11.18.2012

Let's Talk About Those Secrets.

The time has finally come for my recap to that one secrets post that hit these blog parts a couple weeks ago. You may remember it.
 
I know I took awhile to write this, but there was good intention behind that decision. 
My thoughts on that particular post/comments have been every bit of all over the place.
I wanted to make sure that I had carefully thought through what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it (although believe me, there is still much hesitation).
For starters let me say a few things….I knew that opening up my blog to people leave comments anonymously was a risk. I did not have control over what others would say and I knew that it could very easily go in a direction that I did not want it to (ie: bashing other individuals, blogs, races, etc).
As you may have noticed, a few times it did go in that direction. Fortunately while I did open the right to post anonymous comments, I still maintained the right to delete anonymous comments (which yes, I did exercise my right a time or two).  But, I will say…out of 800+ comments, I think we can collectively say there was a lot of humor, a lot of hurt, and a whole lot of real.
I would love to break down a few topics that came up, so allow me if you will….

**Warning: This post is likely to be very very long. Proceed at your own caution.**
 
1. We are going to start with the funny ones (my personal favorite). To put it nicely, a lot of you people have shat your pants. Or let out a few turds in the bathtub. Some of you have went in boxes, thrown it under your bed, and heck..some of you have had to pull over while driving and have your significant other come meet you to clean yourself up. Now you may not think this is funny, however I find it to be hilarious. Thank you for the tears rolling down my face and poop induced text messages between friends and I. You most definitely proved that as mature as I ever think I am, I am not. That is funny crap. Pun intended. One final thing on this front---they do sell pills to help with this. I think they read “Anti-Diarrhea” and are only a few dollars at a drug store near you. Some of you may want to consider investing ;)
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2. Sex. A lot of you don't like it. All I am going to say about this one is that there were quite a few recommendations on what to try tucked away in those comments ;) Good luck.

3. Racism/Prejudices. It still exists. Here is my deal with some of the comments that were left...the use of the words “all/any”. It does not matter if it was in regards to whites, blacks, Asians, atheists, Christians, republicans, democrats….saying something like “I hate ALL ______” is ignorant and absurd (to put it nicely). We are individuals. The quickest way to demoralize any argument you are making, is to use vague and general terms. Just remember when you make such comments you are including innocent babies who know no wrong, the elderly who are alone, and in all cases--somebody who needs love just as much as you do.
In addition to, I especially appreciated those of you who accused me of writing such things.
The only way I know how to respond to that is to a. say "no I didn't" and b. share with you a song from one of me and my husbands favorite artists. It's worth a listen.

Our heart should be for people, not races, not groups, not religions, not political parties, not appearances, but people. Plain and simple. Forever and ever. Amen.

