Things That Scare Me

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Almost three years ago, Ez of the blog Creature Comforts did something exciting and new online: she took a moment to be vulnerable and transparent. Inspired by a post written by Jess Lively, Ez wrote about the things that she was afraid to tell her readers, and anyone else online. It spurred a movement on blogs across the globe and people participated in several rounds of sharing these fears openly on the web.

In my circle of blogging friends, this moment in time is one that comes up in discussions regularly. People often cite it as a real breakthrough in connecting with their friends and readers, an example of what there should be more of and something we should all strive to keep alive in every post, not just one every year or so. But when this was all happening, I was in too vulnerable of a space to join in. In 2012 I had come out to my friends and family, ended a longterm relationship and was recovering from a draining 30+ city book tour. I wasn’t ready to open up because I wasn’t ready to process all those things alone yet. But lately I’ve been thinking more and more about what that sort of openness means to all of us online.

The way we all connect to each other as writers, bloggers, makers, readers and humans matters. I’ve talked about why transparency and honesty is a valuable thing and it’s led to some wonderful conversations on and offline that make me think that making it a more regular discussion — and making sure all of our posts are infused with that spirit of openness — is the best way to move forward. It’s clear to see that almost everyone online is clamoring for “realness” and relatability. I think it’s part of a desire to see ourselves, even just a tiny bit, in the people around us and a way for us to feel hopeful, connected and inspired. So today I wanted to join in this discussion, albeit three years late to the party. In a world where it’s all too easy to celebrate just the pretty and successful parts of life, there’s power and importance in taking a moment to air out the things that are more about fear than success. My hope is that anyone reading here can chime in, too, and use this moment to start the spring season with a fresh and open mind and heart. If nothing else, maybe some of us can find a new friend who can help us through a shared issue or concern. xo, grace

1. I’m Scared I’m Letting People Down All The Time:

My greatest professional fear is one that I do every day and will probably never be able to avoid entirely. Whether I’m passing on a home tour, responding too slowly to an email or upsetting someone with a reaction to their email/comment/post, some days it feels like a major part of my job is absorbing people’s disappointment and trying (and failing) to fix it and make it better.

I realize that it’s impossible to make everyone happy, and to provide everything to everyone, but I care deeply about trying to help and make as many people happy as possible. It’s such a big part of my self-identification that I often consider leaving online work entirely to do something more one-on-one (like nursing, counseling, or even some sort of animal rescue work) that allows me to focus more closely on one person and one issue at a time. I imagine this would make me feel as though I’m giving someone 100% of my time and energy, rather than just a portion. When I saw last week’s home tour with Sarah and Edurne and heard about Edurne’s second career in nursing, I had a real moment of wondering if that’s the path I should be following. Sadly, the fact that I have passed out 50% of the times I’ve ever been near a needle at a doctor’s office probably means I won’t make a very good nurse. But I have a feeling that down the line, my next big project or career will be more about helping people face-to-face.

2. I’m Scared That I’m Becoming a Hypochondriac:

I want to get this one out of the way quickly because it’s the one that embarrasses me the most. Over the past few years, I have become preoccupied with illness and far too prone to assume the very worst about every issue I face. I’ve dealt with some shadowy health scares in the past (major issues that land me in the hospital but are never diagnosed as anything that feels “right”) and it’s led me to feel that there’s always something lurking just under the surface that I haven’t found yet — and can’t control. Just in the past few months I’ve been to a gastroenterologist (convinced my bad reflux was something far more sinister), had an endoscopy and full round of other testing, and collapsed into a ball on the floor after discovering a lump in the bottom of my mouth (which turned out to be a sort of over-developed muscle near a normal bone in my jaw/mouth). It’s not pretty. The armchair psychiatrist in me thinks it’s probably due to the fact that I finally feel comfortable and happy and thankful about my life, so now I’m scared something will take it all away. No matter the root cause, I can’t seem to kick the feeling that every little ache and pain is indicative of something worse. (This is basically my search result life late at night.)

