18 August 2017

It's Time to Admit I Have a Fear.


I've never told anyone outside of my immediate family I blog.

For those unfamiliar with my four and a half years of blogging journey: this is my first blog. I used to write under a nom de plume for awhile for the sake of privacy and the freedom of writing whatever I want, and over the years I've accumulated so much confidence as a writer and as a person. It wasn't until this year that I revealed my actual name and stepped into the limelight, and while I'm incredibly proud of what I've accomplished both in and out of the online world, this suffocating feeling of revealing the blogging part of myself, an aspect I've coddled away from the blogging world for almost five years, downright terrifies me.

There have been close calls over the years. A group of girls in middle school kept teasing me over the blog, and long story short, they dropped it after some time. This is most likely where my fear of blog sharing stems from. My huge group of friends also revealed they knew I blogged since my browser opened up to Blogger ninety percent of the time, and after many months trying to bog me down with the URL and getting no response, they've moved on. People from my math class ask where I publish my writing and I stay lip sealed. I'd always reply Blogger is used for coding when prompted to defend myself, but this secret of mine had been kept under wraps, and I'm all right with this arrangement.

Senior year is coming up, and perhaps younger me is saying, "Wow! You should just tell everyone you blog! They'll love it! It'll be all smiles and happily ever after!"

It's sweet and hopeful, and in some ways I am still the optimistic I was five years ago, but if I had to undergo this situation realistically with that optimism... Probably not.


As artists, there's the stigma of being afraid to share what we create with others simply for the fear of being judged. In fact,  judgement is the main benefactor when narrowing down the basis of most fears. "What if this is gets negative responses? What if people say that I suck and should burn all of my manuscripts?" Maybe not to the extent of that second one (because that's just a horrible troll looking for someone to react), but like all creators on the art or technical sides of the spectrum, fear is okay. Fear is inevitably part of the process. A ton of authors say once a book is published, it's not in their hands anymore, but the people's, and for some that is just shocking.

What's not okay is to expect the world the world to be perfect and treat the art we create with no ounce of malice armed towards ourselves when exposed to a larger audience. Blogging is considered an odd thing to do; if a person says they blogs, many automatically assume Tumblr and give weird looks which is not the case. I've submitted so many small pieces to various competitions and the like only to receive rejection letters, and this is only in the writing sense. Misunderstandings and confusion have enveloped much of my high school life to the point of just wanting to bundle up in bed and just hash it all out in writing, and while I acknowledge and accept this fear is there, it's not something I want to always face straight on.

The good news: ours fears can be worked on.

There have been times when I may have slipped in telling others about this little abode of mine I've created on the Internet. I've told two friends of mine at a writing conference, back when this blog was doused in a hot pink color scheme at the end of 2015, and accidentally blurted out the fact just recently in amidst of twenty other people I'd only recently been acquainted with at a meeting this past summer. Unlike the (unfortunate) scenario involving the three girls in middle school, the response was somewhat okay.



I still brace myself for negative comments, because I'll know they'll come racking in like a bulldozer. Even after this post years down the line this will still be something I will still need to work on, because some struggles are just hard to make go away entirely and getting to the point when they're fully "conquered" isn't a linear process. Some months things will get better only to falter negatively, then slowly hover at a bearable mark. To those dear friends whose limbs are immobilized, know that while this battle is daunting, we must learn to fight off the fears in my mind because we are the ones who must tame them, whether it be small the fear of staring into a person's eyes feeling vulnerable or big, like the fear of public speaking.

I am putting on thick skin. My courage has some bounds, and that is okay; I've decided to impart the info about my blog to close, trustworthy friends, the link and all, and whether or not they decide to read it is all up to them.

To real-life friends redirected to this post that have never seen this before: Hello! I hope you guys understand the reasons why I've never actually said anything about this little corner of mine where I write, and yes, this is also the reason why I have to stop us from eating whenever there is good food or there's a pretty plant in the garden that has no shade. Hopefully you don't mind my musings, and perhaps stay awhile?
Have you ever told anyone about your blog? How do you deal with the fear of negativity attacking your art? I start school on Monday-- when are you heading back to school? Do you like the new blog design and the mostly updated pages? Also, have you signed up for the yearbook yet?

