A few days ago, the lovely Jennifer from The Psychobabble let me know she was tagging me for a Neno award. I’m always flattered to receive any sort of recognition from my fellow bloggers. But I sat on this one because the ‘rules’ of it state you have to post about why you blog.
I was struggling with answering that question.
Why do I blog? I know it’s not for glory. It’s certainly not for money. I do use my blog as a place to vent, a place to update friends and family on my life. But that’s still not the ‘why’ behind the blogging.
Well tonight it hit me full in the face.
That right there. That is why I blog, why I share, why I write.
Because if I can help one person expand their point of view, understand people a little more deeply, be not so quick to judge, then all the time I spend putting my words down is worth it. If I can help one parent advocate for their child, find new ways of dealing with their issues, or offer them solace in the knowledge that they aren’t alone, then I will continue to write and share.
A big thanks to The Psychobabble for giving it to me and making me pause to consider this. Sometimes it’s good to stop and remember the why behind the what.
The aims of this award:
- As a dedication for those who love blogging activity and love to encourage friendships through blogging.
- To seek the reasons why we all love blogging!
Here are the rules of the award:
- Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.
- Don’t forget to mention the person who gives you the award.
- Answer the award’s question by writing the reason why you love blogging.
- Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like.
- Don’t forget to notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.
And so I am choosing to tag the following people:
- PB and Jazz for writing a post that warmed my heart (and made me cry a little)
- Messponential for being real and telling it like it is
- Heart My Chloe for being brave and strong. And hawt. Can’t forget hawt.
- The Mommy Tsunami for her Intentional Happiness 365 project. We should all be so inspired
And for everyone reading, what makes you blog? What inspires your passion for writing?
For the past couple of months there has been an elephant in the room. Everywhere I turn, there it is. I try to avoid looking it in the eye. It sees and looks away. I avoid talking to it. It walks to the corner and sits down. But still, there it is.
And I’m tired of it.
I’m tired of skirting the issue. I’m tired of talking in double speak. I’m tired of innuendos, allegations, comments, blah, blah, blah. I’m sick of it.
I’ve been playing along, keeping my distance. But this isn’t who I am. I’m not a sheep to follow a crowd.
Anyone who knows me knows that I will always tell you want I think. I’m blunt to the point of being brutal. But at least you never have to guess where I stand. Yet, for the past few months everyone has been guessing, questioning, wondering what I think of this elephant in the room.
You want it? Well here it is.
There I said her name.
OMG. I said it again. Are you still reading? Great.
Yes, Nic and I were friends before the drama. Yes, we created and hosted Blog Her @ Home together. Which, by the way, I’ve been asked several times why I haven’t removed her from that site. Why? Because Blog Her @ Home was not my idea. It was not my brain child. It was hers. And you want me to remove her from a site that she conceived? Why? What purpose would that serve?
Everyone wants to know what I know. I know what you know. No more, no less. I don’t have some magical insider information. Nic has not changed her story about what happened, just because she’s talking to me. She has continued to stand by what she says happened to her. That has not changed through any conversation I’ve had with her.
Nic and I have spent hours going round and round about what she believes and what I believe happened. Yes. Those are two different things.
But the reality is I’m faced with a friend. Is she dramatic? Sure. That’s who she is. She’s never apologized or made excuses for that. But she is someone who has been there for me. Who has spent hours on the phone with me while I cried over whatever my latest life crisis was. Who has been there to offer her support when I needed it most.
And in the past few months she’s really needed a friend. And where was I? Not there. Yup, pretty crappy, eh?
I was the one standing in judgment of her. Standing with hands on my hips saying “I don’t believe you. PROVE IT”. Demanding an explanation. A reason. A rationalization for what had occurred. Throwing accusations. Screaming at the top of my lungs “YOU OWE IT TO US”. Owe. Owe for what? Payment for a debt? Because we made the choice to tweet, post, blog, whatever? And we’re embarrassed by what happened and therefore we make it her problem. “I believed you, therefore you owe me.”