3. I’m Scared of Losing Stability and Security in Work:

It’s no secret that the internet is not the most secure place to work and that the blog/ad market took a major hit a few years ago. I never thought Design*Sponge would become my full-time job, and while I’m thankful that it has, learning to find stability in a market that is changing constantly is something I really struggle with. I am a fundamentally old-school type of person who longs for stability and the chance to find a groove and just stick with it, but knowing that that will probably never be possible with this job is tough. I am very, very thankful to just have a job right now, but sometimes worrying about the financial end of things and knowing that other people, who I care about and respect very much, rely on me and this job for their income can feel overwhelming. (*Don’t worry, DS team, I promise I’ll always keep you guys safe and as my first priority.)

4. I’m Scared That Following My Personal Needs and Changes May Affect My Business:

I have weirdly never been worried that being gay will hurt my business. I’m sure we lost some readers that day and since then, but I frankly don’t want to spend too much time with people who wouldn’t read the site because of that, anyway. But for some reason, I worry a lot about how my desire to let myself be more comfortable in life will affect my work and the way people view me or the site.

Five years ago I spent a lot of time worrying about what to wear to meetings and trade shows and how much to eat to ensure that I stayed small enough to look sharp and strong. I wasted so much time (and money and effort and good food) worrying about those things that I forgot that they never had much to do with the success of the site in the first place. I’m not naive enough to think that being relatively pulled-together and cleaned up isn’t helpful for photo shoots, etc., but after a rough few years between 2011-2013, I finally realized that respect and success have more to do with the things on the inside than the outside.

So a few years ago I really let all of that go. I gave away or sold any clothes that were too fancy or uncomfortable and I slowly built my everyday uniform of jeans, long sleeve shirts and the occasional loose dress. I felt happy and good about myself and then when we moved upstate I continued that slide into comfort and gained 10 pounds on top of another 5 from the year before. Combined with a new (very limited) sleep schedule at the hands of a young dog, I look at myself and see someone who looks far less like the “tough NYC girl” I used to see in the mirror and more like someone who looks older, softer and like she spends more of her days in muddy galoshes than spiky half-boots. On the inside, I love that. But on the outside, I worry how that will affect the people who see me as a reflection of the site and expect me to stay “small, cute and stylish.” (Those were the exact words written to me one day in an email related to a photo shoot as a guideline for my appearance.) I realize this fear is very small in relation to the very real survival needs of others, but it’s one that I really struggle with and hope I can learn to move on from in the future.

5. GOMI

I didn’t want to write about this fear. I didn’t want to give it, or the site, any extra air time, but I wanted to be 100% honest here and let this all go.

Do you know what it feels like to have an entire forum of people devoted to hating you and your work publicly, year after year? I do. And a lot of other people do, too. I realize that having people aware of you or your work in any way is, in some sense, something most of us should be happy about, but that can be tough to internalize sometimes.

I’m constantly reminding myself that everyone deserves a place to say whatever they want online, but it can be hard when you see/hear/discover people sometimes preying on your most vulnerable fears. No one is a harsher critic than ourselves, but to see those criticisms voiced online and to know that you aren’t the only one who sees those problems can be tough.

I realize that I put myself, my work and my life (part of it, anyway) online, so I’ve “asked for this” in some ways — and I know that’s what most people think. But every now and then I fall into this self-hating hole of reading through forums and realizing how many awful things there are said about me, my work and all the myriad things I should be doing better.

The only way I pull myself out of this place and move on is to remember a powerful moment from my life a few years ago. I was sitting on a bench in Brooklyn, just a few months after I came out and moved into my own apartment. I was talking to a dear friend and admitted to her that some days I just didn’t want to wake up anymore. I thought it would be easier to close my eyes and never deal with all of the difficult feelings I had, the hurt I’d caused, and having to process all of these messy feelings and behaviors at an age when I “should” have had it all together. Thankfully, this friend gave me the name of her therapist and that person helped me put things in perspective and get into a much better place in my life. That moment is a place I go back to a lot when I need to remember that compared to life and not having the privilege of living, everything else is just small potatoes.

– – – – – –

I hope putting this all out there will help some of you feel like you have someone else you know online who feels how you may have felt, now or in the past. I’m a firm believer that airing our fears is the only way to move past them or work on them, so thank you for allowing me this space to talk today.

