While everyone is celebrating the new year and making their resolutions, I’ve decided I want to approach 2018 a little differently. Sure, I have goals, but I’m not going to talk about them. Instead I’m going to focus on what’s working for me from 2017 and continue down that path. My blogging was a little sporadic in 2017, and I’m not sure I ever made it really clear on what my goals and intentions were with writing this blog. I liked the direction I was going in 2017, so instead of new year, new me you’re getting new year, same me!
In December, I experienced my first two negative comments about my blog. The first one was an anonymous comment on my post “How Having Sex as a Teenager Changed Me.” That comment brought up a lot of emotions for me. My initial reaction was actually pride. I thought to myself that if anyone cared enough to read my blog and actually leave a comment telling me my feelings were wrong, then I might just be doing something right. But then after a mix of back and forth emotions, my last reaction was to explain things just a little bit more. Hence this blog post.
The second negative experience was a little more eye opening. This person called my blog weird, told me I shared way too many personal details, and that I was out of touch with reality. Since I knew a little bit about this person and what they had been through, I could understand why they thought my experiences weren’t that bad. But this conversation made me realize that I need to be a lot more vocal about my point of writing these experiences.
Ok, so what’s the point?
My life is pretty good. I come from a stable two-parent Mormon home. My mom stayed home with my siblings and I, and was always there before and after school. My dad worked hard his whole life to make sure we never went without. No one close to me has died. I haven’t experience abuse or rape. I had the opportunity to attend a good college and get an education. My jobs have been good and I even had the opportunity to start this blog.
But despite all that, I still struggle. I’ve gone through things that are hard for me. Someone else might look at those things and think they were nothing compared to what they went through. But that’s the beauty of us all having our own personal struggles. We are all experiencing different things because that’s what we need to go through in life to grow. And it’s completely up to us to determine how we feel about those experiences.
Feelings are complicated. I barely understand my own feelings, so how would it be possible for me to understand someone else’s? It’s easy, I don’t. But that doesn’t mean that mine or anyone else’s feelings are wrong.
So again, what’s the point of writing this blog? I want everyone to know it’s ok to feel however you want about your own life and circumstances. There are so many organizations and programs out there to help people who have suffered from death, illness, rape, abuse, and so on. And sometimes those voices are loud. Sometimes those voices try and make you feel like you have no right to your feelings if you haven’t experienced exactly what they have. Those voices make you feel like your problems don’t mean anything.
But they do. You don’t have to have had something major happen to you to learn and grow. Sometimes the simplest experiences are the ones that are going to shape you. And how you feel about the life you have, well that’s completely up to you and don’t you let anyone tell you differently.
* New year, same me was written with inspiration from Finding40. See more of her story and the reason behind the Courag(ass) and Fabul(ass) tees here.
Photos by Future Films US.