Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012, and (finally) taking my own advice.



I feel good about this past year. It was a great one, full of adventures and fun. I had some goals, I reached some goals, I made some plans, I followed through with those plans. And when I think through the entire year, when I sit back and go over the months and weeks and days in my mind, most all of it brings to mind the word "family," and to me that means the year was a total success.

I learned some lessons this year too, some easy and quick, some that took a bit longer. I think I grew more during 2012 than any other previous year, which is a bold statement, especially for someone who has a tendency to really pick apart themselves and look, look, look at growth and progress and everything in between. I think one of the biggest things I learned was something I thought I already knew. Something that I was even pretty vocal about knowing...but as always, sometimes we are the ones who should take our own advice most of all. And in my case, talking about how "you can't please 'em all," how you can't make everyone like you, those were my oft-repeated words in 2012 that finally (finally!) sunk in.

Growing up I've always been more of a pleaser than not. Mostly a "stand alone in my opinion" kind of girl, but even through my slight out-spokenness and confidence, there are times I would only really want to "stand alone" in my opinion if someone else was standing there with me. Or to the side, at least. And as a teenager my people-pleasing nature wasn't obvious but it existed, and I think it's what led me to make some of the decisions I did and later on in life stretch myself way too thin. "Please everyone, and you'll please no one" should have been something I learned as I navigated the world in my earlier years but alas, it took me awhile, and sometimes making a million plans had me come across more as flaky than anything as I tried to make everyone happy at once.

And then with blogging. Oh, blogging. It's really the curse of blogging, to care too much about what others think. But inherently I think bloggers must care about what people think, because without that I'm not sure if we'd continuously put our lives on display, no matter how curated. We'd keep it locked up, in private journals, because then it would truly be for us, not for anyone else. And when I moved from Livejournal to Blogger years back I immediately felt different here. It was bigger, not as private, and I felt like there were just more people to read my posts. And so that part of me, that little part that felt scared to really put everything out there, reared its head now and again and made me think and rethink the things I shared.

As my blog grew that all changed even more, and if you read through my archives you'll see me occasionally talk about blogging and how uncomfortable I could feel that so many people were reading what I shared. That went away though, and right at the time (I thought) I was really starting to not care about all of that, trying to just be authentic and me and stop putting up walls in my writing, I discovered a small forum about this blog on a larger website.

Oh, what a turning point for me. Embarassingly enough I became intrigued and began reading what a small handful of the forum's users wrote about me. I'd post something and couldn't help myself checking in on that site to see what was said. Honestly, how crazy of me to want to see what negative things were being said about me...I think back now and I am appalled I ever spent so much time looking! At first Hank and I would laugh about it, I'd try to shake off some of the more hurtful things I'd see being said, but eventually after going on that website too much (and later even posting to it numerous times, foolishly thinking being present would help the situation) I started to get upset. I'd let the negative things I read cloud my mood and as hard as it is to admit, it really affected me. I wasn't sure why I would continously check it- it didn't make sense to me why I'd want to do that, but for some reason I felt like it was important to know what was being said. And all of this from a girl who loved to talk about how she really didn't care what people thought.

This entire thing was a lesson in many parts. One, I realized I cared a lot more about what people thought than I'd let on. And two, if I wanted to continue to enjoy blogging I needed to quit caring immediately and get over myself and this weird interest in seeing shitty things written about me. So I did. I stopped going to that website months ago, and haven't been back since. I have no idea what is written about me, if they're still writing about me, and now (after lots of work) I can say I finally don't care.

But it's not just the site. The website was just a large piece of the entire puzzle, and the lesson extends into so many different aspects of my life. In the second part of the year a friend of a friend decided she "hated" me for no reason after meeting me once. Odd, and something I'd never experienced. My typical reaction would have been to try and make this girl like me...go out of my way to show her kindness until she realized I was indeed a nice person, and that her unreasonable hatred was way off (why oh why is that my instinct?). But thanks to the "website" (honestly so silly to keep referring to it as such but I don't want to send over pageviews) my immediate reaction was not to care. And to sincerely not care. It was her loss, all the way, and I didn't need some stranger to validate me. It was a huge turning point in my personal growth and an "a-ha!" moment when I took a step back and realized that I wasn't just telling myself I didn't care, but I actually didn't care. Yes!

