Great things about snow days. I am a middle age woman who sits in cubicle for much of her life and I would never have found these lovely creative things without you. It’s hard I know … But look away. I’m a firm believer that airing our fears is the only way to move past them or work on them, so thank you for allowing me this space to talk today. Also, I had to google GOMI, and holy cow, I cannot believe that things like that exist. Xxxxx Bea. I need to find someone to help me put things in perspective like you did. Get a life, people. Unless they somehow push you to the next level, they aren’t helping your process, just your ego. Lauren’s Spare Room Makeover: The Reveal. How do you react in the situation? You had just come through the ringer in your life and here you were, telling the rest of the world very publically. Obviously, this post has deeply touched me. Hi Grace, I can relate to some of your fears and am seeking treatment for a phobia myself. I was an vo agent for 10 years, laid off at 38 years old in 2009 (with everyone else) and diagnosed with breast cancer 6 weeks later. Another beautiful post. Thank you for taking the time to share an honest reflection of your life offline. :), #2 i relate to so much. I think it’s because I’ve seen so many pass from cancer and other horrible things in my life. I’m Scared That I’m Becoming a Hypochondriac: I want to get this one out of the way quickly because it’s the one that embarrasses me the most. etc. as well as the fuzzy feeling on the top of my head. Grace, I rarely comment, but I have to tell you how much this post resonates with me. Just having a hypochondriac Woody Allen moment! Though my thread(s) aren’t terribly long, the harshest and most cutting criticism I have received has been at the more vulnerable points of my life that I have chosen to share with my readers. I get particularly bored by all the endless wanting to be ‘famous’. You do not have to apologize for existing and living your life. Now I’m scared this comment isn’t long enough. Love’n’hugs and Happy New Year, Lady MamaG xxo, Fingers crossed, love and prays from me to you ❤️. I felt happy and good about myself and then when we moved upstate I continued that slide into comfort and gained 10 pounds on top of another 5 from the year before. I sometimes find myself on GOMI and end up feeling sorry for the people commenting on there. Almost three years ago, Ez of the blog Creature Comforts did something exciting and new online: she took a moment to be vulnerable and transparent. Regarding being small and stylish.. I struggle with severe hypochondria too – it’s frustrating, overwhelming, and embarrassing to talk about. Reminds me of middle school bullies aka the worst bullies ever, am I right? Thank you for having the courage to do so. It was an honest work in progress, like most people’s homes (and lives!) My husband almost died years ago and then my daughter had a time when she was in the hospital for almost two months. Don’t leave out the worst part. I really, really, really love the direction you’re taking Design*Sponge. I’m doing fantastically well; thanks for checking! Connection, human compassion, vulnerability, these things are all magic. Running every day helps me a lot too- not a lot or fast or anything, just a bit. I know that sometimes, especially as writers who often put so much of ourselves out there ALL of the time, it can hard to be actually vulnerable and share with others. I’ve found myself sucked into many a late night symptom search that leaves me feeling so helpless and scared. You don’t deserve to be abused just for putting yourself out there, that’s not asking for it, nor should you feel required to absorb any garbage that comes your way (and anyone who thinks you’re weak or unfit for being affected by it needs to get a clue). You have the courage to say : this is me . "In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity" ~ Albert Einstein, An ongoing struggle with recurrent pregnancy loss, The trials and tribulations of a girl TTC. I wish there were more people like you and less haters. Personally, I’ve been struggling lately with my own personal successes (or lack there of! Maybe its own sub-forum, that would explain it why I missed it. :) This is awesome. I’m not naive enough to think that being relatively pulled-together and cleaned up isn’t helpful for photo shoots, etc., but after a rough few years between 2011-2013, I finally realized that respect and success have more to do with the things on the inside than the outside. This one developed slowely.. over many bad weather trubulent flights. Thank you for sharing all of this, especially the part about becoming a hypochondriac. Instead, you’ve taken the time to inspire total strangers who come to your site. I am participating in a “word of the year” challenge, and nothing is more beautiful than seeing my word come back to me in various ways. You have created a wonderful space on the internet for like-minded individuals, and we all appreciate that effort you make every day. And what’s the point of writing a prayer/faith blog if I’m not going to be honest? Btw, your hunch about obsessing everytime you have a niggle is correct. Thank you so much for sharing this Grace. Whether I’m passing on a home tour, responding too slowly to an email or upsetting someone with a reaction to their email/comment/post, some days it feels like a major part of my job is absorbing people’s disappointment and trying (and failing) to fix it and make it better. Hi Grace, I respect your honesty and your courage. Thank you for sharing all of this! Thank you so much for your share. You feel sick, faint, and a bunch of other things but all test results show you are normal. Not fun at all. I think life will be good to you . Thank you for having sufficient trust in the good of humanity to share these unpolished parts of your life and experience. Thank you! I just wrote a comment on your resuming “After the Jump” post, and I asked for more interviews about