Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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I came here in a golden rocket, I'll be leaving on a magic carpet

I am still here. Just having some difficulty getting words on the screen. Am almost afraid to write here and I'm not quite sure why. I s'pose I should just level with you and let you know I'm going through a rather vigorous bout of self loathing as of late. Not sure when it started or what prompted it, but it's a doozy and I need to sort myself out, I think, before I blather here. Or maybe blathering here helps me sort myself out? I don't know. I do know I'm thinking of another blogging hiatus. Part of me loves writing here and the other part hates having an excuse to get on the internet because I rarely pop online for a few seconds. I end up surfing around for AT LEAST a half hour every time and really, if I'm being honest, it's usually longer than that.

So I wonder: if I can give up cable television I can give up internetting, at least for now, can't I? Or course I can! But should I? I don't know. I do know that, right now at least, considering an internet leave of absence brings more relief than regret and that in an of itself is very telling, no? Most importantly, I work full-time which makes every second with my daughter important to me. I don't want to be staring at a fucking computer while she's clamoring for attention, which, I'm ashamed to say, has happened more than once. In fact, I'm doing it right now.

I want to be honest here but anymore I wonder about the merits of blogging at this particular juncture in my life. It's especially hard to write under my real name, knowing family, friends, co-workers all read. In light of a few recent events at work I feel frozen, not trusting myself to write. If I write about my job and the myriad emotions I feel about it my boss will read. If I write about my relationship with Serge I know his family will read and often, what I have to say is not exactly sunshine and flowers, you know? On the opposite end of the spectrum I know certain friends and extended family members refuse to read because I'm not exactly their cup of tea, shall we say, which isn't the nicest feeling. Does it seem like I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill? After all, this is only a blog, right? Right! All the more reason to step away and gain some private perspective.

Sometimes I wish I'd started this endeavor under some internet persona, but then again, I'm proud of myself for owning what I write instead of hiding behind a pseudonym. Also, like I said, I'm worried about all the time spent online. You know how it goes... You're just going to "check your email real quick" and suddenly you're flushed down the internet's toilet, soaring through pipes to who the fuck knows where... This one's Facebook page, that one's Twitter account, pictures of exes and past friends you'd rather remain in the past all up in your present whether you want them there or not. It's taken me nearly 33 years to learn this but some things belong in the past. Sometimes, nostalgia is for suckers and it does one no good to travel down some of those roads, ya dig?

Is all this staring at monitors really living? Sometimes it seems like a lot of talking about living but the actual living has fallen by the wayside. Now we're living our lives to blog/tweet/Facebook about them? Is any of this making sense? Does it overwhelm you too or is it just me analyzing every Goddamn thing in life to death?

I wore my black dress today. But I don't know that I'll continue. Or maybe I'll continue but not post pictures of it. I tried to take a picture of myself for the "daily black dress photo" and I hated every single photo. You don't have to like the photo, I told myself, you just need to show people you're wearing the dress. But the idea of snapping a photo of myself every, single day for six months seems incomprehensible. Depressing. Demoralizing. Time consuming. Stupid. I still like the idea of wearing the same dress... but hell. I don't know. Suddenly this entire blog seems really... well, what's the word? Not selfish. Vain, maybe? But I'm really proud of how I've chronicled Violet's first year. Thoughtful journaling is a beautiful thing but sometimes, here on the The Girl Who, I think I lose the plot.

Obviously I'm struggling here. Not sure where the next couple months will take me, emotionally speaking and, to be honest, geographically speaking as well. I'm really trying to set some things straight. Anyway, I'll keep you posted. I just wanted to let you know I'm here, in case you were wondering. The introspection the new year inevitably brings has me delving back into my abruptly dropped studies into Buddhism and meditation. Here's hoping I actually get somewhere with that this time.

Hey, can you do me a favor? If you read this blog with any sort of regularity can you drop me a comment? Not because I'm collecting comments or anything, I'd just really like to hear from you. I'm sick of myself. I want to know something about you, where you are, why you read. It's because of you I often don't feel as alone and dysfunctional as I otherwise would. So, if you have the time, I'd really appreciate it.

P.S. I'm not going to do THE GREAT EXPERIMENT this month... I kind of want to step away and observe the internet from afar, if at all. Does any of this make sense?

Reader Comments (229)

To some extent, I think I understand what you're going through. One way I've coped with some of these feelings is that I do have separate internet personae. (Personas? Personi?) One I started long ago, I have met people through it, but there's only that small number who know me and know that blog is mine. The other is the chronicling blog, the one where I can go and be funny if I feel like it and just post pictures or videos if I feel like it, and know I'm keeping the out-of-town relatives satiated.

