ramblingtart » sharing stories and art with the world from Australia

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Learning to Be Real

A friend wrote to me the other day and asked, “How are you really doing?”

I smiled because I knew exactly what she meant.

When I started my blog two years ago, I was entering one of the darkest, most painful times of my life. Everything seemed to hit me at once and continued to do so for the next two years. This blog became my safe place, my happy place, a spot where I could record at least one good, beautiful thing each day to help me get through the wretchedness of my life.

I posted about lovely people who inspired, comforted, and encouraged, not the ones who seemed to make it their life work to crush me.

I wrote about delicious foods that I could eat, not the ones I had to avoid as doctors tried to figure out what was causing my body to shut down and leave me doubled over in pain for months at a time.

I published pictures of beautiful places I had once traveled to, not the four white walls of my bedroom where I lay month after month longing for relief from physical pain and emotional trauma.

All the happy, wonderful things I posted were real. They did delight me, make me smile, and give me hope and courage to press on.

But they were only part of the story.

Truth be told, I wasn’t brave enough to post the ugly bits. Most days I was hanging on for dear life, the pain of my reality so acute that I needed to concentrate on the good things, no matter how small, just to get through each day.

I wasn’t strong enough to be completely real with you. I was raw and weak and afraid, so I hid behind pretty pictures and yummy recipes because I felt safe there.

And I don’t regret it. Not one bit. Because I met you there. And through your emails and comments, Instant Messenger chats and Skype talks, in person visits and long-distance phone calls I found the courage and strength I needed to start over.

You showed me that there are truly good people in this world. Through you I have experienced true kindness and acceptance and learned to have hope no matter how dark things become.

For that I cannot thank you enough. xo

Although I don’t regret the last two years, I’m also not going to remain in that place of fear and insecurity.

As scary as it is, I commit to being more real with you.

I’ve spent my whole life trying to be good enough, to win and keep the approval of people whose love and acceptance is conditional. I can’t do that anymore. It’s exhausting. 🙂

I want this blog to be a safe place for you and me to be ourselves regardless of lifestyle differences, religious beliefs, or cultural practices. A place where we can be real and know we won’t be judged if we question our faith, politics and worldview, burn two batches of roasted tomatoes, or go without make-up for five days in a row.

So, in the spirit of being real, tomorrow I will answer my friends’ question for you:

How I’m Really Doing.

In the meantime, I’d love to know: Are you ever afraid of being real? And how do you deal with that fear so it doesn’t control you?

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Krista - Oh thank you, dear Andi! 🙂 xo

Krista - Thank you, Annette. 🙂

Krista - Thank you so much, Cathy! I’m so happy you found me in this big blogging world and I look forward to getting to you know better. 🙂 I love that you’re learning to be real too! It’s so nice to have friends on this journey. 🙂

Krista - Very good counsel, dear Barbara. Thank you for that. 🙂 I will do my best to be real but also protect myself and the people I care about. 🙂 xo

Krista - I’m so glad you’re back, dear Linda! 🙂 I’ve missed you! I do feel so much better these days, in body and spirit, and I’m grateful. I would LOVE to see those carpets of bluebells!!!

Krista - I love that, Corinne – whatever makes me comfortable and happy. 🙂 Yes, that is the best way to decide how to be online, isn’t it? 🙂

Krista - Thank you, dear Jenny. 🙂 I’m so glad we only have to go one step at a time. xo

How I’m Really Doing » Rambling Tart - […] I’m Really Doing As promised yesterday, here is How I’m Really […]

Andi Perullo - These pictures are so freaking gorgeous, just like you! 🙂

Annette | Bucket List Journey - Simply…beautiful 🙂

Cathy - This post is fantastic Krista (and timely for my current thinking), I wish I had discovered your blog a lot earlier.  I love your posts.  Being real can be difficult – I know that I have struggled and it is often because of unrealistic expectations.  Recently I have understood who I am, and I am going to try and be as ‘real’ as possible.  

