Bravery vs. Stupidity

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Oddly enough, I had this post written before Dawg added me to his List of Most Honest Bloggers of the year. The things I’ve discussed here lately have been called a lot of things – but “honest” is by far the most… um, honest.

Among the many emails I’ve received with encouragement and advice, some have been littered with words like “courage” and “strength”. Some people have gone so far as to say that my insistence on blogging about all of this shit is brave.

Of course, other people would say that splitting your veins in front of the Internet is stupid. Some are in the camp of “crying to the Internet is a desperate plea for someone to feel sorry for you and tell you that you are wonderful” and some are in the “for god sake’s think of your PRIVACY!” caucus.

And some still are just in the realm of “cannot understand” – no judgment, adoration or bizarre twisty hatred. Just *shrug* I don’t get it.

Honest blogging. It is what it is. But it’s neither bravery nor stupidity. (It’s obviously not a plea for sympathy either – but you already know that. Duh.)

The bravery thing kind of creeps me out – in that it makes me feel like a big fat fraud because seriously? Not. brave. Scared to death, to be quite honest with you.

Spilling my guts is not an act of courage. This is just how I’m wired.

Bravery and courage, I believe, come from doing things that are scary – and yet some people do them anyway. And while I get that personal openness is scary for some people – it’s just not for me. It’s just as natural for me to talk about the things that haunt me and shame me and scare the shit out of me as it is for me to share the things that make me laugh. I’m exactly the same online as I am in real life – what you see is what you get.

That’s not always a good thing – for me or the people around me. How do you look in those jeans? Well, I might try and tell you it’s “fine” – but “oh my god do not leave the house with muffin top” will be all over my face. What are my deepest fears and how can you use them against me? Hang around for five minutes, and I’ll tell you.

Honesty often means you don’t have the protection of things like privacy and boundaries. Not that I’m some vulnerable flower that needs to be protected (puh-LEASE), but it does tend to make for an apparently easy target.

And still, I don’t think “honest blogging” (or rather “spill your guts – ALL your guts – blogging”) is stupid either.

Does it make some people uncomfortable? Sure it does. Does it give people you don’t know well enough to trust ammunition to hurt you? Possibly. Does it open you up for criticism on some very personal areas? Absolutely.

But if this is Just How You Are, there is no alternative. If I showed up here and tried to be “smart” in an effort to protect myself, there’d be absolutely no point in me being here. If I showed up here and tried to be anything that wasn’t genuinely me – well… who would do that??

A lot of people blog without splitting their veins. And they’re interesting and entertaining – often more so than I am. And they are neither “NOT brave” nor necessarily smarter than me. They are being who they are.

And that’s not better or worse. It just is.

  1. avitable says:

    I just wish you’d stop talking about my muffin top every time we get ready to go somewhere.

  2. NYCWD says:

    Oh so very true in so many ways… particularly that last line.

    And the muffin top bit. Definitely that too.

  3. HoosierGirl5 says:

    I like your blog, and your honesty.

    How are your Christmas preps shaping up?

    J. :thumbsup:

  4. Mary says:

    The bravery thing kind of creeps me out – in that it makes me feel like a big fat fraud because seriously? Not. brave. Scared to death, to be quite honest with you.

    You, Ms. Britt, are the least fraudulant person I’ve never met in my life. I have read your posts for months, but never commented before.

    Iwish I was more like you.

  5. Dan says:

    I’m not sure it’s particularly relevant, in fact I know it’s not particularly relevant. But your post reminded me of a book i read once: “Because cowards get cancer too”. In it the author (who had cancer) ranted about everyone calling him brave and talking about him being a “fighter”, saying does that mean that people who do die of cancer weren’t brave enough or didn’t fight hard enough.

    As I say, not relevant.

    Sorry.

  6. Kimberly says:

    You are strong enough to write about weakness. For good or bad, that’s got to be more healthy than shutting down and not talking about it.

  7. Mr. Fabulous says:

    I wish I was more like you too. Specifically, I wish I had bigger nipples.

  8. That might complicate wearing shirts.

  9. ADW says:

    :cold:
    Have fun flying back to the Midwest!!
    :cold:

  10. Miss Britt says:

    avitable: stop trying to wear my jeans then, freak.

