Shut up, hindsight

One of the interesting side effects of having cut waaaaaaaay back on working and marketing myself last year is that I am no longer a Hot Internet Commodity. Bloggers are a dime a dozen, after all, and the thing is, I always had really mixed feelings about that whole Hot Internet Commodity thing, anyway. So now I’m doing all of this Restructuring and Goal-Setting and Planning For The Future and blah blah blah (wake up! I’m getting to a point here!) and trying to decide whether I even WANT to “raise my visibility” to where it used to be.

Even writing that out makes me want to punch myself in the face. I never did any of this because I wanted to Be Someone. I think a lot of people do it to gain some sort of fame/notoriety, but I also think more people than you might guess are more like me—there’s a love of storytelling, an impulse to write, and an oft-whispered wish that mostly, you are just normal, and therefore, forgettable.

So next week I’m going to do an Interview Thing, and I don’t do a lot in the way of actual on-camera stuff, EVER, and I told myself I should do this thing because it’s good practice for me and will give me another recent something to add to the resume as I ramp back up, work-wise, but over the last two days I realized that’s not why I want to do it. I want to do it because I feel like I need to do some penance.

The request came in like this: We’re doing a segment on blogging through divorce, and we think talking to someone who’s been all through the various stages and did it well would be great, so we’d love to talk to you. And there were examples of various things we could discuss—connecting with others in similar situations, building community, venting, etc.—and I said sure, we can talk about this stuff, definitely.

Then I went away and commenced feeling Not Entirely Right about it for a while, and last night I think I finally figured out why.

I’ve been blogging now for… coming up on nine years. That’s a long time! And I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that I am not the same person I was when I started. Likewise, when I started, I had little kids, and now I have teenagers. My kids are different people. I’ve tried to adapt and change as makes sense, but who knows how successful that ever really is once mistakes have been made.

My point (I know, I rambled around, but here it is): I didn’t do it right. I mean, I didn’t do it wrong ON PURPOSE, and I THOUGHT I was okay at the time, yes. But if I had it to do over? There are absolutely things I would change. There are plenty of ways in which I did not yet understand the fine line between “sharing your story” and “not allowing emotions to get the better of your common sense.”

There are choices I made when I started this blog which were absolutely correct and good and reasonable and I stand by them. I’ve never used my children’s names, here. I don’t use any pictures that would make them identifiable. [Sidebar: This is not an indictment of those who do it differently. These are my personal boundaries which are right for me.] I don’t share a surname with my kids and that was a conscious choice.

There are choices I made when I started this blog which were flat-out wrong. Back in 2004, I was sure I could just blog and stay anonymous. HAHAHAHAHAAAAA. While it’s not impossible to stay anonymous on the Internet, my understanding of how unlikely it is definitely evolved. The time came when I decided that I wanted my name attached to my work, because it was being discovered, anyway, and perhaps I shouldn’t be putting stuff out into the world I wasn’t comfortable putting my name on, y’know? But by then, I’d already allowed myself the luxury of non-responsibility when it came to talking about my children’s father, sometimes.

And that’s the wrongest wrong, right there. That’s why I am uncomfortable with the notion that I “did it right,” when sometimes I really didn’t.

My divorce was acrimonious for hundred different reasons, and with the benefit of growth and time passed, I feel comfortable saying that the two of us never should’ve gotten married in the first place, really. With a lot of hard work, we made it sort-of work for almost a decade. But when it ended, it was a fairly spectacular implosion. And there were years of continued animosity, on both sides, which was hard on everyone involved. (I’m sure it was especially hard on the kids, despite our best efforts to shield them from it.) The bottom line, though, is that without my ex I wouldn’t have these two pretty spectacular children, so thank God for him, right? I really do.

I will defend to the death (or at least to the hyperbole…) my right to share my story, my emotions, my challenges, in this space. When it comes to other people being tangled up in my story, I try to tread fairly, but I don’t always get it right. I always whip out that litmus test I hear a lot of folks using, and in most cases, I do find it apt: “I wouldn’t write about anything on my blog that I wouldn’t tell as a story at a cocktail party.” It’s a decent measure 90% of the time.