4. Speaking of amen, quite a few of you are turned off by Christian blogs (or in this case, a Christian who writes a blog). The only thing I know on this subject is that each blog is individually owned and operated. I hope that each of you who write, stay true to who you are. I would rather have 10 followers who read my blog because they genuinely know who I am, than 3,000 followers who have a false impression of who they believe me to be. So who am I? I am a Christian (a selfish, hypocritical, sinning, redeemed by Grace and love the Lord with all of my heart, Christian).
I happen to be drinking a rum and diet as we speak. I am a lover, an optimist, I laugh at immature things, loves to see the best in everything/everybody, a huge complimenter of others, and lover of life. I want to do more good than harm. Oh, I write a blog AND take self portraits occasionally on Instagram. So there you have it. If any of that turns you off so much that you need to hightail it outta here, please feel free. Just do not expect me to change because of it.
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5. Along those lines, one thing I did not learn until that secrets post is that blogs inflect physical pain on people. It's true. It was said that this very blog you are reading has brought people to tears because of how boring it is! Not only that but one person cringes every time they read it. Ouch. I am going to take the liberty of liberating those of you who left those comments right now. You have the power to change it! Yes, YOU have the power to change what you don't like. No more tears, no more cringing, just stop showing up! There's some sweet wisdom for your soul today. You're welcome. On that same note--a word to other bloggers (or people in general really) on negativity: You will always have it. One thing that I have learned is that if I put a lot of mental energy into those negative comments what does that say to all of those who have poured love into me? It doesn't really say that you value the positive all that much does it? Soak yourself in goodness. You will be much better off, believe me. Oh crap, one last thing. I do not ask that you like me, but I do ask that you respect me. I think every person is worthy of respect, don't you? Ask for it.
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6. The sad comments. The ones that were full of loneliness, hurt, anger, depression, and suicidal thoughts. I have one thing to say on this. DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE ANONYMOUS ANY LONGER. Just don't. Seek help. Tell a friend, a family member, a professional counselor, etc.
You are worth it. This life is not always beautiful but it is worth living. We need you. Please open your mouth (your heart, your mind) and get help. Push pride aside and remember you are not alone.
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7. Last but not least, I think a general concensus from people who read//commented was "Why are we only seeing these "real" parts of peoples lives behind closed doors?" "Blogging shouldn't be all fairytales and rainbows" "We all need to open up more". Here are my two cents on this one: Yes, we do need to be a little more "real" on our blogs, but within reason. I want my blog to be a positive place for people to land. With that being said though, I want to be vulnerable and open. However, please keep in mind that a lot (and I mean a lot) of those anonymous comments did not involve only the person writing. They affected spouses, family members, friends, signifcant others, etc. It is not our right to share other peoples stories. This is why I believe we don't see a lot of what comments we read, on blogs. Not many husbands are going to want their wife writing they don't have a good sex life. Having a good story to post is not worth risking the relationship of those closest to you. So yes, while I believe we shouldn't make blogging all fairytales and rainbows, I do think we need to respect those closest to us in our writing.

Okay, so there we have it. Congratulations if you made it all the way through. What are your thoughts? Agree//disagree//agree to disagree on any of the above? Feel free to leave it below.
Except this time, anonymous is no longer an option. It was fun while it lasted, but it's time to resume back to our normal identity.
 
ps. A few of you have asked about the results my blog saw from that one post. I will say it sure as heck beat any paid sponsorship I’ve done before. It also is now my highest viewed post (about 5,000 page views higher than the couple of posts that miss Giuliana had tweeted about to over 2.5 million followers, proving the power of bloggers is larger than that of celebs ;)..)   One lesson that can be taken away (in addition to the above) is that blogging is just like any other venture in life. Some of the biggest risks lead to the biggest rewards. Or in this case, leads to a whole lot of juicy secrets that are now cemented into my brain. Be wise with your choices but don’t be afraid to do something out of the box every now and again. Growth is going to be very challenging (if any aspect of life) if you don't.
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and if you are in the mood for something not so heavy:
 
 xoxo.
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65 comments:

  1. I think the original post was great, I think that your response to the outcome is phenomenal. Keep on bloggin'

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  2. Amazing! I posted and agree with all you wrote!

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  3. I've been waiting for this post for awhile. Thanks for not disappointing.

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  4. Love you, plain & simple.
    Your heart is beautiful & your words are sweet wisdom.
    Don't ever change my friend.

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  5. THIS is why you have 3000+ followers. You are funny, kind, well-spoken and it shows. I can't imagine how overwhelmed you felt reading all of those comments. I know I did, and I only read a handful.

    I think you addressed all of the major themes and you did it with so much grace and tact. Perfect response to such a crazy, controversial social experiment (I think you could call it that...).

    Lots of love to you- thanks for being real :)

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  6. Great synopsis. There was a whole lotta, well, everything in the secrets post. Nice thoughts.

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  7. Absolutely wonderful! I agree with everything you said. I don't understand WHY some people feel the need to be so negative and hurtful. Life is too short for all of that! Thank you for posting!

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  8. I think you did a wonderful and brave thing!

    ...and I agree with all your thoughts.

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  9. I think that was the perfect way to put that all. Tasteful and true!