So often I’m appreciative, but surprised, by people who email to say how much they envy my life or what it looks like from the outside. And while I know just how lucky I am to be here and have the life I do right now, I hope this helps anyone who feels that blogs/bloggers/the design community are a little too shiny and pretty and perfect, realize that we’re all very real people with problems we don’t always talk about online. And I’m very hopeful and happy to meet, connect and share with people online who are interested in digging deeper to find these parts of our lives that intersect and overlap so we can build deeper bonds in our community and help each other not just build homes we love, but lives we appreciate and enjoy, too. xo, grace

  1. What a lovely post, written from a place of strength, courage and generosity. Design Sponge has engendered a lovely community of open-minded, adventurous and supportive people who share wisdom and joy every day. It has changed my life, and I thank you.
    This may be helpful to you: I too suffer from reflux and there is a book called “Dropping Acid” by Dr.’s Jamie Koufman and Jordan Stern. Following this program I reduced my symptoms around 90% in a month or two. Take a look. As for GOMI – wow, what must it feel like to spend your days tearing other people’s creative work down – to have pure bile running through the veins, leaving a metallic, corrosive taste in the mouth. Just walk away and don’t look back. What you do is lovely. What you do inspires, and fills people with hope and beauty.

  2. Emili says:

    I think you are brave. I have started to blog a couple of times and couldn’t keep it up. Even with the internet shield, it just made me feel too vulnerable. Im a relatively new reader to your site. I’m impressed and inspired by your work. Thank you.

  3. Lucy Birley says:

    Grace,

    You are magnificent. I’ve followed Design Sponge for 5 years now, and it gave me the courage and inspiration to do my Masters, and is honestly the only website I read every single day. Your content is wonderful, and the internet is full of a-holes who can’t handle other people being successful. Points to you for evolving with an ever-changing market.

    Keep at it- we need you!

    PS My brother, an A&E (ER) doctor, is the biggest hypochondriac I know, do don’t worry about it. The other day he decided he had lymphoma after he strained his groin working out. Stop going on WebMD.

  4. Marsh says:

    This one could not have been an easy one to write, Grace, and I applaud you. As for the haters, I had no idea what GOMI was till now, and oh my God, what a horrible idea! But how telling in this new age of instant access and unedited sharing– brings out a lot of nastiness that simply wouldn’t have been published pre-internet.

    Thinking about haters, when I run across one, I remind myself what my dad taught me: “When you get kicked by a jackass, consider the source.” That has served me well many times over the decades! I also remind myself that I have to put up with those toxic people for a moment, but they have to live with themselves 24/7. Don’t give them your energy, Grace. You’ve got a whole army of supporters wishing you the best and appreciating your good work. To positivity!!

    1. Pilar says:

      @Marsh
      OMG Thank you, and thank, your Dad for that brilliant quote!
      Love it!
      Pilar

      1. Marsh says:

        Although he’s been gone 23 years now, I remember Dad and his brilliant teachings every day. Another one I loved was when he was talking about his optimism compared to his sister’s pessimism: “When she looks at a pile of manure, all she’s sees is manure, but when I look at it I think, ‘There’s gotta be a horse around here somewhere!'” I try to always find the horses nowadays :-)

  5. bianca says:

    what sincerity and integrity. I rarely read a post so authentic, so touching… I’m not alone. I like the way you see things now. thank you.

  6. Kendra says:

    The very best medicine is voicing our fears and anxieties. Taking the time to just empty and open your heart to be able to TRUST AND LET GO. I read a really awesome book recently called The Period Repair Manual. I highly recommend it to all women.

  7. sosusam says:

    What a very moving post. Although I’ve followed Design Sponge for a year or so now, this is the first time I’ve left a comment. I just want to add my voice to the others who have applauded you for your courage and honesty (wow! not easy on the internet!), and thank you for being so open. As you said, I now have a different, and better, and very welcome sense of the person behind the “perfect” blog, and I’m quite grateful. You can SOMI as far as I’m concerned! ;)

  8. Carrie says:

    Thanks! Really; thank you! Wishing you all the best!

  9. Fionna says:

    Wow! Grace you amazing.
    I am super impressed that you revealved so many big fears! Its hard to know how much to put out there online and I think you are really brave for being so open.
    Reading design sponge for many years helped inspire me to go from my office cubicle, back to school to my own textile business. So while you might not have helped me face to face you totally did virtually and please don’t forget it.
    Keep up the good work you do.
    -fionna
    PS – I was born and raised in Colombia County so hope you are loving your new upstate life!

