Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Other Side of Blogging. And a "See You Later"...

Can I open my heart to you?

A while ago, I shared some of the reasons why I blog. These were the positive, motivational forces that have kept me going for almost three years now. There are some aspects of blogging that I didn't delve into. These things have been on my mind more and more, and I think it's healthy to express both the good as well as the difficult (I won't go far enough to say "bad" or "ugly") in this world of blogging.

I do hesitate to address this topic. Sharing these feelings and frustrations of mine might come across in a negative light. Overall, I've wanted this space to be portioned glimpses of my personal life and inner thoughts, my family and home day- to- day living, a little corner of the world where one might find inspiration and peace. I wanted my readers to come away feeling uplifted. But in all of that, I've always wanted to honestly portray the real Emily. I consider myself an open person. I try to keep it real with those who know me. What you see or feel from me, is basically what you get.

I'll be honest. There are parts to me that you don't see, parts that I care not to portray and that I won't share here. And that's okay. I've never shown you the piles and piles of "dirty laundry", the stacks of dirty dishes sitting in the sink, the weedy, neglected flower beds, the cluttered corners. Most of you don't know the details of family and personal struggles, worries, and inadequacies.

Lately, blogging has become a chore. It isn't nourishing me joyfully like it was when it was fresh and new. I'm finding it hard to share, to pull things out of me. I'm seriously questioning if all these emotional, time, and effort investments are really worth it. Especially lately. In my already state of feeling very inadequate in some important facets of my life, finding myself questioning and re-thinking, doubting some things about myself and my life, I find it even more discouraging when I see (from my limited point of view) not a whole lot of interest and dialogue in what I have to say in this space. I know that having more numbers on my "stats", whether it's the number of followers I have, or in your comments or thoughtful feedback, or Abide With Me's "popularity" and readership -all of this shouldn't and wouldn't have to matter if I was in a different emotional place. In all truthfulness, I'm finding all this just a little hard on my self- esteem. That's alarming. And disheartening.

With all this, I will frankly tell you that I find myself often "lurking" in my own personal blog reading. I have faithfully followed lots of blogs over the years and seldom make comments. It's only recently, and with very few blogs, that I've decided to make the effort (and I do understand that it takes valuable time, especially on hosts like Blogger.) and extend myself this way.

When one is feeling inadequate or down, it's a hard thing to see the images of perfection inadvertently portrayed of happy, loving families, creative energies put into all those fun sewing and craft projects, wonderful offerings lovingly and freshly made from the kitchen, clean and tidy homes, and talented, beautiful, organized women and mothers who seem to get it all right. It can often lead to feelings of dissatisfaction, envy, and frustration:

"She seems to have it all together."

"If only I was a better photographer."

"Or had a nicer (more expensive) camera."

"I wish I could write better. Or maybe express myself better."

"Maybe my blog isn't as "informational" and "purposeful" as so many other are for my readers. Maybe it's just not worth people's time."

"My life is so normal. No one would be interested or care about the things I have to say."

"Is this moment/thing 'blog worthy'?"

"Why is the blog preoccupying my thoughts so much?"

"Am I showing a balanced portrayal of my life?" (to as not to create feelings of discontent in myself and others.)

These are some of the things that have filled my mind. This is where I'm at. I'm sincerely sorry for the definitely negative tone that today's theme has been conveyed. My goal is not to host a pity party. Striving to prove myself with perfection, fighting for approval and acceptance, and then dealing with the subsequent disappointment of imperfection seem to be one of the biggest challenges and themes of my life. I'm seeing that more and more in myself.

I'll be pulling back from this space for a while. I've not determined, at this point, if I'll continue this blog. But whether I do or I don't make it back here, I'm still me. And I'm still here (well, maybe not at the Abide With Me blog, but in my real, live blue house in my real life town, at my real life email address, too.) Real, genuine conversation, mutual sharing, and interest in relationships and friendships is what I'm after.

Thank you to all who've taken the time to follow this aspect of me. Your presence, your interest, your comments, the outpouring of love and friendship have meant so much to me. I've appreciated each and every one of you...

Wherever you are in the world.



  1. I've loved your blog. Whats your email address? Id love to Have a real conversation too one of these days. :-)

  2. Oh my gosh- please dont quit your blog...I have gone through this so many times, but in the end you really are influencing people for the better with your outstanding life. You have changed mine!
    There is so much that goes into blogging, SEO search, keywords, the works and blogging is so yesterday in terms of, if you didn't have one five years ago it is difficult to have a popular blog that gathers readers.
    But, I determined a long time ago, that it was still an outlet for good in my life if 1 person or 10,000 followed it. Long ago, I decided I would write my own legacy and that would be what my blog was, not for the reader but for myself and my children. I am glad I have never stopped because in short, it is a piece of positive life history. Sure it can be off balance, but again we don't have to show every side to be honest. Please continue to blog. There are only a few people I call "true noble in the world" and you are one of them. You are inspiring!