But. BUT. I might tell someone at a cocktail party about this eyeroll-inducing thing that was reported to me the last time my kids were off with their dad, and nowadays I realize that doesn’t belong on my blog. (Nowadays, by the way, would mean… oh, the last six or seven years or so. But that still leaves that first couple of blogging years where I made some bad calls.)

I never used his name or picture. We have always (even when married, to a large extent) traveled in different social circles, so the chances of someone who knows him coming across my words is very slim; the chances of someone who knows him realizing it’s him I’m talking about (making the connection between the two of us) is slimmer yet. It was never my goal to cause him pain in any way. I thought I was just venting/discussing/telling my story. But that doesn’t necessarily make it okay.

Now, let me be perfectly clear about this: I’m not saying I feel like I shouldn’t be able to mention him. He’s a part of my life, and sometimes he comes up as part of a larger story (which is—say it with me!—MY story from my point of view), but the way I handle that stuff has definitely evolved. It’s okay for me to say that something about interacting with him aggravated me. That’s fair. It’s not okay for me to write an entire post about what a jackass he’s being, even if I really and truly believed he was, because that’s not fair. Even if he can’t be identified. Even if I believed at the time that was an essential part of “my story,” it was me giving in to emotion and not me considering what such a story also said about ME.

You could say it’s easy to arrive at this conclusion now, because a lot of time has passed, tempers have settled, and while I doubt either of us is going to claim the other as our new BFF, through a lot of hard work and change, we are absolutely united in the goal of raising up these two humans we have in common the best way possible. Maybe we don’t always agree on how that happens, but we (miraculously!) handle it like adults and figure it out, these days. The truth is that I changed how I approach/handle these issues years ago, with the benefit of some time and experience and the realization that believing someone is being a jerk doesn’t actually give you license to be a jerk in return. (I’m still learning that last bit, as it happens. I am a slow learner.)

I can’t remember when it was—years ago, maybe even before Otto and I got married—but at some point my ex took it upon himself (having found my blog, reading it regularly and freaking out about the things I said even more often) to insist that I change the name of the category associated with posts that were about him.

Most of my category names are very tongue-in-cheek, and the name of that particular category was… not flattering, I admit.

So out of the blue (it seemed; maybe it wasn’t) he was suddenly demanding that I change that because IT’S RUDE AND MEAN. You know what? It WAS rude (I’d debate mean, but whatever, I can agree it certainly wasn’t NICE), but it’s my blog, and I’m not a fan of censorship, and the way he acted like it was his right to dictate my own writing to me really pissed me off. So I did the mature thing (HAHAHAHAHA) (not really, as you’ll soon see), and told him that SURE, I would be more than happy to comply with your request… if you tell me the truth about how you found my blog.

My feeling is that his discovery of my blog (back in the hardly-anyone-reads-me, I’m-basically-anonymous days) had to be a direct result of his nose being in places it didn’t belong, if you catch my drift, which in my mind spoke to larger issues of boundaries post-divorce and the difficulties we experienced therein. And he’d never owned up to it, instead offering an implausible and vague explanation that never sat right with me.

Basically my response was all AWWW FUCK YEAH, LET’S BOTH MAKE STUPID DEMANDS, THEN! Tit for tat! You want more kindness, TELL ME THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW UNKIND YOU WERE. (Stupid, all of it. I am embarrassed to share this story, not because of what he did, but because of how I handled it. But I think it’s important to be clear about what a jerk I was, too.) He offered up a couple more explanations—both just as vague and strange as the original explanation—and I eventually said, “Yeah, no. You don’t want to tell me, that’s fine. But I’m not changing it.”

The subject was dropped, with much grumbling on both sides. And really, I don’t even use that category anymore, so who cares? (My last post there was in 2008.)

