Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Looking In

When I started this blog, my main goal was to connect with other women & to help them look and feel their best.  But, after hearing a comment someone made recently, I realized I needed to take a moment to address it.  She said, "I used to read your blog all the time, but it just made me feel bad that I don't look that pulled-together every day."  I'll be honest, my heart completely sank.  I never want someone to visit this site and leave feeling worse about themselves.  My mission has always been to share, to inspire & to encourage.  Trust me, I have plenty of days when I am without makeup, hair in a ponytail & chasing my kids around Target.  There are some readers that I've run into in person and can attest to this!

But it wasn't until last week when we were leaving the house for a photo shoot (that I honestly didn't feel up for) when it all clicked for me & her comment suddenly made sense.  At the time, I was feeling miserably sick, but going out to take pictures where I would put on my sunglasses, paint on a bright smile & pretend my way through it so I would have a post for the next day.  It dawned on me that my readers aren't always seeing the real me because I'm not letting them see it.  In my attempts to keep PPF a positive, light & uplifting place, I've left out some of the behind-the-scenes parts of life, which has kept me from connecting deeper with readers like I want to.  And I think it's important to share what is really going on...because life isn't all pretty pictures & polished outfits.  Sometimes it's messy and painful and hard.  

Case in point?  Last week, I found out that I have Lupus.  I've battled immune system problems for years and have been diagnosed with recurring cases of mono, but they've never been able to pinpoint the exact problem until now.  This most recent flare began just before Thanksgiving and has been my most severe to date.  I've had to wear sunglasses in all my posts lately because my left eye was nearly swollen shut for days.  Being a bit of a control-freak, it's very frustrating that I can't simply fix this & make it go away by following a program or taking medicine.  Even more infuriating is the knowledge that it can resurface at any time without warning.  Needless to say, it has been a rough couple of months and I really don't know what the future holds.  

I decided to open up about this to let you know the truth - that I am just a blogger trying to do my best; I'm just a mom trying to balance work & family; I'm just a woman who is far from perfect.  I get blemishes, I overindulge in desserts, I'm impatient, I make mistakes and I need grace.  Going forward, my goal is to be more vulnerable & honest here...in the hopes that anyone who visits will leave feeling a sense of camaraderie.  Because I believe that one of the best ways we can support each other as women is to be transparent about both the good & the bad, so we all feel a little less alone.


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