Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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One Year Ago Today...

I started this blog. With this entry. As is evidenced by the fact that I didn't type again until September, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. I didn't really even know what a blog was. 'What does blog mean', I wondered. 'It's such a funny word'. Of course, once I eventually understood blog is slang for weblog and wrapped my brain around the concept, the subsequent months were laced with small blog battles, fought and won.

Mastering HTML code to create a line break, thereby starting a whole new paragraph like this one was a day of rejoicing!

And my god, figuring out ITALICS! AND PHOTOGRAPHS! You mean, I can punch in dashes, dots and letters and a photograph will appear? Right here on my blog? You will be able to see the picture I just took? Mothertrucker! Each little bit learned along the way was another piece to the blogging puzzle. Creating paragraphs, posting photos... now here I am redesigning the site on my own. So hopefully you'll excuse the imperfections. It's hard to get shit to jive in both Explorer and Firefox.

Were it not for this blog, this journal of mine that you all seem to like to read (it's gotta be the Jerry Springer factor is all I can figure.. there but the grace of God go I and such... right?) I would have not made it in New York for this long. Shit, I might not even still be married. Because my God but we had some knock down drag-outs. Some major fucking fights, yo.

But the crazy thing that happened was, instead of feeling like my usual dysfunctional self, I realized (through your emails and comments) that we're all slogging through the same shit. Every day. Before this blog I felt like I was A Fucked Up Individual, that my relationship failures were my fault, that my self-imposed emotional distance from others was seriously screwed, that everyone flits effortlessly through life and for some reason I just don't have the tools to get it done. Now, I've realized we're all filling our plates from the same buffet of ISSUES. We're all having the same fights with our loved ones, the same battles with our spouses, suffering from the same social anxieties.. and the beauty of the internet is that we can feel free to share and commiserate. And so we have. And I don't feel so bad anymore and I hope you don't either.

I needed this outlet, this hobby - if only to save me from insanity during the months and months The Surge was on the road. Blogging has improved my writing, ignited a passion for photography and inspired better communication with my husband. This blog has stretched my mind to include other points of view, intriguing new ways to think about life. This blog has allowed me to relate my feelings to friends and family members I have trouble talking to in person or on the phone.

And your comments. I'd like to be too cool for school and say I don't care if you comment or not... but shit - I've been really down these past few months, just floating through life.. call it my Quarter-Life Crisis.. whatever.. y'all are here every day with the positivity. So thanks for that.

Reader Comments (31)

Everytime you write about something I can relate to, I think "Oh Thank God, there's someone else, someone who will admit it."

I suspect that's a big part of why we all read.
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEDW
no it's not the Jerry Springer factor...I don't relate to the people on Jerry Springer (truly, I don't!) but I relate to you and what you write.
I think people read your blog for the same reasons you mention discovering yourself - that we are all going through shit and sorting things out and having good days and having bad days and laughing about stuff and feeling like staying in bed forever and falling in love and getting angry and feeling sad and learning new things...and you just happen to write about it all with eloquence, honesty and humour. And so we like to read it.
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteramy dee
damn EDW, thought I was going to be the first to post but you must have posted while I was writing! And so now my comment seems a bit redundant...oh well. But I still mean every word!
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteramy dee
yeap! I think that's the point...we all read blogs because we wants to reassure ourselves that somewhere is someone who has the same simple life problems, has luck, happiness or feeling blue or angry, sometimes you campere your problems with someone's problems and finding new look on that's so great even if I'm so far away I'm close:) best regards from Poland (I've found you on web and from then I like have a look here drinking morning coffee)
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterana
I just finished my masters thesis on the topic of blogging and using blogs in writing classes because they are soi beneficial to the creative process and for building community and all that. you basically summed up in a few paragraphs what I spent 40 pages saying. Bravo!
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercitywendy
I love to read and post and give my two cents! I enjoy your blog b/c I can relate, being raised in a super strict religion, and now we are adults and have to cope! You are funny, love your writing. You are the first thing I open up and read in the morning. I even read most of the comments. I make sure and check out the other links, make sure I am not missing anything. Most of all, you are real, you fart, you cuss, you're just like us! Thanks for letting us all in!
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Mon..I just enjoy reading your are such a prolific writer that I feel like I know you. Man I would love to meet you, just to have a conversation with you for 5 minutes!
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkat
Yeah, Monica, that's the point! This is exactly what I think when I read your entries, namely, that I'm not alone struggling with my everyday life, having bad and good days.That I'm normal and probably even average. And I think that for this reason I keep coming back. And because you are yourself in your writing. You're not one of these "everybody-must-like-me" bloggers. You're real and I like it. And thanks for that.
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Hey, although I don't comment nearly as much as I should... ok, like hardly ever in the past several months, I read you every single day and feel somewhat like a stalker... heck, I even wrote about you in MY blog! Strange how you can feel connected to someone through blogs, but your style and honesty and unblinking determination to write what you FEEL, no matter what, is what keeps me coming back. I love the fact that you put it all out there with no excuses and write for yourself, rather than to impress people. You are as real as they come, and I really admire that.

And I swear, I'm not a freak or anything - just someone who really enjoys reading. And listening to Marah. And having a strange dream about meeting you and the Surge last night, since you said they are in Chicago and even though I WANT to go I'm not sure if I can and therefore it was on my mind. Nope. Definitely not a stalker or freak, this gal here. ;)
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdasi
Happy Blogversary...
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStFarmer
Your post about the social awkwardness was so on the money with me. I am so scared of not being liked that I make myself horribly unlikeable in social situations. Thank you for putting words to how I've always felt. Happy blogiversary.
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterslc urban princess
I actually kind of like Jerry Springer...ON THE RADIO. He's on Air America. Who knew there was a sensible, man-of-the-people lurking beneath the trailer-trash baiting, lowest common denominator loving, car-crash watching, train wreck of a "TV" show. Said "show" offends me each time I blow past it on the way to the Food channel on my cable dial?

