Reader Questions Answered: Tough Stuff



I promised I wouldn’t shy away from the reader questions that made me uncomfortable. These questions aren’t bad, they’re just harder to answer. They’re the ones that made my stomach do a little flip when I read them. And maybe for that reason, they’re the ones that need to be answered most.

Reader  Questions - Tough Stuff

Do you read GOMI? And does it affect your writing? Do you ever post to it?

I do read GOMI occasionally. I don’t have a username and have never posted to it. A thread was created for my blog a while back and I read a few of the comments but decided that, for me, it was best not to read what was written about me and my blog.

The thing about GOMI is, sometimes they are right. It hurt to read but some of the things they said about my blog were true. What I read did affect my writing a bit (which I didn’t like) and made me a little self-conscious. Realistically, not everyone is going to like me (and hey, some people might really dislike me/my writing/my blog/my personality) and there isn’t much I can do about that.

By putting my life online, I leave myself open to both kindness and criticism. I made that choice.

I know that you’ve written a bit about how you want to be engaged to N. Why aren’t you? What is holding you back?

To put it bluntly: Finances. We aren’t struggling, by any means, but N is very financially responsible (I am too). He isn’t going to bottom out his savings account to buy me a ring. And I don’t want him to. I kind of feel like I’m always waiting for the worst to happen, in a financial sense. I’d rather we have a comfortable emergency fund and thus, peace of mind.

Even after that, we’d be paying for a wedding ourselves, something that we aren’t sure we can do (or want to do).

Does it bother you that you aren’t engaged yet?

Sometimes it does. But I appreciate that N is doing the right thing for us long-term by waiting until we are on really solid financial footing to put a ring on it.

How did you feel about the negative response from some bloggers to your tattoo post?

You know, the title was catchy but it did offend some people. That was stupid on my part. I worried before I posted it about sharing what would surely be an unpopular opinion. I answered nearly every comment (including the negative ones) as best I could and I think I did so in a respectful, open way. I still don’t like tattoos, but after reading so many (mostly thoughtful) comments, I’ve tried to enjoy the beauty and art in tattoos more than I did before. I also now know how much people hate the word hate. Even in my own daily speech, I’ve tried to use it less.

The thing is though, I don’t want to agree with everyone. Some of my favorite people in the world (my step-mom, for instance, who happens to have a tattoo) have polar opposite social, political, and religious views as me. And that’s okay! How weird would it be if we all had the same views and opinions on everything? It would suck! I don’t just read blogs written by people with my same style and opinions. That’s boring and that isn’t life. We can disagree on tattoos and lots of other things. It has not and will not stop me from reading someones blog or being their friend.

You used to answer comments a lot more often and I feel like you don’t anymore – why is that?

This is probably the question that made me feel the most sad. It’s where I feel like I’m failing as a blogger – because I am.

The reason for this is really two issues. One – my busiest time of year for my job is from about mid-January until April. The events that I’ve managed in that time have raised nearly $1 million for childhood cancer. I’m proud of that but my blog has been a bit lower on my priority list as a result.

The second reason it something I often wonder if other bloggers struggle with. It takes me for-freaking-ever to write a blog post. No joke, every post I write gets at least 10 major revisions before I ever post it. I’m an over-editor. Writing isn’t something I just spew out my fingers and hit publish. I over-think things and second guess myself constantly. It is a rare day that a blog post takes me less than an hour to write and publish.

Because content creation takes me so much time, I struggle to respond to comments. I go back and forth when I have a limited amount of time to work on my blog. Should I respond to comments? Or get started on tomorrow’s post? Usually it seems like I should keep up with content creation first. I wish I could figure out a way to speed up the process but for me, it’s a slow one.

I appreciate every comment and I’m truly sorry that I’ve sucked at responding in recent months. Cross my heart, I’m going to do better.

What are some of the major things going on in your life that you alluded to in your post this week?

You know, 2014 hasn’t been an easy one. I wish I could elaborate but I really can’t. Everyone has their bad days and I guess I’ve had a couple more than usual lately. I try not to show only the happy and fun parts of my life on this blog (though there is a lot of that) because that isn’t my life. So I guess I’d rather be a little (okay, a lot) vague than pretend everything is sunshine and rainbows all the time. It isn’t.

Phew. The tough stuff. Big. Deep. Breath. Thanks for sticking with me…

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  • Props to you for answering these! You’re amazing!

