Monday, September 11, 2017

On Sharing and Oversharing

Blogging is such a funny part of my life. It's ostensibly a way for me to track my progress with my horse, but obviously I could do that just as easily with a calendar and a sharpie.

And I chose to do it here.

So there's more to it than just the static "this, then that" dry routine wrap-ups. I like people (usually), I like interaction, and I value the many friends I've made through the blogging world. For me, blogging is so much more than a training log.

There's a tension to it though--part of being public about this aspect of my life invites the internet to comment on it. For the most part, I'm pretty easy-come, easy-go about the unsolicited advice which is very definitely a part of blogging. I get lots of it. Most of it is well-intentioned. Some is humorously bad. Some is spot on. Some is malicious and/or crazy.
lil side eye for that
At the end of the day, that's just the cost of doing business (as it were) in a public forum. People say things. If I can't handle people saying things, then I need to not be quite as open and public about what I share.

Plus, I'll be the first to tell you that I love blog comments. It still amazes me that so many friends, strangers, and future-friends take the time out of their day to read what I have to say, and share their insights. Even rather-misguided comments usually give me a good laugh.
always find the fun
What's more, I am occasionally contacted by people (some I know, some I don't) who tell me how my silly horse blog helped them through a rough patch in their own life, horsey or otherwise. That's not something I take lightly. I aspire to be honest about the reality of horses and life as an adult amateur and the knowledge that it resonates with another human being across the world is one of those moments where I realize just how not-alone I am.

I am making some different choices in my life right now, and that has me questioning the hows and whys of my usage of social media. There are certain things I'm tired of sharing, that I want to hold on to as "mine and no one else's".

I go back and forth on blogging--it definitely takes time and energy to do well. Both of those are at a premium in my life right now. It also involves a level of vulnerability and honesty that I'm okay with some days and not others.
always ok with this tail tho
Ultimately though, the reason I'm still here is the same reason I started blogging in the first place--the people. Life is too hard to live in a vacuum, so having people come alongside and say "hey, I've been there too" is what keeps me going.

So thank you, Blogosphere.

55 comments:

  1. Ditto to this! So glad you are still blogging:)

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  2. I'm so glad that one of your weird internet peeps decided we needed to be friends. 💜💜💜

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  3. I totally feel you here! I struggle with filtering what I say- I can't always be as honest as I'd like, for fear of hurting people that I know read it. At the same time, I blog for myself, and I don't really like editing my version of the truth. Sigh. I have only been blogging since January, and haven't experienced too much crazy/unsolicited comments just yet. Keep your chin up though, I enjoy your blog immensely!

    <3 Kelly @ HunkyHanoverian

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    1. My blog is about my horse and me. No one else. That limits the amount that needs to be said about other people and thus eliminates versions of the truth. ;-)

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  4. I recently shared a funny picture of a feed website on FB, and immediately received a million unsolicited recommendations on what to feed my horse. I didn't even say there was a problem, but that did not stop them from inventing problems for him. It can get annoying.

    I'm with you on pulling back on sharing stuff, too. I've rebranded a bit, pulled my name and stuff out of the blog. I contemplated letting it go altogether, but in the end I enjoy it and that makes it worthwhile. Glad to see you think the same!

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    1. Thanks for the reminder to update my blog roll!

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  5. Word. On all of it. Your blog has been there since the beginning and I've loved being on the journey with you. I also have some serious imposter syndrome about riding and would rather die than give anyone advice. I don't have my own shit together, I can't also figure your shit out. Lol.

    But yes, I am feeling the same way lately about sharing. It's funny, things I used to post about IMMEDIATELY I now sit on in a drafts folder for a year. And some things I write so that they're a permanent draft, like our trailering incident last winter. It's just all about balance and doing what's right for you.