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  10. SUCH a great thing to do. I posted a few secrets :) FELT SO GOOD to be able to get them off my chest - things I've been holding onto for years, funny - serious - etc.

    I read a good portion of the secrets, and was brought to tears, laughing on the ground, and pain. I think this was a great way for people to get it out there, and to share it with someone. Which is sometimes all that needs before the healing/building up process can start.

    So booyah Erin. Your awesome.

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  11. This was an amazing post and I found myself nodding my head and agreeing to everything you said in it.

    It kind of upset me when some of the comments were negatively commenting on your blog. Why the hell do they come back then? All I have to say is good for you for not taking it personally. I keep coming back because your blog always brings a little bit of joy to my day. SO, keep doing what you are doing!

    XO Lourdes

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  12. so well put! thank you for sharing who you are and what you stand for. one of the reasons i love & follow your blog!

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  13. Fabulous follow-up post and such a great perspective! Totally agree with all your comments - and you handled it all so eloquently!

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  14. Great post and there is so much you have said that I agree with. I hate that people see color, I see a person. I am white, I have dated, black, Mexican and white men. And have faced racism because of it. I feel in love with the man and never saw their color. Sad that people still do. Well said and let the haters hate, I love your blog!

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  15. AMEN! Love this post, Erin. Things I loved about it the most: We should love people...first and foremost, I loved your sense of self and the way you so gracefully stood your ground that you will not change--that is an inspiration to me. Something I'm personally struggling with right now, how to not care what others think. Man, it's tough sometimes. I also would love for those hurting to seek help. And yes, blogs should be real, but they should be real with respect to those involved. I share my heart on my blog, but I'm careful not to divulge too much that includes others. Thanks for the post, Erin!

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  16. Great post, I loved how real you were about everything!

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  17. #6 gave me the tingles. Thank you for speaking out to those particular individuals Erin --- for someone who usually writes so silly all of the time to bring a smile to other's faces, it was nice to read such sincere words. xo

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  18. I don't comment very often on your blog, but for this one I feel I should. This is probably my favorite post of yours ever. Well said...all of it. You took the thoughts right out of my head as I read all those anonymous comments! Keep on blogging- even though I don't comment often, I enjoy it always!

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  19. A great follow up to one heck of a post!!!!
    I think you were and are very brave to have done that pot.
    Your thoughts on the experience wrap a pretty bow on the whole thing.
    I couldn't agree more with your
    thoughts about it all!

    Ashley
    http://afabulousfrenzy.blogspot.com/

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  20. I must say, that was a huge risk for you to take by doing the secrets post, so go you! I agree with a lot of what you said above. I especially love how you said, "Soak yourself in goodness." I think SO many of us, whether in real life, through blogging, through other social media, etc. experience negativity. It's horrible and sometimes it's toxic. It can consume us. Make us question why and how? Doubt ourselves. Doubt what we are doing/writing/feeling.

    But you are right. The positivity is what really matters. Giving more energy, thought, and time to the negativity isn't fair to all the GOOD! Great recap :)

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  21. Agreed all around. Especially the part about liking the funny posts the best. I literally cracked up reading all of those!

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  22. The secret post was addicting! I sat their and read through pages of comments, laughing, crying, feeling anger, compassion, joy....So many things. I even posted a secret of my own.

    I think it's great that you posted this response. I think some of the things that were said needed to be addressed and I'm so glad you did. Thanks for staying true to yourself and not letting the things people say affect you in a negative way. You're wonderful and I definitely was NOT one of the people who was bored to tears reading your blog. I love reading and will continue to. Love you!!

    Joanna

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  23. You are beautiful. Your words are beautiful. I love you. the end!

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  24. So well written Erin! I posted a few secrets and am so glad that you addressed the comments as a whole! There was a heck of a lot of emotions in the comments too and I couldn't stop reading! Love your blog!!

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  25. Very well said, Beautifully written and full of heart. xoox

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  26. This was a pretty great idea. Can not believe the response you got! The amount of honesty was beyond what I would even like admit in some cases. Shocked at home of the hate but loved that people were so do to play.