  • We waited to get engaged until we were financially ready too. We had already bought a house and everything before we even started looking at rings. It wasn’t the funnest choice, but it turned out to be the best!

    • We aren’t even close to buying a house. That would happen way after the ring/wedding etc. Although I’d MUCH rather have a house than a wedding. Surprisingly, N and I don’t agree on this. He wants the wedding!

      • We used to live somewhere where house prices were A LOT less than where I’m sure you live now so it made sense. You guys will figure it all out!!

  • You rock for putting yourself out there! I struggle with writing personal content (which is weird, I know) because of people from work or the world in general reading it.

    xo

    • I’ve kept my blog very separate from work and honestly, a lot of my real life friends and family. Because of that, I feel like I can be more open because in my head, it’s just people I don’t know (mostly women, I’d assume) reading my blog. Somehow that makes it less scary.

      • True that. I regret posting links on my personal FB page at the beginning because some family (read: one person) has the link, but the majority of my limited readership are people I don’t know. Perhaps I just need a new mind set – thanks girl! 🙂

  • I didn’t know that a blogger bashing website existed. I remember way back when “cam girls” were popular there was this online tabloid type website that would post damning things about bloggers. It was bad, like people would submit unflattering pictures they had taken of a blogger just to show that they might not be as pretty as the pictures they posted on their website. I thought as a society we were rounding a corner and decided it wasn’t cool to be mean?

    For the marriage thing, my husband and I dated what I felt was a while (3-4 years) before we became engaged. It was hard to see friends that dated a shorter amount of time get married while I felt I was waiting for a ring. One of my biggest regrets was trying to throw a big wedding. I wish we had just saved that $10K and eloped.

    • Some of the stuff on GOMI is mean, some of it is silly, but some of it is constructive. From what I read about me, they said I used too many GIFs. I still use them, but at the time, I definitely was over-using them. It helped me to figure out what was bugging people about me/my blog. It was a simple change to improve the reader experience.

      I do not want a wedding. My parents have not been in the same room together in over a decade and honestly, having both sides of my divorced parents families come together sounds brutally uncomfortable to me. I’d rather have a down payment on a house than a wedding. N wants a wedding though so we shall see. The more people (like you) who share their regrets about spending money on the wedding, the more likely it is that we will just elope when the time comes.

      • For what it’s worth, my parents were the exact same way, but when it came to the wedding, they were both so happy the whole day that it went fine. I was crazy nervous about it, but people are just so happy at weddings that it helps.

        I would definitely suggest not spending a ton on a wedding and saving it. I only invited 35 people and had more of a super fancy dinner party and I’ve never regretted that decision.

        • We’ve definitely considered having a very small wedding celebration. With a group that size, you don’t need like a whole crazy big venue and everything.

  • Thanks for answering all these questions so honestly. I have to say I agree with you and N on the finances of engagement/marriage, and I think that’s really smart of you guys to not get carried away and instead be practical about something that will affect the rest of your lives! And though I have 10 tattoos myself and love each and every one, your opinion and willingness to stand by it is admirable and awesome. It does indeed take all kinds! 🙂

    • Sometimes I don’t want to be practical about things but I know I’d feel terrible if we got engaged and spent a ton of money on a wedding and then couldn’t afford a house for years and years.

      Thanks for being so kind about me standing by my opinions.

  • You rock for answering these! John and I are in the same boat as you and N when it comes to getting engaged. We want to, but we are waiting until we are financially ready to do so.

    • Exactly. Glad we aren’t alone on this. I think that the fact that we think long-term and make smart decisions together probably means we’ll have a stronger marriage.

  • I had to google GOMI because I had no idea what it was. What I discovered might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. Do these people not realize that making a point of seeking out, reading, and then complaining about blogs in a forum is no better than the blogs themselves, and could possibly be considered even a little sadder? At least (most) bloggers write well and thoughtfully and don’t use stupid forum abbreviations like FTR. JUST TYPE FOR THE RECORD!

    Also, the tattoo post was you?! I had no idea! I saw some responses and followed my typical MO of googling everything (see above) but did not have much success with “offensive blog post about tattoos”………not surprisingly. And then I just gave up. Everyone’s going to say something in their blog at some point that offends someone, and I think your opinion posts are a way less blowhard-y than a lot of posts I’ve seen on (popular) blogs.

    • Well then, I’m a little sorry that I introduced you to it. It’s a part of being a blogger and I made a choice to put myself on the internet so I can’t be surprised if/when someone doesn’t like me.