  10. Jaime says:

    I want to give you a GIANT HUG right now. :) This is awesome.

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      Thanks, Jaime :)

      xo
      G

  11. Amy says:

    Grace, I rarely comment, but I have to tell you how much this post resonates with me. I am 30. I came out at 27. I divorced my ex-husband at about the same time you and your ex broke up. And I have been a step behind you in growing up for a while now. I look up to you in a real way, not just because you dress well, and make painted floor cloths, and know interesting people. And I share a lot of your fears. It’s nice to know that none of us is alone in fearing, but it’s fantastic to see you doing amazing things in abject defiance of those fears. Whenever I see you and Julia featured in some fun blog or magazine, or catch an insta-peek at a delicious-looking dinner you two are sharing on a random week night, I am so happy to see that people I enjoy and respect are doing well. It’s inspiring in the least Hallmark way. And none of my respect for you is based on some assumption that you’re ONLY living a pinterest-perfect existence. You’re human and have fears and foibles just like the rest of us. Thank you for having sufficient trust in the good of humanity to share these unpolished parts of your life and experience. I hope that people don’t let you down too often or too dramatically, because it’s clear that you are doing your damnedest to do the absolute best you can. Keep up the good work; I’m pulling for you. -A

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      A-

      Thank you. So much. Sending a lot of love your way. I know what all that feels like and I hope you’re doing ok. You can always email me if you ever need anyone to listen.

      Grace

      1. Amy says:

        Grace, see how generous and wonderful you are? I’m doing fantastically well; thanks for checking! I promise I’ll reach out when I need you. Have a warm and sunny weekend!

        -A

  12. Pilar says:

    Grace,
    Your post speaks so many truths–
    >we all seek acceptance, belonging, understanding, a tribe
    >we fear failure, others’ disappointment, shame
    >haters are still haters, in person or online

    Hopefully while writing and posting this beautiful blog you remembered that you are admired, appreciated, and more than accepted.
    Hopefully you reaffirmed the wisdom of the great researcher/storyteller Brene Brown, who said that shame cannot exist with empathy.

    And, finally, surely you wrote down in your book of favorite quotes that GEM from @Marsh, which puts those GOMIs in perspective “When you get kicked by a jackass, consider the source.”

    Thank you for being you,
    Pilar

  13. KH_Tas says:

    Grace,
    As others have said, you do great stuff and are sometimes too kind.
    You don’t deserve to be abused just for putting yourself out there, that’s not asking for it, nor should you feel required to absorb any garbage that comes your way (and anyone who thinks you’re weak or unfit for being affected by it needs to get a clue). I find your work excellent, and as a fellow anxiety sufferer I wish you the best in tackling it, it is truly a beast.

    KH

  14. Ruth says:

    It’s been inspiring, at a truly gut-level, to see your personal growth through the lens of this blog. I’m in my late 20s and started reading DS right out of college, when I first realized I wanted to intentionally craft the space I lived in. It’s so clear in the last few years how much more comfortable you are with who you are. As someone a few life steps behind you, it’s reassuring to see how just a few years and a lot of hard work can propel a person (a person put in the small, cute, and at least trying to be stylish box, since we share those attributes) to a place of confidence and happiness. It’s awesome to see that that place also involves the fearlessness to write a post like this.

    I’ve honestly been thinking exactly what I wrote above since you first started writing about your new home. I thought about it a fair amount after reading your morning routine interview. It’s a pleasure to get to know you from afar online. Please keep sharing as much as you feel comfortable sharing with us. Haters gonna hate, but the rest of us truly benefit from your work.

  15. Katie says:

    I don’t think you “asked for this”. Your career is important to you and cool and does not mean that asked for disrespect. When that person called you a bitch I thought it was horrible and abusive. I think that comments on the internet is not that different than saying those things to someone’s face, including criticism of someone’s home. Maybe some opinions are better kept to ourselves.