It has been really nice at plenty of times in my life to have an anonymous blog, one hardly read by anyone, but still one that exists. There were times when I wrote in it every day and times (like now) when I go months between entries. But having it means I'm never without a venting site and I'm never tempted to post content on my public blog that my very religious relatives would have a problem with.

Still, I can only empathize somewhat because I don't have the kind of presence you do or the kind of big blog you do. Both of mine are small ventures, and I've never really amassed anything you could call a following. I can understand how being a big part of the internet, you may occasionally want to back off. Honestly, I hope my presence never gets too big. I don't think I have the temperament for too much attention.

As for the feelings, I know that since I've had a baby I feel more and more like internet time is either a total waste or terribly important. I tend to vacillate. I need it to stay in touch with the world, but I also feel like it sucks a lot of time. But I will say that it's been not just refreshing but comforting to see someone blog honestly about life and occasionally parenting without playing too much for laughs or shock-value. Many of my friends blog and their blogs are so over-the-top my-life-is-perfect and my-kids-are-adorable that it does make one feel like puking now and then. I wish more people blogged like you, for what that's worth.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Hey Monica, I know how you're feeling- I feel the same way sometimes too- like the internet is stupid and why do I spend so much time staring at it. Especially when my great loving husband is sitting on the couch just patiently waiting for me to spend some quality time with him. It is good to step away from it, I think it helps put and keep things in perspective. I love blogging, and being a part of a chronicling something on the internet that will always be there, you just have to balance it all- and that's the fun part- right? Not! Seriously though, this year I started a blog about my training for triathlons and 1/2 marathons and my daily exercise in general- sounds really boring, right? Well, I tell you- when I read back on it, I'm so glad I have it to look back on- it is so fun to reread it all and remember it. I know I wouldn't have done it in a paper journal- so I'm thankful I took the time out to do it, and it makes me want to keep it up, for myself- not anyone else. So I guess the important piece is do what is going to make you happy and even if you don't know what that is right now, take a guess- you're probably right.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdrienne

i have read regularly for quite some time and love it so hope you don't stop. it's a bit like people watching only more so. the lives of others are interesting i find, particularly when you don't know them. and you write very honestly and are real, and sometimes funny. that is all.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterabro

I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. I've gone through many delightful, deep self-loathing periods in the last couple of years, and as I also blog under my real identity, sometimes I can't process everything I otherwise would on my blog.

I started my current blog after six months of Internet breakup, and I'm not sure if that time away really helped or not. I did make some positive changes in my life, but at the same time I distanced myself from people online that I care a lot about. For me, the best thing I did was focus my online time more (tune out facebook and other Internet-time-sucks that I don't care about, focus on the blog and twitter and Internet-areas I care more about).

I read your blog both because it often makes me laugh, and because I identify with a lot of what you write. When you write about being down even though you have a lot going for you in life, I get that.

If you have to take a break, I'll understand. But I'll miss you.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

Hi Monica. If it's any consolation whatsoever I was disappointed when I checked my feed reader this morning and didn't see a new post from you. Of the fifty-billion feeds I follow, your blog is one of about 3 or 4 I read religiously. I'd miss your writing if you left (again), but it's your life! You don't need to live so openly just to appease all of us vicarious livers (with some fava beans and a nice chianti). And since I've been feeding off of your experiences for so long, I'll give what you ask. I'm 30 years old, unmarried, childless, and a combat vet. I recently got my master's degree and started a new career. I spent today drinking wine and randomly sobbing. Fucking hormones. Most days I love my life, but every now and then I can't shake the feeling that I've somehow just gotten it wrong. I enjoy your writing because you're so honest. I can see the balance of the good and the bad. I don't feel so damn alone knowing that there is another woman in the world who is brilliantly successful by all measures but doesn't feel like it's all quite put together as well as it could be. Whether you stay or go... your experiences have been a thread in my life. And as a side note... I shared your blog with a friend who was having marital problems around the time you were blogging about counseling. Although she was ready to walk out the door with her two kids, she agreed to her husband's wishes for counseling. So far, they're still working it out. Maybe your writing helped push her to keep trying.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

I have such guilt about my internet surfing and the time it takes away from my kids and more ‘real-life’ productive things. It’s so addicting though. I don’t know why…is it boredom, my short-attention span, procrastination? I’m always trying to cut down my time but I never stick to it. (look at me now…here I am again)

I like coming here to read partly b/c it’s refreshing to hear another woman admit her faults and insecurities so honestly. That’s so rare….so many women are just dying to show you how together/fabulous/rich/happy they are.