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  27. If everyone saw the world as you do it would be a much lovlier place.

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  28. Wow, Erin. This is a blog post so well written and although long, every single word was worth reading.

    I personally loved the secrets post and even shared one of my own {a funny one of course}. But like many of the other comments, I was shocked at how many people were unhappy in their marriages, depressed, or had suicidal thoughts. Like you said, I hope those individuals find someone to share their story with and to seek help!

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  29. I loved everything you said in this post, all of it. BUT. The one thing I loved more than anything is that you are currently drinking a rum and diet.

    Girl, that is my SISTER from another mister. RIGHT. ON.

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  30. loved your note to theme #6. I hope that those individuals take that to heart.

    thanks for sharing your thoughts on the secrets!

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  31. I went back and read the other post and wow!! I love the idea!1 And your response to the comments is well-written and thoughtful.

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  32. Loved everything you wrote. I didn't read all of the comments on that post but you addressed them so well! Brava.

    And though I'm not drinking a rum & coke with you, I am drinking a big ol lovely glass of red wine. Per usual. So good.

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  33. I genuinely look forward to your blog posts each day and they never disappoint, this one included.

    -Samantha
    itsallinthedeats.blogspot.com

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  34. I laughed, I cried, and smiled so big. It takes an amazing person and writer to ball all that into one post. Fantastic recap lady! It couldn't have been said better. And so you know, I love reading your blog, one of your early followers, who doesn't comment on the reg, but loves your funny, cute, and real vibe. simply amazing, lady bug :)

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  35. I love your blog! And thank you for allowing us to share our secrets, anonymously. Just keep keeping on, you rock!!

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  36. Love, love, love your honesty! Your blog is so inspirational. :)

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  37. A great summary and well worth the wait. I loved and agree with everything you said. You're amazing! :)

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

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  38. As with everyone else I completely agree with what you've written. appreciate that you took your time to create something so well thought out.

    I absolutely love that quote by Miss Audrey. Perfect. And I agree about point #7. Although I want to "see" the real person behind the blog, I don't need the gritty details of their intimate life. I also feel that if people become *too* honest it turns into a pity party and no one wants to come read a post and be depressed by the end.

    I actually lost a follower today. I was sad for a few seconds and moved on. Like you said, it's more important to have readers who "know" you than to have readers who like the person they *think* you are.

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  39. Well now it's back to sunshine and rainbows huh? ;) I kinda miss the poop comments! :) Luv ya lady!

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  40. Great response! And Kudos to the Corey Smith link...excuse me while I leave singing the ever so innocent Love You on a Backroad for the rest of the day...

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  41. I didn't leave any anonymous secrets, but I did have a hilarious, long long long day of reading them. I literally read hundreds. I tried to read more but my eyes hurt.
    I think you summed them up very well. The funny ones were my favorite, the hateful ones just got old, fast. <3 you and your blog!

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  42. Hi Erin,
    I was very curious to know how you would respond to the giant can of worms that was opened on your blog on secret sharing day. I must say, you did a beautiful job of responding. Nice work :)

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  43. You ROCK and Your response in number 4 just rocked my world! You might lose a few followers(ones who are not worth it anyway obviously) but you gained one right here and I have a feeling you will be keeping your most loyal, loving, faithful followers! You go girl! I love it when I see woman standing up for our faith! I promise you I will be sharing your blog with many of my friends! You're awesome!

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  44. This is why I love you so much. When people are bitter or hurt it is so easy to be negative and be annoyed by people who have a positive outlook on life. I know I have felt like that before (never about you!). You are so real though that it makes your positivity infectious. I think it is clear from all the comments that you've gotten, that most of us love you exactly the way you are! I'm glad you aren't changing! Keep it up girl! You always brighten my day, no matter what you are talking about!

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  45. I love this post!
    Your secrets post was by far the most hilarious thing I've read in a long time!!!!