Getting to this point has freed me in so, so many ways. I feel so much happier blogging now, more authentic and oddly enough, I feel a lot more comfortable sharing posts like this again. There will always be someone out there hating on something. Sometimes it's me, sometimes it's not. I'm okay with either. And when I think about this past year and all of the love and family and happiness I experienced, I'm so lucky to have had this lesson admidst all of it, because as trivial as it may be in the grand scheme of things, it's allowed me to really focus on all of that goodness. And now that I'm here, I can only imagine how wonderful this next year will be both online and off, now that I'm truly able to just be me without worrying about the rest. I'll be focusing on the positive in 2013, and accepting that not everyone chooses to do the same...and knowing that it's completely okay if they don't.

xoxo

image above via

62 comments:

  1. It's incredibly sad to see people posting such heartless, rude things about people they have NEVER met in their lives. I'm sure you try to paint an accurate picture of your life on your blog to the best of your ability, but it's just a blog and you don't expose every detail of your life here. Insecure people pick apart other's who they see as successful, all the time.

    And yes, it's so easy to say "Who cares what they think." but really, we all care, at least a little. But I'm glad you have fully come to this realization that most people don't reach, like me.

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  2. I appreciate this post. We all know the site you are referring to and although I don't hate it as much as you ( I actually see value in business owners reading real feedback because after all, aren't most blogs mini-businesses these days?), I can only imagine it would be very hard to read things that are mean, untrue etc. If I saw anyone online talking about my child that would be it for me. I would scrub myself from the internet. So bravo to you for keeping on keeping on. But I agree with the poster above. Everyone cares and it would be silly to pretend you don't.

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  3. I've been doing something similar lately - focusing on what other people are doing/saying far too often. I'm almost glad I've abandoned Instagram because it gives me one less opportunity to check up on others lives. It's a waste of time, I know and I keep reminding myself to stay in my own little bubble and focus on my own life, but it's a challenge. I'm hoping I can be successful as well :)

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  4. I feel very similar to you in how I respond to those around me, especially family. Always trying to please. I think 2013 is the year I will focus on my little family and not everyone else. Not everyone will agree with everything. But that's ok.

    Great post.

    Bettina @ www.littleoldsouls.com

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  5. I just wanted to say, this is a beautiful post. And I think you are a great blogger. I LOVE the way you share your life with us without exposing too much and I think it's a great thing and it takes currage. I am always looking forward to your posts!

    I do really care what other people think too. I haven't actually told many people I know about my blog because I don't really know what kind of reaction to expect. I LOVE blogging and i'm doing it for me, but if people start saying harsh things I know it would have an impact on me. I think people posting negative things like that are sad and I really hope you can keep carrying on 'not caring'. I'll try and do the same in 2013!

    Again... Wonderful post! Thank you!

    Love from Belgium!
    Saar

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  6. Danielle~ I know exactly this 'website' that you are referring to.
    I stumbled upon it a few months ago by accident when googling another blogger and sat reading, mouth frozen open in horror, for probably longer than I should have. Page after page of all the vicious, vile and jealous filth that the trolls who hang out on there were posting. Not only do they rip apart people's blogs but they target the bloggers appearance and even the appearance of their children.
    I couldn't believe such a forum existed. How is it allowed? I searched some of my favorite bloggers, yourself included, and sure enough there were entire threads dedicated to tearing these beautiful, creative and eloquently written blogs apart. And for what?
    My only explanation is that these people are all insecure, unfulfilled and unhappy individuals who could only ever hope to emulate your loving, happy and dignified lifestyle and find some kind of warped enjoyment and 'camaraderie' in stirring and cackling together over their cauldron on that site.
    It's so beyond sad that there are people out there like that and I hope they read this post and all the comments from readers like myself who have loved and been inspired by your beautiful writing and adorable and loving family.
    Let them sip on their hater-ade and I'm glad you're over it. You're worth more than their hateful words.
    We love you!
    Lou xxx

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  7. I just do not understand why people are negative. If you don't like something/someone just stop reading the blog. That simple. I may be innocent in my belief, I have only been blogging for a couple of months, but I just don't get why people feel the need to be rude. Having said that, I think if I ever got a negative comment I would be in tears. Danielle, I have yet to learn your strength.

    http://iliska-dreams.blogspot.com.au/

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  8. Just a message to link with love.
    That image isn't yours and there isn't a link to where it came from.
    I found a link for it: http://pinterest.com/pin/86694361548781407/

    Ps. Great post!
    I'm glad you have come to such an awesome revelation.
    Have a happy new year, Danielle.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Aimee!

