A few days ago, some of my amazing friends shared a couple of brilliant tweets aimed at me after I shared a blog post, and it made me laugh.
While these tweets were sent with lighthearted smiles and love, the truth is that I’m regularly on the receiving end of similarly-worded comments that are anything but lighthearted. I’ve been told I’m a bad mom, stupid, fat, ugly, that I should have had an abortion, a terrible writer, useless, and all kinds of other unpleasant things. One person suggested I do the world a favour and “off myself”, to which I responded – via email – that I’d be sure to self-love a little before bed. I don’t think she appreciated my response.
I was always a soft-hearted kind of kid. I took everything to heart and any kind of criticism threatened to cripple me. The hours I spent crying behind closed doors over something someone had said to me are many, but they are no more.
Before I started blogging, I couldn’t have laughed off a hateful comment. In fact, I couldn’t do it when I first started blogging. I would get hot all over and flustered and my stomach would fall to my feet and I’d shake. It knocked the wind out of my sails. It made me want to take my blog down and throw in the towel. But trolls are trolls, and while I refuse to engage with them I also refuse to let them ruin something I love.
Nobody told me that I’d be attacked for sharing a makeup trick I’d learned. Or that I’d be reamed out for suggesting a method that might, just might, help you soothe a sunburn. I never dreamt someone would tell me I looked like I’d gotten dressed in the dark or that my hair looked like something a toddler would do. I also never imagined I’d get the supportive, motivating and loving comments I’ve gotten or that I’d make so many wonderful friendships.
The truth is that when you put yourself out there, you open yourself up to a lot. You might get your feelings hurt but you might also lift someone up. Sometimes you’ll do both.
I’ve often wished that someone had warned me, that I’d braced myself for the backlash over an innocuous or blog post. (I mean really, who gets their panties in a knot over lipstick?) But I’m not sure I would have done it had I known then that people – adults, and often adults who are raising little people – can be so unkind. In fact, I’m sure I wouldn’t have laid it all out there – I could (and sometimes can) barely believe that people read my words. But I’m glad you do.
Looking back, is there anything you wish you’d known or is there anything you’re glad you didn’t know beforehand?