Telling it slant but keeping it real

I love blogging. I'm cheering for a bit of a blog renaissance this year as people seek a space to tell a longer story or connect in a different way than FB, Twitter, or Instagram might allow--as great as those formats are at what they do. It makes me happy to see a few hibernating favorites start back up lately! Viva la blogging!

As my kids have gotten older, my blogging has changed, too. Taking a cue from Emily Dickinson, I try to be more mindful to tell the truth but tell it slant (leaning toward the positive) because:

  • Writing about older kids and teens is tricky. Of course we have lots of ups and downs but I feel like it's unfair to my kids to write too much about the downs in this space. I would guess that many of the unslanted-truth blogs have kids who are either too young to read or who just don't read their blogs.  Once your kids (and their friends! and their not-so-much friends!) start to read your blog, it adds an additional layer of discretion.
  • At a certain point these harder lessons are their stories to tell or not tell the world. So I don't.
  • This is primarily about finding the joy amidst all that. 
  • And about documenting some highlights for our families.
  • Sometimes I'm using this very blog as a bit of a parenting tool, publicly appreciating and positively reinforcing effort and celebrating hard-won victories (or sometimes outright luck).

So that's the slant part, mostly from a need to protect people I love and just put some joy into the world. But I'm equally passionate about the truthful part. I want to make sure that my caution doesn't get in the way of being real and authentic and integrated and true to myself here, too. I guess my new blogging motto for myself in 2015 is to tell the truth, tell it slant (as necessary) but be completely Annie. 

That "be Annie" part's surprisingly harder for me. I'm a classic oldest child, a people pleaser with some chameleon tendencies. I can seem like whomever you want me to be. If I don't agree with someone, I'll probably just be quiet. If I think someone doesn't agree with me or understand where I'm coming from (especially religion/politics/culture etc) I tend to not share that part in favor of keeping things compartmentalized on a need-to-know basis. But I don't really want to be that silo-ed, splintered person anymore.

I'm admittedly a little bit contradictory or unexpected at times--some of my more conservative friends (many of them Mormon, like me) might be surprised that there's a Democrat-leaning progressive in here. Some of my academic and work friends might not realize that a believing, all-in Mormon Christian co-resides with my intellectual self. Add stay-at-home mom/career gal, extroverted introvert, wandering homebody, and shaky-voiced advocate for the marginalized (and a few other things) and the venn diagram of where I sit feels pretty tiny sometimes. I'm happy in that spot but I've been afraid that some people might look at some of those labels and decide to sit somewhere else. 

And then I turned 45 and grew weary of the artifice and blandness of trying to be all things to all people. I want to connect authentically and that means showing my cards and owning them. I'll bet your Venn diagram intersection is fantastically unique, too. Let's sit next to each other and try to find some overlap. Or at the very least, understand the space between us. 

Onward into 2015! Here's to telling it slant and keeping it real. And appreciating each other for who we really are.