As I got to thinking about this upcoming interview, and about blogging through something as sensitive as divorce and ALL OF THIS, I realized a few key things:

1) I think I may have eventually gotten it right, but I certainly didn’t have it right in the beginning. And I will definitely share that in the interview, because I think it’s an easy mistake to make.

2) How you share your reactions to other people in the name of “this is my story” absolutely IS your story—including maybe showing things about your own damn self you don’t even realize when you proceed without an appropriate measure of grace. Been there, done that. Once again: Someone else being a jerk doesn’t give you a free pass to be a jerk.

3) My bristling against being told what to do and/or censored is not, in the end, enough of a justification for a bad choice. And that category name was a bad choice; not just because of what it said about him, but because of what it tacitly said about ME. Maybe that was the person I was back in 2004 when I started this blog. It’s not the person I am today (or at the very least it’s not the person I WANT TO BE today). So I changed it.

In summary (2000 words later; GOD SHUT UP ALREADY, MIR), I’m still learning, still growing, still trying to get it “right,” but at the end of the day, I’m human, I make mistakes. I can’t change the past, but I can acknowledge and learn from stupid things I did. So that’s what I’m trying to do.

42 Responses to “Shut up, hindsight”

  1. 1
    Lou January 16, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Where’s the interview?

  2. 2
    Mir January 16, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Hasn’t happened yet. Will let you know where to find it once it’s available.

  3. 3
    Arnebya January 16, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    I think we all deserve credit for evolving and learning from our mistakes even when at the time YOU ASSHOLE, I’MA SHOW YOU! Even when it’s not purposeful, even when we don’t intend to hurt someone, we’re just working through our emotions/venting our frustrations, it behooves us to remember that there is another person/other people involved. Sometimes it’s hard as hell determining what part of a story is MY story (can I write about our house being in foreclosure and not expect my husband’s friends to read it/comment on it/know about it?) Sometimes we just have to put ourselves above the fray and not allow emotion to control us. I respect you more for being able to admit that while yes, there was assholery involved, you made mistakes on how you handled it. And you’re still learning.

  4. 4
    Jessica January 16, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    Good luck on the interview!
    Blogging about marriage, good or bad, is SO fraught. My husband has worried he’s not a part of my life when he doesn’t show up in my posts even though it just means I’m trying to allow him a little privacy. You cannot win.

  5. 5
    Bob January 16, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    I’ve been here most if not all of those 9 years.

    I’ve never yet met the perfect person who always knows the right thing to say and the right thing to do. EVERYONE, given hindsight, has made choices they’re not proud of. I expect Gandhi and the Dali Lama could say the same thing.

    Point is – you were the same sweet, good, person then that you are now. That hasn’t changed. Everyone (I hope) matures and becomes better at being a human being the older they get – life happens and we learn from it and apply those lessons to how we live our lives in the future.

    There is no reason to beat yourself over the head for the past. It is what got you to who you are today, after all. And these people wouldn’t want to interview the perfect person – who could relate to them? I expect the people who will see your interview will see – and learn – that they too could have the same happy outcome that you have.

    You did do it right, because you were always trying to do it right. That is the person you are, and that is the person they should interview.

  6. 6
    StephLove January 16, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    I’m glad you changed it. I don’t even remember what is was, actually, but I remember it bothered me a little as a child of divorce myself.

    And I have noticed how much better you two seem to co-operate these days under really very trying circumstances. It’s a testament to both of you how you pulled together in a crisis.

  7. 7
    NTE January 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    Excellent work, I think, Mir, discussing how difficult it is to “get it right”, even when you’re trying. Because there are so many ways that telling your own story (and all the FEELS associate with hard times) can be wrapped up in other people’s stories, too. It’s a tough line to walk, and I appreciate you saying that you didn’t always manage to do what you think is your best. And good luck on your interview!