48 comments:

  1. Hey, Abigail!

    I finally found your blog, and I must say, it is fantastic!

    I found it very difficult tell people on the blogging world my name, so I definitely understand. It can be hard. Your name is something that is just yours. My blog is also my little space, I really welcome people to read it, I just don't want them to know that it is me who is writting it. My dad is very not helpful, every person he sees he tells them all about my blog.

    You have wonderful things here, don't ever believe what trolls say!

    MovieCritic

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    1. Hi, Clare! It's so nice to finally interact in the blogging world outside of Rebellious Writing!

      Thank you so much! ^.^

      It's weird, because there were so many hints as to what my name actually was if one browsed through my post enough, but I had that same feeling to of my name being personal and what I'm called in real life and to see people in the blogging world just use it kind of feels off-kilter. My mom also does the same thing, proclaiming to the whole world I blog, and it takes forever to straighten things out. :P

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  2. *hugs you* This is such a hard subject Abby, NO ONE in "real life" knows about my blog. Not even my family, only a few of my nosy siblings (haha, they're sworn to secrecy). Especially when you blog about how you feel or reveal what you believe in or what you don't support it's tough. And it's happened, I have been verbally attacked and called a hypocrite or "goody two shoes" many times...living the life you believe in isn't always easy.

    So of course I get you, fear has been the same for me. But if there is one thing I know...that's that your a beautiful person with an honest heart that has impacted me. Fear doesn't die overnight, but you just faced that beast. So don't you stop girl <3 <3 <3

    xoxo

    P.S. Love the new blog look <3 :)

    Anna | www.worldthroughherheart.blogspot.com

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    1. *hugs back* I never actually admitted this before, but I've actually went through the same thing about not telling anyone including my immediate family I blogged. My dad saw Blogger as a Facebook or Twitter equivalent and banned me (using child restrictions) from going on there for some time, and it wasn't until 2015 that I ended up telling my parents. And gosh, I'm sorry that you had to go through all of those verbal attacks! It's really rough, isn't it?

      D'AWW you're such a sweet cinnamon roll. <3 And we won't stop, will we?

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  3. Some times I hate sharing my blog posts, as well... I refuse to link to it on social media if it has anything beyond fluff in it, for that very fact. And it feels like it kills me a little inside to know when people are reading it!!! But on the flip side... I love comparing stories AFTER people have read my thoughts, and I love spilling words!!! So I get this to a large extent- thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi, Bri! It's been awhile! ^.^ One of the main things I'm worried about as I'm going around leaving my blog link is just seeing how people react, because yes, the world can honestly be mean and have a major stink factor. >.< But if you have friends who can honestly give you earnest feedback and can continue on the conversation with you, it's just the most wonderful feeling. You're welcome!

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  4. ABBY!!!

    Oh my goodness. I am so, so proud of you. You had the courage to do something that I am still absolutely terrified to do, and I'm so proud.

    Also, your new design is absolutely gorgeous. I'm so excited for you!!! You have so many awesome things ahead of you. <3<3<3

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    1. GRACE ANNE!!! You are like the number one support in the blogging world. >.< This is still daunting (for reasons that you kind of know). My worst fear is someone ends up writing the comment, "Pikachu, you're design looks cool beans." BECAUSE THIS IS SOMETHING THEY'D SAY.

      So many awesome things coming up-- you bet! I've got so many good post ideas coming up, too; I've planned out what I'm writing for the rest of the year and I may use the spare moments of this weekend to hash out about five of them!

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  5. You're so brave, Abby! I haven't told a lot of my friends irl that I blog, because of that fear. <3
    In fact, last week one of my friends startled me, because he asked how my blog was going, and I couldn't believe he knew. Apparently my mom told his mom, who told him and gave him my URL... I had a slight panic attack, before I realized I shouldn't be ashamed of my little blog!