I can understand if you wanted to take a break from blogging but I would really miss your writing.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChrissy

I like your blog. We're very different - you are much more honest and address topics I never would publicly. But, that's good too. I don't know how I came across it - some years ago when you lived in NY and before I had a child. But my daughter is only months older than yours and I've enjoyed reading about Violet. And I appreciate your honesty about life. I can imagine it's difficult under your real name.

But the time suck that is the internet, as a working mom, is completely understandable. I really enjoy my life more when I turn the computer off. But I would miss your blog.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

I read, and have read for a really long time, because I dig your style of writing, and your wit. The sarcasm and occassional self-degrading humor is nice because I like knowing that there is someone else out there who suffers from bouts of depression and what I like to call "life"...It's not that I think I, nor anyone else, am unique in my feelings, but it's nice to know that there's someone else. If that makes sense.
I also sort of look up to you, I guess. I'm eighteen, and it's nice to be able to see how people live without them feeling like they need to give me advice (ha, since you don't know me.) I live not far from SLC, therefore I get the same basic current events as you, and I like to see your opinions on them. When you had Violet, I realized that when/if i get pregnant, I'm going to be okay.
Your relationship, or what you write of it, with Serge is another reason I write. It's very obvious that you both love each other in a vicious, passionate way, and while you may also occassionally hate each other, at least there's the passion. Even if things go bad somewhere down the line, you both will forever have a strong connection, and your daughter is very lucky.
I understand hating yourself, being sick of yourself. Daily life is boring, but its one of those things that you have to go through with.

As for fear of people reading? I understand not wanting to write stuff about your job, because it could end up causing you to lose it in the long run, but for everyone else? You are a person, with your own opinions. You shouldn't be afraid to share them. A blog is for you, and you alone, much like a journal is. If you don't feel you should write about it publicly, don't. If you feel you should write about it, and let people read it, but don't want to for fear of retribution? (i think i used that correctly...) FUCK THEM. The people who love you will love you regardless. And as for Serge's family? I'm sure they're aware that love and marriage have bad spots here and there. If Serge is comfortable with you writing about him, and you want to, do it.

I don't know. I throughly enjoy your posts, and your pictures. If a hiatus is what you need, don't let the readers sway you otherwise. If you feel you need to throw your computer out of a twelve story building to make you happier? Do it (although it might be bad for your money saving bit.)

Things will get better, they always do. Things will also get worse, but you gotta remember that what doesn't kill you makes you who you are.

Happy Holiday Season. Hope you get outta the slump you're in.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

Hey, I'm sorry to hear you are going through a rough time. I read your blog because I think you're a great writer and you tell great stories. You are also honest and, I have to say sometimes I envy you. You have a lot of things I want and am working on getting - a baby, a good job, a cool house (not that I know where you live, just through pictures...I swear). And so it's nice to hear about a real life and how, at times, you want more and you don't think it's perfect.

I also live in Utah (not Mormon), I blog a little (my mom and husband read it) and I like hearing a strong female voice here. If you want to take a break, that's cool, but I like hearing your stories and would greatly miss you.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

I have read your blog on a regular basis for a long while but I have never posted. I enjoy your honesty and have always wanted to blog but I do not have the stomach to allow people into my life so intimately.I respect what you are able to express on this blog a great deal and I look forward to every new post and hope they continue. I enjoy your writings and wish you the best for 2010.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

I was bummed out when I read that you are considering taking a break from your blog. I came across it randomly maybe two years ago and was instantly hooked. The story of you and Serge and heading to NYC, dealing with being alone while he was away, and then the move back to Utah and life with your daughter is exciting and wonderful and yet painful sometimes too. I admire you for writing things that I would never have the guts to write. There are times when I agree with you and times when I don't. But I always want to come back to your blog to read more. It's because of your intriguing life, your honesty, and your pleasing writing style. You are real, unpretentious, spontaneous, outrageous, talented, and intelligent. People are interested in what you have to say.

My info: I am 32, married, have a son a couple months younger than Violet, have a Masters in English, and teach. I'm actually somewhat traditional and consider myself religious (catholic).

I do have a blog, but it is anonymous. I post to make myself happy--as frequently or as little as I want. As much as I would miss reading your blog, there is no sense in doing it if it is no longer making you happy.

