Saturday, February 22, 2014

How Loud Are You Living?... Take Two.

Happy Saturday peeps! I promised that I would be back with the results from Battle of the Bands. 26 of you wonderful souls took the time to listen to both versions and vote. Woohoo! Many of you gave nods to Ryan Adams but still voted for Oasis. So, even though Oasis won this battle, it was by no means a shut-out, and I think some of you were torn about how to vote. Final tally (without my vote) is Oasis with 16 and Ryan Adams (not Bryan Adams) with 10. My vote obviously doesn't change the outcome, but I am casting mine for Ryan Adams. I think he is a better singer. The slower tempo allows me to really feel the message. "And all the roads we have to walk are winding. And all the lights that lead the way are blinding. And there are many things that I would like to say to you but I don't know how. Maybe you're gonna be the one saves me. After all, you're my wonderwall."

Come back again on the 1st and we'll play Battle of the Bands again!

If you are familiar with Arlee Bird's blog Tossing It Out, you probably remember when he went on a tear a month or two ago about stats, blogs going viral, and all things that relate to those two topics. I hadn't checked my stats in forever and now I am doing it every other day. I am so suggestible! Now every time an old post pops back up in my Top 5 posts of the day, week, etc. I feel compelled to go read it. My fifth most popular post of all time, I'LL HAVE A MOCHA VODKA VALIUM LATTE TO GO PLEASE, once again made my Top 5 this week.  I think that post was so popular because of this graphic (which I didn't use in the post):

I wrote that post the first year I began blogging (2010), so I had to reread it. I considered reposting it here. You can Click Here to read it. However, in that post I reference the previous two posts and the comments generated. So, I read those, too.

I was struck by how much has changed and how much remains the same in all three of these posts. The first was this one (which I am going to reprint for your reading pleasure) is titled HOW LOUD ARE YOU LIVING?  I am including a link if you want to read the comments:)


This brain has been very full of lots of "stuff." In fact, sometimes I get so much stuff going on up there that it is like someone opened a puzzle and threw out all of the pieces. Yeah, like that's fun. I've never been a big puzzle fan to start with and now I am trying to sort through them in my head. My mom pulled me into her reading room to tell me that she read this little quippy thing: indigestion of the brain. She says, "Maybe you can blog about it."

I am thinking, "Who needs to blog about it? I am living with it. It's called insomnia and I have it nearly every night." However, indigestion of the brain is pretty quippy, so I do have to give her points on that one.

I started reading a blog by Lucy March about a month ago. Maybe more. Maybe less. Time has lost all meaning for me. I backdoored into a published writer's blog, and that led to another, and another, and then literary agents, and the list goes on. I wish that I could say that after extensive research I found these excellent websites. Nope. It was sheer luck, because I don't have a clue what I am doing on here. It is six months now, and I still don't get this site. That is really sad and I know it, but I am really shooting for honesty here and that is the truth.

Anyway, back to Lucy March... she is a published writer, so I checked out her site. I was really into my novel at that time and adding writers left and right. Turns out she is a published writer. Well... what I noticed immediately was that I was jumping into the middle of a story. Anyone who knows me, knows that I cannot stand that. For instance, if a TV show comes on and I miss the first season for any reason, and then it becomes this big hit, well I sometimes don't watch it until it is 1) almost over 2) completely over, or 3) not at all. And then it means I am buying it on DVD and playing catch up because I have to watch it IN ORDER. A story is meant to be read/told/watched from the beginning. So... in terms of Miss March's blog, that meant I had to go back to the beginning and start there. It turns out this wasn't a writing blog. It was a blog written by a writer, but it wasn't tips on improving your writing. This was a blog about rebuilding your life. This was real and honest and real. I know that I said real already, but she was throwing it out there. I was riveted.