      Thanks so much! I actually do have the image linked above, it's at the bottom though so I can see how you may have missed it. I know the image isn't mine and I wouldn't ever take credit for it! I have the same link as you although that still isn't the original so if you happen to find that one let me know so I can update! :) Thanks for looking out and thanks for the sweet words!

      <3
      D.

      Delete
    2. I really wish people would look properly at this stuff before they jump on the bandwagon to pull you up!
      Your readers should know you blog with integrity...duh.

      Happy New Year lady, hope you and the family have a fantastic one!!

      Lou xx

      Delete
    3. Lou,
      I wasn't trying to be rude to Danielle, or try to "jump on the bandwagon". The link she put was super tiny and not in the normal area where she used to put it (which was always under the image itself). I wasn't attacking her, so I see no need for your "let's defend someone even though they aren't being attacked" comment. I know Danielle links with integrity, that really wasn't the issue, I was just helping her out in case she didn't know where the image came from... duh.

      Delete
  9. Hi Danielle....thank you for sharing this, such a beautiful and wise post. I have never looked nor do I know about the website, but your Blog is absolutely amazing....you are an inspiration to so many. Ignore the haters as creative people have always been persecuted in life. I am Jamaican, and can tell you Bob Marley had haters, so many people were jealous of his talent and gifts. I'm a new Blogger and of course am just waiting for the negative comments to come in, however I know this is the part where I will have to be strong and NOT GIVE UP like you did. All the best for the New Year and wishing you much more success that you deserve!

    Jeanine Tribley

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  10. My Sweet Danielle.
    Thank you for always putting yourself out there. It is something I truly love about your blog. I feel like we are soul sisters in so many ways. I love being able to be on this blogging/mommy/life journey along side you and share so many of the same struggles and joys. 2012 was a year that rocked a lot of my confidence in blogging and in myself because of that website. It's sad but true. I have come a long way in the last few months and I agree it is better to just not go at all. Being present and making posts there doesn't make it stop. Those people don't know you and will never know just how sweet and wonderful your family is. There is no point letting their anonymous comments tear your spirit down. They can call it constructive criticism all they want but we all know that is not what it is. 2013 is going to be a great year! Stand strong my friend, you will always have a cheerleader in me!! I look forward to growing stronger and more confident this year as well.
    xoxo

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  11. That's a really beautifully written post, as one can always expect from you! I was reading Glamour magazine last night and one column talked about how this guy found out a girl didn't like him, so he tried harder to get her to like him. The interviewer spoke back, "That's a self-esteem issue. Know your worth!" I definitely do that. When someone doesn't like me, I try to get them to like me, but you're right-- it is THEIR loss, not ours! If they want to be judgmental and write people off so quickly, why would we want to be friends with them anyway?

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  12. I still find it fascinating that people will actually join forums so that they can complain about blogs/people. Kind of sad when you think about it. What a waste of time.

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  13. A lesson that far too many people learn far too late. Good for you, lady. Wishing you all the best in 2013. :)

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  14. I learned this lesson at a very early age, which is both fortunate and unfortunate. I was 11. It's like once I hit Jr High all of the girls weren’t little girls anymore, they were little balls of attitude and judgment. I'm generally a quiet person around people I don't know and apparently if I'm not constantly smiling I look like a bitch? I've had many girls "hate" me because of that, they never even took the time to MEET me.
    Because of that early experience with judgment and the observation of how dramatic girls were, most of my friends have always been boys. That's where the lesson furthered itself. Not to sound conceited, but I'm a pretty girl and friends with a lot of dudes, so even though I have had no romantic feelings towards my friends, anytime there has been a girl with a crush on one of my friends, she automatically hates me. It's so ridiculous, but they won't even give me the time of day to just meet me, let alone get to know me. I'm a really nice person and can get along with just about anyone, when they give me the chance. I think it has only stopped because I'm married now, haha. So with the combination of those two things, I stopped caring what others think of me a LONG time ago. It's so ridiculous how humans behave sometimes. I'm still sometimes baffled when I see adults who still act this way. I believe everyone deserves a chance, let their character speak for them, not your pre-judgment.