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  46. love your response to each and every one of these. well done, E.

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  47. YAYA sister! I completely agree. Such a great response to such an EPIC post. Gosh, I just love you.

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  48. I hate to seem like I'm jumping on the bandwagon, but it's why there is a bandwagon- you have such a kind, warm heart. And even though I don't know you personally outside of reading this blog, I know that you are just as sweet and funny and genuine as you seem. So glad you decided to do the anonymous letters, and so so glad you followed up with this post. I absolutely love you, Erin. Ps. But not is a weird way. Just so we are clear. hehe

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  49. Wonderful response Erin. I'm not normally a comment leaver (though I am an all the time reader and big fan) but I am impressed with the maturity and love you used to write this post...and of course I always enjoy your humor since that's a given :)

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  50. This is a wonderful, thoughtful, well-written post and I'm so glad you wrote it. A lot of those comments needed public attention and you served all your readers well. Great job! I love and admire your blog ever more now :)

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  51. I did not leave a comment but I did read a lot of them. I laughed. I didn't read any about people being sad or having suicidal thoughts. I stopped reading after about 40 comments. After reading this post you may have helped a person. Your words may have changed someone for good. I think your blog is so far from boring. It is the one blog that I come to when I need a good laugh. You are so upbeat and funny. I have other blogs that I read. Mostly home decor and organization blogs. I love them too. However, yours is my go to blog when I want to laugh.
    There will always be negative people in the world. I think you dealt with them really good. Keep doing what you are doing. I would miss reading if you didn't.
    Happy Thanksgiving!!
    :)

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  52. I love this...you are giving a voice to people that wouldn't have it otherwise. I REALLY agree with #7. Yes, we should be open, but my blog is my happy place, so if I want to be happy ALL the time? Well, then I damn well will be. I do like to show other things that go on, but like you...I'm not going to post something that my hubby won't like or any other person in my life for that matter.

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  53. Your response was very well written. I am very impressed with how you dealt with the people leaving negative comments towards you and others. I just don't understand why, if people don't like a blog (for whatever reason), they don't just move on and find one they do like? Why waste time leaving nasty comments just to say you don't like it or can't stand reading it? To me, that says much more about the person writing the negative comment then the blog itself. Well done! Yours is definitely one of my favorite reads. :)

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  54. Wow, great post. You are so classy in how you responded to all of the comments! Bravo! :)

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  55. This is the first time i am leaving a comment. I have been checking out your blog for a few weeks now and I agree with the comment above mine from Mary, what a classy way to respond to all those awkward secrets. ;) you inspire me! :)

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  56. Excellent point on #7! There are so many things I'd love to blog about (not to be mean, but to vent, get it off my chest, "cry" it out, etc) ... but I don't because they are not just my own stories. Others are involved too.
    Love your "two cents" on all of these! :)

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  57. I LOVE THIS and I LOVE where you stand-- also, I will openly and honestly say that my farts stink and if I could smell (I had a brain bleed that took my "smell" away) I would enjoy my own scent, I swear it! *I'm pretty sure they smell so bad because I had over 80% of my stomach removed*.. anyways-- I am also guilty of taking pictures of my poop and sending it in form of text to a small handful of my best friends in the morning, especially if I don't feel like it's going to be a great day, and saying "How's your day going? I feel like this." My friends love me and never know what to expect!!

    ugottahavehart.blogspot.com

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  58. I am in awe of the way you sparked discussion both on this post and the "Secrets" post, and the amazing way you handled the insanity. Just in awe. Amazing stuff - I'm going to scour the blog to see more! Have a great weekend!

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  59. this is the post I referenced in today's comment, that I loved. You handled this with such grace and taste in your writing. One of my favorites, and I had to read it again. <3

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I read and appreciate every one of your comments. Thanks for stopping by my space and sharing a piece of yourself on this huge ole internet. I meant that in the least creepy way possible. I'm just good at making everything awkward. Anyhow, thank you for your comments. They make me smile :)