What On Earth To Say?

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If you read me regularly, you’ll know this blog has been fragmented since this summer. As fragmented as the cheap kaleidoscope lens I bought my son, which was quickly broken, then lost, as most of the twins’ toys are.

The truth is, I have no idea what to write anymore. How to write. Do I craft short, escapist posts of happiness and photos or long heart-wrenching missives pouring my heart out? I’ve had some middling success with this blog in the way I hoped: as an advocacy tool, an educational mechanism. The truth is, in some ways, my wounds of 2006-2010 (two losses and infertility) have healed. The truth is, those wounds will never really fully heal. The bell has been rung, I’m forever changed by the experiences. The truth is: I’ll face worse, because I won’t live forever and this world is destined to delight and depress people and all we can hope is that perhaps we experience more delight, but that’s not a given. The truth is I’d like to write about things other than infertility, too. The truth is, I don’t know that anyone wants to hear about those other things. And, fair enough. I started off writing for myself, but along the way, I began to write for others. Those I knew. Those I didn’t know. Those I wanted to reach. Those who needed to hear stories of others, ordinary but extraordinary tales of loss and love and resilience and brokenness.

I know that some of you have been bewildered by my meanderings (Fashion? REALLY?) and probably hurt by posts about my kids, something I refrained from doing before. I understand: my audience is a mix of different people, some in the trenches, some living childfree not by choice, some parenting, some having nothing to do with infertility.

I don’t know why I feel “better”, but it’s a fragile state I don’t take for granted. In fact, if there’s one phrase that defines 2012 for me, it’s gratitude. I feel lucky. Sometimes grouchy, sometimes angry, but always grateful. Just grateful for my husband and my beautiful twins. That gratitude was always there, under the surface, but it got lost along the way as I grieved for my children who would never be, for the star-crossed road it seems I alone was dealt amongst my charmed friends and acquaintances. But of course I was not alone. Because I had YOU.

And dear, dear readers: this brings me to my question. What would YOU like me to write?

– Would you like me to finish Faces of ALI? (I had at least two more profiles planned.) Do they matter?
– Do you want me to create a separate blog for all things fashion and lifestyle? Because the truth is the other thing that has made me happy in 2012 is rediscovering the superficial side of myself that was submerged for many years. I rediscovered my old love for everything sartorial: mostly this passion was reignited by my daughter, who has taken her interest in clothes to a new level by sewing and crafting.

A friend’s father once told her that she was two sides of the same knife, one that makes shallow cuts and one that delves deep. He’s Romanian and old world and survived the Holocaust as a young child, and I think there is great wisdom in aspiring to this. For me, I think the key for surviving this world (for the time I am given) is to be both: both perfunctory and possibly profound.

I really appreciate and look forward to your comments as always. I know I have not always pleased you, you have not always agreed with me, and I am sure that some of my posts made your eyes roll into the back of your head as you clicked out of my blog 😉 But please know: I have deeply valued your time and your comments over the last two years.

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27 Comments

Filed under Parenting After IF, personal style, What Say You?, writing

27 responses to “What On Earth To Say?

  1. “Do you want me to create a separate blog for all things fashion and lifestyle?” As long as the blog is your personal space and not a business venture write what you feel interested in. At least that’s my two cents. 🙂

  2. I care about you (a lot), but I don’t care (as much) about what you choose to write about. As we discussed in our session at BlogHer in August, most of the blogs that I read and come back to, time and time again I do so because of their voice. I no I am not the most consistent commenter, but I get your posts via email and read almost all of them. I actually really appreciate and get a kick out of the variety. I love that you can (from my perspective) easily bounce around from fashion tips to infertility profiles. But, to answer your questions specifically…

    -YES! I LOVE FACES OF ALI! So please continue on with it (and if you have it in you, don’t stop after two more).

    – I don’t think it is necessary for you to start a separate blog, as your blog title states, you have “Too Many Fish To Fry” and that may include at any given time whatever you want to write about. The way I see it, readers can and will read and comment on what interests them and can certainly click away if a post doesn’t. I am not the kind of person who will stop reading your blog because certain posts may or may not interest me.

    I agree with your friend’s father’s wisdom. So there you go. 🙂

  3. I’d love to see the other two faces of ALI and I have loved reading other things including the fashion. You write so beautifully that whether you write about infertility, lifestyle or fashion in sure you’ll do well.