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  15. Great post, and something I've been trying to work on myself :) I think the thing I struggle with is how can people be so mean/heartless? How would they feel about someone treating them or someone in their close family or friends that way? I struggle with trying to understand where these people may be coming from or why they say the things they say, or do the things they do...but that's the biggest mistake of all. Caring is human, I think we all do, even if just for a short little bit. But trying to understand why someone acts the way they do is just a huge waste of time.

    For now, I'm trying to take my own advice and quit trying to figure out anyone else but how I feel and what I think about things. People who are out to be mean, just let them, I don't think anyone wants to be surrounded by that much negativity...but then again, I'm not going to stick around long enough to find out :)

    Cheers to you Danielle :)

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  16. I really admire your ability to analyze yourself and consciously evolve, and to continue sharing at least some of that journey with your readers. And good on you for no longer reading those forums. Despite knowing how horribly unhealthy a habit it'd be, my curiosity would absolutely get the best of me. Letting that go is a huge accomplishment.

    Eleanor Roosevelt had lots of good advice on this subject. She's quoted in Dale Carnegie's "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living," a book I finally started reading recently. (How I wish I'd read it years ago!) I'm a textbook worry wart, over-analyzer, over-thinker, you name it. While I haven't finished the book, I'd already recommend it without hesitation to anyone with similar tendencies. I hope you don't mind if I kind of hijack your comments section here and share this great bit of advice from it with you:

    "I discovered years ago that although I couldn't keep people from criticizing me unjustly, I could do something infinitely more important: I could determine whether I would let the unjust condemnation disturb me.

    Let's be clear about this: I am not advocating ignoring all criticism. Far from it. I am talking about ignoring only unjust criticism. I once asked Eleanor Roosevelt how she handled unjust criticism—and Allah knows she had a lot of it. She probably had more ardent friends and more violent enemies than any other woman who ever lived in the White House.

    She told me that as a young girl she was almost morbidly shy, afraid of what people might say. She was so afraid of criticism that one day she asked her aunt, Theodore Roosevelt's sister, for advice. She said: "Auntie Bye, I want to do so-and-so. But I'm afraid of being criticized."

    Teddy Roosevelt's sister looked her in the eye and said: "Never be bothered by what people say, as long as you know in your heart you are right." Eleanor Roosevelt told me that that bit of advice proved to be her Rock of Gibraltar years later, when she was in the White House. She told me that the only way we can avoid all criticism is to be like a Dresden-china figure and stay on a shelf. "Do what you feel in your heart to be right—for you'll be criticized, anyway. You'll be 'damned if you do, and damned if you don't'" That is her advice."

    And it's some damn good advice, I think. ;)

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  17. I have also read some of the stuff written and its so stupid, there are always going to be people jealous of success and as I always stick by 'personal success is the best revenge'
    You have a lovely blog and it gives me really great advice. I have a friend who I tried to always hang out with and see all the time to keep her happy, but I realized she didn't care about any aspect of my life, like my husband and exams etc and now I am trying to get over my guilt of not chasing her up and texting and instead leaving it and enjoying my life.
    You have great insights and I like that these people havn't put you off writing, thank you for this post!
    xx

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  18. What a great post!

    I, too, like to say I don't care what other people and MOSTLY that's true, but there's still a little voice of doubt which pipes up now and then. I'd love to get to the stage of 100% not caring... but I think perhaps I'd rather have moments of anxiety than read about myself on that website. It's a vicious place and I don't understand what people get out of contributing to it.

    On blogging, though, I don't think I write online because I care what other people think of me; I write online to connect with other people like me - I know there are people out there who get me and people out there who don't; blogging is one way of finding those who do. It's a tiny distinction, I know, but I don't care if people hate my blog... as long as I never have to hear about it!

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  19. I think part of the success of blogging in general is that it taps into our need to be validated, to matter. So when people say nasty things despite all the people that clearly love reading your posts it's bound to hurt. And I don't believe anyone truly doesn't care what people think, a little bit at least. Otherwise you certainly wouldn't blog, if you didn't care at all what people thought, you'd write a journal like you said.

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  20. Danielle -- I know the website you're talking about and they are just a bunch of mean girls hiding behind their computers. I spent hours on that site reading the things people said about various bloggers and while I actually share some of the more reasonable opinions, I think they just take it too far. Way too far. But good for you for being able to ignore that and move on with your life.

