Last summer, I was going through some really difficult times that I couldn’t talk about publicly.
One day I was in a hospital exhausted, worried and overwhelmed, trying to distract myself by messing around on my Droid in the waiting room when Allison from MotherhoodWTF? emailed me a blog post about Vajazzled Valentine Vulva Candies.
I sat there, surrounded by scared, quiet people, laughing for the first time in ages, because of The Bearded Iris.
I kept checking back in with her, and she kept up the clever, hilarious, colorful, brilliant writing. She never let me down. She helped bring me back up.
She was one of the main reasons I began writing more clearly about where I came from and how that shaped me. How it’s okay to expose parts of myself that are uncomfortable but beautiful at the same time.
She made me love to say “vulva” a lot.
A lot a lot.
Last week, she came to a crossroads of sorts, and wrote a thoughtful yet funny post about whether she should shut down her blog. I gave my two cents (because she asked), then held my muthuhlovin’ breath because where the Hell would be be without inspiring women like her?!?
I celebrate with a happy heart that she is sticking around. She is a genuine joy, someone I have had the luck of befriending offline, and love knowing I can keep in my life a bit longer both on this magical www and in emails that make me snort coffee on my husband’s iPad (I won’t risk Drinking While Reading Her on my own iPad – accidents happen).
Over here at Let Me Start By Saying, I remain quasi-anonymous out of respect for my husband’s request for me/us to be so.
But my goal is not to hide behind the anonymity. My goal is to remain genuine. This was The Bearded Iris’ concern when she was once anonymous, which is why she now goes all-out-frank (which can frighten polite society at times…which is why she ended up contemplating closing shop).
Hopefully those that know me in real life and online can attest to the fact that I am the same in both places. I freely talk about my anus, say ridiculous things to my kids, and am willing to open up about my past if someone who truly cares to know wants to talk about it. I stand behind what I write, say, confess, because it is Me. It can be uncomfortable at times, but it’s genuine. I can’t be anything else. I won’t be anything else.
For a week I thought we were going to lose an important voice. It bothered me more than I said – because who am I to try to sway someone who is making an important decision for her family? – but I am immensely relieved that my Beloved Beardy is here to stay.
I hope is that if you need a laugh, an inspiration, or a lesson in Lady Parts Synonyms, you will head on over to The Bearded Iris. In between snorts of laughter, you might not even realize you, too, are being reminded how to stay authentically You.
Which is why I love her so.