  3. I love you just the way you are and support you no matter what because you are my friend.

  4. I am reminded of the sand dollar story. You make a difference to me. I've always admired you and you write beautifully. I love that you are real and that you are you. No one else can be that. And you do it perfectly.

    I will miss you.

  5. Hi Emily, I was in 30 Day Vegan with you. I think your blog is incredibly inspiring (I just started reading it again this past week). You are a lovely person and have a beautiful family. I think your writing is so real and expressive. I recently questioned why I blog and had a conversation with my husband because I was having some of the same feelings you are having. I thought I was blogging to share (and I am), but he helped me to understand that I am blogging for me as a creative outlet and it shouldn't matter how many people, if any, are reading. I encourage you to do what feels right for you and would love to see you blogging again in the future. I always thought you had a very special way about you from your responses in 30 Day Vegan. Just know it's not going unnoticed. Best to you and your family!

  6. I have never looked at your blog until a friend of mine commented on fb about it and I saw it through there. I think it's a great way to open up your heart but that you should do it for yourself and for no other reason and people will see through you doing it for yourself, what you really were hoping to say to them in the first place.

  7. There is never a false step when it's done truthfully, Emily. You are nothing but the real thing! Writing is being a blessing to you and others, I known by myself. I love you and you always will be a gift and a blessing just because you are you.
    Hey, nobody really has it perfect...NOBODY! It just doesn't fit in this journey's equation.
    I am just glad that I can step out to your house once in a while.

  8. When I started my blog my daughter was in the hospital. We had everyone looking at it and commenting for over a year. As time has passed my blog is still there, Comments are few and I don't write daily, just when I want to and I stopped trying to write for others a long time ago. I am not as witty and fun as some but my main purpose is to blog about my family. We put it in a blog book every year which is a cherished scrapbook and journal.
    Take a break, but if you feel like writing PLEASE DO! Do it for YOU... and us :) I have been inspired by your honesty and true desire to always improve your life and follow Gods plan for you. Are you perfect? I sure hope not!!! We need you around you know!

  9. I have been reading your postings for a few weeks now. I read a comment you made on mytopograhy and that led me to you. I appreciate all that you have shared! I understand that blogging is done for many different reasons, but most of all, it's for the writer. Seasons change and if this isn't the season for you to blog, then maybe you will again later. Your writing is lovely and I pray the best for you and your family.

  10. do what feels right for you Emily. I've always blogged "just for fun" - my time has been more limited as of late which is a good thing. I have needed to break free from the computer a bit. I hardly ever look at my stats and at times have turned comments off. It is easier that way. You will be missed.

  11. I thought I'd posted something from my cell - but don't see it here, so I'll post again...

    Emily - you inspire me. I so grateful to you and for your uplifting and thought provoking insights into the important details of life that I often feel I'm overlooking. My life has been enriched, my priorities challenged and because of you I've hired a personal trainer, become a better (more emotionally vested Mother), spent more time with my husband and done some very necessary soul searching the past 15 months. If you stop blogging I'll miss you. The things I've learned from you have become apart of me and for that I will always love you and feel grateful. Often times when we're least expecting to - we end up teaching, serving and blessing the lives of those we touch.

  12. Emily here's my blog:

    Tell me what you think?

  13. Emily, I must admit I rarely comment on blogs(except for the occasional give away, of which I've never won!) but I really enjoy reading yours! I love that you posted a photo of you blogging in your red flannel nightgown on your post reasons why I blog. You are real and genuine! I also love your list of things you love.You are a wonderful writer. I could never write like you (that's why I don't have a blog). I know it takes much time and thought to blog but really it is such a accomplishment! And I don't mind pictures of dirty laundry.

  14. Oh and Emily I so enjoyed reading about how you ran into Green Smoothie girl. I had a similar thing happen to me about a month ago. I was eating lunch at my neighborhood Subway (I live in a suburb of St. Louis) with my 4 year old daughter and in walked NieNie's mother (from the Nie Nie Dialogues). I was certain it was her and I had to say something so I did! She was so nice and gave me a hug. She wanted to know my daughter's name (which was Betsy) and she replied "I have a granddaugher named Betsy" and I said "I know!" It really felt surreal. Really, it's a small world!

  15. hi emily - i just wanted to say hello... you are missed! i hope things are well. xo