What makes you love a blog? I'm talking read and read and delve into the archives, and then check every day for a new post even when you know for a fact there will be no post because she already posted once that day or she announced she will be gone all week. That kind of love.
There are several different reasons I read blogs- to be entertained, to escape my present world, to look at stunning fashion, to get good deals and win free stuff. I think though, what keeps me coming back to blogging and what keeps me coming back to the same blogs over and over and over is connection. In some way or another I have to connect with the writer behind the blog. I have to feel her realness, who she is, or else I eventually lose my desire to read. One of my favorite blogs right now is E Tells Tales. She's a fellow English teacher, and I'm mildly obsessed with her because I totally relate to her and connect to her and I feel that she is so honest in her writing.
She makes me want to be a more honest writer. I try to be, I really do. I try to make this a place on the internet that is real, that is raw, that shows vulnerabilities. That's not easy, though. It's easier to just cover up anything that makes me nervous and act like I've got life totally figured out. "I dress like a rockstar! I have a perfect job! I take great vacations! My marriage is perfect! I am always happy!" That is the easy road in blogging, I suppose. It is far more difficult to tell the truth.
So today I will venture into my truths. They are not easy to write. But they are truths that need to be told.
+ I have applied for my teaching credential in California and applied for a handful of specific jobs, but have heard nothing back. What if I don't find a job? Then what? I've already quit my job- there is no turning back at this point. Do I start waiting tables? Am I a strong enough woman to support my husband in his career choice even if the road is rocky and involves a crappy apartment in L.A. and late nights at a crappy job and missing my family?
+ I want to get to a place where I can make a full time living from blogging and writing. But then what happens to the teacher in me? Does she die? I love teaching, but it doesn't pay well enough and that is sad that I feel like I might have to love a career I adore because it doesn't reward me adequately for my time and effort.
+ And how do I have the audacity to think that I can make it as a full time writer, anyway? That is terrifying and a wish so real and brave that just typing it out like this scares me to pieces.
+ When my little sister came home from her 18 month mission last week, I was so happy. I had missed her terribly. But I was sad too. Sad because I said goodbye to my dad more than 3 years ago and why can't he be coming home on a plane, too? Why can't I wait for him at the terminal and hold a poster for him that says "Welcome home, dad! We missed you! Boy, did we miss you!" And why is grief such a long process? I'm pretty sure everyone else has moved on, why do I linger so... not wanting to completely let go of him?
+ Today a parent called me because her two sons in my class have a B+. They have a B+ because in spite of their sheer brilliance, they never participate in discussions and so have been docked participation points. She told me what I was doing was "morally wrong." She said I was punishing them for being shy. I said it was a type of informal assessment and I needed to see their ability to discuss and respond to literature orally. She said what I was doing was simply "not right." I tried hard to stand my ground, but then somehow backed right down because suddenly I was just so tired. Parents, why can't you be on my side?
+ I get so frustrated with myself sometimes. Like I'm just not progressing as a decent human being on this planet. Mostly this happens when I get in arguments with Hubs. WHAT?!? Bloggers get in fights with their husbands?!? Impossible! I am disgustingly stubborn, and Hubs ain't no doormat himself. Somehow a question about one thing turns into an argument about something entirely different turns into a full blown battle over endless issues. Sometimes I say awful things I don't mean and I wonder, does the rest of the world know how to hold their tongue? I am working on thinking before I say things and I am working on taking deep breaths and asking God to help me to say what I want to say and not something that is hurtful and untrue. I guess it just bothers me that there is this side of me that exists somewhere that all of a sudden emerges and spits out nasty things and then runs back for cover. I think I am a kind, thoughtful, loving person. Until I see that I am not.
+ There's some big stuff going on today with gay marriage. My religion supports traditional marriages and I do too because that was the best choice for me, personally. But who am I to take away someone else's freedom to choose their path to happiness, however different from mine it may be? I believe in marriage between a man and a woman, but even more strongly I believe in the incredible gift God gave us to choose for ourselves, and so I say yes to gay marriage.
+ My sixth period class asks me every day if I'm really leaving to California next year, and can I stay just one more year? I laugh it off and continue on with the lesson, but to tell you the truth, it kind of breaks my heart. There is chemistry with classes and as the school year draws to a close my heart starts to hurt, realizing that soon this amazing chemistry that we have going on will end. I am safe and comfortable at my school and I know in my deepest of hearts that I need to move on because I am supposed to learn and grow and there are experiences I am supposed to have that aren't at Copper Hills. But change is hard, and if I think about it too long I start to cry, so I don't let myself think about that class full of juniors begging me to come back to teach them one more year of English.
+ Almost all my friends my age have babies. I don't want babies because, quite frankly, I am selfish. I like my time and I like my body and I like my money. Then I feel guilty for not wanting a baby and for being so selfish and I wonder if God is ever going to give me that strong desire or if I am a different kind of woman who doesn't yearn to nurture and care for others. And if so, wtf? Why don't I have normal female genes?
P.S. Who is your favorite "honest" blogger. Please share with me. I love a good honest blog find.
P.P.S. I was going to do a Shabby Apple giveaway today but then I wanted to post this instead. And so it goes.
P.P.P.S. Book club for The Fault in Our Stars is tomorrow. You can write your own review of the book and link it up or respond in the comment section. I can't wait to hear your thoughts. Here are some questions to get you thinking if you need a push. You can address any or all of these questions, but don't have to address any if you don't want to. How's that for freedom?
Spoiler. Don't read these questions if you haven't finished the book.
+ Do you see Hazel as a likeable narrator? How about a realistic one?
+ Why did Green choose to add Peter Van Houten and the trip to Amsterdam to the story? How did that affect or change the book?
+ Was the book too sad or tragic for you or did it somehow leave you feeling uplifted? How?
+ There are some graphic scenes including Gus peeing his own bed and vomitting all over himself. Why do you think Green chose to add these. Are they appropriate?
+ What makes Gus and Hazel's love story unique? Do you see them as real characters- why or why not?
+ Would you suggest this book to someone who has cancer or is close to someone with cancer? Why or why not?
+ The book is classified as "young adult" fiction. Do you think this is an accurate genre for the book, or do you consider it too deep for that age group? On the back cover of the book it says that Green writes "for youth rather than to them". What do you think that means?
+ What did you think of the end of the book? Did it give you enough closure?
+ What did you think of Green's description of Hazel's grieving process immediately following Gus' death? What touched you the most about those scenes?
+ What is the significance of the title of the novel?