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  21. Well said! What a great way to look at things! Good for you! Looking forward to seeing all the things you're up to for the year 2013. Thanks for the inspiring words as well!

    Theresa
    http://bomamma.blogspot.com

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  22. I'm so proud of you for letting all of that nonsense go. That "place" is infested with the worst kind of jealousy. It's truly disturbing how hateful people can be when they're hiding behind a computer screen but no matter what those trolls decide to say next, you still have a huge community, both here and in real life, who will always support you and lift you up!
    I love this post and I love youuu!
    -Sukibee

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  23. I visit your blog because I admire your strength and frank honesty. I have enjoyed following you through all of your self work and appreciate every piece of wisdom you drop here. Keep it up girl - you got this!

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  24. What a great feeling it is to genuinely not care! I need to take this advice and use it for myself! I have the bad habit of caring too much. Its best to just let those negative people stay that way, and not let them drag you down. I adore your blog, lady! You are such a wonderful writer and lovely person! With that perspective, you are sure to have an amazing 2013!

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  25. Hooray for not caring! It's the best thing ever!

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  26. I love this post.

    I found the same forum through my blogger stats and clicked over to find the same wonderful sorts of comments. My favorite was someone saying that Marc and I were each others "starter marriage". Also, they were really bothered by our affectionate photos. Marc and I both read through it, laughing it off. A few days later however, several comments "calling me out" for being a hypocrite. It made me want to quit blogging. Finally Marc told me to stop going on and reading. Made me promise. It has been such a relief. I know I am doing my best and that is all I can do.

    Why does it bother us so much though?
    Also, in this age of cyber bullying...why is this site legal?

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    1. *I should clarify:

      Why is this website running? Lets do real feedback in email and comments not anonymous, rude, spiteful forums. It should be called out for what it is: bullying.

      Delete
    2. It's not bullying. You are all adults who choose to display your lives on the Internet. You are not a 12 year old at school being harassed. You aren't forced to read comments. Our country is so self absorbed its disgusting. And yes we all care what others think of us. To claim that you don't care at all is a lie to provide some sort of self preservation.

      Delete
    3. If it isn't bullying why is it anonymous? Why can't you put yourself out there as well?

      Delete
    4. Actual "bullying" is rarely done anonymously. To call the commentary on GOMI bullying is absolutely absurd. Sometimes it can be mean, yes, but bullying is something altogether different. I have never heard of you or your blog, Bekah, but a quick glance at your site and your VERY short thread on GOMI only demonstrates that you completely missed the point of every comment there. Also, if I wanted to put myself out there, I'd have my own blog. But I don't, so I don't. I think it's unnecessary to post criticisms or comments about things that annoy me about certain bloggers on their own site, so I use GOMI instead. I typically don't want to engage in a dialogue with these people, I just want to snark or vent. And like it or not, that is my right.

      PS - no one was "bothered" by your pictures. I think the terms "trying too hard" and "secondhand embarrassment" are more appropriate in this case.

      Delete
    5. "I typically don't want to engage in a dialogue with these people, I just want to snark or vent."

      Thank you, I think this sums it up nicely. That was exactly my point.

      "PS - no one was "bothered" by your pictures. I think the terms "trying too hard" and "secondhand embarrassment" are more appropriate in this case."

      Constructive criticism.

      Delete
    6. That wasn't your point. Nothing you said suggested that.

      I'm not trying to criticize you, I'm just explaining the comments to you.

      Per your comment below, you are not a celebrity, Internet or otherwise. To suggest that you are even in the same league as Danielle Hampton is just ludicrous.

      Delete
  27. Bekah, how is this legal? Are you serious? Should we start censoring and labeling anything that isn't rainbows and kittens and call it "illegal"? Dani is one of the only bloggers I read that doesn't delete comments. If you want to foster an environment where people give you constructive feedback, stop deleting every comment that isn't "i love you, your amazing". I agree that many of the things written on the site in question are probably very hard to read but there is also a lot of constructive criticism on there. And if your blog is your business, aren't you interested in knowing what your readership thinks of your blog? Why is it that anytime someone disagrees or points out inconsistencies they are then a labeled a hater? I just don't get it. I read SS because I love almost all of the content - but when there is something that I find off putting or offensive, I comment. A few times Dani by her own admission has responded super defensive and snippy. I think that if bloggers were more open to CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, forums like GOMI would not be necessary.