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    1. Yup. It's changed a lot for me and I suppose it will continue to. Every time I think about just stopping all together, I get stuck on how many great people I have met and continue to meet. :-)

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  6. I don't always take the time to comment but I always look forward to reading your blog - a true highlight in my day. I've enjoyed chatting with you away from the blog as well and am so glad I reached out to you all those years ago :)

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    1. See? You meet the coolest people blogging. ;-)

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  7. Your blog is my favorite, and the only one I check multiple times a day for a new post. Your struggles with C helped me realize it was time for me to rehome my beloved pony and seek out something new. It's inspiring how you always seem to overcome your struggles and keep going.

    The only thing I don't love about your blog is I have gained an obsessive love for nice, pretty tack, and all the matching colors. But honestly, I can blame Amanda for that too. I'll love it more when I have more money.

    Also, Zoe's tail is amazing.

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  8. Filled with the occasional crazy (REALLY crazy when it comes to you, my goodness), but the blogosphere is a good place when you need to rally the troops to your side. It is funny how we change what we share over time.

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    1. I tell myself I'm really approachable and that's why I attract the crazy.

      Cuz the other options are less favorable to me. ;-)

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  9. All of this. You are actually one of the biggest reasons I started blogging (and then incessantly annoyed you until you became an actual friend 😋), because so many times I found myself nodding along with every line of a post. This is another one of those posts. You keep blogging however you see fit -- we're here because we love your voice, no matter which direction you go 💙

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    1. Who knew that a shared love of Otto could change our lives so profoundly?

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  10. Your blog and Lauren's blog were what initially drew me into the blogging world. I was an adult re-order struggling at a back yard barn, with no other peers, only a crotchety old trainer who had long ago lost touch with any world but her own. When I discovered yours and Lauren's blogs, I felt like there were other people out there like me. It lead me to discover other great blogs, many of which I have now followed for years. There are some great things about blogging and some not so great things. I applaud you for continuing to put yourself out there. It isn't always easy to do.

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    1. *re-rider. Damn autocorrect.

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    2. That's how I started blogging--I knew there had to be other people like me out there, so I googled "horse blog" and the rest is history, haha.

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  11. i hear ya on the "mine and only mine" aspect of not always wanting to share everything. it's a real balance. and once we've put something out there.... there it stays. for better or worse. i therefore maintained my anonymity as a lurker - never commenting but always reading - for a years before finally taking the plunge into creating my own blog after maybe one too many glasses of wine one night. ultimately tho, i'm glad i did. for all that this weird little equestrian blogging community is, i'm grateful for the outlet its given me and for the friends and experiences i've gotten from it!

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    1. The permanence of shared information is such a double edged sword. I thought about it a lot when I decided it was time to rehome Courage. I intentionally made this blog very easily searchable by his name in case his old connections wanted to track him down, but then every glorious fail photo is on display for the world to see.

      I don't know that it's changed my blogging per se, but it's definitely informed it for the future.

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  12. i started reading this blog post just now and almost started hyperventilating thinking you were going to take a break. LOL So addicted to your blog I am!! I want to continue stalking Zoe and others in blogland. So glad i get that opportunity!! Keep on writing! I love it (Keep what you need to to yourself just share all the tack buys and more ZB fun shots!)

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  13. I can appreciate this - but know that you should blog for yourself before you blog for an audience!

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  14. This is how I feel about it too. I allow anonymous comments on my blog and so far it has worked out ok, but every time I get a notification from "anonymous", I panic a little. I've had my share of blog drama spilling over into my real life over the years, and it makes me somewhat guarded about what I post and how I present it. At the end of the day, I'm super open about pretty much everything, though. I value the friends and opportunities I've gained through blogging, and I mostly just scroll past things that rub me the wrong way. When my life is the most interesting is also when I have the least time and energy for blogging though. I agree that it takes both to blog well, and my style has changed almost continuously over the years as I try to balance my love of blogging with the time I spend actually living my life. I kept paper journals (boxes and boxes of them) before I blogged. Sometimes I miss the brutal (angsty) honesty of that method of memory-keeping, but mostly I'm glad I went semi-public (LJ) and then public (Blogger!) I struggle with continuing to blog sometimes, but it's not something I want to give up. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, as always :) I'm glad you're here.