From what you've writtern, it sounds like you need some time for yourself. If that is what you decide, I hope you find peace and serenity for yourself and your family. That is really what we all ultimately want--and deserve.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

i love your blog. i like that it feels real. there are lots of blogs i still read but come away from feeling like, wow, my life will never be that perfect and they always make me feel not so good about myself.
i dont mean to say i revel in your misery but just that i like you dont hold back, you say when your happy and when your not, and you highlight that relationships arent perfect - something i dont see very often, as people usually just give the best version they can.
i understand if you need to take a hiatus but know there are many people out there that love your blog, and also dont usually comment- like me. so as long as you keep writing ill keep reading

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteredwina

Hi Monica. I've been reading you for 4 years. I truly enjoy your perspective on things, negative or positive. I am a youngish ex-mo as well, and relate to many of your thoughts. Thanks for being a voice to my same frustrations. Really. And if you take another break, cool. I'll check back periodically to see if you've updated. All the best sistah.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTracee

I started reading during Twittergate '09. I read a bunch of your archives when I was off work. I love your honesty. I love reading about former Mormons, such as myself and how we cope still living in Zion--it ain't easy! I'm married, 39 and have two daughters. I'm a substitute teacher. I could never give up the internet--it's my outlet and my connection to the world. xoxo

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWendyP.

I get sucked into the interwebs very often too. Like, "Oh, I'm just going to check my reader" and then I come up for air 3 hours later. I feel guilty for this, but I don't have a husband or a child or even a boyfriend. I feel guilty because it takes time away from the million other things I should or could be doing (I'm a college student). But sometimes I honestly would rather be in bed with my laptop than go out with friends, because I'm tired or had a hard day or whatever.

BUT. Lately, I have just been tired of the internet, as it sounds like you are. I'm on for a bit, to read the important feeds, check the news, fiddle with Facebook, and then I'm done. Maybe it's just a phase and I'll be struggling to cut back on internet time once more. Right now though, I'm over the internet. I don't want to give up blogging, and I am thinking about the direction I am going to take it. I have a blog where I post semi-anonymously (yeah, semi-anon doesn't really make sense, I know).

Why I am here: I am somewhat fascinated with Utah, land of the Mormons. A state that is so heavily religious, one specific religion, boggles my mind. (I am not religious and I live in California, where we have plenty of religious people but nothing like the Bible Belt or Utah, of course.) I read Dooce, and I think I ended up here because I saw a tweet or something of hers. I love reading perspectives on Utah from the non-Mormon folks, I love reading what women bloggers and mommy bloggers have to say, and I like the way you write. Violet is a total doll, and the love story? Epic.

Hope you get everything sorted and settled in a way that is fulfilling and right for you!

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlison

Please don't go. I have been reading for years and love your blog. I moved to New York City from the Midwest a few years ago, and often wonder what the hell I am doing here. Your writing reminds me that it's ok not to have all the answers, and that life is often trial by fire. I so appreciate your honesty and your passion. I hope you keep blogging, and hope you feel better soon!

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

I only stumbled across your blog a couple months ago, but I love reading your entries and am inspired by your photography. Plus, Violet is just so freaking adorable.

My initial attraction to your blog was the fact that you were raised Mormon and have since left the church. I come from a strongly Mormon family, and although I’m only 20 years old, I’ve gone through hell in trying to come to terms with my own spirituality (or lack thereof) and still balancing the love of my family (or, again, the lack thereof). After high school I was shipped out to BYU, where my parents went and several of my siblings. I was there for only a month and a half before I had a total breakdown. Leaving the school must have seemed like the most stupid and embarrassing thing to my entire family, but I know it’s one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. It’s so refreshing and, honestly, comforting, to read your stuff and see another woman out there I can look up to. It’s reassuring. I feel not so completely alone. (You have also inspired me to start keeping a journal again. Thank you!)

So, that’s that about me and my readership. I wish for the best for you and your family, and hope you are able to sort out the problems you’re dealing with currently. I have really come to enjoy reading the snippets of your life you share with the internet, but in the end, do whatever is best for you and yours.

Happy 2010.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterashley

I have only been following you for a few months, but I've laughed and cried and cringed at your writing almost every day since the first click. I wish I could be as honest and brave in my writing as you have been. I've dabbled in blogging and just started a separate, secret blog that's restricted to just myself. See, I tend to figure things out while writing about them. I'll be four paragraphs in and realize that what I'd just written is news to me. And I like to have some record of my life (I'm terrible at taking pictures), so writing kind of helps me confirm that I exist. But I'm also a real chicken shit when it comes to confrontation, and I'm very private, so I took the easy way out. Now I have one blog where I write about neutral, superficial stuff and the other one is just for myself.