  8. 8
    Janet January 16, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    There are many times I’m thankful I don’t have a blog because I would have a difficult time not snarking on my ex-husband. I appreciate your sentiments and what you’re trying to say about how you’ve changed, but part of this post seems to still be making jabs at your ex– calling him a jerk and saying he found out about your blog by sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong.

  9. 9
    Lucinda January 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    I’ve been reading you for at least 8 of those 9 years (God has it really been that long?). I remember how angry you were with your ex at the time and I noticed a mellowing out over the years as you worked through the pain of the divorce and parenting with someone you no longer loved. But throughout all of it, you always have come across as a kind, caring, deeply devoted mother who was hurt badly when her marriage fell apart. Any “jerkiness” you displayed was to be expected. So while I agree that you may not have always made the best choices early on in regard to what you wrote, don’t be too hard on yourself now. It was always clear you were doing the very best you could at the time and your very best has always been inspiring. I was in a pretty dark place when I first found your blog and it provided encouragement to me as I worked through my own stuff. See, it’s okay to show less than perfection.

  10. 10
    deva at deva by definition January 16, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Good luck with the interview.

    I agree about hindsight. When I was 19 (8 years ago), I blogged some truly hurtful things, publicly and I am still working on getting forgiveness for those actions. Hindsight is a bee-yotch. but I think it helps us moving forward.

  11. 11
    Mir January 16, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Janet, I believe I spent a lot more of this post referring to myself as a jerk, and any references to, uh, his jerkiness are past-tense. But this brings up a good example: I still feel like it’s fair to say, “Hey, boundary issues were something we struggled with post-divorce” because that is part of my story, and it’s very different than saying “he stalked me.” (Relax! Not saying he stalked me! Using that as an example!)

    The fact that even in explaining how I recognize and own the mistakes I made and feel like I’ve worked hard to be more respectful still draws a criticism like this tells me that either there’s more work I need to do, or there’s no pleasing everyone. Likely a little of each. ;)

  12. 12
    My Kids Mom January 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    You know, when you use “a 1,000-word block of text” to say what (maybe) could be said in 15 words, we enjoy reading it. Your thought patterns evolve from paragraph one to paragraph end. I can see that you still struggle with describing your ex and have conflicting feelings over all of this. That’s what makes you an enjoyable human to watch through the bars of this izoo!

    I find that I’m a very limited blogger because my main readers are people who know me in real life. I’d enjoy getting snarky about some of them but can’t. It limits the topics I’ll delve into. But maybe that is for the best.

  13. 13
    Kate January 16, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    Way to grow, Mir!

  14. 14
    Heather January 16, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Bob’s (number 5 response) words are excatly what i was thinking!

    Experiences are what make us wise. Yet, we have to learn from those experiences to truely make use the wiser… or something like that!

  15. 15
    js January 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Ok, ok…I admit it. The very first thing I did was check to see what the category regarding your ex was called. I am not above being petty and immature yet even if I am OLD and WISE now. I am also not above calling an assh*&e an assh%$e when the situation warrants it. I have read your blog from the very beginning and sometimes, the situation did. Though I am an internet stranger, I sympathize with your situation SO MUCH. It is so hard to go through something and need to put it in words so you can make sense of it and realize later that in trying to grow from that life experience, you may have failed to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent. My daughter will never know all the reasons why her father and I didn’t work and she doesn’t need to. But I need to know the why, to examine it and take it apart, so that I can move on, move forward and not make the same mistakes again. I think that is all you were trying to say, even then.

  16. 16
    Mary January 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Ooooh. I really appreciate this. I’m new to blogging and as I move along in the never ending process of “figuring things out”, I’ve been struggling with what, how much, and how to share. It’s tricky when your blogging and worldview comes from recent and/or current adversity involving other people. I feel compelled to share that story and all of my “why’s” – but it’s hard to keep the focus just on me and my actions/reactions. Yep, tricky.

    I definitely go by the test of thinking how someone would feel reading about themselves on my blog. And sometimes I’ll ask permission first. Sometimes. It’s tricky.