  16. Jean says:

    Dear Grace-
    I could not read your post and just let it . I had to reach out to you to say I appreciate your honestly and willingness to expose your fears. I know it must feel strange sometimes balancing the virtual world and the desire to have human connection face to face. I will say this: you are good at what you do. Of course you can find another path. You seem like the kind of person who would be able to tackle anything you truly wanted. You already have. But, don’t apologize or think that what you do right now is one-dimensional. There are many layers to the work that you put out there. And quite frankly you and your team are the best.
    I write to you also to tell you that I have always worked as a clinical social worker. No matter despite one’s best efforts- a counselor, nurse etc, is work that is never one on one. It is filled with obstacles at every turn – and sometimes that is rewarding and sometimes it makes you want to scream. I only share because we can often desire something when what we already do just needs to be changed a little to bring us the rewards/fulfillment we need .

    I have often been accused of expressing myself too much or being too honest. But, if we all continue to pretend what true connections do we make? We miss an opportunity to make a real friend.

    Good luck to you and know that readers do appreciate anyone who is real.

  17. Hi Grace, I respect your honesty and your courage. Just a suggestion if I may, I used to be so paranoid about my health and many conditions I thought I had. At one point, I started documenting all the symptoms, my evaluations, my fears and my solutions for controlling these fears, even wrote down some self encouragement into a little health diary. Overtime, the paranoia dissapeared. I think expressing my emotion and evaluating facts from a more pragmatic point of view really helped. Of course I visited the doctor time to time for assurance. This worked for me but I know everyone is different. I hope you feel better and I dearly wish you good health. All the very best.

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      Jennifer

      That’s a really good idea- thanks for the suggestion. I think I have a hard time facing facts or journals like that, but that’s probably the precise reason they would be good for me in this case ;)

      Grace

  18. Meg says:

    Hi Grace,
    I really admire the courage you have to write a post like this. I think that everyone has deeply set fears that are hard to verbalize, let alone blog about in a very public setting, so kudos for you. While I relate to most of these fears on some level (if not personally, I know others who have confided in having very similar fears with me), the first one you wrote about completely struck home. I often wonder why I feel like I am always letting people down and am never good enough. I actually just wrote a post about this feeling and how it relates to friendship this week as I noticed that we were all beating ourselves up about not being “there” enough for each other (when really, that thinking is entirely in our heads). I actually got really infuriated when I noticed this trend because I just have to wonder what is it about women (and yes, I know this happens with men, but I feel like it hits us harder for some reason) that makes us feel like we are never ever enough and always letting down someone? I’d be happy to continue a conversation with you about this because it honestly drives me bonkers and I want to stop it. Or at least help others realize that we are good enough as we are. I’m not entirely sure how to go about doing this, but I do think that really honest posts like this one help tremendously and can catch fire. Thank you again, and please know that you’re very inspiring!

  19. cat seto says:

    You mention losing that “Tough NYC Girl” look…but I’d have to argue that this essay reveals the truer more tougher girl within. It takes both genuine strength and humility to write the way you have. Thank you so much for sharing this! xo

  20. Sierra says:

    This was so nice to read. I identify with many of the fears you wrote about especially around work and your personal life. You’re always so inspiring. Thank you for sharing! xx

  21. Michele says:

    I am currently working through some of my fears because they are definitely holding back so bravo for sharing yours. That in itself is scary.

    As for GOMI, I checked it out when I first heard about it and then never went back. It just felt…wrong. I feel for the bloggers that are targeted on their but I hope you and others know you have more supporters than anything else.

  22. x 10,000 with GOMI. Though my thread(s) aren’t terribly long, the harshest and most cutting criticism I have received has been at the more vulnerable points of my life that I have chosen to share with my readers. Mostly when my daughter had brain surgery and lately with my infertility issues and miscarriage. So, whether it’s just a few comments or a full forum of anonymous people, it frankly sucks. Fortunately I have found that sharing myself in raw form has mostly been a positive experience, as I’ve encountered many kind and like-minded individuals on the web that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Thank you for putting your fears out there. And I say this as one hypochondriac to another <3

  23. Jenny says:

    Grace,

    Reading this post written with such raw honesty, humility and the flare that is your voice, I was reminded of why I read DesignSponge. I am a very longtime reader of your blog and when you came out, I remember being so incredibly proud of you– that you had started living your life in a way that was true to you. The courage and grace with which you handled that was incredible because, well, you DO live in the spotlight, even if it IS the internet spotlight. You had just come through the ringer in your life and here you were, telling the rest of the world very publically. I was in awe of you.