Myself, by the way, is a 27 year old living in Canada (I grew up in Colorado) with a boyfriend, neurotic dog and senile cat. I attended a tiny born-again-Christian school, asked way too many questions, then went to public high school at the age of 12. My teen years through to my mid-twenties were a complete disaster, and after a few years of vodka-fueled fiscal irresponsibility, I am finally getting it together. Self-loathing is very familiar territory for me, along with guilt, anxiety, and acute self-consciousness.

If you take a break, I'll certainly miss your writing. But I wouldn't want to miss a moment with your adorable daughter, either, if I was in your place. Go with your gut. Write when you want and what you want. We'll be here.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShenoa

I'm Stephanie, a 22 year-old in Minneapolis, MN. I'm a senior at the U of M... I have no idea how I stumbled upon this blog. I'm a big fan of Dooce and Girl Gone Child, so I wonder if I got a link or something from over there. Anyway I really enjoy reading about peoples ordinary lives, especially women. I love your blog, but if you need a break I'll totally respect that. You could come back stronger later anyways!

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

I live in Oregon and I've been reading for a few years now. I had a blog for about a week, but just lack the energy. I'm 5 months pregnant with my first, and also wonder how much time I'll end up on the internet once I've got a kid around.
I read because you are a good storyteller. Reminds me of ancient traditions where one member of the tribe or town or whatever was known as the storyteller.
Sorry this isn't a very inspired comment.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Hey Monica!

I have been reading for years. I read because I love your writing. You make me laugh, you make me feel less alone and you inspire me to explore and try to be the best me I can me (okay that sounds totally cheesy but I am not sure how else to say it. When you share your struggles - it forces me to think through s*it in my whole life. It's hard, but it's good. ) Also because you don't give up - you find a way to claw, kick, drag youself forward even when the times are tough. I'll miss you terribly if you decide to stop blogging, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

Hey Monica, I just saw your Facebook update about this post. Ironically I was refreshing the page to see what all my friends have been doing today, as I have about ten other times today...while I have been sitting on the couch all afternoon (and now evening) watching a Jennifer Aniston movie marathon on TV.

This new year has also brought on a rather nasty bout of self loathing for me...I had to keep myself from crying last night at a party after we entered 2010. I have given up on my photography efforts for awhile now. I have somewhat replaced it with a new love for cooking, and am thinking of starting a blog combining cooking and photography, but haven't gotten nearly focused enough to do anything about it yet.

ANYWAY, I wanted to say that I'm still here reading, and I also really appreciate that you have the guts to not only write about your happy times. It appears that many of us out there feel the same way a lot of times. And I know that for me, sometimes it takes awhile of focusing on myself and what I want out of life, to get at how I can move forward.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergypsyk8

Hi! I'm Sandra, and I live in Austin.

I heard about you through Dooce ... I started reading because we seemed to have some things in common -- I'm a TV news producer, too, and I read a lot of blogs but none by someone who does what I do, plus I like secondhand clothes, cooking, my boyfriend, and civil rights. :) ... I kept reading because I liked you, and I liked your writing.

I hope you're feeling better soon ... I've enjoyed your blog, but of course -- do what you gotta do.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSandra

Hi Monica,

I read a handful of blogs, but I always check yours first. I followed you from a comment you made on Dooce (about abortion, I think). I was hooked once I clicked over. It's been a couple of years, I've loved following your journey. I even emailed you a couple of times (and you always responded, and I've never emailed a blogger before, so that was so cool). I don't often comment, but I've commented on your blog more than any other, because your writing always just speaks to me. We have a lot in common, and also such different lives. But I connect with you so much. And I even bought some Marah cds. Love them, play them all the time in my car.

Rambling. Three glasses of red in me. But I feel for what you are going through, and I know you'll do what's best for you and your family, as you should. I will really miss you if you go though.

Take care,

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkds

Hi Monica,

I read your blog frequently. In fact, I find myself checking more often than you have updates --doing the "mad refresh". I really enjoy your writing and your honesty. I'm a 38-year-old single mom and reading your blog (along with two others) is my time for me. Yes, it sometimes happens when my daughter wants my attention, but you know what? Sometimes Mommy needs a break. I wish I could give her all the attention she desires, and deserves.

