I love everything about being a blogger. I love using it as a way to process things and work through what’s going on in my life. I love sharing my life with you. I love the connections I’ve made and the friendships that have resulted. I love being able to look back at my writing and have a memory made vivid again.

The confused musing and processing that’s woven throughout all of my posts is sometimes embarrassing later but, usually, it serves as a good reflection of how far I’ve come. Looking back to the Kendra of two years ago who was just beginning to experience relationships, I look immature, highly ridiculous, and, well, innocent.

Looking back to the Kendra of almost three years ago who was just starting to hope for weight loss and who was trying to find her voice makes me wrinkle my nose and wish that I had been a little cooler. Even worse, looking back to the Kendra of a little less than two years ago who was coming apart at the seams and trying desperately to hold it together makes me want to cry.

Still, it took all of these incarnations to get me to who I’ve become and who I’m still becoming. In daily life I forget that just a year ago I was still struggling to get up in the morning and that I was just on the edge of losing it completely. I forget about how self conscious and timid I once was and how much I dreaded going to voice lessons every week because I was afraid of disappointing my voice teacher and being yelled at.

Lately, there’s been a lot I’ve avoided writing about for various reasons. The primary one, though, is that after reading through so much of my archives, I’ve been afraid to look stupid again. My blog readers knew I was a mess long before I did.

I’ve been afraid to share, in an honest way, my goals and trials with studying voice, my lessening but still present incompetence in relationships, my struggles with recovering from PTSD, and the sometimes outrageous behavior that results. I’ve been trying to protect myself and my pride a little bit more. While I love being so open and honest about my experiences, it comes with costs.

Mostly, I was honest and vulnerable with my readers because I couldn’t be in real life. That’s the challenge that I’m currently undertaking and it’s both hard and terrifying. It’s much easier to pretend everything is fine than to say, “I don’t like this” or “this is what I need from you.” It’s also hard to admit that I’m working my ass off for a career that most people fail at.

Hi, I’m Kendra and I’m training to be an opera singer. Yes, I do intend that to be my career.

Looking back at those archives, I realize that I’m still that girl of three years ago hoping to lose weight and trying to find my authentic voice. I’m still that girl of two years ago who is trying to figure out relationships, though more mature, slightly less ridiculous, and much less innocent. Every once in a while I’m even still that girl who struggles to get through the day without an emotional meltdown. Those days are few and far between, but it does still happen.

But, now I’m a girl who takes myself somewhat seriously. Now I care if what I write comes back to bite me. Back then, I didn’t. Mostly I felt like I didn’t have anything to lose.

I’m really glad that I’ve gotten to share the process of my growth, even with the awkward moments. I’m not sure that I would have made so much progress in these almost three years if I hadn’t been sitting down to (mostly) consistently write about what was going on in my life.

Off the scale and unable to post about my weight, since I don’t know what it is, I’ve been thinking a lot about what else to write about. This post just kind of came to be because I was trying to come up with something besides politics, birth control, or how much I want to get on my scale and find out what I weigh. It got me thinking about why I blog and the impact it’s had on my life. I really do love everything about being a blogger.

Last night found me walking home far too late at night, bawling my eyes out with mascara pouring down my cheeks. It felt like the real life version of the spectacle I’ve been online so many times. As I started to calm down, I did my best to walk tall and proud. It was a bit too late for “Keep Calm and Carry On,” but that’s the spirit I was going for. Much like in the aftermath of posts where I’ve been the crying spectacle, I feel embarrassed but I also feel like the whole situation, and the reason behind the tears, was a moment of profound change.

I was crying over something worth crying over and the emotion that bubbled to the surface will help continue the “this is what I need from you” conversations I’ve been working on. Despite the fact that I get embarrassed when I cry, tears epitomize the vulnerable honesty I’ve been trying to bring into my offline life. Tears don’t lie.

My tears answered a question I’ve been dodging for a while. It ended the conversation of “Is something wrong?” and started the new conversation of “what can I do?” For the valuable relationships in my life, these conversations needed to happen. Much like the fact that I once didn’t take myself seriously enough to care that my online presence was sometimes out of line, I didn’t take myself seriously enough to tell the people in my life that some of the things they did were hurting me.

I just let it go and tried let it all roll off my back.

And then I hurt silently.

It’s hard to let my emotions speak. I’ve tried to hide them as they oozed out in my writing. Thankfully, last night my crying was not witnessed, only the tears in my eyes that welled up for a moment before I regained control. Later, alone, I burst into tears. I hope that in the future it won’t take tears in my eyes to let my emotions have a say.

Again, I love everything about being a blogger but I guess I’m still trying to find my authentic voice both online and in real life.

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