I am a grown-ass woman/child who knows what she wants

As you can imagine, or guess from all my complaining, feeling better after all this dental crap hasn’t gone as smoothly as I would like. It has taken A LOT out of me. I’m just beat. All the time. (More than usual. And that’s saying something.) Since I expected the big Christmas tooth pull was the worst of it, I honestly thought I would be back to my old ways in no time. I couldn’t have been more wrong. With absolutely zero down time, I’m afraid that the recovery from the latest dental adventure was even worse than the one before. A little over two weeks out and I’m FINALLY not wincing in pain every time I yawn or eat or sneeze or (attempt) to brush my teeth. Eating can still be a challenge, but at least I’m doing better.

I also got myself a Monster’s Inc kiddie toothbrush because that’s how I roll.

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(I needed a smaller toothbrush to handle the affected area. My dentist thought this might work better. Hilarious that when she pulled a couple from the drawer, I belted out “Sully!” when I saw it. Because I’m a grown-ass lady who knows what she wants out of life.)

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Being so run down, it was nice that this weekend could be so low-key. The much needed rain gave us a perfect excuse to hunker down at home for most of the weekend. There were still things to get done (of course) but the four of us watched two movies on Saturday and one on Sunday. No really. I’m not lying. We actually did that.

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Miraculously, we also left the house. We hung out at my sister’s house for a little bit on Saturday. We had dinner with some of our favorite people on Sunday. Sarah and I even participated in a local running event. Which was awesome, but…yeah. My training schedule is suffering most of all with all this recovery crap. I’m a little worried about it since we’re in the middle of our half marathon training. THIS COULD BE INTERESTING. Hopefully I’m back to it soon.

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I’m trying to work out a better schedule over here. I loved looking back over January. LOVED. I want more of that. As proud as I am of posting here so much more, I’m struggling to do the same in February. I guess that when you give yourself an out, you take it. Or *I* take it. I’m a jerk.

But more than anything, I just want to remember. The good, the bad, even the indifferent. 10 days into February and I’m more tired than I ever expected, but there was fun to be had anyway. And lots of coffee. Because, duh.

Love my new mug that I won!
Love my new mug that I won!

 Gonna make things happen. Here we go.

 

More in 2014

About 9 or 10 years ago, I started blogging as an attempt to keep myself sane. That’s a lot of pressure to put on one blog named after one of my favorite quote in Drop Dead Fred, but there you have it. Telling some of my life stories helped me to gain perspective and, more importantly, realize that I wasn’t alone. I also wasn’t as crazy as I thought I was. Or…maybe I was, but I certainly felt better after spilling my guts onto the interwebs. With everything I was going through, I used that blog as my punching bag and where all my snark or sarcasm lived and breathed. No one had to know. But the problem with blogging anonymously and then finding yourself not quite so anonymous, I started to feel pretty anxious about people I knew in real life reading my words.  So I scrapped that blog and started a new one. And then another one after that. I believe it was the blog after that where I started to blog a little more “out loud” and where I allowed myself to be a little more vulnerable, even though there were people I knew in real life reading my words. Getting more comfortable in my own skin, I finally felt ready and was able to buy by own little internet real estate and name it Life of Jill. It had been a long time coming.

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With a bit more experience at putting myself out there, especially being a part of Listen to Your Mother, I found myself entering into a world of blogging I hadn’t previously been. Through all the different platforms and spaces of blogging, I had never really attached myself to the blogging community or putting myself out there for different  opportunities. I had watched from afar (well, read about) the different blogging conferences and experiences over the years but that was something *other* people did. But last year, things changed a bit. I went to a couple conferences. I had some of the most amazing fun because of blogging opportunities. I’ve met some pretty fantastic people.

And I’m about to meet some more.

In a little over a month, Sarah and I will be flying to Atlanta for the Mom 2.0 Summit. Amazing at it sounds, I am the More in 2014 winner and still completely blown away that this is even happening. First of all, I get to hug on people I’ve never actually met in person. (And some that I have.) I’m sure there are more going that I haven’t even realized yet. There is so much to look forward to, and tons to be nervous about! Although, more than anything, I’m really excited and so very honored to have this opportunity.

So, thank you Mom 2.0 for all this awesome. I absolutely cannot wait.

being a little more me…

fears

There are many (MANY) people in my “real life” that don’t know I have a blog. For the record, I hate the term “real life” because this blog is part of my REAL LIFE, but you get what I’m trying to say. There are friends that I’ve had for years that don’t know that I have a piece of internet real estate right here. There are family members that don’t know a thing about this. And I don’t know how to handle the possibility that they will.

I blog semi-anonymously. Mostly because of someone’s job, but also because I think I’m fairly protective of my on-line presence. I mean, I use MY real name. And my dog’s really name. But no one else’s. (Unless you have a blog of your own. Then all bets are off.) I usually don’t remember I’m a control freak. Until something like putting my website link on my Instagram account made me break out in a cold sweat. Because there are people in my life that follow me on IG that don’t know I have a blog. I like all of those people. What the hell is my problem?

