Can I just be really honest with you tonight? You know what one of the hardest parts about blogging has been for me?
It’s that some readers want me to be perfect.
I know they’d probably never say out loud, “I expect you to be perfect,” but if I admit that I failed at something or am struggling with something, they are disappointed and they voice that disappointment.
Here’s the thing: I understand that part of blogging in a public forum is the fact that I’m choosing to let people into my life. I’m choosing to open up myself and our family and our choices to other people’s really honest opinions.
I get that. And I own that.
But at the same time, in the past, it’s held me back from sharing candidly about certain topics that I’d really like to blog about. Why? Because I know that writing about certain topics means other people are going to voice their opinions over my decisions and or be disappointed in my short-comings.
More and more, though, I’m becoming okay with it. Because I realize that it’s exhausting to try to please everyone.
I don’t have it altogether.
I sometimes yell at my kids.
I get frustrated with my husband.
I don’t always want to make meals from scratch.
I sometimes (usually?) let my laundry pile up way too high.
I’m often running late.
I have many moments where I feel so very inadequate to be sharing anything in a blog post or a book or on a stage because I feel like I’m such a mess myself.
A few days ago, I wrote a post about quitting my cutting back on caffeine goal for this month. I know it was the right decision and most of you cheered me on in it or even expressed relief that I gave up my lofty goal.
A few people weren’t so thrilled with me. They wrote in annoyed that commentors would be supportive of me and a some even strongly chided me for not following through with my goal.
I’m sure these readers meant well, but in each case, they didn’t know me or my family personally. In addition, they didn’t know that the next few weeks are some of the fullest weeks I’ll probably have all year long (we have multiple trips + some big projects to complete) and I can’t be dragging or running on weird sleep patterns. I have to do what’s best for my family and myself and I have follow my own advice to give myself grace — even if it means that I disappoint a few readers.
What I’m learning, though, is that when I share my short-comings and struggles, I may disappoint a few people. But ultimately, I will encourage many, many more people.
It helps others know that they aren’t alone in their struggles. We’re in this together.
We’re learning right along with each other. We’re stumbling. We’re falling down. We’re making mistakes. And we’re here to encourage each other to get back up, keep pressing forward, keep doing the best you can do with the time and resources we have.
And here’s the truth: I’d rather disappoint a few people and be a completely honest and authentic blogger who shares my struggles and success than try to pretend like I have it altogether and make the majority of people feel like they can’t measure up.
None of us have it altogether. None of us are perfect. But we can all learn from each other, inspire each other, and cheer each other on — in both our struggles and successes.
When we are honest and authentic with each other, we are all stronger for it. Who’s with me?