things i’m afraid to tell you.

things i'm afraid to tell you

When Jess Constable hit “publish” on this post, I hope she was proud. The kind of proud that makes you feel you should put on your running shoes and flee for the mountains, much like a curtain-clothed Julie Andrews frolicking about. I hope she twirled that day, because she deserves to.

And when Ez contacted me to start a viral blogging campaign about transparency, fear and anxiety, I hope she was proud, too. Because when I agreed to participate, I twirled. I twirled and twirled and twirled, so fantastically inspired by this community of genuine women that surrounds me. At the same time, the all-too-familiar fears of anxiety and rejection began to creep up inside me as I wondered what exactly I would (could? should?) share with the world.

The truth is, I spare a lot of details about my personal life on this site. For a lot of reasons, of course, which is something people say when they’re scared to admit the true reasons. And for me, those true reasons stem from fear.

When I started my personal blog in 2001, no one was listening except for my college roommate and the computer hacker down the hall in 2B. And now? Now there are thousands of you, which scares me to no end. I’m so much more comfortable highlighting the amazing lives that other creatives are building, rather than let you in to see the cracks in my own foundation. I’m a shack writing about the many Sistine Chapels of the world, and in doing so, I forget that even shacks provide shelter amidst the storm.

So, in honor of celebrating the shack in us all, I present to you a list of Things I’m Afraid to Tell You:

1. I limit my time on social media channels (Twitter/Facebook/Instagram) not because I’m too busy, but because feelings of jealousy creep up when I look at the perfectly styled and aspirational lifestyles of my online friends and suddenly my life seems too slow, too mundane… too regular. (I know this isn’t true, and that I have the power to mold and create the life I want. In reality, I am a very lucky girl, yet when my focus is on others behind a computer screen, my perspective shifts and I get thrown off balance.)
2.  I sometimes tire of writing about art/design/visual inspiration, because I fear I’m contributing to a false sense of reality. I do believe there is beauty in absolutely everything, but where does that beauty come from? Is it in a well-designed object, or the story of a maker who has overcome adversity in some way? Or is it in the beauty of failure – of accidents, unexpected twists and personal trials?
3. I am average at a lot of different things, but above average at very little, so my inner voice sometimes lets that deter me from following my dreams. I badly want to start a clothing/product line, but am terrified, because I’m not a style expert and know nothing of the sort. But you know what? I’m going to give it a shot. I truly am.
4. I miss creating things. On some days, I’m perfectly content highlighting the inspiration that abounds from other people’s creations, and then other days? Other days I want to join in on the fun – to be my own inspiration. To create my own things, my own self. I haven’t found that balance yet, but I’m hopeful.
5. I am super sensitive and my feelings are easily hurt. I spend a lot of days in my own head, creating catastrophes that don’t exist and feeling anxious about silly, unimportant details. I continually judge myself and am a very, very harsh critic. (This is why I give myself non-goals at the beginning of the year!)
6. I am a horrid homemaker. Until recently (thanks to nesting!), I rarely cooked a meal and am always fighting the dreaded laundry day. I can’t remember the last time I cleaned my toilets (I truly am disgusting myself over here).
7. I’m surprisingly non-crafty. I don’t have the patience or attention to detail, which is why designing and styling is more up my alley. If the item already exists and I can create something around it? Yes. If I have to dream up the inner workings and function of something entirely new? Hives abound.
8. I’m not fully confident in my own skin. I have stretch marks, teen acne scars, oily skin and many more beauty flaws. I have to continually remind myself to strive for inner beauty and forget the rest. Don’t we all?

You guys. I feel better already. I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to create a safe place where I can share my deepest anxieties. I’d encourage you to do the same, when you’re ready. Or to visit the other bloggers who are spilling their guts today. The hills are, indeed, alive, and I’m so glad we’re ready to twirl.

Much love to each of you,

EDIT: My gracious, you guys are so incredibly supportive and kind. I’m amazed at this community. Definitely read through the comment section – it’s a great thread and proves that we’re all much more similar than we think! Thank you for your grace today!

  • I think you are awesome. I’ve been following your blog forever it seems. In faact it was one of the first blogs I ever visited and reading this reminds me of why I always liked you so much. Such honesty here…it’s so refreshing. x

  • I stumbled across your blog while having my morning espresso. THIS is a fantastic post. I can relate to your #2 and #5. I find it both brave and kind that you have shared these feelings/ thoughts with the world. You are certainly going int my reading list!