Your candor keeps me coming back. We all have struggles, but I can identify with you and yours. You are an incredibly strong woman and an amazing mother. You give me inspiration -- to be debt free, get my priorities straight, and to enjoy the every day moments instead of counting down to bed time.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarahO


I check in every day. I love your writing and your honesty. Thhis latest post is great...but you should keep writing if you like it. There are clearly people who like your story. I always look forward to a new post.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

I have been reading your blog for 2+ years. I found you through a link on CityWendy's blog and was hooked from day one. I like your style and how honest you are and that you don't hide who you really are. But I understand that comes with consequences. Boy do I understand!!! Whatever you decide, do it for YOU.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrachelgab

Hi Monica,

My name is Jenny, and I'm a local here in SLC. I found your blog only recently, I think from a link from Dooce. Anyway, you've quickly become my favorite blog. There's something about the honesty in which you write, and the way you can so perfectly put what's real into words, that just speaks to me, and probably a lot of people. You say the things we all feel and experience. You have the guts to say what we're all thinking and feeling, and it's a relief to know you feel it too.

One of the first things I read on here was your story about how you and Serge met. It REALLY spoke to me. So wonderfully written... I was totally wrapped up in the story and before I knew it I had spent an hour at work not working, but reading about you guys. I really loved that story.

It especially touched me because I, too, am married to a musician. I can relate to you and what it's like being a musicians wife without even having met you. Like I'm sure you have, I've sat alone in countless smoky bars listening to my husband on stage. In fact, I'm more used to listening to live music in bars at a table by myself than WITH my husband. I think I've done that more times than I could ever count. I've loved the music, hated the music, loved the bandmates, HATED the bandmates, gone through the entire gamut of DRAMA that is a band... with the man I love. I can relate to the hardships, and also relate to how much it's worth it. And guess what? My guy is scruffy and even wears those cute golfers caps like Serge. :)

Anyway, I'm not saying anything of particular consequence here, I guess, except that I hope you can still keep writing. If it's the right choice for you, then I'll be very glad to keep reading and feel like I'm getting to know you, and enjoying the words you write. And if you stop writing? Well, then I'll just thank you now for the stuff you'd already shared. :)


January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

Hi Monica. I've been reading for a few months now, since the shoutout from Dooce I believe. I'm 23 and an editor/writer at a book publisher. I've really enjoyed reading your blog and I think that contrary to what you believe you are a very excellent writer (and honestly, I see a lot of bad writing at my job). I think you have a great, unique style. I completely understand not being able to be fully open when you know family is reading. But I also think you've been very honest about everything up until now, so why stop? A break might be good though, if you're feeling overwhelmed. I don't know about you but my anxiety problems have really caught up to me lately, and I'm finally dragging my ass in the direction of therapy and drugs. So far, it's actually really helped. I dunno if some of that would help you too, I think you've been skeptical, but it just might work--why not try? The way I see it is, I'd like to have a family someday, and I'd like to get my various issues sorted before that happens so there's less of a chance that I'll fuck up any future kids. So I'm kind of trying to focus on improving myself so I don't put an overdue burden on those in my life around me. It's really hard. But I'm trying. I think that's all any of us can do. Good luck with whatever you choose, seriously.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersarah

I'm Lisa I've commented before only once. Three years I've read, and simply can count on you not to candy coat the world, and to be brutally honest. I've lived through the days of no password. When you went private without me. I still continued to check everyday till one day,viola you were back. I understand how you feel, hell Ive know you a long time. Take it somewhere Monica, this writing of yours. Take it somewhere.....Where not quite sure, but do it, we are getting no younger. You always give the Serge the "talent" credit. He's fabulous, but you lady, have a very rare talent. Where are you going to take it?

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Hi. I'm a 45yo married man with two kids (7 and 6). I read because I enjoy your writing and your brutal honesty. I'm also exmo, so I appreciate the value of exorcising shibboleths through honesty, after so many years spent emotionally (and communicationally) cloistered. It can be so rewarding to just let things out finally, and to read other people who do. I'm a very sporadic blogger for many of the same reasons you cite (particularly getting sick of myself and finding entanglements between my online and real life personas). Nevertheless, I'm a big believer in the value of thoughtful, original voices, especially in monolithic cultures like Mormondom. It's one of the ways people who feel out of step with the dominant culture survive. So thanks, and best wishes to you, whether you keep blogging here or not.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

is the exaggeration
of daylight roof dreams
gaining dignity
with sky breaks
and eye cries,

so write
before someone finds you,
between your typewriter
and flying arms;

that eye sweetener
for those rattling
jawing mongrels,

or chase your innocence
and your gift
beneath the tablecloth
and silver mantle,
against escape
or ever moving one finger
to pen
or paper
or word.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDigital Bath


Take the time you need to get out of your funk. It's allowed. But know you will be missed.