  17. 17
    CuriousCat January 16, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    I’ve been reading you pretty much this whole time; you’d been blogging for a little while and I had to read back posts to catch up and then I stayed with you for awhile and then left for awhile. Then I came back and found you had married Otto and I was all….whaaat? when did that happen and THEN I had to go back AGAIN and catch up and so from that point on, I’ve stayed current. (Which begs the question, is it you or is it Otto that made me stay current? ah ha ha ha!)

    Mostly, what I remember about the earlier posts is 1) thinking your ex was an asshat and 2) thinking you were being very bitter and 3) thinking asshat or not, bitter or not, you both loved those kids an awful, awful lot. I think your early posts were more of the “I have a story to tell and if I don’t tell it to someone, right now, I’m going to lose my mind!” Those tend to be more emotional and less thoughtful, no matter who the blogger.

    I used to blog myself and I wasn’t much good at tempering my words, but then, that was the reason I was blogging. Then, my beloved died 4 years ago and I poured out a lot of stuff about him and about us and my posts became huge swells of grief and loss. After a time, I realized I just didn’t have it in me anymore to write….anything.

    Slowly, I am starting to write more and I am entertaining the thought of blogging again. If I do, it will be completely anonymous, so that I can say what I want, without regard to someone or anyone else’s feelings. Well, we’ll see. I don’t get a whole lot done these days, so it may never come to pass.

    I swear, I believe I have you beat in using 2000 words to say what just a few could do: I read your blog because you are honest, thoughtful, humorous and true. You’re not perfect, but I like you, if that means anything.

  18. 18
    Missy M January 16, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    As a divorced woman – mother, I love what you’ve said today. I call that “me being a jerk” thing just me “proving how human I am”. I enjoy your blog and your insight into life.

  19. 19
    Sheila January 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Brava.

  20. 20
    Redneck Mommy January 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    You were one of the very first bloggers I ever read, seven years ago, just months after my son died. You were real and honest and imperfect and I needed that so very much.

    I’ve changed so much since then, as have you and yet, here I am, still reading and still grateful to have found you.

    Imperfections and mistakes are what make us interesting. Your ability to share them with us, with grace and humility, makes you one of my favourites.

  21. 21
    TC January 16, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    I wonder, though–and this is not to say you should or should not have done X, Y, or Z with your blog–whether you would ever have become a Hot Internet Commodity if you had always taken an appropriately adult and considered stance re your ex or whatever else you worry you need to tone down in your writing.

    Please know: I agree with the decisions you’ve made, wholeheartedly. But I will also say that, these days, I read a whole lot fewer of the blogs of people who no longer talk about their kids/their relationships/etc in full because they realize (again, rightly) that they don’t really have the right to tell all the parts of those stories. You’ve managed to straddle that divide between truthfulness and privacy beautifully, but many other people haven’t. When people only write about their relationships as rosy, and their kids as cute and funny and sweet and thoughtful, it makes me either start to wonder about what it is that I’ve done wrong that my own life sucks so much in comparison or it makes me assume they’re lying through their teeth. And I’m not interested in either of those things from the people I give my limited reading time to.

    The above is lots of rambling, and no really useful info. Hey, kinda like my own (sadly sporadic) blogging! ;-) But it was what was going through my mind as I read this well-thought-out entry. And, frankly, there’s no way to do a controlled experiment in which Mir goes back in time and does everything “right” and then we compare readerships! But I wonder if you yourself have wondered about how things would be different today if you’d done things differently back then.

  22. 22
    karen January 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Way to grow indeed :-)

  23. 23
    Rocky Mountain Woman January 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    maturity, it’s a wonderful concept…

    you do the best you can with what you know/have at the time.

  24. 24
    Kristin January 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    That’s life for ya. Gives you perspective. And that’s a good thing, that you can recognize that.

  25. 25
    Morgaine Fey January 16, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    For the record, I always thought the old title was hilarious.

