what if every day was no-delete?

I think my blog would be funnier, but less meaningful. I liked my foray into No-Delete Thursday, I will definitely do it again, especially since there is nothing more cathartic than random swears.

But for me, I think too much no-delete can lead to no-thinking, and I'm already lazy enough.

No-Delete Thursday did force me to think about why I haven't written very much lately, and how I can change that, and what is it that I'm so afraid of every time I open my blogger account, or the email that receives unmoderated comments.

I'm afraid that even though I'm a big believer in saying-what-you-want, I'm also a big believer in saying-it-in-a-productive-way, and a kind way.  For instance, I'm all for orthodox Mormons hanging out here and offering insight, I'm not okay with orthodox Mormons hanging out here and telling us we are all going to hell/would understand things better if we just prayed about it/were humble enough to realize the blessings of the patriarchy. Same is true for anyone else grappling with religion or life, or whatever.

I'm okay with a SAHM or a WOTH* or a SAHWOTHWFHM/D* hanging out here and talking about what works for them, I'm not okay with accidental smugness in which people talk about how dumb or neglectful one or the other are.

I'm afraid that I don't know how to balance some of those thoughts myself, so I stay quiet rather than fuel unproductive wars that just hurt feelings.  I'm afraid of that, I've been on both sides, neither is fun.

While I'm not necessarily afraid of this, I do wonder sometimes about the purpose of writing opinions that may change hourly, or daily, or even right after I hit "publish." That is a stupid reason not to write things, but I'm admitting that it is true.

I'm sometimes afraid of the feelings I feel when I write, especially when I write about the church. My transition out of Mormondom, then sort of back into Mormondom, then somewhere in between again, has been painful. Furthermore, it happened during my first full year of teaching, through two(ish)** lost pregnancies, and three pee sticks and a third chance that kicks angrily when I play music too loudly in my car. When I reached 12 weeks, and felt confident that she was here, I stopped writing because I wanted to just not feel anything anymore.  I was really tired. I also really wanted to watch TV. It had been a long year.

But I've missed writing, and I've missed being brave. We have so few opportunities to be brave these days. If I write more, I'm going to do so while remembering that I'm still human. I may say something accidentally stupid or insensitive, I may combat feelings I don't like, I may change my mind. I may just talk about TV, sometimes. But I don't want fear to run my life, or my blog. ***

So in honor of two men who somehow always managed to say what they wanted, productively and kindly:

"A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave." Mahatma Gandhi

"God grant that as men and women all over the world struggle against evil systems they will struggle with love in their hearts, with understanding good will. " Martin Luther King Junior.

*Work Outside The Home Moms

*A bunch of letters to symbolize a person who works inside the home, works part-time, has done everything imaginable over the course of being a parent, is a mom or a dad. The letters don't really even make sense.

**Haven't talked about it here before, still have unresolved feelings about both times, feel guilty that I count one more than the other, and miss one more than the other, and will probably never speak of it again.

*** Feel a desperate need to talk about something less serious, so will say that I will allow fear to run my TV watching habits, because Criminal Minds is still terrifying, but I watch it anyways.


Sunny said...

I am glad you mentioned the two(ish) miscarriages. I feel like I am somehow lying when I say that I have had four miscarriages, since they all happened within a week of finding out we were pregnant, one where I knew I was pregnant, but never enough to even turn a pregnancy test. While I know that losing the one I have now (16 weeks) would be so much harder, does it have to take away from the pain I felt at every other loss? But I feel bad saying it, like I am lessoning someone else's loss who lost theirs later on. I know that doesn't even make sense, but maybe you know what I mean? Anyway, thanks for letting me know that there are others out there who don't really know just how they feel about it. I appreciate it.

Stephanie said...

Sunny: Thank you for commenting, I feel the same way. Like I'm lying, or encroaching on tragedies that are bigger. I felt everything and nothing at the same time. I'm so sorry for your ___________ (everything you feel.)

P-Cute said...

so sorry to hear about the **

glad to have you back in the blog world

Sue said...

I understand what you mean about saying things in a productive way. I sometimes feel that if I don't say things the right way people won't get it or they will get offended. Because really, words can be taken so many ways. I'm trying to spend less time worrying about offending people but it's a lot harder than it sounds! I love reading your blog though so I hope you continue to write it.

Rachel Sue said...

You're brave. Criminal Minds is terrifying.

And while I worry about things that I *say* I worry more about things that I write. Because it is so hard to use inflection in writing. And that seems to be where all my problems lie.

AzĂșcar said...

I don't think it's strange to mourn one over the other. You're the only one who truly knows how close that spirit came to staying. There's no need to ever apologize for the way you feel. Your loss is your own loss, which is immeasurable against anyone else's.

So there.


Jean said...

I'm also glad to know I'm not the only one who struggles with feelings about miscarriages. I never know how to answer the question "how many pregnancies?" when the doctors/nurses ask. Because one miscarriage felt like a real pregnancy, the other didn't. I can't really explain it.
I love what Azucar said - you are the only one who knows just what you lost.

AnnaSchu said...

I just want you to know, I hate that in our stubbornness for everyone to think EXACTLY as we do (because of course MY way is the best way) we forget how alone we leave others in their personal struggles. I follow your blog because I DON'T share a lot of your opinions, and I need to be a better listener. I appreciate your openness in your writing, because its the honesty I stay for. Its healthy and you have as much love and appreciation from me for it, that I can give someone I've never met!!

Stephanie said...

Thank you for your bravery. And thank you for reminding me how important it is to not be let fear rule I run my life. We need more people willing to speak with your type of courageous and kind honesty.

Donna Bardsley said...