  4. Definitely more Faces of ALI. As many as you can muster. 😉

    As for what else you write about, I’d say whatever you want. I know that is not at all helpful and I apologize for that. But I’m hear for whatever you want to write. Now and always.

  5. Jess, my vote is you write what is in your heart. Be it fashion (I’m learning from you … More soon on that one), with twins (you being on the other side is a source of hope and inspiration) or what ever. Write! If it comes from you, it will be beautiful.

    My question to you: what speaks to you? Not only as a parent but also as a member of this planet? This society? This universe? Even if it seems trivial or frivalous. It matters.

    Write from your header, lady.

  6. I have enjoyed your variety in posts, so don’t see a need to start a separate blog for the fashion. Unless you really want to separate it yourself and have that as a main focus elsewhere.
    I’d love to read the two Faces of ALI you have started, and if that is one of your passions why stop there? I believe it makes a difference, maybe not on the level you wished for yet, but I’m sure it helps someone somewhere.
    Blogs can change and take different directions or a person can get a new hobby they write about, that’s natural. I think your long time readers will stick around anyway. I’d say don’t worry so much about what others want to read, but write what you want and need to release for yourself.

  7. Heather

    This is YOUR blog, you should write what you want.
    I have enjoyed your faces of ALI.

  8. I have to say I was surprised by the fashion posts, but I enjoy them. The only fashion blog I read is Tom and Lorenzo because I think they’re hilarious. But the skirt I was wearing when I met you, I bought as a direct result of reading your post on dressing for your body type.

    Your children are beautiful!

    Absolutely, without a doubt, continue the Faces if ALI. I know you wonder whether it’s worth it… It is. Shifting popular perception is such a huge job – this is your piece of the battle. I think the fact that you felt moved and inspired to do this means it needs to be done. What is to be gained by keeping silent? I will tweet and Facebook everything you write for FoALi.

  9. You know, I feel like your blog has actually come into its own over the past few months. You seem happier than when I first started reading, which is wonderful. And the fact that you are returning to things that interest you, not fertility-related, is a really healthy sign. I’ve been enjoying reading your blog more since these changes – I feel like you’ve found your voice.

    As far as the fashion, it is not my interest, but I think I’ve mentioned before that all the people I work with are very into “making things pretty” as a hobby, so your fashion posts kind of help me understand them. And Faces of ALI – absolutely keep writing those. You never know where it’ll lead. Several times I’ve been reading a blog I follow regularly and suddenly notice the Faces of ALI button, and I didn’t even know they read your blog. Word is getting out.

  10. I love what you write, whatever it’s about. I love your voice and your passion. You inspire people; you inspire me. As long as you are writing, I will be reading.

  11. you are a wonderful writer. write what makes you happy. write what you know. write what you feel. you don’t need to appeal to every reader. just be true to yourself. those of us who enjoy your writing will read along, even if we don’t comment each post.

    I love the vivid analogy of a blade. very wise and apt. spread as much as you wish, but don’t be afraid to delve deep too, even if it hurts. just WRITE!

  12. When I see a new post by you in my reader, I immediately hop over to check it out because yours is one of my very favorites. There are some topics that I don’t really comment on (fashion) but it shouldn’t be taken as a sign of disinterest… I just don’t have much to say about it. The posts that speak the most to me are the Faces of ALI and advocacy ones, and I’m loving that you write posts about your kids now, but I just enjoy your writing voice, so I’d stick around for pretty much any topic.

  13. What Kathy said.

    Anything you write about with passion resonates for me. Remember that song, Garden Party? “You can’t please everyone so you’ve got to please yourself.”

    If you write what you love, we’ll be here.

    That said, I, too, eagerly consume the Faces of ALI. In fact, some smart publisher should make those into an anthology. Hehe.

    I haven’t noticed any fragmenting…?

  14. SM

    I was drawn to your blog by Faces of ALI and I stuck around to read all the other things you post. I loved the fashion posts! It’s your blog so write about whatever you want!

  15. I love a blog with a wide scope and find all your posts interesting – I say go for it, wherever the writing inspiration takes you! I have realized lately that I actually write on quite a variety of topics, I just find odd little ways to tie them back to parenting because I know it’s a common thread of (most of) my readers. With you having such a broad reader base, it’s probably a little more difficult. Ultimately I think it’s about writing about IT ALL and letting people choose what they will read and/or comment on. I do enjoy the faces of ali features and of course your posts about the twins!