    I can’t believe I have been reading your blog for as long as I have (freaking 8 years?? WOW); not because you are not terrific, but because most people seem to go away after so long. You have not gone away, you have continued to evolve and learn and just be the best Mir you can be.

    You are the best you can be. Perspective slaps us all, especially when we write in the heat of a moment. Keep on, keeping on and kick arse on the interview!

    ~Morgaine~

  26. 26
    Sassymonkey January 16, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    I’ve been reading you for um… 7 years? I think? And I kind of feel like thank goodness none of us are really the same bloggers or people we were then. Not because there was anything wrong with the people we were but rather that when we do this blogging thing, we’re recording our journey. The journey *should* change us. Wouldn’t it be a sad thing if we were the same people we then?

    None of us get it right all the time. Sometimes we’ll be jerks. It’s part of the journey. We are more connected by our foibles than by any of our perceived moments of perfection.

  27. 27
    Shannon January 16, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    Love this. Thank you.

  28. 28
    ML January 16, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    I need to copy your last paragraph and read it to myself about 50 times a day. Onward!

  29. 29
    Liza January 17, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    I’ve been around for 6 or 7 of those years, so I missed a lot of the angry, early posts. But. I think they were an honest part of your journey. And I think that what we appreciate about you is the honesty of your voice. Sure, reasonable minds may differ on any given one of the choices, but they are part of what took you from there to here.

  30. 30
    Brigitte January 17, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    If it helps, I can only remember one specific rant (which I felt was deserved), and since I can’t remember the rest, they MUST have been normal venting . . and not nearly as bitter, nasty and immature as I’d probably be in a similar situation. But I’ll stay out of that, and just sit over here chuckling to myself, remembering posts about a certain horrible ex-boyfriend . . who returned and became a much-beloved husband!
    ;-D

  31. 31
    Janet January 17, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    Mir, your blogging definitely changed (for the better) so please file my comment above under no pleasing everyone. Your reply was very gracious.

  32. 32
    Valerie January 17, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    You are an inspiration because you are beautiful and flawed. You persevere and keep writing, always growing, always checking yourself and always trying to be better. I have not been able to write through my difficulties, and I so admire your ability to be honest and open and embrace yourself and make fun of yourself. That is the defining characteristic that makes you so endearing — you are real. If I was posting more today, I know it would be the of the “holiday newsletter variety” and I can’t stomach that crap when life is not feeling all warm and rosy. So thank you Mir for providing the incentive I need on a very personal level to ‘get real’ and see how it should be done, because that is very much what I see and aspire to be.

  33. 33
    CuriousParty January 17, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Mir, I think maybe you’re confusing “doing it right” with “doing it perfectly”, which is not the same thing. In my opinion, anyway. I have never met anyone who does anything perfectly – though I have met people who think they do, or at least want me to think they do, and generally those people are the antithesis of what I think of as “doing it right.” In my opinion, “doing it right” includes making mistakes, acknowledging those mistakes, and course-correcting as best you can. You do those things, and so you are doing “it” right – all of the “it”s – motherhood, marriage, divorce, writing, life. You are learning, which is never bad, but does involve usually some mess and occasionally some pain. Very occasionally (I hope) clusters of mess and pain like 2013 has been for your family.

    On another note, I am also in a professional space where I am anticipating/planning/fearing expanding my reach and public “face” and am also excited/nervous/terrified/convinced I will be exposed as a fraud. Thanks for making me feel not so very alone in this space.

    Good luck on the interview.

  34. 34
    Karen January 17, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    I have always admired how you handle things on your blog. I enjoy your writing style very much. I have also admired what a great mother your are. I was not around at the time you were writing about your divorce but I can’t imagine that it would be easy at any rate to keep it off your blog. I think you have learned from your “mistakes” and have grown alot. Keep up the good work.

  35. 35
    Kristi January 17, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Good grief! It can’t be that I’ve been reading you for almost eight years! That is crazy! But you had me at word one, and I stay because of those 2000 words later. You just have a way. One of the most introspective people I “know”, for sure. And whether you get it right or wrong, what is more important is that it is honest and full of feeling. Keep on, Mir. Keep on.