    Thanks for this post!!! <33

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    1. GAH! That sounds super daunting! I'm glad that he didn't react negatively! It's okay to not feel ready to share the blog to the world just yet and mending the bond between online and real life-- they don't necessarily need to touch, but if you do feel called to put those two parts together and you're ready after giving a ton of thought into it, then by all means, go for it! <3 <3

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  6. I love this post. I sometimes regret telling people I know that I have a blog, simply because I don't like getting teased or getting comments about it. But it hasn't been all bad, and I am grateful for the ones that do support me. It is so hard as a writer to share our work with others. It is very brave of you, Abigail. Keep up the good work! <3

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    1. Blog writing is one thing, but sharing my work is another-- I don't think anyone in real life has really read one full work from my writing except from an essay or sometimes just a small excerpt, because that fears still holds, but I do also have another good reason to involving competitions and submissions. I'm so glad you found your blogging tribe in those who aren't necessarily in the blogging world! You keep it up, too! (Especially your missions trip post: the experience just sounds so inspiring!!!)

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  7. I love this! I have a little trouble sharing my blog, too. My family sure doesn't though. :) Whenever they introduce me to someone they'll always be sure to add "she has a blog, too" or "she's a published author". XD Sometimes it's nice. ;)
    So far everyone has supported that I blog. It's not as bad as I thought.

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    1. Ack!!! I'd totally crawl under the nearest arc-like structure if one of my family members say that aloud (and to some of my friends who knew I blogged but not the URL, I've actually screamed and ducked underneath a chair). You shouldn't be afraid of claiming that you're a published author, Anika!!! I honestly think that sharing our blogs does usually have a supportive reaction, but then again: the fear factor kicks in. >.<

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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    2. Ha, my mom doesn't mind sharing either. :D Sometimes it IS nice to have someone else do the telling!

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    3. Haha, I do kind of see it! The pros and cons of someone else doing the telling!

      Pros: you don't get confronted right away and you do get a chance to hide!
      Cons: the chance for people hunting you down and talking about your blog ALL WHILE SEARCHING FOR A HIDING SPOT dramatically increase. *covers face*

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  8. I hate telling people about my blog, mostly because I'm so open and vulnerable on the web and I want to protect myself from everyone I know seeing that part of me. But I know that if I can talk to strangers about my beliefs and my experiences, I should be able to talk about it to the people who know me and love me and maybe don't understand why I am who I am. Thank you for being willing to share this part of your heart. <3

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    1. I'm honestly like that, too. Even now, with my name revealed and everything, I've made it my goal to post and share truthfully but not spill every single living detail of what I'm doing because that's kind of creepy and also a bit weird??? And in real life, I don't truly open up unless I'm comfortable chatting with the company I'm with. I think one of the fears that comes with revealing our craft is the fear of perception changing: will they think I'm weird or dumb? And if they honestly do love you and support you, then they should be willing to accept that aspect. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who struggles with this.

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  9. Love this, Abigail! I'm homeschool and thankfully have never felt insecure about many of my passions, but I enjoyed reading your thoughts and revelations on this. :)

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    1. I'm sometimes jealous of you homeschool people!!! xD You guys are by far some of the most confident people I've ever stumbled across, and certainly one of my favorite kind to chat to. I'm so happy you enjoyed this, Charis!!!

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  10. Oh my word Abby I love this post so much <3 You are so brave to put this out there.

    I can relate, too. I still stress and freak out whenever I have to share my blog posts on social media because I'm terrified of people reading what I've written. The self-doubt NEVER stops. But it's easier with people you don't know personally reading what you've written - friends and family are the worst! I hate when my blog comes up and a family member asks for the URL, etc, and I can barely look them in the eye because I feel so embarrassed. I feel like I'm a different person in real life than who I am online, and who I am online is the real me. And yet I'm terrified of people seeing that.

    Sorry for the essay!! Really amazing post :)

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    1. Aww, thank you, Amy. :D

      Vulnerability definitely comes into play often with art or just creating something you're really proud of, and that exposed feeling just feels strange, doesn't it? I get you when you talk about people you don't know personallly reading what you've written, because there's that sense of liberty of being able to write without being tethered down and when people you know get involved, you do feel that sense of being tied down. I don't think I can look people in the eye when talking about the URL, either-- again, vulnerability. But then again, staring into people's eyes is probably one of the most daunting things the universe has to offer.

