The Life of Bon: To know you is to love you.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

To know you is to love you.

Me and my namesake hunkering down on some grub. 
If there's one thing a smart Bonnie loves, it is food.
Have you tried one yet?  They are diviiiiiine

On Wednesday a fellow English teacher, Stephanie, asked me during lunch if I am on Instagram.  I said yes (@thelifeofbon) a little nervously knowing that my instagram is linked to my blog and from then on, freak guys, the jig was up!  The secret blog life would be done for!  You see, having all my friends and family read my blog is great and all, but sometimes I still like to be a blogger in hiding.  Sometimes I miss the days where I could say whatever I wanted about whomever I wanted on my blog and no one would know the difference.  That's why I have loved the blog anonymity at my new schoo... I can write about everything school related without worrying who is reading my blogging escapades (Can I call them escapades?).  Obviously I knew it would end at some point and my cohorts would find out that every thought I have ever had I have plastered all over the interwebs... but I guess for a few weeks I wasn't ready for them to know yet.  It all came crashing down, though, as Stephanie glanced over my Instagram and remarked nonchalantly, "I am so blog stalking the crap out of you."

She looked at her phone for a few minutes and then said, "You have sponsors?  Who sponsors you?"  At this my ears perked up because Stephanie was talking blog lingo and if there's one thing bloggers can spot quickly, it's another blogger.  It's kind of like being Mormon.  All Mormons can identify other Mormons from a mile away.  I couldn't totally be sure, though, so I decided to test the waters a bit.

"Um... I don't know.  Like I guess Wendy's?"  I felt quite weird about the whole conversation, honestly.

"That's cool.  Have you worked with BlogHer?  I really like them."

I looked at her.  She looked at me.  And right there passed between us a definitive a-ha moment where we recognized with absolute certainty that we are both on the same level of crazy that involves allowing total strangers to read our most private thoughts.  But the bell was ringing and kids were banging down our classroom doors begging us to teach them so we scurried off our separate ways and did our best to keep our cool about the whole thing.

At the end of the day I hopped onto my computer to look at Stephanie's blog and was surprised to discover that I had actually already visited it several times, just never put two and two together that it was her.  In fact, Stephanie is pretty much a huge deal around Utah because she put together the whole movement for women to wear pants to church one day back in December.  I mean, this chick's practically famous!  It was crazy to put it all together in my head and to realize how many of the same people we know and how much of the same things we think and how alike we really are.

Interestingly enough, I felt a lot of compassion and love for Stephanie as I read her blog.  Stephanie is a "Mormon feminist" which is certainly a weighted term but basically means that she wants to see some changes in the Mormon church in regards to the way women are treated and represented.  I respect people like Stephanie and in general I support the Mormon church continuing to move toward more tolerance, love, and equality.  Stephanie describes herself on her blog as being in a place "between believing and unbelieving" and that this place is "lonely" despite how many other people may be there with her.

Mostly this experience opened my eyes.  I have been very self absorbed the past few weeks.  There has been so much going on in my life that it was easy to be wrapped up in me and to feel sorry for me and to think about me.  As I read Stephanie's blog I couldn't help but think about the silent struggles that we are all going through.  Who would have thought that the girl that I was sitting next to in lunch every day for the past month grapples with faith and wants to empower women and loves her child dearly and etc, etc, etc.?  I maybe could have gotten to know this about her sooner if I hadn't been so concerned about why she wasn't getting to know me. 

As it turns out, as I was reading her blog, Stephanie was reading my blog and so stopped by my room half an hour later.  She came bearing gifts:  a note and a candy bar.  She had read my post about starting at a new school and my angst about the new requirements of the district and came to cheer me up:  "You don't have to listen to any of it!  Just keep being a good teacher.  Make minor changes as needed, but don't sweat it!"  She had also probably read that I have had a hard time becoming besties with all the new faculty at work because she apologized, explaining that they are "a hard group to break in to."  Which meant a lot of me in a nerdy, I-want-everyone-to-like-me kind of way.

The whole thing was so subtle that it's hard to blatantly state what meaning I found in the whole experience, except for that I know it was very profound for me.  As soon as I read Stephanie's blog I connected with her and as soon as she read my blog she connected with me and what we weren't able to learn in a month's worth of lunches together we learned in 20 minutes from a bit of light blog reading. 

I guess it just goes to show that what my momma always says is true, "to know you is to love you."  I can't help but wonder if every person out there had a blog that I could secretly stalk would I love them more?  If they poured out their doubts and vulnerabilities and fears, would I stop being annoyed with them/ mean to them/ judgmental of them?  Would I stop all of the negative feelings and instead be left with compassion and love because I know what is going on underneath the surface is difficult and that like the saying goes, we all have our private battles we are fighting?

I guess it just makes me think twice about the way I treat people.

 *This post is sponsored in part by Wendy's #6 Seconds Flat


  1. You met Stephanie!!? I am so insanely jealous. Her blog was one of the first read when I went through my faith crisis or sorts. Such a refreshing perspective.

    I appreciate this post and I appreciate you. Keep on keepin' on, Bon Bon.