  36. 36
    Celeste January 17, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Mir, I just want you to know that I discovered your blog when I was going through my divorce a few years ago. Back then, I went back and read previous years of your posts. I found it very heartening to see how YOU went through the whole thing, and it made me less afraid. Because I was afraid, both of how my kids would come through it, and how I would survive.

    My kids are older than yours, and are very internet savvy, so there are some things I would love to discuss about the whole thing that I just can’t. Even in comments on other people’s blogs. But even if you did, and even if you didn’t do it perfectly, you did handle it with grace. Because you got specific about some of the nitty gritty things, it made it clear (to me, at least) that a person COULD come through the nitty gritty experiences and come out ok on the other side.

  37. 37
    Aimee January 17, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    Wow. Okay, so first of all, I think that acknowledging mistakes is such a huge part of growth. I honestly can’t remember how long I’ve been reading — probably 5 of 6 years at least, and I remember when I first found you I went back and read all of your archives. I have seen and marveled at the growth, and in many ways you are an inspiration to me.

    I’m thinking of starting a blog myself. It’s not about divorce, but it IS about a major life upheaval and I know there are some things I need to really think about before I make that leap. I can’t wait to hear your interview, and even just reading this post today has given me a heads-up on some things to look out for. Prior bitterness and less-than-ideal-category-name aside, you rock, lady.

  38. 38
    Jenne January 17, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    Ah, divorce . . . .one of those personal growth methods that just sucks for a long time, then you take away valuable lessons, then you wish you could bury the evidence of the first several post-divorce years like a mob wife gone rogue.

    People grow, change and evolve. Just as the chilluns grow into whole little people with their own thoughts and opinions, so do the parents.

    No one is perfect, and anyone who claims to be is living in utter terror of having their skeletons exposed to the world.

    You have done the bravest thing I can imagine, and put yourself, and your life, out there for all the world to absorb, and reflect on, and decide if they are going to become more compassionate (and buy tampons in bulk!) or just continue to be narrow-minded and judgmental.

    And I thank you, and look forward to your continued inspiration to wisdom and grace.

    Sending love :)

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    Tracy B January 17, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    And this is why the name of your blog is perfect! Sometimes, you just have to call a duck a duck. It’s life. And I’m so glad that you outlined what you were going to share on your interview because I was thinking all along to that point is to just share the Do’s and the Don’ts. That’s why they want to interview someone that has “been there and done that!”

    And now, I have to say, it’s going to bug the beejeezey out me trying to remember the name of the category. :)

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    M&Co. January 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    You have kind of hit the nail on the head about why I quit writing as much. My children got older. I wrote about them a lot. Their stories really weren’t my stories to tell. I could never find a good balance. I didn’t ever want to write anything that would embarrass them. I’d made some poor choices in some of the subjects I’d written about. I wondered if any future employers would find them and it might create a problem. I was never as wildly popular as you are but I had a following of sorts. But I couldn’t create the balance I could live with. I admire you that you have.

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    Zuska January 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Okay, since this post made me actually go look at all your category names, it also somehow got me thinking about a specific, really old, post that always stayed with me. I even remembered the exact name of it, and looked it up. Turns out it was back in 2005!!! Anyway, it was a layered post – if your readers didn’t pay close attention, they might just be charmed by the story of your trip to the grocery store with your duo. But it was about SO MUCH MORE than that. But the depth didn’t hit me until later, and after I had already left a light and breezy comment on your post. Then, later, I was all “Duh!!! how did I miss the symbolism?” and I meant to either send you an email or add a second comment on that post, neither of which I did. So … I am now.

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    Tammy January 20, 2013 at 3:19 am #

    Well it’s good to hear that even after all this time, you’re still not getting it right. I’m in a very big “doing it wrong” period, and it’ been feeling kinda lonely. So thanks.

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