      I actually love the essay! I love it when bloggers leave long comments, honestly-- it's one of my favorite things. ^.^

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  11. It's ok, Abby! You've made the first step by talking about it and introducing friends to it!

    I've been *slowly* telling people that I blog. Most of my immediate family knows and some of my closest friends know. This summer was the first time that I revealed that I blog to strangers - my coworkers. Granted, since most were guys, they shrugged it off, though some do ask about it still.

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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    1. Catherine, you are so brave. I don't think I can tell all of my friends all at once or to strangers all in one period-- I'd practically freak out. Your co-workers who ask about your blog every once in awhile and are genuine about it sounds super amazing! O.o

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  12. I'm so proud you had the courage to share your blog with some of your close friends. I completely understand the fear of showing a piece of your soul to people that could so easily judge or scorn. My blog has kind of become a way to subconsciously communicate how I'm feeling to the few people that I know that are close to me that read it.

    Your amazing spirit comes through so easily on this blog, I'm sure the people with whom you shared it will only grow to love you more. :)

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    1. I'm still kind of nervous about talking this step, but it is a step. I hope my blog also subconsciously communicates to some of my friends, too-- I say what I feel every so often, but there are some things I can't put into actual coherent words unless I write it down.

      I really hope so. >.<

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  13. Oh girl yes! I think most of my friends know that I blog and write, but I have given veryveryvery few people the privilege of actually seeing it and reading my posts. It's extremely hard to put our work out there, especially since blogging is my way of relieving stress, and I don't edit my posts a lot. I'm still working through whether or not to just let it all out for my friends and family. For fear of negative comments, but also because I'm afraid that it'll change the way I view blogging. idk. It's hard and I feel you. I hope you find the courage to share your work because it's great and definitely worth sharing. :)

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    1. Yes, Hannah! I'm honestly being the same, sharing the link to only a small amount of people. Blogging is our safe haven where we just write unfiltered and unedited-- this is the craft of blogging, and while it's messy it has its own beauty in its own way.

      I will say this, though-- if you are considering telling all of your friends and family, you're going to have to hold on tight and not let others' perceptions of you change the way you write. This is something you have to be dead set on. It's one of the things that's held me back from this decision for some time. If you want to share it with everyone, that's awesome! But if you feel like it may hinder the way you write, don't share it, and continue sharing it with close friends. Don't feel ashamed if you stay with the latter decision; your blog is your resting place and nothing should force you to change it otherwise for something that doesn't entirely fit your vision and writing. I hope that ramble made some sense? ^.^'

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  14. This makes so much since. I have never really shared my blog link to many other people because frankly I feel like my friends have better things to be doing and are not interested in my works but sometimes I am surprised when someone mentions they read my blog. Makes me jump at first until they tell me how much they enjoy getting to know me on a more personal and real level. this post is great Abby!

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    1. I really want sharing my blog with others to be on that personal and real level-- I love and crave those kinds of relationships with people. Honestly, you shouldn't be surprised! Your posts are so down-to-earth and honestly deserve to be read. And those people who take the time to read and genuinely comment are true keepers, for sure.

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  15. I have a hard time telling people in real life that I blog, as well. Few people outside of my family and very close friends know about it. But on the other hand, I sort of want my real-life friends to know about my blog. It's such a big part of my life now.

    It's soooo awkward, though, to talk about it! It's also really awkward when you know someone is reading your post. Ick. I don't even like being in the same room as my mom when she's reading my newest blog post - is that weird?

    And I really want to sign up for the yearbook... I just haven't yet. :D I need to ask my mom.

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    1. Zane, you've already told some people and honestly THAT IS AN INCREDIBLE FEAT. I do know the struggle: after blogging for so long, it's like, "What will I ever do when I'm not blogging?" And the responses that come after that is a scary thought.

      It's not weird at all! I'm the same. My mom talked about my most recent design change at lunch and I tried so hard not to freak out because of us eating at a public place with some people that I know nearby.

      I do hope your mom allows you to sign up for the yearbook! If she's still kind of on the fence about that decision and she wants to see last year's, you can view it at the end of the post here!