January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMonica Smith

I understand how you are feeling completely. I write anonymously, but find myself telling people about the blog all the time. So, while I do not have to worry about coworkers or most of my family, there are things I feel the need to talk about yet can't. It never ceases to amaze me how this small circle of bloggers becomes like our family, how they become our best friends. I have been reading your blog for a while, though like most of my favorite blogs, it feels like forever.

I hope you find what you are looking for, whether here or somewhere else.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErratic

Hi. Your post was fun to read, and also super fun to see your legions of fans with their honest encouragement. How fawking lovely! No wonder it's hard to take a break.

I read your blog because a) you're funny b) you're honest c) you live in Utah and I may end up there is some short time frame and that scares me and if I do I have this reassuring fantasy that I'll meet you in line for coffee and we'll become total Bff's because we have so much in common including a small person (just 3 months apart). But if fate is going to do that, than I don't NEED you to keep writing here. I think your points are extremely well taken. It's my sleep that gets stolen for the blog and interweb addiction and while I can justify that for a while longer, my saggin face might disagree.

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJane

Couldn't begin to tell you how long I've been reading you -- at least 3 years? I continue to read your blog because it chronicles real life -- the ups, downs and the middle of the road. As they say, "keep on truckin'"!

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterColleen

Hi Monica,
I've been a lurker on your blog for a few months now, and I'm a big fan. I love your writing so much that I've started reading your very first entries (when you lived in NY) and been working my way back to the present. I have had some huge belly laughs as well as some tears from reading here.

I don't even remember how I stumbled upon your site, but the reason I stayed is because I feel like I know you. Isn't that weird? How I've never met you but I feel like you're my friend! I'm rootin' for you, guuurrrl! I too was born in Orem and I've lived in Utah Valley for most of my life, and I feel like you understand my struggle living here. You put much of it into far better words than I ever could.

I appreciate how real you are, too. I have friends with blogs that depict their lives as picture perfect, and I'm always thinking, but how do you really feel? I understand why people don't get personal on the internet, but I admire your courage to just put it out there. It's very refreshing!

Happy New Year, by the way :)

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHolly


I am a 27 year old single mother in Tijuana, Mexico. I found your blog some months ago and have since stayed up many many nights because i couldn´t stop reading. You appeal to me in many ways, even if we have nothing in common other than having a child. I too have my funks and have them often, i also feel so lost for appearently no good reason, my child is healthy, so am i, i am far from rich but i have food every day, in some very unusual way, i read you and feel i am not alone, or bat-shit crazy. I have read my share of blogs and you seem like the only person who is truly real in your writing, you share without trying to please or gain a profit, and it is a pleasure to know you, just from your freakin´awesome writing, so please, don´t go.
(english is not my first language, so excuse my grammar)

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAimee

I recently found your blog and read much of it. Mostly at work when I was pretending to be working. Because my job does not make me feel like a real woman doing professional work, which was kind of the goal when I decided not to get a PhD and go ahead and make a living doing what ever it was that people would hire a liberal arts kid to do.

Which, is apparently (an inadvertently), read blogs.

Regardless. your blog appeals to me because I share your sense of humor and your penchant for rambling. Although, mine is sometimes to the point of self-consciousness. It seems yours might be too.

I am glad to have had this time "with you" if that makes sense. And if you continue, I will be glad for that time. Do what is best for you. And thank you.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpatriann

Hi Monica,
I am a fairly new reader....I found you through another blog and was instantly hooked. Yours is one of just a few blogs I read regularly. I'd definitely miss it if you quit.

That said, I also totally get that feeling of "what the hell am I doing spending so much time staring at this screen when there's so much away from it that I'm missing?" I have been thinking about that a lot myself lately. While the online world is great and's true, it can be a complete time suck, and it does make it difficult sometimes to just put the past in the past. I've been thinking about making some major changes as well when it comes to the whole internet world. When it isn't a positive place in your life, I think that's when the time comes to step away.

It'll still be there when and if you decide to "plug back in."