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    1. My thoughts exactly. Why do people put all this shit on the Internet if they cannot accept that others may not always enjoy or agree.

      Delete
    2. How dare you try to defend that site by labeling it as "feedback." There is a VAST difference between constructive criticism and being hateful towards a two year old child, hunting down someone's personal finances, posting info about their family, home, etc...that forum completely crosses the line on a regular basis and you know it.
      It amazes me that you get on Danielle for trying to defend herself and yet here you are doing the same thing, only your argument holds no weight!
      You can spin it however you'd like but the bottom line is that you're all a bunch of miserable, hateful dullards who tear others down to empower yourselves. And you all know deep down that what you do to these girls is WRONG. There's else to be said, and certainly not in YOUR defense! So please, for the love of god, shut the fuck up with the excuses and crawl on back to your slimy little corner of the internet. Nobody wants you here!

      Delete
    3. *nothing else. And sorry for all the cussing Danielle. I've had it with these freaks!!

      Delete
    4. Wow Anon - you clearly have some very strong feelings about all of this. It's sad you don't have the vocabulary to articulate it without being so crude. Once again, one person doesn't agree and the result is calling them jealous, hateful and dullards. Thank you for proving my point.

      Delete
    5. I don't delete my comments either, except for once because of a very personal and rude comment left, of course, anonymously.

      As a guideline, if it is just constructive criticism then you shouldn't have any problems commenting or emailing about it. The forum is simply the grown up version of high-school cliques.

      Delete
    6. Once in awhile, a good "shut the fuck up" is completely warranted. That doesn't make me crude. In fact, someone like yourself really doesn't have the right to judge, considering your support for some of the most poorly written, offensive garbage on the internet.
      You can dislike Danielle all you want, this isn't a disagreement over our opinions of her. It's a disagreement over what you do with that opinion.
      In real life, if you dislike a person (and aren't a psychopath), you generally stay away from that person, correct? You don't stalk them or attack their family and friends, correct? And you don't walk up to them in the grocery store and tell them that you hate how they put their hand on their hip, or seem too happy, or buy organic food...correct?! So why should it be any different on the internet? Why can't you just steer clear of someone who annoys you and find something positive to focus your energy on? I simply don't understand the satisfaction of hurting another person, who never did anything to hurt YOU.
      You're right, I obviously do have some strong feelings about this. I think that bullying is a sickness, whether it's in-person, online, directed at a teen or an adult. And I think that most sane, good-hearted people would agree.
      I'm going to hop off my soapbox now and won't be discussing this any further but hopefully you understand my pissed off reaction a little better now.

      Delete
  28. Christ, I've actually just googled the site you were on about and it's disgusting! They're writing about how obviously you do care about it otherwise you wouldn't of done this post and that you must check their site. Well what I want to say to that is, stop coming on her site you f**king stupid idiots if you dislike her so much! I hope you read this comment you jealous idiots :)

    Much love,

    Jessica the British bitch ;)

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  29. Danielle,

    I just googled that site and found it after never even knowing it existed until you mentioned it. Crazy to think that people feel it is best to spend their time that way. I can see why you would want to post on there as I also am confident in standing up for both my family and myself, however, I think you also made the right decision in choosing to stay away. These people will never stop, and commenting on there just fuels them more. Stay strong! Also, I love that you talk about excercise and eating healthy! I have been athletic all my life (soccer also!) but I struggled with gaining too much weight with my pregnancy and then trying to lose it afterwards. Even though I can't neccessarily afford Crossfit, seeing your dedication to staying healthy is very motivating so keep it up!

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  30. oh I love this post! I experienced my first nastiness on the web towards me this year, and did not handle it well. I really appreciate the honesty & encouragement you put out here :)

    thank you for being here sharing your life with us. it's a lovely one.

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  31. Danielle,

    Your blog is great and such a bright spot in my daily reading. I'm sorry that so many people feel it's necessary to spend their time putting you down, but that's all it is, wasted time. We are personally 100% responsible for the way we feel. We decide whether or not to allow these negative things to infiltrate our lives and have power over our emotions. People will always spew negativity under the guise of "feedback" or "criticism." Our culture breeds and encourages this. Keep doing what you do and realize that no matter what they write on GOMI, there are many of us who see you as a strong, brave woman.