But what happens when she believes herself?
Trust me when I say we’ve talked about it from every angle.
Truth, lies, reality, fiction, sane, mentally ill, this disorder, that disorder. And still, we’re no closer to being on the same page. And we never will be. Ever.
And there it is.
So the decisions I have to make is this: How important is this to me? Is it worth the cost of a friendship? And do I have a right to stand in judgment.
That last one what the big one. And something I only just realized. And what prompted me to write this.
Who am I to stand here and judge her?
Even if I thought she was completely lying and made the whole thing up (no, that’s not what I think), have I never, ever embellished a story? Never lied about anything? Ever? I wish I could say I hadn’t but the truth is, of course I have in my life time. No, none of the stories on this blog are fabrication or embellishment. Unfortunately I have enough drama in my life, I can write fact and that’s enough.
In our last conversation, Nic asked me what I wanted. She can’t change how I view the events. That’s my reality. I wasn’t there, so I can only go by what I think happened. But what do I want. If I say I want the truth? Well she has given me what she believes to be the truth. But I don’t like that truth. So whose problem is that? Hers or mine?
Most of us have been trying to make that her problem. I don’t like what you’re telling me, so give me a different story. But she won’t because she can’t. And so it goes.
Let me lay bare what I do believe. I believe that Nic believes what happened to her. She has owned it. That is not going to change. If you don’t like that truth then I can’t help you.
I need to start owning what I believe. And if that costs me friends / followers / influence so be it.
I don’t blog to make money. I don’t blog because I’m trying to be the latest up-and-comer.
The fact is, I blog because I enjoy the people I’ve met and the connections I’ve made.
As flamboyant, outrageous, and in-your-face as she is, Nic is one of those people.
There are lots of things her and I don’t see eye-to-eye on. This isn’t the first and won’t be the last.
But I’ve decided to stop imposing my expectations, insecurities, and judgments on her, and just be a friend again.
UPDATE: I’ve closed comments on this post. I don’t feel anything more can be said that hasn’t already been said, and rehashing events we have no control over serves no purpose at this point.
I spent most of the day attached to my computer and Blackberry, fielding the same question over and over and over and over. Email, DM, chat, phone calls. But I couldn’t answer it. Because it was the same one I was asking myself.
I still don’t know the answer.
It’s so hard when you want so badly to believe something and you can’t.
I am disappointed. I am hurt. I am wondering why someone who called herself my friend reached out to everyone but me, despite my attempts to reach her by email and phone.
I would have backed her up, if there was something to back up. And perhaps that is the crux of the matter. She knows me well enough to know I don’t follow blindly, friend or not. I question everything. Just part of my nature.
Why would the TSA spend that much time and effort digitally altering a video? (Those of you who think you can take video, with the quality of CCTV, magically alter it have been watching too much CSI)
If the video was somehow altered, where are the tears? The hysterics? The sobbing? Can they magically change faces to show a calm person instead?
How someone who has completely destroyed their knee and is taking Vicodin for the pain can walk without a limp, and stand with a baby on your hip and all the weight on that leg.
These are questions I need answers to before I’ll be able to change my opinion.
And this is exactly that. My opinion. I own it. And I stand by it.
It doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it, though. It doesn’t mean I have to like it. It doesn’t mean I don’t desperately wish there was something that could make me believe otherwise.
**If you have no idea what this post is about, trust me when I say you don’t want to. Just walk away and forget you ever read it**
I’m the first to admit I fall into the dreaded pity party trap on occasion. Woe is me. My life is so tough. Blah, blah, blah.
One thing snaps me out of that in an instant.
A call from my friend Lee.
Lee and Mark are our next door neighbors. And to say they are amazing people is an understatement. You see, last spring their entire world was completely changed in an instant when their then 7 year old daughter, Nat, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Then came the confirmation… the words that no parent wants to hear: “We’re sorry, but it’s malignant”
I was in shock when I heard. Little Nat used to regularly come over and visit, spending time sitting on my front porch with me, cooing over how much she loved Vista. Could this same little girl that made me laugh and smile really have brain cancer? Really?