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  16. This is so encouraging, Abigail <3 I don't really tell people about my blog and I don't have a concrete reason. It just... is, and that's why sometimes I get too busy and can't make time to post or write because again, no one knows and assumes I just spend my time not-blogging and not-writing!

    Thank you so so much for being extremely honest! <3 I had a great time reading this, nodding along to it like 'YES'.

    - andrea at a surge of thunder

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    1. It's okay not to have a concrete reason! You must be pretty good at disguising not-blogging and not-writing; there's just too much paper in my room to disguise otherwise.I suppose I should learn some ninja and stealth skills for you, Andrea!

      I'm so happy that you related to this!!!

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  17. Aaaaahhhhh, I connect to this on so many levels.
    I've only let my immediate family know that I blog. The others who know knows because of my mom's sharing of the information. ("She has a blog!""Yeah, sure I'll send you the URL..." *'forgets'*)
    My blog is just so personal a space and means so much to me, that I can't bring myself to show it to those I know in person. It's kind of like me and singing-I can sing fine in front of a large crowd full of people I don't know and most likely will never talk too, but ask me to sing in front of five family members, and it's not happening.
    I nodded my head in agreement so many times while reading this!
    ~Mira

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    1. AHHH YAY I'M SO GLAD <3

      Oh my shish kebabs, the way that your blog's URL being "shared" is hilarious. Honestly, I wish my parents could forget to send the URL sometimes, because it's just incredibly daunting to talk about my blog with my relatives, and it's because of judgement and being judged is honestly quite terrifying??? I don't know. *hides under another table*

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  18. OMG OMG WOW OK BUT FIRST YOUR DESIGN HOW WOW AKFJSKFJDSFKSJFKDJ *casually continues freaking out* LIKE WOwww. I LOVE THE NEW DESIGN. It's beautiful <33 You're literally a pro at graphic designing, girl. WOW. I LOVE IT. *all the heart eyes*

    and YES TO THIS POST too! I've told very, very few people about my blog. One of the last times i remember telling someone was my friend's mom, and I remember telling her, "I'm almost at 50 followers!"

    So that was a long time ago.

    I've never even told the girls at my school, even though we've been together since elementary. I've decided I might tell them at the very end of senior year. MAYBE. I don't know, I feel like my blog is such a vivid expression of ME, and if people who don't know me very well would see it, they would probably judge. But that's okay.

    Great post, Abby!!

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    1. OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH I LOVE THAT YOU LOVE THE DESIGN also I really need to work on that guest post, but there has been no good lighting any time this week because it has been raining and it's continuing to rain (to the point where we cannot see the solar eclipse)! I'm hoping to add some more code, but first I have to prep for school which starts tomorrow. *cries*

      Honestly, you and I had the same reaction when I hit fifty followers. Fifty is so huge, and now, look at us! Both of us over the two-hundred mark and it's just insane to even still comprehend.

      But indeed, time has past.

      SAME HONESTLY. My blog is honestly my personality amped up so much that people who know me in real life, while they do know and understand my personality, are just kind of freaked out how strong it comes off. I think there is something with telling people at the end of senior year (I wish I could hold off that long-- maybe for some people I'm kind of on the fence of sharing my blog with), since it is the last time people see each other, but then again, it just all really comes down to how comfortable you are with sharing. Holding off that long is perfectly okay.

      Thank you, Autumn!

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  19. I LEAVE BLOGGER FOR 2 WEEKS AND YOUR BLOG BECOMES THE WEBSITE VERSION OF A SUPERMODEL. <33 (ahh it looks so good)

    I really like the sheer honesty in this post. I know what you mean about getting negative comments. I've gotten a few over the years (the more immature ones I deleted off my blog) and some bad emails, too. Usually it's to do with my more controversial/political posts. And I understand the fear of exposing this part of our identity. Our blogs sure reveal a lot, don't they? It's our inner thoughts in written form. But I'm glad to see that you're prepared to share that part and I wish you all the best in writing personal posts. Not that you need it. :)

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    1. MY BLOG DESIGN MAY BE A SUPER MODEL BUT YOUR POSTS ARE THE EPITOME OF A SUPER MODEL JO <33

      It honestly sucks, because what irks me is that people can't have a decent conversation / debate without resorting to ad homenium and accounting for feelings. Yes, our feelings and beliefs are important but if you want to argue we have to argue facts. I've yet to hear responses from my friends (we're all busy lurking in this hole called high school senior year). xD Thank you.

