Monday, December 15, 2008

I got Awarded!

Last week, Don, at nominated me for the Real Life Blog award. I was very flattered--you can see from my sidebar that I don't get many blog awards. I'm not sure why that is, but assume it must be because people that award awards don't like me--could it be possible? Or maybe they don't think I care. Or maybe I smell funny. But, regardless of why THEY don't give me awards, Don did and that made me very happy!

Don commented on why they called it the Marie Antoinette Award and subtitled it with Real Blogs, Real People. I'm certainly no scholar, but I have a particular fascination with Marie Antoinette. She was basically sold as a child bride to a cold man who wanted nothing to do with her. She'd been ripped from her family, country, and life she'd known all her life and I believe she made up for this by enjoying the privilege she was afforded as Queen of France. Living this way, and being so young, created in her a definitive lack of understanding in regard to what most of France was dealing with at that time. She lived beyond opulence and luxury at a time when the people of France were starving to death. When told of the poverty taking over Paris she responded "Let them eat cake". I believe that rather than this being a dismissive comment, she was saying in the sense of "I'll give them some cake, then they'll feel better" she simply did not understand that cake today would not mean they would have bread tomorrow--she was a woman who had always had the THINGS she wanted and yet I don't believe she was ever truly filled by any of it, much like we are never filled by the things in our lives--it's the people, the relationships, and the time spent enjoying both that fill us. When reality finally made itself undeniable, she lost her life for the opulence she was in a sense forced to live within. Much like the starving people of France, she never had a choice in the life she lived either and she did not understand that other people were really suffering. In that way I think she's as much a victim as they were--definitely when her head dropped into the basket of straw on the wrong side of the guillotine.

Therefore, my theory on why Marie Antoinette is the poster child for this blog award is because it symbolizes that not facing reality, in the end, does us no favors. Whether that reality is what our weaknesses are, what are commitments are, who we fall in love with, or who we judge to harshly--living in reality is a good thing and we deserve to be honest about that to both ourselves and the world at large.

That said, I feel a bit hypocritical in regard to receiving this for my own blog. While I am thrilled to be seen as real, and I am honest in my posts, there are many, many, things in my life I do not blog about. You've heard very little about my children, my family, my husband's family, my ward, neighborhood or children's schools. That's not to say I haven't written up posts on these topics, but I delete them before they go out to the world because although it is my reality, and many things occupy a great deal of space in my brain, I am conscious of the relationships I am in and I worry about hurting people that, despite driving me batty at times, I love or respect or just don't want to hurt. THAT SAID (Yes, I realize I'm being redundant and rather circular) I think we can be 'real' without being all-telling. I believe that it's not dishonest for me not (yes, that was a triple negative) to rant against the woman at church that makes me want to plug my ears and sing la-la-la-la-la all through relief society. I believe that it's not dishonest for me to keep my increasingly fractured and frustrating relationship with a particular family member to myself. It's not fair for these people to have me make a public display of them, hence I don't. Instead, I try to keep my blogs within my own sphere, where they aren't going to cause someone else heartburn. Unless of course I want them to have heartburn--but I don't think I've found that situation I'm willing to flog someone about.

And so because of all that loopy explanation, I was thrilled to get this award, to have someone say that despite the things I leave out, I've managed to be real. That, for me, is a compliment.

And now I get to compliment some other folks for doing the same thing:

Carole Thayne at Musings in Paradise. Carole is a very good friend of mine and has helped me feel at peace with some of my personal and political feelings that are not as mainstream as many people around me. She is someone I truly think I could talk to about anything without fear that she was judging me for it. I appreciate that very much in my life and feel that she has helped me with a great deal of self awareness. And I love her blog because she's very honest about herself and her beliefs, I admire that.

Kristi at Kunz Family. Kristi is an inspiring woman to me, she lives amid some trials that I know would overwhelm me, and she neither lifts herself up on a pedestal for it or feels she's being picked on. I love reading about all the things going on in her family, because I know that there are extra layers of difficulty for those things, yet she does it all with such an optimistic attitude. She inspires me to see beyond the hardships and not just pretend it's okay, but to truly make the best of it.

Julie at Scattered Jules is one of my favorite people in the whole world. She's the person I call when life crashes around me and she always--and I mean always--picks me back up and hugs me back into reality. Her heart is among the biggest and funnest hearts God ever made and I cherish her friendship as one of the gifts God has given me. On her blog she rants, and compliments, and laughs and just puts it all out there.

Stephanie at Write Bravely. I really enjoy Stephanie's blog because she also blogs about real, every day life, but the more I read, the more depth I find. I assumed for the first few months that she had lived a very typical, traditional life. Then I discovered a twist, and then another one, and then another one. It's intriguing to me that she does not simply put it all out there at one time, rather it's all just part of the life she lives. She also has an inherent goodness that reminds me that being good is strong--I need those kinds of reminders in my life and her posts always do that for me.

So there you have it, my pontifications of no substance, and my referrals to those blogs that have that very substance I enjoy so much. Thanks again Don


hi, it's me! melissa c said...

Great post, Josi. I have made the mistake of writing when I should not have. I don't do that anymore. I like the phrase of being honest, but not a "tell all".

That is good advice.

amberargyle said...

Congrats! How do you draw people to your blog? I've always wondered.

ali cross said...

Congratulations! Your blog is very real, I love it. Even with the left-out stuff. We all do that. Or, we should.

And I whole-heartedly agree wtih your nominations. They are all awesome blogs.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Very interesting observations about Marie. Would you think I was a numbskull if I said I'd actually never given her much thought?

I agree with choosing you for this award, and I'm sorry you haven't gotten more awards! You deserve scads of them!

Don said...

You're very welcome, Josi. And thanks for the insights on Marie Antoinette.

As for leaving out the nittiest and grittiest parts - feel no guilt. That's, I think, as it should be (and certainly the way I run my blog).

Rebecca Talley said...

I think it's because you smell funny :).

I love your blog and love that you are so genuine. You totally deserve the award.

Kristi said...

Wow...thanks Josi. That was real sweet of ya to talk about my little ole blog. I'm just tickeled pink that some people actually read it (I originally started it for my family but they never read it). I think I tell too much sometimes. That's just who I am. Trent says that he can never run for political office or anything because of my "Blog". If people wouldn't vote for him because I talk about bodily functions on my blog...well so be it. It's life. Thanks again Josi...ya made my day. Do I get a tiara or anything? :)

Stephanie Humphreys said...

Thank you so much Josi! It made my day and you actually made me tear up.

Jenna said...

Wow! I loved your explanation of Marie Antoinette's link to this award. Makes a lot of sense. Really great post. Really great (real) blog.

Julie Wright said...

Josi, you made me cry! here I am feeling like I might just suck at being a nice person and you go and write this nice little paragraph and how I don't suck. I love you! And I know you're kicking my butt on word count but I hit 69,000 words and realized CRAP! There is no way this book is going to be wrapped up in ten thousand words. &^$*&^$^%*#^*