    NYCWD: yeah – you remember that. It just IS. We are the way we are for a reason – OK?

    HoosierGirl5: well thanks – I like it too and as I said, it suits ME. Christmas preps are… well… coming along I guess. :-)

    Mary: well first – HI!! :wave:

    And second – I think it’s OK to see things in other people that you like and want to aspire too – I do that all the time.

    But also understand that, as I said to Dawg, we are ALL the way we are for a reason. The world needs people in it who aren’t just like me. In droves. LOL

    Dan: actually – it’s entirely relevant, and kind of what I mean by feeling like a fraud. Because me being “open” isn’t something I CHOOSE – and I think bravery implies a choice that one person makes while another person might not. I totally get what that person is saying.

    Kimberly: yeah, for me it has definitely helped. I don’t know if I would have ever gotten to the point of making a doctor’s appointment if I hadn’t been able to talk and talk and talk about all this beforehand. When I try to work things out in my head it just goes round and round and round. I don’t make any progress until it comes out – in one form or another.

    Are there people who can make progress in their own heads? If so, I think that is amazing.

    Mr. Fab: that reminds me, I’ve been meaning to explain to you the “big” nipples thing.

    On another subject, I don’t have a lot of dinner plates.

    But I have this one really tall glass I rarely use.

    Anyway…

    Jack: I had to go back and reread my own post to figure out what you meant. LOL Yeah – you’d think gut spilling would interfere with fashion – but, surprisingly, no.

    ADW: it’s freezing here today. I think I am going to die in Iowa.

  11. Debkitty says:

    I adore you and your honesty. It is why I come back day after day. I love to feel connected to someone and your honesty and trust makes me feel connected, I like what you wrote…

    However I will never ask you how I look in anything!

  12. Finn says:

    I know exactly what you’re saying. I’m an open book too. I don’t know how to be any other way.

  13. Mom says:

    And yet you can bluff successfully in poker.

    How is that? :hug:

    I love you – 7 more days!!

  14. RW says:

    Honesty is only really a virtue when it brings something worthwhile to the table. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for an honest idiot, but an honest person with something to say is a very good thing!

  15. Honesty is the best. Don’t change.

    :heartbeat:

  16. avitable says:

    RW, that’s why Forrest Gump is so awesome.

  17. Anonymous says:

    My comment was actually to the previous: Mr. Fab’s wish for bigger nipples ;)

    But congrats on making the list. I stayed because I could tell you were for real. I think connecting helps us get through this thing called life.

  18. Crys says:

    first, i think this kind of blogging ultimately helps a lot of people. i think many can relate, and that’s why they read. second, plz tell me more about Adam’s muffin top.

  19. AmyD says:

    We’re all “scared to death” but the thing is, you keep going and going and doing in spite of it, that really is – bravery.

    Just sayin’ :heartbeat:

  20. hellohahanarf says:

    i totally love you.
    just the way you are.
    :heartbeat:

  21. Hey, I’m just glad you’re here doing what you do. Now, whether that be bravery, courage, valor, fearlessness, audacity, temerity, mettle, or pluck (Got out the Thesaurus, can’t you tell?), who cares? Just as long as you’re here!

    :heartbeat: :heartbeat: :heartbeat: :heartbeat:

  22. Diesel says:

    Honesty is certainly a rare trait in the blogosphere. There’s a lot of posturing and fawning, but not much genuine honesty. So congrats!

  23. Miss Britt says:

    Debkitty: but… but… if I say how awesome you look then at least you KNOW that you REALLY look awesome!!

    Finn: YAY for being just how we are. :D

    Mom: I can only do it very, very sparingly – because people assume there is no fucking way I’m bluffing. LOL shhhh!

    RW: that’s true – I was thinking about that last night. Sometimes people are just assholes in the name of “hey, I’m honest”. Of course in those cases the focus is usually about being honest about SOMEONE ELSE rather than themselves.

    Pointing out someone else’s flaws is the easy part.

    themuttprincess: nevah!

    avitable: true ‘dat!

    Anonymous/Jack: Fab wears a lot of t-shirts, it would certainly be “interesting”.