  • i completely heard my own voice when reading your list + can totally empathize where you’re coming from – thanks for posting!

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  • Awesome post! Found you through creature comforts. Love the authenticity. We definitely need more of that in blogland! Maybe I’ll get around to doing a post like this. I always hesiate to share things that my readers may not really be interested in…and try to stick to design… but this is making me think… as I know I like reading this stuff.

  • These are things I feel everyday. I liked reading this because it gave me a sense that I am not the only one! Chin up! You’re great! :) I know this is an older post but I found your blog yesterday and I have not stopped looking at it… It’s great and inspiring!

  • I am number 5. Seriously. Reading my way through the TIATTY blogs; its just so wonderful to read the deeper voices in someone else’s head. It reminds me that were actually all the same. Flaws and dreams and all.

  • This was brilliant, refreshing and inspiring. I’m afraid to tell you that I secretly love reading about others’ sentiments about their insecurities. It reminds me that mine are alive and well and occasionally endearing to myself because it’s what humanizes all our “crazy”. I say the design of mankind was flawed to perfection, and I’m sticking to it. Thank you for your post! xo

  • This is my first time on your site and I want to tell you what an inspiration you are. I admire how you shared all of your fears. More amazing than that is how you are not held back by your fears and are motivated to

  • This is my first time on your site and I want to tell you what an inspiration you are. I admire how you shared all of your fears. More amazing than that is how you are not held back by your fears and are motivated to live your dreams.

  • Starting from now on you will be one of my inspiration and I will always visit your blog, I love it and I can relate to your feelings too. Keep it up. Godbless you.

  • I seriously LOVED EVERY SINGLE WORD (I screamed that, LOL) in this post ! WooopWhoop for you. Fantastic job. I am totally feeling inspired to write a similar post on my blog … filled with fears. Thanks for the INSPIRATION !!!! Lynne

  • Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  • You really touched a cord in my heart! I have been having the same mixed feelings about what to write and how much to write and its sooo hard to know just how much to reveal, so I read this post with the utmost interest and I can relate to so many things you wrote about. I am going through a rough patch with my son who was born with Prune Belly Syndrome in February and really want to write about all the things we have been going through but haven’t because, I too, am afraid. I live on a small island and fear people would be judgmental and also that I would inevitably meet a lot of the people who would be reading the blog… so where do I draw the line on how much of this personal matter to write about and would my son dislike people knowing about his condition… i am confused but feel good that I am not the only one. Thank you!

    • Ah, I hope you sort out your feelings soon. From my experience, just asking these questions and letting your thoughts simmer will eventually lead you to the right decision! Hang in there!

  • Oh wow. Well… here I am coming across this post a year or so later, and it still is so poignant. So Thank you, as I too… sorta new to the “scene” but still frantically trying to “brand” myself- my online identity if you will- while trying to remain true and authentic, juggle mommyhood and life- and all those all those same feelings -all too familiar- creep up on me as well… Thanks for being brave and saying it “out loud” so the collective we don’t feel alone in those feelings. Real talk.

    Very best to you, and know that you are truly inspiring, even in those very moments of doubt.

    Be well,


  • I stumbled on your site while looking for ideas for a white shoes project and then to here. Your list is almost exactly how I feel, too! (Minus blogging. I don’t do much of that.) Especially 1, 3, 5, 6, 8… Boiling down to a lack of confidence and feeling terribly average/mediocre with a simultaneous desire to be creative/productive. A great big hug to you for this reminder that sources of inspiration like yourself also experience vulnerability, and a hope that we all can wallow a bit less with that in mind.

  • Erin: I stumbled upon your blog after looking for a picture of Amanda Talbots book Rethink: and then found myself drawn to your other posts..THEN I found this one.. thank you for your honesty and confirming the very question I have had. How much do I share?.. I recently started up my blog again! (wanting to properly to commit to it this time with an intention) and after reading your post, you have moved me and given me reason to not let my fears hold me back but be open enough to share and connect.

  • Hi Erin,

    I don’t read your blog often but your latest posts about slow blogging and sharing your secrets were just what the doctor ordered. Like you, I’ve been pulling back from the busy, twirling world of social media, fashion blogs, perfectly curated living rooms and staged family portraits.

    Your slow blogging post lifted a great, creative weight off of my shoulders and I’m more confident in my decision to post once a week but with more intention and care.

    Nice to know others feel the same way!


  • Hi friend. I just happened upon this post…. and just wanted to tell you how much I love you and love your authenticity here. “We’re all in this together”, right?! ;) Have a wonderful day!

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