Thursday, April 5, 2012

Kidspot Ford Territory Top 50: Feel the difference

Last year I watched the Kidspot Top 50 Bloggers competition unfold and I remember thinking "next year, if I work really hard, I'll be on that list". And here we are, twelve months later, and there is a new Top 50... and I'm on it. Squeeee!

I'm so excited to be part of it... have you seen who is on it? It's the who's who. It makes me totally cool by association, yes?! This year the top 5 will be chosen by a combination of a panel of judges and a vote - this is where you come in. You can vote for your favourite bloggers here *coughpickmecough* or by clicking on the button below, and you can go in to the running to win $5000 - yep, just for clicking a button. Pretty cruisy.
___ . . . ___ . . . ___

I could say that my journey in to blogging is unremarkable. I am just another stay at home mama who, on feeling an acute sense of looming isolation and sleep deprivation, decided to write down how I was feeling both for posterity and as a cheap form of therapy. Just another brick in the mummy blogging wall (apologies Pink Floyd, I couldn’t help myself).

But my journey really in blogging and through it? Well that’s a different kettle of fish… or bricks… whatever.

I started this blog anonymously. I was Glowless – the funny girl who was up the duff, lacking in pregnancy glow, always finding something to laugh about (or at least roll my eyes at) and striving to find a silver lining in everything. Nothing too deep, nothing that really scratched the surface, nothing that could make any waves. Because waves rock the SS Status Quo. I couldn’t do that lest I be forced to provide life jackets with a whistle and a light to attract attention.

Then, when Tricky was diagnosed with Craniosynostosis at eleven weeks old, this blog became a place where I put my real fears as we went from doctor to specialist to surgeon to operating theatre. It was the first time I dared to put part of the real me out there for everyone to see without sugar coating it or dressing it up with a humourous slant. Because trying to find a gag when your baby's skull is being cracked open is kinda hard.

Upon finding that what few readers I had didn’t run for the hills when the laughs dried up for a while, I decided to embrace the opportunity and blog real. Life isn’t always shits and giggles, and sometimes it’s bloody hard to find the silver lining. In fact, any silver looks like just another miserably dull shade of grey when you’re peering through tear soaked eyelashes and strapping your infant in to a giant MRI scanner.

After this mild and somewhat censored dabbling in reality I decided to push further and, when the mood took me, I wrote about my struggles with mental illness, with insecurity and self esteem interspersed with my 'usual' tongue-in-cheek style… but I was still wrapped up in my cocoon of anonymity. I was safe in there where few people knew my true identity. I had the freedom to say “I’m a little bit crazy” because it couldn’t be (easily) traced back to me – it’s amazing how brave you can be behind a cloak of anonymity and a computer screen. A keyboard warrior standing up and speaking out for all the right things but only when no one was looking.

It has only been a year since I “came out” and revealed who I was by name and picture. You’d never believe, based on how much of a camera whore I am now, that for the twelve months prior not a single photo of me was published on here. But what I thought would be freeing had the opposite effect at first – I froze and those same anxieties came rushing to the surface. Would people like me? How much should I say? Where is the line between censoring and not oversharing? The unmasked me felt vulnerable, exposed and raw, not unlike the feeling you get when standing starkers surrounded by sideshow mirrors and horrid lighting in a change room.

I was so afraid that on seeing the real me, a real person and not just a pseudonym, people would run, or, as the case is in the land of the interwebz, click away. But they didn’t… they stayed, and, much to my surprise, more came. This community of readers and fellow bloggers have become my tribe; they have buoyed me when I was down, rallied around me when I was grieving, cheered me when I was doing well, and, most of all, laughed with me (OK, sometimes at me) when I was at my sarcastic best.

There is nothing more affirming than people not running a mile when you show the real you – life could have taught me that, eventually, I’m sure, but blogging to thousands of people has fast tracked it (and saved me a ton of money in therapy fees).