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    1. I am not sad that my teenage blog was swallowed by the bowels of the internet. I did try to find it once lately and it seems to be gone for good, so hopefully it doesn't reappear. ;-)

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  15. If you quit, I will come to Idaho and find you. How's that for creepy?! LOL!! Just teasin'. I wake up and read your blog before I read anything else most days! I love all your adventures and insights. I only wish I'd been in town the weekend you picked up ZB! I've thought about blogging again too, Pongos blog is done. It's perfect (and sad) where it ended. But I just don't have the time to post which is a bummer because I'm having fun again and even have a SHOW coming up!!! I try to just keep anyone who cares yo to date via FB posts.

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    1. Haha you're one of the few people who can credibly make that threat.

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  16. I just finally de-lurked and blogged up fairly recently, and I find I spend a lot of time considering what I'm willing to post. There are stories I'd love to tell that I won't because I know what kind of drama I'd be bringing down, even without getting into Unsolicited Internet Opinion Theater. And there's stuff I have Strong Opinions about that sometimes I'll post, but mostly I just keep my mouth shut. So I definitely appreciate the work that goes into being mindful of what you're putting out there, and I think you do a great job.

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    1. I have one rule about eventing: I don't talk about eventing. Hahaha. I violate that rule from time to time, but no other sports' constituency descends quite as ravenously as eventers or people who are emotionally attached to eventing but don't event when you mention there might be a problem with their sport.

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  17. I've been lucky enough to not need to deal with any drama on my blog so far. I agree that what we post is public and that makes it fodder for everyone both those who are supportive and kind and those who like to troll or are otherwise negative. I LOVE reading your blog and have enjoyed following your journey with Courage and now with Zoe so I'm really glad that you're still blogging :)

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  18. I enjoy reading your posts so much. I allow anonymous comments but I reserve the right to moderate.

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    1. I don't like getting emails, so I just check comments when they show up. :-)

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  19. I just wrote a similar type of post. I love the people I've met through this kind of social media, but sometimes it's hard putting it all out there. Love this!

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    1. I love the perspective that comes with explaining the how and why of something. It really forces me to think through every step of what I do.

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  20. I hear ya! You'll notice we don't talk much about my baby horse on my blog. Someday maybe, but not yet. I don't have that many readers, so I've mostly avoided any of that negativity so far. But I'm sure it will come.
    I'm glad you post regularly, I love hearing all about Zoe, and I'm really excited to see all of her future outfits!

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  21. I feel EXACTLY the same way -- the community is a wonderful support system... but sometimes I struggle with what to share, when.

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    1. There's definitely a balance there and it varies from person to person.

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  22. I love your blog and your way of sharing you journey so generously with all of us! I can't wait to see what the future holds for you and Z!

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    1. Aww thanks. :-) I've met such great people along the way.

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  23. I am right there with you. I'm open about a lot of things but I was always so quiet and closed up when it came to progress with my horse hence I have nothing really to show for my thoroughbred. It was that thought of judgment and ridicule that we weren't enough. Then with B everything changed and I wanted more horse people in my life. The world of blogging really opened my eyes to not being alone and as I got comfortable and made some friends along the way, it was another outlet for more personal things to say hey, even though I'm going through this... I can still do this. I love your blog and your shopaholic ways 😘

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  24. I love your blog as well! I think I'm lucky? in that I don't have many followers so I don't think I ever really get unsolicited advice or negative comments. Then again my blog is also kinda boring and I rarely write about anything controversial because being an equine professional I can't have that blow up in my face if my blog was ever discovered by clients.

    But anyways. I do love your blog, thanks for the time you put into it!

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    1. Ho boy being a pro adds a whole different dimension to an online presence.

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