Though I've been reading your blog on and off for a while now, and have been participating in the blogging world for years, the whole 1st time commenting/coming out of Stalkerville is always a little weird for me. BUT, I just want to tell you that I love your writing. And that my own faith-transition thing has mirrored yours. And that your writing has helped me tremendously. And that I totally relate. So thank you, truly.

Kayce said...

I love the comments about miscarriages. I attended a fireside (not really, but the closest thing I can think to describe it) in my Stake where an OB came and talked about a lot of things. Mostly allowing women the chance to open up and ask questions about our bodies that we're too afraid to ask in other settings. It was fabulous. The point is, when he talked about miscarriage he said (he's also a Stake President, not that it really matters, but whatever) that every experience is different. In some instances it is undeniable that the Spirit confirmed to the mother that there was a spirit in the body she lost, and that it will continue to be hers. In other instances, it is just as undeniable that there was no spirit yet, just a body that wasn't right for the Spirit that will come eventually. This is a lengthy way of saying I agree that it's probably much more common that we would think to have different feelings about different experiences because every experience is different.

Also (sorry for the lengthy comment) if you haven't read Bossy Pants yet, I'm recommending it. Tina Fay is hilarious. But she also has a great way of telling us all to be kind to ourselves and one another. Her writing about the decision to be a stay at home mom or a working mom is fabulous. We should all just be kind and like each other because really, we all struggle. I'm one of the crazies who doesn't always agree with your opinion, but I always appreciate your honesty, perspective, and the chance for reflection. I hope I am never unkind.

Stephanie said...

@ Kayce: Thanks for your comment. It feels good to know I'm not crazy in how I responded to the "ish."

Also, I freaking loved Bossypants. Any lovers of Tina Fey are okay by me.

Butterfly Fire said...

I love how human you are. Awesome post.

LovelyLauren said...

I don't have nearly as many readers on my blog, so brush me off if you like, but I think sometimes I'm fighting so hard in my life that I don't have the energy to be brave and fight on the internet as well. Life is hard and I have to remind myself that my virtual world is just extra and I can step back and watch 5 hours of Gossip Girl instead of raging about something on my blog and it is okay.

On writing, I had a professor today talk about diarists and writing in a white heat of immediacy. Even if our opinions change hourly, we shape them by recording them and give them new meaning. I don't know when we started to feel like we couldn't ever change our minds, but we can. It's all part of the process.

Anyway, I appreciate your no-delete days, your brave days, and your talk about TV days.

Katie said...

I'm also glad you talked about your miscarriages. I just lost one at 13 weeks. It was an unplanned pregnancy, and my first emotion was relief, and since then, guilt because I didn't feel grief first. Thanks for reminding me that its okay to feel more than one emotion (everything and nothing), and for those emotions to be unresolved.

Don't stop being brave. We need people like you to say what we're all thinking :)

Jessica said...

I've spent a fair amount of time lately thinking about fear and what I do and don't let it control. I'm trying to be better about having my choices be because I choose them, not because I fear the opposite choice. It's a work in progress. Nice to hear from you again.

amanda said...

I love your insights, Stephanie. I can totally identify with the not writing because your mind changes. I feel the same way. I've read back into my blog archives and I feel a little embarrassed by some things I've written because I feel differently now than I did then. In some cases, WAY differently. And that's all still out there for people to see and attribute to me. It's scary. But I guess if we just keep writing, our new opinions will take the places of our old ones in our minds and on our blogs. (I haven't blogged since June. Sigh.)

Mrs. Clark said...

Miscarriages are very painful emotionally for many, many women. And thanks for your honesty. Good thoughts and love going out to you! And what Azucar said.

Emily said...

I'm so glad that you blogged Steph!And it was really fun running into you. Keep on blogging, we need people like you talking straight and bring brave. I always love and appreciate your honesty.

Like a few of the others said, I think that each pregnancy is different and you have a right to feel however you feel about each miscarrage... And while this isn't doctrine I personally believe that in some cases, maybe early on, that sweet baby gets to decide. "Eh, I don't like how this little body is shaping up." and they come back and try again later. Like I said, not doctrine- just my own doctrine.

Lastly, I just read this article on SAHM and WOTH- and I loved it. My comment is already too long, so what the hell, I'll throw in a quote.

"...if every woman made the same decision, how would my children learn that sometimes motherhood looks like going to work to put food on the table or stay sane or share your gifts or because you want to work and you've earned that right. And that other times motherhood looks like staying home for all of the exact same reasons.

As far as I can tell, no matter what decision a woman makes, she's offering an invaluable gift to my daughters and me. So I'd like to thank all of you. Because I'm not necessarily trying to raise an executive or a mommy. I'm trying to raise a woman. And there are as many different right ways to be a woman as there are women."

Great right? I liked it.

Glad you are writing again. Hope you and that baby girl are doing well. -Emily

ChristyLove said...

I had two miscariages also before getting pregnant and having it stick. The first time I had mixed feelings, and the second I was just sad and afraid.

And FYI, I happen to love your blog when it's meaningful AND when it's crazy. So you'll always have this fan.

geoffsn said...

You rock.

FWIW, I love it when your posts are more bombastic. They're hilarious. However, I can't help but respect the fact that you've held back on them out of respect for the feelings of others.

How someone considers you anything but a good person and a good mormon is beyond me (esp. after considerate posts like this).

Drees009 said...

I lost one of the twins a week ago. It's nearly impossible to grasp being grateful for the one while being so forlorn about the other. Every loss matters, no matter the circumstance.

Stephanie said...


I'm so sorry. Dan and I will keep you and Brian in our thoughts and prayers.