What I Learned From Being Published on The Huffington Post

In case you missed it, a blog I posted a couple months ago was republished on HuffPost Weddings, as well as a few other websites, and even made an appearance on Reddit. The comments on my actual blog were 99% positive, supportive, and helpful; the comments on the HuffPost article were probably about 70% positive, and then I decided to stop reading them altogether because a lot of them were downright mean, and it’s a little hypocritical to write a blog about people getting their undies in a bundle, only to get my own in a bundle over their opinions.

This has been a huge learning experience for me. My usual blog audience is less than 2,000 people (and that’s on a good day), so when that particular post exploded, I was really overwhelmed. I was getting messages on Facebook from strangers, people in other countries were sending me emails, and I swear for about two weeks I could not go anywhere – in real life or online – without someone bringing up the dang thing. I wrote what was on my mind at the time. It’s my blog. It’s my life, my opinion, blah blah blah. I am always welcoming of differing opinions and carefully consider advice that I receive. But holy crap, I was not prepared for the storm surrounding this post!

I learned that words are very easily misconstrued. I would scroll through a few comments and someone would quote me out of context and call me insecure or childish, or someone would completely misinterpret my wording. It’s hard to interpret what someone’s trying to say without seeing their expression and body language or hearing the inflection in their voice. I’ve also learned that it is human nature to think we know everything. I can’t tell you how many people left comments about how Alex and I must barely know each other after a year, and all I could think to myself was, “A year? Did these people miss the part where we’ve known each other for eight years? Did they even read my post?!” People made assumptions about me having “daddy issues,” being high maintenance, wanting a sugar daddy, only writing the blog to seek attention (which, I would again like to point out that my usual audience is miniscule compared to the audience for that particular post, and I was so overwhelmed with the response that I actually considered deleting it), and about a hundred more completely incorrect things. I learned that people are keyboard warriors. Some people assaulted my character…over a blog post…😨 (Please tell me you find that as confusing as I do) I’ve learned that a lot of people are heartbroken and cynical. I would estimate that roughly 50-60% of all negative comments were from people who self-identified as divorcees (regardless of marrying young or not), most of whom cautioned me against the “impending doom of infidelity.”  I’ve learned that the saying “opinions are like buttholes” is actually true. Everyone has one, and clearly a lot of people disagree with mine. I’ve learned that some people are just downright bored. A person seriously left dozens of jaded comments on HuffPost’s Facebook post. *yawn* I’ve also had the obvious realization that the internet is a very public place. I was pretty taken aback that people actually took the time to search for my name on Facebook just to send me a supportive message.

Most of all, I’ve learned that you can’t please everyone. And I don’t aim to. I try my hardest to be all “idgaf about you or anything that you do,” but on the inside I was still sort of like, “I wish they made band-aids for my ego.” It was challenging to see so many people attack my character, my life, and my writing without really knowing anything about me. That’s the beauty and the curse of the internet. I didn’t write that blog post to change any minds or to get published. I wrote it for myself, to put my intangible thoughts into visible words, to share my feelings with the small community of people who read my blog. And in the end, I still did that.

So, this is it, readers. I’m happy, I’m in love, I’m getting married, and it doesn’t affect your life in the slightest, so whether you’re really excited for me or think I’m a fool, let’s agree to disagree and go about our merry lives.

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