    Happy holidays!

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  32. I think I was meant to read this post. Just last weekend I had a girl who I thought was a friend block me on IG because I was honest about something. I was hurt, I reached out to see if I could make things right and tried to get her to "like" me to see that I was a good person. After the first initial shock and talking to Scott about it I realized, people are different. Their are going to be some people out there that really dont like you. Something about you or me or whatever reminds them of something that they hate and it doesn't matter how hard we try, they wont like us. What truly matters is that you are a good person, that you are doing what is right, what is honorable and that you are a kind caring person. Then you will eventually be surrounded by people who hold onto the same exact values. You wont be stressed out by the ones that try to ruffle your feathers. I didn't to anything wrong to this person believe me I asked for honest feedback. It just this person is probably going through something and just decided to block me and hey who knows maybe some time will pass, the stress that comes on with the holiday season will pass and this person will change their mind about me. But I have to let go of the innate people pleasing heart that I have and stop stressing over the people who just dont like me. Believe me, its hard. But Dani your doing a great job with not letting people get you down, you would never know by reading your blog that the site (the one that bashes bloggers) bothers you. Not everyone feels the way some of those people do. They think your just great
    xo

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  33. I've been quietly reading your blog for a few months now (from the other side of the world)I check in when ever I have a few spare moments to relax. I read blogs because they are positive, REAL and interesting! I hate that people put time and energy into being rude, insensitive and close minded on the internet and I hope their incessant ranting doesn't deter you from sharing your beautiful family and wonderful writing!
    Lots of love from Australia! x

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  34. Good for you! GOMI is lame.... Aside from a few gems of helpful criticism, it's mostly a bunch of obviously jealous girls.

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  35. Ugh this is so messed up. I don't get why people would go to such lengths to try to make another they haven't met look and feel bad.

    I don't know the site you refer to and am certainly not going to add to their stats by looking them up but going by what I've read in these comments they clearly have some issues to deal with in their own lives.

    Who reads a blog about a cute child and a happy family and comes back with vitriol?! If someone is unable to empathise with the love and happiness showed on your blog then I pity them.

    I have been slow too to learn that not everyone likes everyone else. There are certainly people I don't like enough to spend meaningful time with and I have to accept that it's a two way street. It's obvious but hard too(though the shit you are dealing with is obviously more extreme).

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  36. I have a little theory about people who take the time to leave rude comments on blogs or devote their time to websites like the one you are referring to: They have alienated themselves from people in the "real world" by being nasty, so they have to turn to the internet where, unfortunately, there are millions of people and ideas they can tear down. Thank you for providing a place online that is positive, kind, and insightful! I love Sometimes Sweet as it is a refuge from the ideas that people who disagree cant get along and that you have to be nasty to get noticed. Keep up the good work! :)

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    Replies
    1. Wrong Marci, just wrong. We get it. haters gonna hate, keep shooting rainbows out of your booty and dance in the unicorn dust.

      Delete
  37. I read that site for a few minutes to turn my brain off and laugh, but it's kind of dissolved into pure cattiness.

    The thing is, I think a site like that COULD be useful in theory. I can think of a couple of instances in the past where a forum like that would have been handy like when a blogger I used to love turned around and tried to scam her followers. She tried to do it again under a different name but people caught on and she closed up shop and I haven't seen her around since.

    But situations like that? FAR and few in between. And people on that site are addicted to making comments so they rarely wait for something legitimate to talk about.

    There was this one blog I would read, and on that blogger's thread they would make mountains out of molehills and I'd be like "DID WE READ THE SAME POST?!" and I'd go back and read the original post and kind of see what they were talking about but they were really blowing it up.

    Some of the comments are legitimate, but it seems like those people got bored of the site and now the majority of the people left behind are just jealous and like snarking. I've seen a bunch of comments like "what's so special about her? ANYONE could take a bunch of nice pictures and make enough to stay home!" and it's like "really? that easy huh? That's why you're always complaining about how frivolous bloggers are, desperate to know their income and how you're plugging away at your job because you're so responsible? A lot of them have said the had little blogs in the past and stopped, obviously disillusioned about how easy it would be.

    Of course, when I read it, I think the stuff said is so silly so I didn't think a blogger would really take to heart the majority of the stuff said on it, but I would probably be sensitive if it were about me. It's all perspective I guess.


