The Awkward Transparency of Writing a Blog

One of the most difficult things about writing a blog is being transparent.

By virtue of writing a blog, my life is on the internet. Stating the obvious, I know. But seriously, it’s weird and self absorbed.  I’m not that important that people actually care what’s going on in my life, yet I write anyway, pretending they do. Ok, according to Google Analytics there are some people who do – the rest are probably my mom and ex-boyfriends.

The part I struggle with the most is exactly how much of my life to put online. Ironically, I share enough on my social media accounts for someone to find out my full name, place of employment, and daily caloric intake. If someone cared enough, they could probably follow me around Boston – but shouldn’t because I carry pepper spray and have a super loud voice while screaming for help and that’s just weird.

When it comes to my blog though, I’m more reserved. I have friends who blog about depression and eating disorders and medical issues and I’m over here writing about choking on hard boiled eggs. This is my space for travel adventures and beer tours and funny stories about my life in Boston. You know, fluff.

While fluff is funny and self deprecation is endearing, it lacks personality. My actual self – my insecurities, my dating life, the fact that I will likely die with law school debt – isn’t on here. Possibly because my ex-husband who loved to censor my writing online. Months after our divorce I received a cease and desist letter from him for referring to him as a douchebag on a quasi-anonymous dating blog I wrote. Not the smartest moment but also not legally actionable since:

  1. Truth is a defense to defamation, and
  2. I never used his name.

I’ve been so worried about putting too much information about myself online that I never considered that the person I was showing was just a shell. When asked what I write about, I point to stories that show pieces of my life instead of a person with feelings who embraces you when you enter the site. And I don’t like that.

I don’t like that my personal brand, for lack of a better term, is merely a series of disjointed events pulled together by an affinity for carbohydrates peppered with complaints about the weather and my old career. So I’m changing that, to the best of my ability, while still maintaining a sense of propriety and protecting the privacy of others.

Divorce made me closed off from others. Ironic because I’m a chronic oversharer, but it made me vulnerable and afraid of these things called feelings. It’s been a while since I’ve really shared myself with people. My job as lawyer left me miserable and embarrassed about having stagnated my career for dreams of love and happiness that turned into a cold pile of crap. So I didn’t write about my feelings or deep thoughts or aspirations for the future. Not anymore.

The past year has been an awakening for me. A change of career and perspective has made me happy and motivated. I’ve even turned into a hugger. Ok, Startup Institute is really to blame for that – those team-building, feeling-cultivating, happiness-making, group-hugging people. They totally killed my tough guy street cred.

And so this is where I find myself now. In this awkward place on my blog, trying to figure out what to say to people who probably haven’t even read this far. If you have, thanks for letting me get that out. Come on, bring it in for a hug.

tinafey hug gif

Things that make me feel better about life

I’m in a funk.  A stressed out from work/my face looks like a pepperoni pizza/I barely have time to shower don’t even think about time for yoga or laundry/I can’t find a pair of white skinny jeans (see previous comment about not doing laundry)/oh another glass of wine? funk.  It sucks but keep on keeping on, right?

Tonight I ditched an event that I was supposed to attend in order to go home and grade Bar prep essays. Apparently that’s my version of relaxing nowadays which is totally awesome for someone whose sense of humor lends itself to self-deprecation and sarcasm. Look at me being fabulous in boxers grading papers on the couch. (twirls)

Anyway, after I had settled down and made a mental list of why I was a poor poodle and how I’d rather be anywhere but “here” at this very moment in time, something miraculous happened.  I realized that no matter how sucky my life seems right now, or at least how much less stressed I wish I was right now, it could be worse.

Mind-blowing, I know.

But sometimes we need something to smack us upside the head and put things back into perspective. So I pumped myself up with the following comparisons to less fortunate people because I’m mature like that.


And just like that, I realized that I have it pretty good…and that my new nickname is Crazy Eyes.

living for yourself

This winter has been brutal.  So many of my friends have understandably found themselves in a funk.  Between the cold and the snow and having to lug around approximately 15 pounds of jacket; scarf; hat and boots everyday, it’s no wonder we’re ready for the winter to be over.  During this time (and any time you’re in a funk) it is easy to fall into nothingness.
Recently I’ve found myself to be lazy.  I’ve fallen behind on laundry and cleaning, favored a night on the couch instead of out on the town, and even let my nail polish chip into oblivion (gasp!). Perhaps the worst transgression of them all–I’ve been a horrible blogger!
So the past two weeks I decided to start living for myself again.  It’s important to work on self care and making things around you make you happy.  Being busy makes me happy so I’ve been booking my schedule tighter than a drum with a little me-time thrown in there.
The past week I’ve had plans (mostly yoga) every night except for one, and it was a great week!  I also agreed to help a friend plan another friend’s 30th birthday party in May, went to a beer festival, signed up to rent a house in Cape Cod for the weekend with my volleyball team, meal planned like a Mormon mommy blogger, joined a yoga studio that I love, painted my nails, and got new glasses!