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So then I try to remember why I even started writing and blogging in the first place. Because I had something to say. A story to tell. Words to share. I love reading other blogs because I’m fascinated by other people and their stories. I love creativity. I love learning. Why couldn’t it be possible that someone feels that way about what I’ve got going on here? (I’m not saying they do or they don’t. But the possibility is there. I think.)

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I feel like an asshole even writing this, but if I’m going to be honest…well, I’m going to have to be honest about this too.

Which also includes telling myself how stupid I’m being:

If any person I know in real life asked about any post that I wrote, I would be honest with them. Things they might learn about me that they might not know? I’m a mess when I think about my kid going off to college. I have bad days/weeks/months. I meet and work with some awesome people in this crazy internet world. I worry about my kids starting new schools. I love that damn dog more than I (sometimes) let on. I was a teen mom/college dropout. I love my family more than anything. Campfire Wednesday is my new favorite thing. I’m a hot mess when I think about my kid going off to college. (Yes, it deserves to be on the list twice.)

What is so wrong with people knowing this about me? I’m Jill. This is me and this is who I am. This website just might show a different side than they’re used to seeing. More than they bargained for at times. But…I mean, is that so wrong?

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Probably. Not.

I’ll try to stop being and idiot asshole tomorrow.

this is me. and the dog.
they who have real names

 

quote photo credits here.

Telling the Stories

I started my first blog in 2004. Sarah thought it would be good for me. Maybe she recognized that I had a lot to say but never the guts to actually say it. I think she also knew that I needed a space of my own where my words could be all mine. I needed a space where I could speak my mind and purge all the thoughts that were stuck in my head and stuck in my heart.

For the first time in my life, I realized that I enjoyed telling my story. And, more importantly, that I needed to tell my story. But to be honest, telling my story back then involved A LOT of sarcasm and I lot of sour grapes. It was my story, but it was a very unkind version of my story. I blogged anonymously, so I let loose. I tried to find the humor in most of the hard times I was going through, but it was done with so much snark, I’m really glad that I have since taken those blogs down. They were, at times, the very worst of the person I am. It was irresponsible and often mean, but it was the only way I survived some really difficult parts of my life.

While I have lightly dabbled in the blogging world for a little over a decade, I never hreally made much of it. Blogging was my Free Therapy (I once had a blog with that name) and the place that was only mine. And, as a few more people started reading it and commenting, it was also a form of validation for what I was feeling. Maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t as crazy as these people were making me out to be! (Or, I’m just as crazy, whatever.) I enjoyed the writing process, telling my story and the people I met along the way. But I never really took responsibility for my words. In fact, when it became apparent that too many “real life” people were reading my blog, I took it down. More than once. It was a bit too honest, and I wasn’t careful when writing about real people. And even if their actions had earned those words, they (maybe) deserved the respect of not being blasted on the internet. I also knew that if I was confronted about saying those things, I would probably die of shame right on the spot. As much as setting those words free probably saved me, I wasn’t proud of that person. It wasn’t the person I believed myself to be.

Having said that, I learned more about myself through blogging (and running, really) than I ever thought possible. It gave a voice to feelings I didn’t know that I had. It also gave me the confidence to stand up for and take care of myself. In fact, I no longer needed those mean words that I had written before because I had stopped letting those people walk all over me. And when you find the self-respect that you had been lacking, you will also find that you have a lot more respect for the words that you use to write.

You also have a lot more respect for the story you need to tell.

At the beginning of this year, and with the encouragement from a dear friend, I began taking steps to tell my story and owning my words. I’ve created something here that I’m proud of. This is still my very own space of internet real estate, but I have taken ownership and responsibility for the words that I put here. I can be authentic without being mean. I can tell my version of MY story, not someone else’s. I can be honest without affecting my integrity and the integrity of the story. Not that I will always write the sunshine and rainbows version of my life, I’m just more aware of my words and how I use them.

Sometimes writing takes a person down a road or an idea that wasn’t planned. I absolutely did not set out to write about my blogging history lesson. I wanted to talk about a conference I attended earlier this week and I wanted to share some of that and some of the things I learned. But since I somehow landed here instead, I hope that you might take a look at what Cam wrote. There were some great speakers that morning, but for some reason, I keep coming back to the stories that we all have to tell.

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Let’s be honest, Disney is amazing at telling stories. It’s what they do best and it is what started it all. And, I believe, is what keeps so many of us coming back for more. At the Disney Social Media Moms “On the Road” event, Michele Himmelberg brought up the importance of these stories and related it to the bloggers (mostly the mom-kind) that connect so well to the storytelling world because that is a big part of who they/we are.

I found myself being fascinated by the stories that we all have to tell. Disney obviously tells their stories on a MUCH grander scale, but there is still a relatable and real idea behind even the most spectacular of all the stories. But more important than that, I find that this space I have here is allowing me an opportunity to not only share my story and own my words, but also connect with the stories of others. It feels weird to try and relate this blogging journey of mine to Disney and the conference, but it is the reason I even thought about it at all. It made me think about how I tell my stories and how it shapes who I am.

I have no idea why I am compelled to share my words on a blog, but I can’t seem to make myself stop. There is a pull to tell my story. And maybe, at the end of the day, that’s the point.