I started reading four or five blogs at a time. My brain really couldn't process any more than that. In one of the more recent ones I read she says this, "The definition of adulthood is no longer caring what other people think." That hit so hard that I wrote it down in my notebook. It was an "aha" moment. It was a light bulb moment for her, as well. People who are people pleasers tend to twist themselves up to make other people happy. In some cases, the other people don't even know this is happening. In some cases, they do, and they take advantage. Either way, when you relegate your opinion about what you think to second, third, fourth, or tenth place, you get lost. You just keep stashing pieces of yourself away until you are unrecognizable even to yourself. You become what someone else wants you to be. Oh, the misery. Everyone knows this story doesn't have a happy ending.

So, Miss March is rebuilding. I thought about that while I was reading. How many times have I tried to rebuild since I got divorced? I have lost count. For the longest time, my ex-husband was still yanking my chain with his kids. It was the same old crap. The only difference was that he lived at a separate address. But I was still all tied up in knots. Well, I could go through each case of rebuild over the last five years, but they weren't rebuilds, they were false starts. Why didn't they work? "The definition of adulthood is no longer caring what other people think." I had been stuck in that loop de loop for so long that I didn't know how to get out.

I started a myspace, but my ex insisted on being my friend. Was it my space? No. I started a facebook page. He friended me. This time I put the hammer down. No. However, we did have some mutual friends. I started blogging. One of them copied and pasted one of my blogs and emailed it to him. The blog was about me, but also about him. Sometimes you can't tell your own story without telling his. He got pissed and threatened to not let me see the kids. I could feel myself falling back into the same old patterns. This was pre-Lucy March. However, I was ready to tell him to be the one to explain things to them. In other words, I was ready to draw my line in the sand. You can't devocalize someone. He eventually calmed down. However, I got a blogger account and pretty much stopped blogging on facebook. The truth was that I still didn't want to be in his face. I wanted to be free to write how I felt without having to deal with him and his crap. So, I quietly pulled up my stakes and moved. I still occasionally post stuff on facebook, but nothing that will put his knickers in a knot.

I mentioned it earlier, but my blog following was smaller, so fewer of you got to appreciate it. So, I will bring it up again. H-Girl wanted to see Taylor Swift in concert for her birthday. Her dad said okay and said she could bring someone. She chose me. I tell you what, people, no one was more surprised than me. Events turned out really awesome in that one of her openers was sick and so Taylor went on EARLY. Woohoo. Anyway, she has all of these fairly elaborate costume changes. So, to keep the audience entertained she runs video footage. I pulled this off of youtube; it is in concert footage. People, I laughed my ass off. It was priceless. Had I known that it was part of the show, I would have paid for the tickets. I was on the aisle, and I was practically rolling. I think my ex-husband got the idea, but he never said a word. Again ~ priceless. Now, I ask you... how can a teenager be so smart and a grown woman be so stupid? That is a rhetorical question. I really don't want any answers to that one.

Anyway, it gave me a whole new admiration for Taylor Swift that I didn't have pre-show. There is this voice in my head saying, "If she is strong enough to not care what people think in public, how can you be so 'walk on eggshells' in private? You don't live in the public eye. Newspapers don't care what you do." All of this was still processing (I am a slow processor), when I listened to Not Afraid and got my dose of Marshall Mathers. Here was one more person living right out there in public. Just throwing it out there. In Taylor's case, she is this sweet girl, who hasn't hurt anybody. In other words, life hasn't smacked her good yet.

 In MM's case, it isn't such a pretty picture. In Lucy March's case, she isn't blameless, either. She is coming to terms with all of the things that she did wrong that brought her to where she is now. Publicly. All of these people are publicly claiming their crap. Their weakness. Their fear. What they did right. What they did wrong. And in the case of Lucy March, MM, and me... we are all on this journey of reclamation. Reclamation of our lives. We are all telling our truth in order to get our lives back. The difference lies in how we tell it. MM is really living out loud. LM is living fairly loud. I am living anonymously and hoping that my ex-husband doesn't find my site.