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

I read because I fell in love with your story about falling in love with Serge (which you MUST finish, please!!) and then fell in love with your little life on my screen. The ups and downs and all of that - its very real, funny, and good. I hope you keep writing - about whatever you want to write about. Its all good.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

I don't read blogs really but I do read yours every day, and have done since 2006, all the way from New Zealand.
I recently visited America and we stayed for two weeks in Williamsburg, NY. It's kinda lame I know but as we walked down Bedford Ave I recognised Tai Thai because of the posts you used to write. Wow, that's embarrassing - sorry!
But I enjoy checking in and seeing how you are doing and I think you write very well and Violet is adorable.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLD

Hi Monica - long time reader but never commented. I´m German, in my 30ies, living in Vienna, Austria (yes, in Europe, yes, of all places). When I dicovered your blog I read every single entry in it, no kidding. I like your writing style and can often relate to your stories. So, I´d really miss you if you quit. But then again, I totally undestand what you´re going through. I just quit my own blog after 4 years because the whole blogging thing just didn´t feel right anymore. However. I´m here! Happy New Year.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLillian

Love reading your blog. Most honest writing I have come accross on the internet. And mediocre my ass, I think you are brilliant! Ditch the dress-project if you feel like it, it's your blog and your life!

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaura


I love your blog and love reading it daily. I applaud you in so many ways. You are a great writer and are not afraid to put it out there. You tell it like it is now matter what, you share some pretty personal and crazy stories and you love things with passion. We need more blogs like yours....REAL.

I {unlike you} will not put myself out there, shit I don't even use our real names, I am afraid of the rejection afraid of what my family and friend would think of me if I said what I really wanted to say. I love that you do this and that you have an I don't give a fuck attitude about it. I wish more people {me included} were like you. Maybe we all need to stop hiding behind our laptops and our different personas and come clean.

Monica, you do what you need to do but don't stay gone for long as I know you make me feel normal {well I am never going to be normal but you know what I mean} reading your blog and I am sure many many people feel the same as I do.


January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShelly

hi monica-
i have been reading your blog for quite some time. honestly, i have no idea how i found you- maybe a link from someone else's blog- but what i do know, is that your blog is the only one i read with regularity. and the reason for this is because of your brutal honesty. i get tired of reading blogs of people posting about their 'oh so perfect' lives: showing pics of their spotless, trendy apartment, boasting about trips abroad with their (gushing) most wonderful husband. i like you because i get you and i think the other readers who posted here feel the same way. life can be a struggle. but life is also beautiful and your blog captures both perfectly.
happy new year-

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentererin

I have been reading your blog for a few years now. I would be sad to see it go, but I do understand.

I have tried to give up the digital white noise a couple of times, but the reality is that the internet is so much more essential than television in terms of communication and entertainment and news.

I just got back from a week in Amsterdam and while we hardly watched tv, we always trekked to an internet cafe to keep in touch. We also recently bought blackberries and now that the internet is on my phone, it's even more essential. Do I love the amount of time that I spend online. . .No. But I do watch far less television and I still read and have human interactions.

I don't have any answers. I do know that when I've disconnected from the internet, it's been a literal disconnect from my real life and my real life has suffered.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjeneria

Hi Monica:

I've been reading your blog for a long time (I think maybe 4 years) and I came across it on a link from Greek Tragedy. I was really captivated by the story of you and Serge and your other writings about growing up Mormon.

I'm 41, a single Mom living in Colorado. I also struggle with the internet thing - is looking at a monitor really living? (as you wrote). I guess the key is moderation and it is hard to find that. I gave up online gaming (that I did for years) and have found more time for reading, being with my family etc and that felt good. Sometimes I just take breaks from checking Facebook and I don't Twitter.

I would miss your blog if you stopped writing and at the same time, I want what is best for you. Take a break if that is what you feel you need. You are very talented.

I am working to get out of debt and your posts about that have really helped plus I love the pictures of Violet and the dogs and Serge and your butternut squash recipe was sooo good.

Please take care of you and do what is best for you.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermcatgirl

Hey, you sound so sad. I wish that I could be there for you, a shoulder to cry on, anything! I have been reading your blog for years and I remember the last time that you took time off. I would check everyday to see if you were up again and then when you did come back you were pregnant!! It was so exciting and I was so happy for you. But you have seemed to be searching, constantly searching for something more. something bigger than the life you have. Maybe you need the time off to find it. Good luck, you will be so missed! If you are ever up in Canada, ( Winona Ontario) come by and visit. I know that we could be great friends ( a little creepy? sorry!) take care of yourself and that beautiful little girl of yours!
love kittykat

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkat

and has serge signed off too?

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkat

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