      I left a link to my post about tattoos in this post. You can read it and decide if it’s offensive. There were a lot of people who have tattoos who weren’t offended at all. There were some that were.

  • Lex

    wow, tough questions –and classy answers!

    • Thank you. I did my very best 🙂

  • It was so nice to hear that your blog posts take you a long time to draft and publish because it’s the same for me. I re-read everything I write so many times that one post in itself is a whole process, and it’s refreshing to know that you don’t spit & submit your words to the internet. Thanks for that, it’s so much better as a reader!

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one! This blog post took me well over 2 hours to write. I read it and re-read it. I re-wrote sections. I removed things and added others. It’s definitely a process for me.

  • I can’t imagine keeping up with all the comments is very easy – especially when you get so so many! Just give yourself a little bit of a break on it and just answer what you can – I’m sure people understand there’s just no way for you to respond to every single comment every single time, I know I do. 🙂

    • Thank you! It’s definitely something I struggle with and I want to be better at. I try to let myself off the hook but I’ve often wondered if frequent commenters notice that I’ve been less responsive. Based on the question, it’s obvious they have.

  • Crystal G

    I just want to say I love your blog! Keep up the great work! I don’t blog yet, but I want to someday when I get the time and courage!!! Your blog is one of just a handful that I follow and I love your openness and heart! You go girl!

    • Thank you so much! xo

  • These were tougher – kudos to you for answering anyway! Also, your new pic is gorgeous and I need to find this yellow flower field for my own photo shoot!

    • I wish I could say that this was a beautiful field of flowers and that we had a photo shoot. It’s actually me standing in front of a bush right in front of our apartment complex. lol

  • I’m sure these questions were really hard to answer, so I applaud you for doing so! You were honest, and I really admire that. I am always struggling with how much to share on my blog and over think everything. I hear you about blog posts taking a lot longer than you think! It’s hard to fit everything in with work, life, relationships, and still blog. You’re doing awesome, and I love following along!

    • Thank you so much! I try to keep some things private on the blog (like my location and my last name) but as far as my daily life goes, I’m pretty much an open book.

  • Kara

    Hey Nadine, I’ve been reading for a while but I don’t think I’ve ever commented. I think your blog is very relatable and so well-written. And of course I keep coming back for the Archie pictures!

    I’m sort of ashamed to admit that I read GOMI sometimes, and I was surprised to see you on there because you don’t have any of the qualities a lot of the bloggers on there can have (mainly extreme narcissism and a lot of WTF moments). Anyways, I can be entertaining but sometimes those people go too far. And I don’t like that they tend to speculate about certain things without coming right out and asking the blogger it. But I think it’s very respectable for you to acknowledge that you put yourself out there in the public eye, and in a way that can invite criticism. That’s really big of you.

    Also about the wedding thing – I’m sure you know this, but it isn’t a life requirement to have a big, fancy, expensive wedding. I feel like facebook and pinterest have made people feel that way, but it’s so nice to hear you say that you aren’t sure that’s what you want. I had a super small destination wedding and would do it all over again. It was immediate family and close friends only, about 25 people. Sure, some of our extended family members gave us grief that they weren’t invited, but it was our day and our decision to make. And speaking of our day, it’s just ONE DAY! The wedding industry can be such a rip-off (I remember they charged me $250 for chairs, for 25 people….seriously, chairs aren’t provided??) and your money is better spent elsewhere. Just my opinion though – rant over 🙂

    Well I didn’t expect my first comment to be so long, but just wanted to speak my mind on a couple of things. Keep doing what you’re doing, I really look forward to reading your posts!

    • Thank you so much for the compliments!

      I do agree that sometimes certain people on GOMI go too far. I really don’t like to see anyone bashing anyone else about their bodies. It happens occasionally and usually someone jumps in and says hey – too far.

      I actually have a cousin who only invited immediate family and friends to their wedding and I think that he and his wife kind caught a lot of flack for it within my family but now it would be easier for me to do and get away with. I’ve heard lots of people who had big weddings say that they regretted it after the fact. We’ll probably do just what you did only not a destination wedding.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  • Some people just really hate tattoos. Even though I have several, I can totally respect that opinion. Anyone who can’t has the problem, not you for disliking them.

    • THANK YOU. That means a lot. You having a tattoo has absolutely never stopped me from reading and loving your blog. We can disagree on things and it’s a-okay 🙂

  • You did an awesome job of answering those tough questions! I love how honest you are and how you are okay with criticism and not agreeing with everyone. I also really admire how you and N are holding off on getting engaged. Yeah, it would be awesome if you were, but I think it’s smart to wait until you’re ready to pay for the ring, the wedding, etc.