    The way you write DesignSponge is beautiful and rare in the blogging world– you inspire, you never make your readers feel that they are unimportant, and what sets you apart from so many bloggers out there is that you never purport to be perfect. But… THAT’S perfect. Letting yourself be human, letting yourself be flawed, not apologizing for what makes you who you are, being relateable, being strong enough to be who you are– THAT is perfection. Thank you for letting us view the world through your lens.

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      Thank you, Jenny. :)

      Grace

  24. Xenia says:

    You are such a classy woman Grace! And I’m a hypochondriac too!

  25. Mary says:

    Hey Grace- I read fear number two and immediately scrolled down to comment- I’ve always had issues with anxiety, but lately my “health anxiety” has reached an overwhelming height. Anxiety is such a tough one- it’s something that’s hidden just under the surface, and there are very few people in my life who know that it’s something I struggle with at all. I understand how isolating that feeling of hypochondria is- it’s so difficult to really convey (even to the people you care about) how consuming that anxiety is, and it’s especially difficult when you’re rationally aware that there’s probably no basis for the alarming extent of your fears (i.e. you’re not crazy, and you’re feeling SOMETHING, it’s just likely that it’s not as much of something as you fear). I’ve found myself sucked into many a late night symptom search that leaves me feeling so helpless and scared. Something that has been working for me (and it’s so simple and seems so silly) is logging how often I do health anxiety related habits (symptoms searches, body checks, asking my partner for health reassurance, seeing a doctor over something small, etc) and my corresponding anxiety level. Just tracking it (even, some days, in my head) encourages me not to do these things, and the less I do them, the lower my anxiety is. You’re so not alone in this- if you ever want someone to chat with, feel free to send me an email. I know that you will find a way to make that anxiety dissipate!

  26. Kate says:

    You haven’t “asked for it.” GOMI is a vile place full of small, insecure people who make themselves feel better by criticizing others.

  27. *mg* says:

    That place you had to pull yourself out of … that’s where I am right now.

    I had a piece (something I designed and sell online) go globally viral. Wasn’t trying to make it happen, the piece I designed isn’t even my passion – it just randomly happened. Of course, I have thousands and thousands of amazingly supportive customers on practically ever continent, but the negative mean vicious people who have dedicated themselves to ripping my success apart (and some who have even dedicated blogs to being horridly rude about it) have shut me in a dark cold place. I’m a grown woman — I know better than to let that get to me, but I’ve learned a lot about myself – one being that, evidently, my skin must not be that thick.

    Desperately trying to pull myself out of this place and I’m failing.

    Art, beautiful things, nature — inspires me. My true passion is to create art. It’s what I so want to do, but now that I have tasted ‘internet success’ and felt the backlash from the haters, I’ve punished myself and remain this fearful person I’ve never met before. Fear is winning right now and I’m tired of it.

    Thank you for being honest and open. I needed to read this. I need to find someone to help me put things in perspective like you did. I need to create more art…with earplugs on — create without hearing all the static.

    I’ll get there, and when I do, I’ll remember how this blog post is what helped to launch me to a new passion and journey. Thank you, Grace. (and I love that Grace is my middle name — makes it even more special that I found this post)

    *mg*

    1. *mg* (again) says:

      ….Forgot to mention in my previous comment that I very much understand about your #2 fear — we’ve had a couple very scary life or death moments in our marriage. My husband almost died years ago and then my daughter had a time when she was in the hospital for almost two months. Then, our life was completely turned upside down last summer when my husband suffered an injury that we’re still trying to learn to deal with and it has caused a major change in lives. We have no idea what each month will bring us. I don’t do well with such unexpectedness and lack of security.

      We’ve had so much happen in addition to that as well that I’m constantly just expecting more bad news to be around the corner so I worry about every bump, pain, or anything that remotely seems strange medically.