This blogging journey has brought me to this one conclusion: The good parts, the funny parts, the smart parts, the stupid parts, the broken parts, the kind parts, the swearing parts, the emo parts, the angry parts, the ranty parts and the parts that laugh too loud are all parts of me. And that’s OK. It’s OK to be me.

And I suppose that’s what sets me apart, that this journey of self acceptance has been on here, for all to see, thinly veiled as a mummy blog. Now I feel as comfortable in each of these personas as the next and you never know what one you’ll find here because not even I know which part of me will have the insatiable urge to write from one day to the next. Whichever it is... it’s still me.

If you were starting your first blog today, would you be anonymous or not? Why? *coughvoteformecough*


  1. I love knowing the face behind the blog.  There truly is something a little more special.  Glad you made that choice. Good luck.

  2. already voted ;)
    I feel like you were writing this post TO me. Wow. So surreal when a post jumps out and grabs you like it's just you and that blogger in the blogging room.

    Playful Glow, the top right hand pic, she is hawt. I'd totally do playful Glow. (I'd do all of them but shhh)

  3. Thanks so much for sharing! I am relatively new to your blog, so it was interesting to read where you have come from. When I started my blog, Hesitant Housewife, I started anonymously, mainly to protect the people I wrote about. Just in this last week I have decided to start fresh, as me, as I want to really feel a part of this community that I am building.
    Honestly, your post could not have come at a better time, THANK YOU! :) xx

  4. Go the Glow! xxx

  5. whiningattheworldApril 5, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Congratulations on being one of the Top 50 bloggers.

    I blog anonymously. I have been wondering if that help if that fact is helpful or whether it hinders me. I want to be real, authentic but I'm not sure I'm game to let it all hang out.

  6. My posts are rarely sensitive, but even so, I doubt I could do it anonymously. Some part of me thinks I should be accountable for what I say, I guess.
    I think I started reading yours about the time you 'came out'. Your story is such that I'd have kept reading anyway, but it is definitely that bit more special having a face to it.
    And I'd vote tons of times for Where's My Glow if they'd let me!

  7. The_Snowball_EffectApril 5, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    It is okay to be you. I think, from what I've read, you're a pretty likeable person. You're human, like the rest of us, and not afraid to show it.

    I'm glad you came out of the closet.

  8. Go Glow!  Your blog is always a great read.  All the best in the Kidspot comp!

  9. I too was anonymous on my first blog (back in 2004) but I love the community and support that comes from putting yourself out there.  I love the bloggosphere and the embracing nature of the people in it.  

    Voted ;)

  10. Thanks, Mandy. I'm glad now too :)

  11. I knew you'd get it as a fellow anon. By this year's conference I was used to it but last year I was freaking out.

  12. Oh I'm so glad, Jane! I started anonymously for that reason too. I always treated it as if everyone knew though, so never said anything I wouldn't say to someone's face. It's a rule I still stick to.

  13. I can see as both helping and hindering. In terms of networking, I found it very hard the first few times because no one could look at me and know who I was, even if they happened to be readers. It also meant I could never relax and have photos with people because I was paranoid they'd put them online. I've relaxed it a lot and just make sure people don't use Tricky's real name or our suburb.

  14. That actually caught me out at first when I realized my name could be seen on a forum account! A few emails to the admins and they deleted it for me.

  15. You are too awesome for words. Except those words I just wrote. I am so incredibly honoured to be on this list with you! I didn't spy your blog until after you were "Real", but love going through your archives when the mood takes me - you are just the bees knees in my french fries!

  16. I've always tried to have some level of accountability, in that I will only say what I would say to someone's face and didn't use my anonymity as permission to be a bitch! Though I will admit to being tempted once or twice, then thought better of it!

  17. Thanks so much! Such an honour to be on a list amongst such great company!

  18. The support of this community was something I was unprepared for - such kindness and genuine warmth. I'd be lost without it, without them.

  19. Daisy reading down the list is just a giant headswell for me! OMG I'm on the same list as these awesome people?!?!?!?!


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