It makes me feel dirty.

Maybe he should get into the blogging business?

Those were some really nice props for the peeps, Monica!

Jerry Springer is one dimensional (where are you Jenny Jones?). You could never be JERRY! JERRY! JERRY! Springer…

In my opinion, this blog is never just philosophical, never just witty, and never just depressed; you’re all of those things at once. The fact of the matter is: your stories are therapeutic, enlightening, and most importantly, entertaining.

I see you as a true compatriot. I’ve got more devils and angels than can fit on both shoulders. Shoot, if I had an ass, they’d be perched there too. Even though I don’t know you from Adam’s house cat, it’s nice to know that you’re out there in the ether…
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterleggo
There are a lot of bloggers on the web who pretend to be people they aren't. I'm not naming names, but they pretend to be more glamorous or witty. In the end that leaves me cold. It's the same feeling you describe in your first entry when watching Sex and the City. It's all too perfect. Even when the bloggers let you peek behind their witty facade you can tell they're full of shit. You aren't like that. You aren't pretending to be glamorous (even though you you're a beautiful twenty something married to the surge and living in New York City and flying to England and Italy) you are real.
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
I didn't 'discover' your blog for quite a while after you started writing, but was incredibly glad when I did. You seem to be a really straight shooter (and definitely a great writer) and I'm always glad when you've posted a new entry. Plus, I got to discover Marah through you -- which meant that I got to enjoy a great show in San Francisco one night -- and hopefully, that I'll get to enjoy some more when I'm in New York (moving there this Fall). So thanks!
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersandra
I can't get enough of your blog. Like others have expressed, I like looking through EVERYTHING, not wanting to miss out. Through all the months that I've been reading, every day I want to drink up every word that you write because it's satisfying. It fills my cravings for humor, drama, scandal, love, and most of all, reality. Another blog that I read just announced some great news, and on a comment to her, I wanted to express how I felt like I knew her but realized that I only know her from what she posts. You don't hold back. Whatever comes your way, you publish it without a blink of an eye. Your honesty is refreashing and empowering. I wish I could be your best friend lol. Congrats on a great year.
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHoopla
Jesus everyone, Monica is not that fucking cool. Yea she has made me laugh a time or two and I imagine she has some....qualities. But fuck, have you ever seen her do a headstand? Bet she can't do that shit.
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCL
One year down, hopefully many more to come :)
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGemma
I personally really look forward to checking your blog daily! It makes me feel almost human to see we all have little quirks such as how to dry towels right :) Congrats on a year of blogging!

July 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
I read your blog everyday - love your writing! I think my favorite was the letter to the fruits and vegatables in your fridge. Anyway, just popping my head out to let you know I'm here, and not a scary lurker. Hey, I'm actually a 41 year old mother of 2 - now that's scary.

Happy anniversary!

July 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJules in L.A.
You liked the fruits and veggies lament? Shit. I figured that one declared me especially crazy. I love that you love that one.
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
Happy 1-year!

Boy. I remember the early days when I'd be embarrassed to read the sex entries. "I cant read this, I know her and Serge!! I have to be a gentleman!!" Now, if a day goes by and I haven't read a sex posting I am C-R-A-N-K-Y
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterXmastime
My next sex posting features you and Max. Oh WE KNOW, Xmastime. WE KNOOOOOW.
July 28, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonica
You guys crack me up. Happy blogging anniversary Monica! I read every day. In fact, I read your blog more than I read the newspaper, more than I read Us Weekly. Your blog is my Us Weekly.
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Happy Anni, Monica.

I'm so glad you have this outlet for your writing 'cause it's obvious that everyone enjoys the way you use your words! I have read other blogs, but they've never become a habit because the stories just aren't that interesting. I'll keep on reading... just keep on bloggin'
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
Thanks for taking us along for the ride, TGH.

You've reset the bar! Speakkin-a-which... I'm thristy.
July 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWry Bri
It's been a pleasure to get to know you through your blog, and to know there are others out there who feel the way I do and share. You blogs of late have been more and more "real" and I love that. Happy aniversary and I look forward to many more!
July 29, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
WE ARE ALL FUCKED UP! ALL OF US....anyone who isn't interested in admitting that is someone that I am not interested in calling a friend....happy anniversary Monica....aka 'friend'...
July 29, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle
Hi Monica. I'm "delurking" to say hello.. I read your blog almost daily (I do confess I read at work), I'm a friendly Canadian from British Columbia, I've never been a mormon, or any kind of religious follower, but I do find your writing interesting! Keep up the great work. :)

July 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterOneHotVintage
I discovered your blog after a friend sent me a link. I read EVERY SINGLE DAY.
August 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTammy
Hey Monica - Happy Belated Blog Birthday. Wish I had the time to read as much as I used to, but little Emily (who is now 7 months old!) keeps me busy these days, but I do like to click by every now & again. I was actually meant to go hiking up in those lovely mountains this afternoon but a bee stung me on my bare foot when I was putting out the rubbish and now I can't get my trainers on :( Anyhoo, I still love to read whenever I can - I love all the photos, & the video of Max - I can tell he & Sophie are related.
August 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAli

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