I’m feeling a renewed sense of self just in time for spring!  Now all I need is a massage and a nap.
What do you do to live for yourself?

the best part of your day

Last night I went to a yoga class.  The instructor walked in and proudly said, “Welcome to the best part of your day!”.  I brushed it off and the class started.  The various poses challenged me, made me feel strong and accomplished, and left me with an excuse to chow down on meatloaf when I got home.
Too many hours later, when I finally dragged my sweaty self into the shower, I thought back on what my yoga instructor had said.  My shower is my thinking place (which is quite unfortunate when I come up with genius blog ideas and can’t write them down) and I stood there with the hot water beating down on my sore body, I realized she was right.  It WAS the best part of my day.  Reflecting back on it made me happy and fulfilled and relaxed.  But you don’t have to be a yogi (or a woman who picked up yoga as an excuse to wear $80 Lululemon yoga pants) to feel this way.
At the risk of sounding like a Kool-Aid-chugging, inspirational-quote-posting-internet-weirdo, last night I learned something.  It’s important to take the time to reflect on each day and pick out the best thing that happened to you.  Maybe it was a win at work; an awesome meal you prepared; catching up with a loved one; or the fact that you were in an awful mood and managed not to kill someone; but everyday we should find whatever it was that was the best part of our day and reflect on that.
…and now I realize that I have become that person who pukes rainbows.  Who am I?!

Also, today is my Mom’s birthday, which undoubtedly makes it an awesome day!  Happy Birthday, Mom–I love you!

how to be awesome on a budget

Whether you’re underpaid at work or just broke from the holidays, that doesn’t mean that you have to sit at home and eat ramen this winter.  Although some people would consider that totally awesome, it’s nice to get out once in a while, but it can be hard on a budget.  Naturally, I came up with a list of how I manage to have an awesome life while mostly sticking to a budget.

Get out of the house

The winter is cold and long but it doesn’t get any shorter by staying inside and you won’t feel awesome staying at home.  Go for a walk, experience new things, and just get out there!  You never know what you’ll find.

Surf the internet

Ironically almost the polar opposite of the previous point, but you can also do this outside of the house (at a coffee shop, perhaps!).  Websites like Facebook and Twitter are great resources for things going on in your area.  Local websites like Wicked Cheap Boston and Boston on a Budget have posts about great deals in and around Boston and there’s bound to be something similar in your city!  
I’ve been going to free fitness classes courtesy of Sweetgreen Passport, a movement to get people moving and shaking for free in 2014!  So far I’ve been to 4 of these free fitness classes, including a boxing class.  Molly at Wicked Cheap Boston just posted about these too!

Plan ahead

Make plans with friends in advance.  A couple weekends ago I went to Body Worlds Vital in Faneuil Hall with my fellow blogger buddies Kate, Jodi, and Rachel.  I got the tickets in advance so it wasn’t a super expensive day.
Making plans in advance means that you don’t feel the burn of activities on your wallet at once.  That Lady Antebellum concert that I wouldn’t spend $60 on now that I’m broke?  Thankfully, I already got tickets months ago before some unexpected expenses and what do you know–I now have a free event to go to tomorrow night with Kate and Jodi because I’ve already paid for it!

Find hobbies

Some hobbies are expensive, there are plenty that can be a ton of cheap fun!  I recently joined Social Boston Sports indoor volleyball league with people from my summer Waka kickball league.  At first, I balked at the $90 registration fee and then I did the math.  Breaking down $90 over 6 weeks is only $15/week, which is less than 2 lunches out at work.  Not to mention, you get 2 hours of playing time, unlimited laughs, and new friends. Get out there, bring your lunch to work and spend the money getting fit with awesome people who might be your new best friends!

Be consistent

Follow through is important in life.  If you sign up for events, go.  No one likes a flake and if you don’t follow through, you’ll lose invitations to awesome things.  Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but try to always follow through with what you say you’re going to do. Having a bad day and don’t want to go? Maybe your day will turn around!  Follow through with what you say you’re going to do in life and you’ll open doors.

Last night I attended a Cupcakes and Cocktails event with Blog and Tweet Boston at the Boston Center for Adult Education.  It sold out within hours and due to high demand, the organizer was inviting only people who hadn’t cancelled on a previous event.  I had a great time baking cupcakes and making new blogger friends!  Bonus: I got this adorable cupcake carrier and delicious cupcakes to take home!


Professional, blogger, or personal.  Some times it might be a miss, but it’ll all be worth it when you make those few, or even one, connection that changes your life.  If all else fails, you’ll at least end up with some good stories.  Not to mention these events are often free.  If they’re not, there will usually be some free food or drinks!

Be a regular

If you really need that Starbucks, get a value card so you can earn points.  Reward your spending with frequent flyer miles or reward points to get free stuff.  If you like going to bars (who me?), become a regular.  Bartenders don’t give free drinks to strangers!