  16. Seems pretty unanimous, but I’ll add my hand, too … yes, write what you love! It’s not superficial. And agreed with Deb … you have a lovely voice.

    Mel told me pretty much the same thing when I saw her this week. And it was a good reminder to write what as in my heart. And love my town — my readers — even if I don’t live in a big city.

  17. I love everything you post. Seriously. Don’t feel like you have to focus on only one facet of your identity! Faces of ALI, your fashion posts, your posts about your children…they all have a place because they are a part of you.

  18. I would love to read anything you write — I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you through this medium — I think of this as the mark of a true writer — you have a beautiful voice and we will follow that wherever you lead us.

    XO

    Pam

  19. And don’t forget to finish your wonderful mystery. All who have posted here would love it.

    Dad

  20. I’m not a fashion blog reader at all, but I still enjoy your posts about it. I definitely love your faces of ALI but I think you should write what you feel compelled to write about, no matter what.

  21. sifinalaska

    Oh friend… I think we all go through this from time to time. Moments when we are no longer exactly the same person our blog was created to reflect and we wonder… is there still space for ME here now? Even now, that I am starting down the adoption path, there is part of me starting to recoil at all the “why don’t you just adopt” backlash. Which is funny, because I cannot tell you how many times those words stung me and how many times I lashed out against them. But now that I AM “just adopting”, I have started to feel like I am in some way betraying the infertility community.

    It is complicated, and so conflicting, and I have to say – I am a firm believer that these spaces we create for ourselves in the internet ether have to be, if nothing else, true reflections of who we are at any given moment in time. THAT is more important than anything else. And yes, readers will come and go, and it is important to be sensitive to hurt feelings to the best extent we can be, but… at the end of the day, all you can do is be true to who you are and where you are at NOW. There will ALWAYS be people interested in knowing who that person is at any given point in time. I promise you that.

    Fashion is not my thing, at all, but I was still excited to see you start exploring that passion… It’s a window into who you are outside of this space. I like that!

    As far as Faces of ALI, I know I personally would love to see you continue that series. I think it is important, and yes… it matters. But so do you. Being true to who YOU are matters. So more than anything, I would rather just see you reflecting that person and what matters the most to her NOW.

    Hope you and your family have an amazing Christmas lady.

  22. I love reading most anything you post, especially the topics that I don’t agree with you on. I enjoy hearing others’ perspectives and I like to think about their points of view. I usually understand why people feel the way they do, but your writing tends to explain that more and I enjoy that, even if I don’t agree at a fundamental level.

    I am not a fashionable person at all, but do enjoy your wardrobe plans for the week. Seriously, they make me want to dress better 😉

    And this? “the other thing that has made me happy in 2012 is rediscovering the superficial side of myself that was submerged for many years.” I love that! We all have a superficial side (did you see my birthday planning guide??? HA!) and I think it’s great to admit it – and more importantly – to SHARE it!

    🙂

  23. I think everyone else has pretty much covered it, but just keep on writing, and we’ll keep on reading!

  24. Yes, finish ALIfaces, as long as your heart is in it, I’d say. I don’t mind what you write about, but have little interest in the fashion stuff – not a reflection on your posts, more on my fashion-apathy. I don’t mind the posts on your kids one bit, have never thought “oh god she’s writing about her kids again”, those posts fit fine with me. I think as years pass, things change and to dedicate solely to one topic is unrealistic (unless you have a blog just for that purpose). When people write well, I like to read about their lives and thoughts regardless of what their lifestyle is

  25. I think you should finish the faces of ALI. Personally, I kind of like reading about various topics even if they don’t have anything to do with parenting or infertility.

  26. I’ve just found your blog thru Bitter Infertiles. Your twins are just beautiful. 🙂 I hope you do keep blogging.

  27. What everyone else has said. : ) You are a person of many interests (we all are), & you shouldn’t feel confined to just one subject here… as someone else said, after all, your blog is called “Too Many Fish to Fry.” ; ) I would love to see you finish those two Faces of ALI posts, and then if you feel like writing more, great, if not, so be it. Even Mel at Stirrup Queens has projects/features that she has dropped or set aside over the years (the book club, the Virtual Lushary, etc.).

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