I am reminded of a quote from the movie She's Having A Baby. It is at the beginning (the wedding scene) when the parents and grandparents are on both sides of the aisle. No one seems to be all that happy about this wedding. One of the grandpas says, "People don't mature anymore. They just stay jackasses all their lives."


Lucy March has taken down that blog and replaced it with a blog strictly about writing. 
I no longer give a rat's ass what my ex-husband thinks and his ability to yank my chain is over. That doesn't mean I go out of my way to hurt him, spite him, or make him miserable, either.
And most of my friends In Real Life, including my ex, still don't know about this blog.  So, I am still not living all that loudly.... hmm.
That Taylor Swift video still makes me smile. As in hugely. Shouldn't do bad things. Bwahahahahaha.


  1. I always thought the definition of becoming an adult was becoming responsible and mature.
    And some people never get there. They do remain little brats who throw a fit when things don't go their way. I just avoid those kinds of negative people.
    Funny what happened with the concert.
    I probably stand stronger in real life than on my blog. Then again, you've only to visit me for a while to understand where I stand on issues, and all without me having to say a thing.
    Hope you can get some sleep soon.

  2. I'm glad to see you cast a vote in your own BOTB. For me anyway, it's not about the the originators vote counts up in the final tally, but knowing their reasoning behind the initial post and their personal preference.

  3. There are ways to live loud without breaking people's eardrums. Prudence, discretion and discernment never hurt anyone. Numerous times, I've held back, only to find out I was better off for having done so. Probably just as many times, I've put it all out there with the same result. It's about gut instinct, I suppose.

    As writers, we can put it all out there without anyone knowing what we're doing sometimes. Even if they do, if we're creative enough, they don't have the guts to question it, because it wouldn't do any good anyway.

    The older I get, the more I'm not worried about it. I have a right to be free, and I live in USA so my freedom of speech is protected. Determining how and when I want to say something is the biggest hurdle for me. I know what I want to say, and I don't hesitate to say it. How I say it, when I say it, that makes all the difference.

  4. Every post I write, in the back of my mind I'm thinking "I don't want to step on anyone's toes here. Let me just backpedal a bit on this."

    Only lately have I begun treating my blog the same as I do my writing - Get that first draft out and load it with all the $hit I have to repress on a day to day basis. Then go back with clippers and take it down an inch or two.

    I sometimes feel like I'm living my life in anticipation of a time when I can just be honest with people... But not yet. Because X might happen if I'm honest with so and so. Y might happen if I'm real with that person. It sucks waiting. We shouldn't have to.

    My very favorite blogs belong to people who just don't care. And that, to me, is the way it should be. If I want to be exposed to lies or fluff or ear candy, I can just expose myself to a news channel or an advertisement or pretty much any corporate controlled media.

    I read that Gandhi said "Truth never damages a cause that is just." I'm not an outspoken fan of Taylor Swift. I probably couldn't name three songs of hers. But she must have some inherent wisdom.

  5. If people are going to nitpick through your stuff to find what they want to see, instead of reading what you have to write, I don't see a need to share your blog with them. :)

    I like the line about maturing meaning you don't care what people think. I wish I could get that through to my 14-yr. old daughter, but I know those things just take time (and dang it that they do).

  6. Alex ~ I think the responsibility and maturity are signposts of adulthood and I have met quite a few people who make me wonder if they will EVER get there. Part of the problem is that so many people don't want to claim anything.... nothing is their fault. That concert was quite a few years ago now, but yes, it was hilarious. And I am sleeping much better now than I was then. I still have issues, but nothing like what was going on back then.

    FAE ~ Yes, it is fun to know the reasoning behind the song choices and what the person who posted liked best. I agree.