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  20. I LOVE THE BLOG DESIGN. I haven't told anyone but my family and some close friends about my blog. I hope to be able to gain the confidence and do that! Great job on getting the courage and I wish the the best of luck :)

    xx Bubbles

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    1. YAY I'm so happy you love the design! I really hope you get the courage to tell your blog to more people-- when you're ready, of course. >.<

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  21. Hi there!!
    Yup, that's right.
    OUR FEARS CAN BE WORKED ON.
    THIS POST WAS SSOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL !!! REALLY <3 I enjoyed it very much :)

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    1. Hi, Juls! GAH THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! I'm glad you did!!!!

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  22. I really enjoyed this post. I've never read anything like it and I appreciate that a lot. its been on my mind, like how many people let their IRL friends read their blogs. its a complicated issue.
    personally, I post the link to every post on my personal facebook. Its just something I've chosen to do, but I totally respect people who choose to stay in cognito. sometimes I seriously regret my openness. (like when my posts start massive facebook wars that blow up to 400 comments on a thread. yeah. my last post was apparently controversial.) but each blogger must decide for themselves. I dont think there's a right or wrong way.

    but if blogging is such an important part of your life, I think it should be shared amongst close friends. because its a part of who you are.

    dont let fear hold you back.

    once again, amazing post. very well written. very thought out. I appreciate it

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    1. Thank you, Faith. It is a complicated issue, for sure-- I don't know many bloggers who have let real life friends read their blogs and are open about it, but maybe it's just because I haven't chatted much with those who do, and like you, I have total respect for those who have made a decision opposite from mine.

      I've read your last post (it's the one about not believing in the end of the world) and honestly, your strength and resilient candor astounded me in that post-- for how can something brilliant talking about your journey through religion and the unhealthy mindset that scares people into believing be controversial? Then again, there is definitely a gray area for wanting to share and to not share.

      And indeed, blogging is a huge part of my life. I can't see my blogging journey ending anytime soon, but if that time ever comes, it'll be a vertigo experience-- I've been blogging for nearly five years and can't imagine what I would've done in my spare time and what I would do if it hadn't been for it.

      To more thoughtful posts in the future not just our respective blogs, but within the blogging community in general!

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  23. I absolutely love love LOVE this post, Abby. I so agree with you -- I don't feel comfortable with sharing my blog with others I know irl. My mom, dad, and sister know, and I barely talk about it with my mom and dad. I have a few friends who know I blog but they're very positive about it. <3 One time my sis told someone I had a blog and I got really frustrated at her, but also embarrassed. But it wasn't her fault, since I hadn't told her I didn't want anyone else to know! I guess she was just proud of me... XD

    I TOTALLY agree with the negative response thing. I pour my heart and soul in my blog, and if someone judges me negatively for it, I just feel like shutting. My constant thought process with this is: Better safe than sorry, right? It's like me not wanting to dance in front of people I know -- I feel embarrassed, and while I'm a semi-good dancer and should feel proud of what I do, I'm afraid I'll get judged for it. It's sad to admit, but human nature.

    I also just get really anxious talking to people about anything really -- I blush and stammer a lot and just lots of things -- so talking about something personal to me wouldn't help. It's just really weird because in the blogging world, I'm extremely proud of my blog, but in real life, I'm almost... ashamed. (Well, more like embarrassed.)

    WOW THAT WAS A LOT OF SERIOUS MAY! XD Anyways, I just want to say that I love and thank you for this post. (LOVE THE NEW DESIGN BTW!) <3

    may @ forever and everly

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  24. I love this post (Can relate to it on MANY levels) and the new design. Keep up the awesomeness!

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Hi there, reader! Thank you so, so much for having time to read my posts and comment; I really appreciate it, and I promise I will try to reply back! I'd also love it if you would follow my blog too and spread the word; that would make my day. :D Have a great day!

Stay strong and wonderful!
xoxo Abigail Lennah