the struggles people face when building their business. Thank you for all your hard work. I did enough of the stupid ass things in my teens to put me off for life (thanks to my thrill-seeking bestie) and being that it’s school holidays there’s a very real chance my son may actually want me to partake in such life-threatening voyages. I’m not on there, but I think it takes a lot of guts to put your creativity, and as an extension of that, yourself, out there in spite of such negativity. I am horrified by the fact that there’s a whole group dedicated to hating you and your work. I felt that way too. Just a suggestion if I may, I used to be so paranoid about my health and many conditions I thought I had. Hopefully you reaffirmed the wisdom of the great researcher/storyteller Brene Brown, who said that shame cannot exist with empathy. I’m Scared of Losing Stability and Security in Work: It’s no secret that the internet is not the most secure place to work and that the blog/ad market took a major hit a few years ago. And for the record, EFF GOMI. You and your blog are such gems! What you shared, Grace, lifts me up and helps me feel more connected to other women who struggle but who also embrace fear and manage to be relatively happy and productive. And I’m very hopeful and happy to meet, connect and share with people online who are interested in digging deeper to find these parts of our lives that intersect and overlap so we can build deeper bonds in our community and help each other not just build homes we love, but lives we appreciate and enjoy, too. I’m sorry you’ve gone through that too. Petrified. Single, no savings..something I’ve beat myself up for, and no severance. I’m so glad that post could be helpful in any way. @Marsh This may be my first time commenting on your blog, Grace, but I’ve been reading for years. As others have said, you do great stuff and are sometimes too kind. I’m sure it would be easy to find problems (you need a blogger to tell you about the night sky?) It’s good to openly discuss them so we don’t feel so alone. Note: One day my goal is to have such an awesome blog, that I do end up on GOMI! It’s funny, I was just telling my husband tonight about how much I *LOVED* your upstate home tour. After all, isn’t that a large part of fear—your mind imagining the worst? But… THAT’S perfect. Dietary changes have been the most effective for me!). Dear Grace- But for some reason, I worry a lot about how my desire to let myself be more comfortable in life will affect my work and the way people view me or the site. You are brave, in addition to a beautiful designer and an inspirational blogger! While i’m not a hypochondriac I pretty much have all the rest of those fears. You have my admiration for your accomplishments in business and personal realms, and for accepting your own challenge to be candid here. Jesse. I gave away or sold any clothes that were too fancy or uncomfortable and I slowly built my everyday uniform of jeans, long sleeve shirts and the occasional loose dress. Grace, thanks for writing and publishing this. It is so easy to stay “anonymous” on the web and so hard to put yourself out there for ALL to see. I think it’s part of a desire to see ourselves, even just a tiny bit, in the people around us and a way for us to feel hopeful, connected and inspired. I’ve dealt with some shadowy health scares in the past (major issues that land me in the hospital but are never diagnosed as anything that feels “right”) and it’s led me to feel that there’s always something lurking just under the surface that I haven’t found yet — and can’t control. I was in awe of you. It takes both genuine strength and humility to write the way you have. In 2012 I had come out to my friends and family, ended a longterm relationship and was recovering from a draining 30+ city book tour. Your willingness to open up is so inspirational. Thank you so much for sharing this! Someone once said to me ‘We are all just People’. Does everything fall apart, or in a surprising twist, do you conquer that fear? As for GOMI – wow, what must it feel like to spend your days tearing other people’s creative work down – to have pure bile running through the veins, leaving a metallic, corrosive taste in the mouth. i also feel like i have this weird “too good to be true” syndrome. Grace, see how generous and wonderful you are? Best wishes. it’s been a few years since I hung out at GOMI, but isn’t their MO keeping the negativity there in lieu of bringing it to the blogs in question? I realise that I’m much older than a lot of my fellow bloggers and at 50, with many years of psychiotherapy behind me I might have a little more life experience and wisdom. This is so refreshing to read. I had never heard of GOMI before this and… oof. I know posts like this can’t be easy, but they are meaningful and appreciated. Well timed, I’m endeavoring to make the jump from photo to video and it is scary… I’ve been thinking about your first videos and how you said it was weird to hear your own voice. Thank you so much for sharing with us. I am so glad at the moment you are in a way in a really happy place with your new house , with Hope , your lovely dog , Julia your lovely wife and of course Turk your fantastic cat – and reading that you had a phase a few years ago when it was so tough you almost did not want to wake up anymore I can only say I am grateful for your friend who advised to see a therapist and I am also grateful you are still around . I’ve honestly been thinking exactly what I wrote above since you first started writing about your new home. I read it regularly though. My life is wrapped up in fear. Thank you for being honest and open. As someone a few life steps behind you, it’s reassuring to see how just a few years and a lot of hard work can propel a person (a person put in the small, cute, and at least trying to be stylish box, since we share those attributes) to a place of confidence and happiness.

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