  2. Anonymous11:55 PM

    My eyebrows definitely raised with this one. I'm incredibly new, maybe a month or so, and one of my biggest fears is to have someone I "actually" know find my blog. But really, what am I afraid of? I always come from a place of wanting to know more about people and wondering what's behind the person we see everyday... I think we really would learn about if everybody blogged.

  3. The only person I actually know in real life who reads my blog is my boyfriend and even that took a while for me to allow him to do so.

    The love for anonymity is something that is really interesting.

    I guess I just like the idea of writing whatever I want and not having someone I know come up to me and talk to me about it.

  4. I too live in fear of being "discovered" at work--especially as I work in mental health where my personal life is supposed to be a big secret. So far the only person to have found me is a girl who surfs pinterest all day from the billing department:). I love how you and Stephanie came together over your mutual interest. Great that you could find some perspective on the "behind the scenes" of peoples' lives from the exchange. And best of all, looks like you found a very like-minded work buddy!

  5. I'm so so happy this happened! I'm glad you found a new friend :)

  6. That's amazing. This blogging world is a great place sometimes!

  7. Awwww yay! Gotta love the blogging world!

  8. My sister in law has been in my life for two years and, frankly, I can't stand the girl. I recently found out that she's been keeping a blog and so I've started stalking her in an effort to maybe get to know her better and like her more. It's slow going but at least I'm learning more about her and having "conversations" that are more than the regular chit chat at family gatherings.

  9. Anonymous8:20 AM

    I'm still in that stage where I'm not ready for people I know to read my blog yet. It was brave of you to let someone in your life into your blogging world xxx

  10. I will never give anyone at work my url. I don't want them in my biz at all. I don't even give it to my friends. I think it's awesome that you took a chance on giving it to a co worker and it worked out better then you expected.

  11. I don't keep my blog super secret but I also don't really talk about it openly {other than to my two BFFs Patty & Brandi}. Not because I am ashamed of it but because I like to have that one place for just me. However, when someone starts talking about blogs and actually appreciates them I get excited because it's something that we have in common. I think it's totally awesome that you guys got to know each other better through your blogs. I think a lot of the time making friends is hard because you don't want to say anything to offend them, but you still want to be yourself.. just a toned down version of yourself... but with the blogs we get to know the real people because they don't feel like they have to tread lightly. Love this post and your blog :-)

  12. That's what I love about this blog world. How you can make these connections! That's awesome that the two of you were able to better understand each other because of your blogs. Yay! Hope everything keeps going up!

  13. This blog post warmed my heart and made me think about how I treat people, too. Thanks Bonnie!

  14. Not done reading yet but I must respond to this!

    "I am so blog stalking the crap out of you."
    Why do people say that!!!!? lol if you want to stalk me then at least keep it yourself so that I dont have to feel self conscious ever time im about to hit "publish"..geez people!

  15. Okay, done!...awww, what a great moment for the two of you to find a connection like that. It seems like (from your recent posts) that things are getting better and better for you at that new school. Stephanie sounds like such a sweetheart!

  16. Isn't this the whole "walk a mile in their shoes" concept? When you're able to know what someone else is going through it's much easier to empathize/sympathize with them and thankfully blogs allow that in this wonderfully modern day of the "I can so do it my damn self w/out help from anyone else although secretly deep inside I'm DYING to let you help me if for no other reason than to have someone to share the burden with" society we women have insisted we maintain equal stakeholdership in. We are truly our own worst enemies. Glad you found an ally who just may 'get' you. :)

  17. Isn't this the whole "walk a mile in their shoes" concept? When you're able to know what someone else is going through it's much easier to empathize/sympathize with them and thankfully blogs allow that in this wonderfully modern day of the "I can so do it my damn self w/out help from anyone else although secretly deep inside I'm DYING to let you help me if for no other reason than to have someone to share the burden with" society we women have insisted we maintain equal stakeholdership in. We are truly our own worst enemies. Glad you found an ally who just may 'get' you. :)

  18. Thanks Bonnie. This meant a lot too me, as did all our chat at lunch! I'm glad to have another blogging friend at school. I felt a little bad about outing you after I did it, (I have a habit of running my mouth, as you now know,) but the good news is our faculty isn't super into blogs, so you are safe! Except Hannah. Hannah is probably reading this right now...

    I'm really glad you are at our school, (I almost outed our school to your blog. When will I learn?)

  19. What a great coincidence! Glad you found a friend in Stephanie at work and were able to connect via your blogs. It really is amazing how blogs connect people, apparently in real life too!

  20. I'm glad you found a friend to connect with at your new school!
    Our Fairy Tale

  21. It is so wonderful the friends you can find out of nowhere! :) Those sometimes become the best of best friends! :)

  22. Such a cool story and coincidence.

    I once read a quote (of some variation) that everyone we meet is fighting a battle. Sort of inspired an epiphany for me, and I try to keep it in mind when I'm dealing with particularly "difficult" people.

  23. I like the idea that reading someones blog fast-tracks the friendship :) I always secretly hope that I will come across a blog of someone I know!