    Crys: he really only gets it when he tries to squeeze into my jeans.

    And it’s like a blueberry muffin – with hair.

    AmyD: is there another option?

    I mean seriously, if there’s another fucking option and no one told me….

    hellohahanarf: :heartbeat:

    Coal Miner’s Granddaughter: yeah but we love labels!! LOL

  24. Miss Britt says:

    Diesel: thanks – you really think honesty is that rare?

    I don’t know about that – maybe it’s just not as “popular”. :-)

  25. AmyD says:

    Do you think I’d be HERE doing what I’m doing if there was another out? Sheesh. :yuck:

  26. Hilly says:

    Did I write this? Oh wait, YOU wrote this :).

    I could not be anything less than who I am on my blog, just like you. I secretly wish that I could keep people entertained by staying on the surface but that is just not me.

    And let people talk about cries for attention! I just say, “yes I am an attention whore…and?”.

    :heartbeat:

  27. metalmom says:

    Can you pick up a car? NOW THAT’S STRONG!!

    I like that you’re out there…way out there. :clap:

  28. Amber says:

    Miss Britt,

    I don’t think that anyone ever really, truly, can SEE themselves through someone else’s eyes and maybe that’s because it doesn’t really matter. The only thing that matters is how you see YOURSELF.

    Honestly, I could sit here and tell you how awesome I think you are all night long. You’ve tackled and are taking the ups, along with the downs, as best as you can. And some of the challenges you’ve taken on – be it through choice or cirucmstance – has made you a person that I look up to, respect, admire, and even hope to emulate in some ways.

    Motherhood, marriage, and moving away from all that is comfortable and secure are three of the HARDEST things that a person will EVER do in their lifetime.

    I know that you’re not perfect. None of us are. But you know… you look at life with humor for the most part and you don’t try to hide your weaknesses or fears. You LOOK at life with humor, but you LIVE it with honesty. Even about things like depression – a very hard subject for most people to talk about… much less seek help for… you’ve acknowledged and are doing your best to deal with.

    Life is not about never making a mistake or screwing something up or about never going to bed at night with your stomach twisting and your mind churning with all the “could haves” “should haves” “what ifs” and “maybes.” The fact that you even think/wonder/feel all of that shows that you’re a better person than most. The fact that you blog about it… and in doing so, reach out to hundreds of people all across the world through this blogosphere is inspiring and motivating and beautiful.

    There is not an entry that I read that doesn’t make me “laugh out loud” or nod my head in understanding, empathy, and total relation.

    There’s a fourth “hard” thing to do in this life. And that’s giving yourself enough credit for all the good qualities and talents and accomplishments that help make up who you are.

    My only suggestion is to work on that.

    Remember, “see ye first the kingdom of God and everything else will be given to thee.” Matthew 6:33.

    Don’t misplace your faith. It’s there for a reason. And when you’re down to nothing… or even just feel like you are, in whatever area of life… God is up to something. Rest in him, friend. He’ll welcome you with open arms. And you know you can text/call/email any time you need a friend.

    Hang in there, hun and keep that pixie chin of yours pointed upwards where it belongs. Miss Britt may be a lot of things… but a quitter is not one of them. And you know that. Or you wouldn’t keep on blogging despite some asshole remarks/emails that get sent your way and the rollercoaster that life can turn into at times.

  29. Shelli says:

    I’m with Hilly. Funny thing is, sometimes I think that I have written her posts, too, or she has written mine or however you look at it. I feel like you guys see my deepest feelings and write about them so that I can say, “Uh huh! Exactly”, instead of doing the hard work writing it myself.

  30. Selma says:

    You are brilliant the way you are. Honesty is a rare trait these days. I wish more people were honest about muffin tops and g-strings above the waistband. Talk about a blight on the landscape!

  31. Miss Britt says:

    AmyD: damn.

    Hilly: this is why I like you.

    metalmom: I can carry a laptop – that’s pretty good I think.

    Amber: you’re such a sweetie.

    shelli: whenever I read someone else’s post like that I think “damn! why didn’t I think of that?!”

    Selma: that’s true. Me telling you to pull your jeans up should be considered a PSA!

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