Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Deep Thoughts Inspired By What Not To Wear

Although it is sweltering outside, the inside of my house is cool and quiet.  The kids are at the pool with hubs, and I am indulging in a favorite guilty pleasure, watching What Not To Wear.

Except today is different.

Today, Clinton and Stacy are helping a mommy blogger.  Specifically, they are helping Amanda of Parenting By Dummies.  She is a busy mommy of 3, like me, and she is one funny lady.  Amanda, in real life, is much like she is on her blog.  Endearing, real, and quick to point out her own inadequacies for a laugh.

Just a doll.

So, why did she need Clinton and Stacy? 

Amanda needed the What Not to Wear team because her confident, blogging voice, her Amanda-ness, did not shine through to the people that she knew in real life.  Heck.  Amanda's confident blog persona did not even come through to herself.  Her outside appearance did not match her inside self.

Clearly, she had a disconnect.

And that made me wonder.

Am I who I appear to be on this blog?

Sure.  Many of you that follow me read my silly stories about being a mom and wife.  You hear about my embarrassments like shaving my armpit in the CVS parking lot or even flashing my panties at the local Target.  You even share my losses like when a former student passed away.  You know those parts of me.

But if I met you at a party, would I be as engaging, as confident, as interesting?

The sad truth is . . . probably not.

Because the the truth is that behind this computer screen, I feel safe.  If you don't like me, so what?  If I don't meet your expectations,  no biggie.  If you don't agree with me, I don't care.  This screen is like an invisible armor around the real me.

But in real life,  if you don't like me, your eyes can't lie, and I can feel that disapproval burn into my skin.

In real life, if I don't meet your expectations, I will feel the crushing disappointment of falling short of pleasing you.

In real life, if you don't agree with me, I will probably take it personally even if your opinion has absolutely nothing to do with me.

Like Amanda, I have a disconnect.

And, if I want to be a successful writer, I have to find a way to make my everyday Annie feel just as strong and empowered as the blogger Annie.  I need to find a way to wear my invisible armor in my everday life.

And I think that just by hitting the publish button . . . I may have taken the first step.

*****************linking to Shell and PYHO****************************


  1. Good for you for posting this! I know that had to have taken a lot of courage.

    I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. It makes me feel that there's a real person behind your screen. One who can make mistakes, be goofy, but at the same time, be a kind and thoughtful woman.

    You sound like my kind of lady!

    I know it's easier to "be yourself" online than in person. But, remember - the kind of people that like you here would like you in real life.

    Stay strong, stay wise, and most importantly - stay hilarious!

  2. Checking you out after you checked me out...

    This is so very true. I don't think I'm the same IRL as I am here on the computer. Some parts, yes, but not all. I'm definitely not as witty IRL. I can never think of witty comebacks on the spot.

    So yeah, this makes perfect sense to me.

  3. I think that if I met you in real life that I'd be able to see you for who you are. The wonderful, amazing, blogger, mommy, wife and friend.

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  5. Sorry, noticed a misspelling - had to fix!
    Oh! What a challenging post! Like out, I feel safer with printed words, rather than face-to-face interactions. And don't even get me started on wardrobe issues! I'm not sure how I will apply this post, but you've sure got me thinking!

  6. I am more reserved irl, but only because I think I am an observer and thinker. I need to analyze everything and think it through, which I think adds to my writing.

    So yeah irl I am not nearly as engaging! HA!

    And don't worry Annie even if you are not as quickwitted in real life as you are in bloggy land I think that would all change by our 2nd margarita!

  7. I bet the ones who love you see you in your blog ... and outside of those who love you, who cares what anyone thinks?

  8. I completely know what you mean. I often go back and forth about my voice online as opposed to face-to-face voice. I hope they are one in the same but in reality I don't that is true with every post. It's a learning process I guess.

  9. OMG! How have I missed this? She was on What Not to Wear? How cool is that?!

  10. I love that show. And, most importantly, do you feel you look yourself in the mirror? That should be your only answer.

    I was not myself for a while and I knew it and I was unhappy. I started watching that show and inspired me - and somehow gave me more tools in how to look myself again - and I ditched the old me and embraced the new one.

    I know I will always be pictured differently from blogger to blogger, so I am not really loosing sleep there. :-)

  11. I love that episode of Amanda. It was actually how I came across her blog in the first place. I'm an avid fan of WNTW and right as I was beginning my blogging journey, that episode came on, and through her blog, my blogging world opened up way wide.

    But not only do I love the blogging community I've come to love through her, I love her for who she is and what she isn't afraid to say...and for the message that that episode probably sank into all us bloggers hearts.

    Thanks for pointing it out again!

    Oh, and I love your blog for all the reasons I love hers!

  12. Oh, I relate.

    On my blog, I can think of what I want to say. Same with in a blog comment. And no one knows that I sometimes step away from the computer because i don't know what to say. IRL, that translates to an awkward girl who some people will think is stuck up b/c I'm quieter than what is expected.

  13. Oh my sweet friend, every time I read your posts I can hear your voice. You should have more confidence as you are just as clever and engaging in person as you are in your blog. Hope we can see each other soon.

  14. My dear Annie...

    Hey it's Carrie, from CCHS, and since our days in Peer Counselling and Colorguard ;), I know you, and I can tell you this: I don't like you, I love you Miss Annie. Always have...always will!!!

    To see you in this new light, as a Mom, and blogger (I followed the link to your blog when you added me on FB) have EVERY reason to be confident. You are raising a beautiful family in a challenging world. And that is no small feat.

    I adore your blog, I am reading the old entries. And I will be the first one in line to get your book!!!

    With Love and Friendship,
    Carrie :D


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