    M.J. ~ I think I am much better about voicing my opinion now than I was. I have been through many phases with this speaking your mind business. Probably until I was 30 I was very outspoken. Sometimes I didn't use as much caution as I wished I had after it was all said and done. When I met my ex-husband, I allowed him to take my voice. He was a verbally and emotionally abusive sort of person and before it was all over I turned into a person I didn't recognize. But, he didn't force that change on me. I changed me to keep that horrible relationship "working." I think I live more in the middle now. I feel free to voice my opinions and I am more aware of how other people feel... so me delivery is somewhat better than it was. That isn't to say that I haven't said things that ended up hurting someone... because I have. Unintentionally, but still.

    David ~ Writing is this blessing for people who stifled in their own lives. They get to say and do all of the things that can't actually say and do. Man, I know all about X and Y. Here is the truth that I learned about those relationships (and you can take this or leave it), but if you have to constantly alter yourself because if they knew the Real You they would leave, disapprove, it would cause a Major Fight, or anything else that is negative... that is not a good relationship. By catering to this fear, you are hampering your own self. You are becoming someone else. I allowed myself to become someone else when I was married because if I stood my ground and held to my belief in X, then it was going to get ugly. So, I became a shell of my Real Self with that person and it literally made me sick. Like I said, not a healthy relationship. Ironically, my ex still thinks he "knows" me. He has no clue. He knows a shell of me that I created to sustain that relationship. However, I have cast aside that shell and that is NOT me any longer. All of the writing that I did in this blog in 2010 was a shedding of that shell. I needed a place where I could be Real and it turns out that blogging is the perfect format for that.

    As for Taylor Swift... she isn't my favorite, either. She has a few songs that I like. But that video makes me want to reach through the screen and hug her. She is not allowing people who have treated her badly to dictate how she deals with them in the future. If she wants to write a song about them and talk about it, she does. Well good for her. That is just one of the many reasons we have freedom of speech.

    1. I see what you mean. I've felt myself biting my tongue occasionally, but not to the scale of compromising my beliefs. You make a good point and it reminds me of something a marriage counselor said once... regarding the dangers of altering your identity to make a relationship work.

  7. Sounds like you've found your center. Have a good Sunday, Robin.

  8. rosey ~ Exactly. That is one of the big reasons that a good many of the people I know don't know about my blog. If they did... would I feel free to write something that might be about them (even if I don't name names)? Probably not. Yeah, I think it just takes maturity. Your girl will get there.

    Sandra ~ Things are much better for sure!

  9. You see yourself so much better than many people do. You can't control what other people do, only how you react to it. I'm glad your blog is your refuge away from the irritants and worse in your life.

  10. I have often wondered what makes certain posts pop up repeatedly in my stats. I know some of them are because of the pictures but others I can't quite figure out. Although looking at search results can be bit revealing.

  11. We blog loudly. Unapologetically. Sometimes, personally. I don't mind sharing my personal life and my mistakes on our blog. If people can't deal with it or are critical of it, whatever. I guess it's just something I've learned as a published writer. Just as not everyone will love your books, not everyone will agree with your point of view or your life decisions. So I'd rather blog knowing that I rocked the boat and made people laugh than cater to everyone's tastes and make a bland, milquetoast blog that's not worth reading.

    Also, I can't stand Taylor Swift, regardless of that video. But good for her for not caring, at least.

  12. Susan ~ I really figured out a life of stuff in this blog. I can't say that I have a handle on all of it... even now. But it is really nice to have a forum to share ideas.

    Elsie ~ I haven't figured out the rhyme or reason with stats - well in some cases. But mostly no.

    ABFTS ~ Yes, I have noticed that about you guys. I think it is great!!! Ah well, poor Taylor. I think she'll survive with No Love from you....:D

  13. You must have posted this after I checked your blog Saturday. Glad I saw it now. I'm also glad that things seem to be going better for you now than when you first posted that?

    One of the great things about blogging is that I doubt I would keep a journal or diary, but I keep a blog and so I get to look back and see all kinds of things I did and thought and enjoy them all over again. That's one of the things I really enjoy about it. And so I understand when you go back and re-read one of the things you posted and see how you've changed (or not.)

    In the words of a great writer, this post felt real, and honest, and real.