Barbara Williams - Yes, I think we all are afraid of being real….but most especially online. It’s hard to put your feelings out there day after day, and I’m such a private person. Also, a couple bloggers have mentioned that “real” has gotten them into trouble in some way. So you have to combine “real” with “Cautious”, Krista.

Lindyloumac - Hi my dear, I am catching up with my blogging friends and you have welcomed me home with your beautiful photos and your honest words. It is good to have you sounding happier and more settled  in your recent posts.  The Autumn Cyclamen in Italy are truly beautiful I was amazed the first time I saw them, carpets of pink in contrast to the carpets of bluebells we see in the Spring in the UK.

jenny@atasteoftravel - A brave and beautiful post, Krista with stunning photos. Being real to yourself is sometimes so hard but you have already shown such amazing strength. One step at a time……

Corinne @ Gourmantic - It’s interesting how some people hide, others switch between different modes of their personality online. Whatever works is fine. I’m not afraid but then my website isn’t a personal space to discuss me. I’ve done the personal blog thing in the past and moved on long ago. No matter how open you are, people will still have perceptions of you regardless, so don’t be concerned. Whatever makes you comfortable and happy 🙂

Krista - Thank you for being so honest, Amy. I’m glad you were able to find something enjoyable in spite of the lack of grit. 🙂 Funny, isn’t it, how our bravery ebbs and flows? I can be so honest and real in private, but somehow in public it’s much more difficult. I’m getting stronger though, and I’m so glad you are too. Raising a glass to bravery and being real. 🙂

Amy Mattix - OK, I have to confess that as much as I enjoy your blog, I kind of dismissed it as one of the “shiny happy blogs” — skimming along the glossy surface of life. So this post made me happy. I really like to read about the guts of life, the ups and downs and personal struggles. 

I, like you, know a thing or two about conditional acceptance. I tried to be perfect, but it didn’t work out very well.  

The fear comes and goes. Sometimes I’m brave and let everything hang out. Sometimes I’m not, and I end up adjusting my story to what I think people want to hear.  

Krista - Biggest of hugs to you, dear Susan. XO I’m sorry things are difficult for you right now. It is such agony to see the sufferings of people we love. Hoping for peace for you and healing for your Opa. XO

Krista - “real in layers” – how I LOVE that, dear Rain! 🙂 Thank you for the oh-so-timely reminder that I don’t need to be a glass house to be real. XO I’m working hard on building healthy boundaries based on truth instead of fear, but sometimes I’m just scared. 🙂 Slowly but surely I’m getting there. 🙂

Anonymous - My dear Rambling Tart… your heart is open and sweet… always a good thing!
These flower Photos are some of the best I have ever seen… so much beauty packed into each flower they have to burst for it all!
thanks for sharing and being ‘real’
me … real… tonight I am tired and hopeful that our Opa will pull through a nasty pneumonia, worried and trying to lift up the worry to One bigger than I am, He who gives each breath we breathe and loves us so…

rain - so loving you!

and yes. i face that fear sometimes. for me, i find that i can be real in layers. just because i’m not completely transparent to everyone doesn’t mean i’m not being authentic. i think sometimes we have a preconceived notion that we must create a glass house to live in and invite the whole world to stare at us in order to be really true, but the truth is, some people are not safe. and it’s ok to have boundaries.
<3<3

Krista - Thank you, Darlene. 🙂 I’m so glad you like the flowers too. They were so gorgeous in the late afternoon sun. I love how you said you’re keeping things to yourself until you get things figured out. 🙂 I feel the same way!

Krista - Thank you so much, Jessica. It really is so difficult, scary, and intimidating. But worth it, I think. xo

darlene - Beautiful, Krista — the post AND the pictures (the kids and I are studying Botany for science class this year, and I have a whole new appreciation for flowers).  Do I have trouble being real sometimes?  You bet!!!!  Not sure HOW to deal with it; for now, I’m keeping it pretty much to myself as I try to figure it out 🙂

Jessica Orquina - Krista, great post! Being real – honest – can be one of the hardest things to do.  🙂

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