But instead of falling into the pity party, their family banded together and fought. The challenges they faced would fill this entire page. And yet they smiled. They laughed. And they did what they could to stay positive.
A year later, Nat is finally out of the hospital and starting back at school. But it’s not over. You don’t have multiple brain surgeries, radiation, chemo, and a million other drugs without after effects. But I have never, ever, once heard Nat complain. She is confident she’s getting better and that confidence is infectious.
Now that they’re home, instead of just returning to regular life (as regular as life can be after a traumatic, life changing event like that), they’ve decided to put themselves out there and do what they can to give back.
They spend their weekends at fundraising events for the Children’s Hosptial and Ronald McDonald House, and speak to raise awareness about childhood cancer. They put themselves out there to support others going through this in the hopes that, one day, no one will ever have to go through this again.
How can I possibly feel bad about anything in my life, when I have friends like this living next door?
My relationship with my husband is far from equal. No, this isn’t going to be one of those “My husband doesn’t do anything around the house, and he never helps look after the kids” post. Just the opposite. To say I’m spoiled is putting it mildly.
I’m grateful for what I have. Bil’s lucky enough to have a job that allows me to stay at home with Vista. He doesn’t expect me to clean the house and have dinner on the table when he gets home. Instead he encouraged me to hire a cleaner to come in once a week (OK, I admit it. Keeping house was never my forte, even before we had a kid. I am a complete slob. I was an utter disappointment to my OCD neat freak mother). He’ll also often pick up dinner fixings on his way home from work and then play with Vista so I can cook in peace.
So, yeah, I have things pretty darn good.
When Mother’s Day rolled around this year he went out and bought me a spa package gift certificate. A massage, pedicure, and facial… pure heaven. But, Bil being Bil, figured I’d enjoy it more if my best friend came with me. Knowing my friend’s on a tighter budget, he bought her a gift certificate as well. So the gift was for me and my best friend to spend the day at the spa together. Pretty awesome. But it gets better. Since I’ve never spent a night away from Vista since she’s been born, the plan was for my friend and I to spend the day at the spa, go out for a nice dinner, spend the night in a nice quiet hotel room, and come home the next morning. All courtesy of my amazing husband.
I’ve been jazzed about doing this. So when my friend came over for coffee this afternoon I asked her about a date so I could book the spa. She’d been not quite herself through the whole visit, so I knew something was up. She informed me that she would still go do the spa day with me, but the dinner and the night at relaxing at a hotel was out of the question. Her budget wouldn’t allow it. I tried to explain to her that this was my gift from Bil and there was nothing to pay for but she wouldn’t have it.
She informed me that our friendship was becoming too ‘uneven’ and she didn’t like the feeling of inequality between us, because she couldn’t reciprocate. End of discussion. I understand where she’s coming from. I know what it’s like to stress about money. That feeling of not being sure you can make ends meet, picking which bills are actually going to get paid, hoping you have enough for groceries. I’ve been there. More than once. When you’re in that situation, money is everything and you don’t want to feel like you owe people. I get it. I tried to explain to her that just having her come spend the day with me and help me keep my sanity is reciprocation enough. But she won’t budge.
I’m crushed. I was so looking forward to a real girl’s night out. I need this break. So now what? Do I find someone else to go with me? But I was really looking forward to spending that time with my friend.
I wish there wasn’t this part of the human psyche that tries to insist that relationships (including friendships) must be exactly even, and anything outside of that means you’re beholden to that person. It’s this mentality that causes one-upmanship and ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ syndrome.
I just wish my friend could see that my gift to her might be a day at the spa and an evening at the hotel without kids, but her gift of friendship, good conversation, and the opportunity to spend time with her is worth far, far more in my books.