      I feel you when you talked about being at an age when you ‘should’ have everything together. Somehow, decades have crept by me and I’m not anywhere where I thought I’d be in several aspects of my life and I’m trying to come to a place of acceptance with it. I read a quote somewhere on the internet (Pinterest, more than likely), and I can’t remember exactly how it went, but it was something like — What makes you think you’re not exactly where you’re supposed to be at this point in time? It also said something about you’re here to learn and prepare for greatness that is around each corner.

      Again, thank you so much for your willingness to be open. For every person leaving a comment, I’m sure there are MANY MANY MANY more who are being touched by your honesty.

      Obviously, this post has deeply touched me. I can’t stop thinking about it….

      *mg*

  28. Shvetal says:

    Hello.
    I’ve commented only once on this blog. I read it regularly though. I’ve never thought of myself as artistic, but after following the different kinds of stories on this blog, I’ve realised that there are a million different ways to be interested in design, craft and art. I’ve started thinking about the night sky as art and noticing flowers and flower arrangements. I’m sure it would be easy to find problems (you need a blogger to tell you about the night sky?) but we all come to things in different ways. Some books show you the wonder of the world, some sites do. Imagine how much poorer my life would have been if this blog had never existed.

  29. Lisa says:

    I hadn’t heard of GOMI, a website for people to waste their one precious life. I’m happy you’re not wasting yours. Instead, you’ve taken the time to inspire total strangers who come to your site. Thank you for having the courage to do so.

  30. Jesse says:

    This is an amazing post, kudos to you for being so brave. All the fears you talk about sound like a normal part of being human, but that doesn’t make them any less real or awful. I’m truly sorry you deal with hateful people on the Internet, but know for every hateful person out there, there are five more who are inspired by you.
    Love from Texas!
    Jesse

  31. Naeena says:

    This may be my first time commenting on your blog, Grace, but I’ve been reading for years. Sometimes, I forget that there are real people writing all the posts so it’s refreshing and reassuring to read your post. Thank you for sharing and being authentic.

  32. Kate says:

    Fantastic! Your forthrightness is stunning. Thank you Grace for your courage in writing this. Ditto on the “BRAVO!”

  33. Another blogger says:

    You are seriously the best, Grace! I wish there was a clone of you living in my town so we could be bff’s ;)

    I feel ya on the acid reflux situation… I also have some weird, not quite normal version of the condition that hasn’t been able to be properly diagnosed/cured for years by two top docs and meds. Not fun at all. Glad you figured yours out!

    Oh, and #5… screw those people. That type of hate can only come from misery in one’s own life—no reflection on you. The more popular/successful you are, the more they feel the right to dehumanize and bring you down to their level. It’s mob mentality at its worst. I’ve made a conscious decision to stop reading—it’s improved my mental health

  34. joyi says:

    It was by chance that I happened upon your post, and what a lucky chance it was. This post is as unique as they come and has made me wonder what my fears are. Since, I don’t have a blog of my own to share them, I will share them here.. Read on.. if anyone would like to.
    I am afraid of lizards. Petrified. I dread summer’s when lizards come out and crawl everywhere.
    I am scared of flying. This one developed slowely.. over many bad weather trubulent flights. I get panic attacks in bad turbulence. I get irritated bowel syndrome 2 weeks before flying.
    I am afraid of being judged. I keep a low profile, try to be invisible. Take a lot of time to open up. Introvert? May be. but mainly lack of self confidence. (And I blame my mom for having a big hand in this.) An extension of this belief – I am afraid that I am not as interesting as I thought I was, and am pretty boring.

    May be I just need to open up and take the risk of being judged by talking to people and just being myself. With that thought I will stop.

  35. Sending warm hugs your way. Amazing post. Here is a link of a similar post i did on my blog.
    http://wairimumurigi.blogspot.com/2014/10/too-personal-and-awkward.html

  36. Erin says:

    I did a similar post on My Top 10 Regrets back in 2013 and it’s one of my most read posts to date, if not the most read one. As terrifying as it is to put so much of yourself out there, I think people really appreciate getting an insight into who you are and your vulnerabilities. Sharing my deepest thoughts like that really helped me to overcome a lot of the guilt I was feeling because of them. I’m glad bloggers are willing to share more of themselves through posts like these, even when websites like GOMI exist; love always wins out over hate.

    Erin | Being Erin

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