Posted at 08:01h, 31 December Reply

      Juliann, the fear of being judged might be the biggest of all. Thank you for your kind words of support. : )

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  • Lisa
    Posted at 22:59h, 30 December Reply

    I went through this, about this time last year. And I ended up using my blog as a vessel to tell the world something that I thought I must hold secret. And I felt that way for no real reason. Take a look: http://www.lisastein.com/2011/12/blog-your-heart.html

    • Tracey
      Posted at 08:02h, 31 December Reply

      Can’t wait to see how you revealed your struggle Lisa, thanks for sharing!

  • Suki
    Posted at 04:25h, 31 December Reply

    Every evening I sit here on the sofa thinking how I am in need of an update of my blog again, because the struggles are worth sharing too. Yet I am afraid of way too many things and i wonder when i got this anxious.
    So I responded with a very loud YES to all of this.
    Good luck sharing more of You, the real person.
    I’ll hold your hand along the way.
    xxx

    • Tracey
      Posted at 08:03h, 31 December Reply

      Suki, you are appreciated so much. Thank you!

  • Siri
    Posted at 05:18h, 31 December Reply

    Love this post 🙂 it is all so true!

    • Tracey
      Posted at 08:03h, 31 December Reply

      Thanks Siri. : )

  • Janet Carr
    Posted at 09:10h, 31 December Reply

    Oh Tracey!
    What a powerful and poignant post! And how right you are! After all… if we never had our hardships and negatives… then how would we ever know how great and wonderful our positives are! Thanks for being such an awesome roll model! You are my hero!!

    • Tracey
      Posted at 10:48h, 31 December Reply

      Oh gosh Janet, thank you! : )

  • dawny dee
    Posted at 09:37h, 31 December Reply

    so beautifully voiced. and so true and genuine and authentic. and those words alone should let you know that you are going in the right direction. and you will not be alone.
    kudos to you for your bravery and the growth it will inspire in yourself and so many others – who are watching and listening and reading and cheering you on. hooray for you.

    • Tracey
      Posted at 10:49h, 31 December Reply

      Thank you Dawny for your cheering!

  • Lucrecer
    Posted at 11:28h, 31 December Reply

    Boy, can I relate. You know, the main reason I stopped using Art Slam for my blog was because I could not contain my truth anymore. A couple of things I have not discussed on that blog or my new one are my divorce or battling depression. I guess I did not want to let people in like that, but I realize the more genuine I am, the more people seem to relate to me. I talk about connectedness and sometimes, we connect with people thought our pain just as much as we do our joy.

    Do your thing, my friend and know that you are not alone in how you feel or journal or hold back. I understand. I am on the same journey.

    • Tracey
      Posted at 23:32h, 31 December Reply

      I so appreciate your support Lu! You’re the best!

  • Margaret
    Posted at 12:37h, 02 January Reply

    A timely message, I can completely relate… My blog has been silent since August, the cheer and the whimsy couldn’t be found so I just didn’t share. As the new year begins and I once again start anew I hope I have the courage to be open and honest… In laughter and in pain! Hugs to you!

    • Tracey
      Posted at 23:45h, 02 January Reply

      Thank you Margaret for sharing your words here. I’m wishing courage for the both of us!

  • Blissmamaof3
    Posted at 23:29h, 02 January Reply

    You have been missed! We are all right here for you and ready to hold you up, our dear friend. I’ve been in your neck of the woods this week and keep wondering if I’ll run into you. I wish we had made plans to meet up, you are such an inspiration to me. Perhaps in December, really hoping to be back here then. In the meantime, I’ll see you on Instagram 🙂

    • Tracey
      Posted at 23:47h, 02 January Reply

      Lovely lady, thank you! Your support means so much to me! Hope you enjoyed your visit. : )

  • stefanierenee
    Posted at 16:24h, 03 January Reply

    Thank you for sharing this Tracey, you make it possible for us to say…oh, yah, that’s why I haven’t been showing up either. the fear…but 2013 is bringing the brave out so I’m going to start…somewhere and see where it goes.
    much love!
    xx

  • Wendy T.
    Posted at 19:46h, 03 January Reply

    You’re in my brain again, Tracey 🙂 My blog has been dormant for the exact same reason. There haven’t been enough rainbows and unicorns over here for me to write about. Hoping to join you in this brave step of writing just to share and potentially help others going through similar struggles. Really looking forward to following you on this journey. Be well, my friend. I totally miss you!!!

  • melody
    Posted at 01:29h, 04 January Reply

    Treacey ~
    I am seeing this days after your posting. Life experiencnes can be so unimaginably unthinkable, let alone speakable. And then you find yourself in a place more unimaginable than the last. Then being strong is required of you, again, and you cry out that this is the absolute last time…no more. Until, hopefully, you get through it the next time(s). Know that you have given me (hopefully) strength to own my story publicly; as it continues. Anytime you need to be heard, I will listen. ox

  • Charlene Plagens
    Posted at 19:18h, 06 January Reply

    Dear Tracey,
    Trust the mess. Stay golden.
    xO

  • marina_sorr
    Posted at 06:58h, 07 January Reply

    your words resonate so much with me, Tracey. i don’t have a blog but I tend to do a lot of what you say offline, sharing only after having made sense of the mess of life and less in the middle of it. and it tends to make me feel alone as well. so, thank you for your words and your courage. I look forward to holding your sharing with kindness. love xo

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  • April
    Posted at 14:15h, 19 January Reply

    Bravo! It’s nice to hear the honesty in your words. Maybe a revolution will begin from this one great act of courage. Being brave is the hardest thing to do. I’m certainly inspired by your big step forward. I think it would do us all a great deal of good to practice being more courageous in letting the world see us for who we are no matter how scary that may be. I think the world is generally a very good place, full of good people that will be there to cheer you on. I know I’ll be here to cheer you on!

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