  14. Hi Robin,

    I'm going to leave a rather short comment. My brain is completely frazzled and I hope you understand. I'm one of those fortunate folks who is very aware of your blog. Your followers total and yes, I hate the word, "followers", based on the length of time you've blogged, is rather impressive. As for me, I'm rather quiet, don't get involved in all those darned blog hops and discreetly support in the background.

    Your blog, a platform to share your thoughts. A verbalisation of your hopes, your aspirations, your ideals. Who is Taylor Swift? :)

    Here's to you, Robin.

    Gary :)


    Oh yeah, I could go for one of those.

    I try to keep my blog private (I'm not really a warp polyhedron), but my husband keeps talking about it. All I ask is that they keep it anonymous.

  16. Having blogged for so long, it's amazing how the journey is full of so many twists and turns. It's an evolution, and I'm sure if you keep going, you'll look back and wonder at how you've changed (and yet not changed).

    Cube up there knows how my blog has transformed since 2005. I used to blog strictly about the funny side of science. It was my theme - and I loved it. But I wanted to get back to writing, and my blog changed that change in mindset.

    What-the-what? Cube? What the hell are you doing here???

  17. Briane P ~ I used to get extremely real on this blog. I was sorting through all of my emotional junk and shared it regularly. Ha! Well, I still do sometimes, but not so much any more. Maybe I should rethink that????

    Gary ~ Interesting that you bring up followers. I look at when this blog started and I had a small but committed group. So many of those folks have stopped blogging altogether since then and my "regulars" are now totally different people. This whole blogging thing is extremely fluid.

    Cube ~ Yeah, I have lots of mocha vodka valium latte days... or days that it sounds good anyway.

    Jay ~ I still enjoy your science posts. I wish more writers wrote about stuff other than just writing. I think if you want to get people interested in you as a writer what works best is allowing them to see a bit of the things that interest you... if not YOU. I found Cube from a post you wrote featuring various blogs you really like. So, you can thank yourself.

  18. One thing remains consistent: every day is a new chance to rebuild. Thank goodness for that. Your writing is consistently strong and prolific too.

    Be well,

  19. I have no theme at the Tiki Hut. I have no theme in my life - LOL! I'm pretty random. I prefer eclectic. I love your blog :)

  20. Time has a way of changing everything, even if it's just slightly. (I had a little giggle of understanding at you hoping your ex doesn't find your site).

  21. Robyn ~ Yes, I think that so long as we continue to seek for more... more understanding, more knowledge, more of everything we have more tools for the next rebuild. One day, if by nothing else than sheer tenacity, we will get there.

    Carol ~ Yeah... I like random too!

    Lynda ~ Yes, I've had some big and small changes in the last four years. While I still hope my ex doesn't find my site, I wonder if it would be that big of a deal now???? I am not going to tell him to find out, but still...

  22. Everyone should feel free to post whatever they wish and some times we all don't agree with a post, but that is what makes every comment unique! :) I am thinking if you want to blog about personal things but you are not wanting to open up a huge can of worms then change the names, blog about it and make it sound like a story you read, a movie, a book anything like that.: ) BTW I loved the post!

  23. I don't think it's a good idea to shout from the rooftops unless you have something important to say that people need to hear. I don't try to hide things, but since I'm no celebrity or high profile person it probably doesn't matter to anyone but my family. And if I blog it they usually don't see it anyway.

    If a person tries to hard to be hush hush, then if the secret gets out then it's all louder than it would have been if we'd just been open about things.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  24. Jay Noel: Yes, I've had a life long interest in science, and have a degree in biology, but I always made sure my education was well rounded in many other subjects as well. Good to hear from you again.

  25. Jay and I are old timers in the blogosphere. I'm happy that he was the one that brought you to my blog.

  26. Just keep on doing what you've been doing, as you do it so well. I love that your daughter invited you to a concert, instead of another friend. That speaks volumes about you, even if you say it in a whisper.



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