    • Thank you so much. It’s hard to take criticism (I’m probably a little more hurt by it than I let on) but again, I put myself out there so it’s something I have to accept.

      I think it will be interesting to see how things play out with our wedding (someday). I’m not a wedding girl. I love the dresses and the pretty pictures and stuff but it’s really not that important to me. We shall see…

      • Haha I am, but I’m not. I always thought I was… but my sister is engaged and there are so many times I’m like “UGH! I’m so over it!” The first time we went to find her dress we went to three stores in one day. The first store it was like the TV show and we’re all “OMG! She’s a bride! I’m gonna cry!” By the third store I was like all “They’re all white. They’re all sparkly. They all have lace. JUST PICK ONE.” So… yeah. It’s fun, but I’m learning I’m not as much of a wedding person as I had originally thought.

  • I wish I were as content as you are about not being engaged and instead save the money. We are not engaged yet for financial reasons also but it is most definitely a very very high priority that will happen soon.

    • It’s definitely hard and trust me, I am not always the “cool girlfriend” about it. I’ve had a meltdown or two wondering why everyone else is engaged and I’m not.

  • I wish I were as content as you are about not being engaged and instead save the money. We are not engaged yet for financial reasons also but it is most definitely a very very high priority that will happen soon for us

  • I have to be honest, I follow you on Twitter but I think this is my first time reading your blog. I’m hooked, and just added you to my BlogLovin’. I love how openly and honestly you answered these tough questions, and you really showed a lot of maturity and depth. You go, Glen Coco!

    • Well thank you! And a very appropriate Mean Girls reference for today. Love it.

  • good questions. good answers. I get annoyed at myself for any time i spend on GOMI – it is a waste of time yet draws me in and I wish it wasn’t a thing!!

    • It definitely is a time suck. I do find also that what people are critical of other bloggers for can also affect me and my writing. I try to avoid it but fail frequently.

  • I am going to apologize right now for the length of this comment.

    You are one of my favorite bloggers, and I absolutely love the honesty you put into this post. I know it couldn’t have been easy to address some of these questions, but the people who are following your blog for you will appreciate it.

    It took me a good half hour to get through your post because I kept getting distracted, although I have heard of GOMI before I had never gone to the site before today and I don’t know that I will ever go back. There were a bunch of sites like that when I was in college that talked about all the different sororities and some of the girls in them and although it could be addicting to read it at the end of the day I only felt worse afterwards. I don’t know if I will ever understand why people waste their energy being so negative, they are totally entitled to their own opinions, but choosing to just not read or follow the people they dislike would lead to a much happier life than dwelling on their negative feelings.

    As for the tattoo post I have no idea how I missed that that was you, you are normally one of the blogs that I read first on my blog list so I’m not sure how I missed that one, I did however hear a lot of the backlash from it in the days following. It is a really hard lesson in life (one that I am definitely still learning), but sometimes the way we say things makes all the difference. I tend to exaggerate a lot saying I “hate” things or I “love” things or that something is the “only” way or “always” right and although in my head I know I am exaggerating and I know what I really mean and how I really feel others can’t possibly know that. You are completely right “hate” is a really strong word, reading that made me want to try and be more conscious of what I mean to say vs. what I’m actually saying.

    What I’m trying to say is, you are one of my favorite bloggers, one that I look up to, and the honesty in this post is exactly why. Keeping on doing what you are doing!

    • You know what? Until this comment I had completely forgotten about sites like that in college. We had a popular one called Juicy Campus. I don’t know what technically qualifies at slander but it walked the line and really hurt a lot of people.

      You know, my word choice in the title of that post was a learning experience. I can be insensitive (can’t we all, sometimes?) and I too throw around words like love and hate more often than I should. It’s taught me to be more mindful of my word choice. I’m really grateful to the people who took the time to have thoughtful, rational conversations with me about it. Though my opinion didn’t change, I think I grew as a person from the experience. Isn’t that just life?

  • They may have been tough questions but you answered them well

    • Thank you very much. I did my best 🙂

  • I’ve wondered about the engagement but never would have asked – I love your answer!

    • I’m sure a lot of people wondered also. N tells me that he’d marry me tomorrow if all was perfect, financially. That isn’t the case right now but someday it will be. I’d wait until forever to marry that man 🙂

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