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  38. Thank you for this post, Danielle. That website had a similar effect on me, and as a people-pleaser type started over thinking every little thing I said, and tried to put out fires before they even started. I refuse to step foot on that website ever again and if anyone tells me they read it just for fun, or because they think it's funny what is said about one or two bloggers, it honestly makes me want to have nothing to do with them, as I cannot imagine that kind of hate being funny whatsoever, in any situation. They can write whatever they write, regardless of it containing any shred of truth, and I just don't have time or energy to have that in my life. It's true that we bloggers put our lives out there in the public, and that we should expect that there will be criticism and even hate sent our way for any number of reasons. It's actually made me far more compassionate on celebrities, as there are way more forums and such devoted to tearing those folks apart, and I suspect the "facts" in those are just as falsified and distorted. All in all, it's made me want to be more compassionate, as even en our daily lives we make snap judgements about people, when maybe they're just having the worst day ever, or they just got a terrible phone call, but instead of giving them grace and understanding we judge them. I definitely appreciate the honesty with which you write, even if/when our opinions or beliefs diverge.

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    Replies
    1. if this was in response to what I said, I didn't mean I thought the hate directed towards a blogger in particular was funny, I thought it was funny how invested someone could be in someone they didn't like or "hate-read".

      I have a hard time keeping up with blogs I like, and if I come across one I don't particularly like....I stop going there.

      When I first came across this site it blew my mind that people really enjoyed hate-reading someone.

      What I made out from what the commenter's posted was that some were old disillusioned readers (and like I mentioned, I was one of those a long time ago, but it was about a scam, not something trivial like "oh hey, she shouldn't have so many nice things given to her), and some just liked making catty comments.

      As an outsider, I can see the difference clearly, but I'm sure when it's about you, it's harder to see it, it just looks mean.

      There was a discussion going on when I first saw the site about if bloggers should be able call blogging work. The general consensus was "no, even if they make a lot of money doing it" and I think that's very telling about the bitterness that drives most of the commenters.

      Delete
    2. Elizabeth, I totally agreed with everything you said. I actually had the same conversation with my husband. I definitely look at celebrities with a heck of a lot of compassion now.

      I think that this Someecards sums up GOMI nicely:http://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/MjAxMS05YjFkMzUwNDEwNjE1ZjQ4

      It brings back memories of high school. The girl cliques. The rude things they would say about others, eventually you would participate in it but the whole time you knew that you didn't actually know if the things you were saying were true...and that you shouldn't participate.

      xo

      Delete
  39. Haha Dani, that website is ridiculous. Please don't ever read it ever again, promise me you won't. It's laughable, I feel very sad for the poor females on that website who have nothing else to do.

    Keep doing what you're doing and do not change. Remember that.

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  40. I have to admit, I found the website and read quite a bit of it... at first I thought it was pretty harmless; so what, some people don't like your blog. Who cares, there are many more that do like it (me included)! But then I read on... its just all so fascinating that these people went to this much trouble to find out personal stuff about you?! This is madness! I mean they went deep if you ask me... this is all craziness. Unbelievable.

    Good for you for not letting it all get you down; it shouldn't. They are all clearly VERY envious of you. Not everyone can have a successful blog. You should be very proud of yourself for all of your accomplishments.

    Happy New Year! It's going to be a great one!

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  41. as someone who is just starting her blogging journey, I just want to thank you for your thoughtful and restrained reflections. I'm going to try and remember to not read my press (if I get to a point where that's a consideration). :)

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  42. It makes me sad to think that people can be so negative for no reason. I just wanted to say that I love your blog and your writing, you inspire me in my own blog and with my own family. I hope you have a lovely 2013 and don't let anyone get you down!

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  43. It's funny how the more popular a blog gets, the more haters it has. I've read a good handful of posts from some of my favorite blogs lately about dealing with the negativity coming from random people around the internet, and it's a little scary, to be honest. I can't fathom spending so much time crafting posts or comments about how much I hate another person, especially one I don't even know! It's super sad that there are people like that out there, but then it's also refreshing to read posts like this, which are full of bravery and honesty and integrity. Keep doin' what you're doin', girl. I'm a lurker, and I rarely comment, but I read almost every one of your posts, and I think you're great. =]

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