Being “liked”


Yesterday I went on Facebook and asked people to “like” Smiles and Duct Tape. I need to explain. I wasn’t asking people to “like” me (not really). I was trying to get more information about who reads this blog. WordPress give me facts about country/age/gender, but I’ve been curious about specifics. I’ve wondered how many were friends, family, Maplewood folks, ALD families, or random people who like counting their blessing that their lives are easier than ours.

As soon as I hit send on my status update, I thought, my family is really going to get a kick out of this one. I have a reputation for needing a lot of positive reinforcement, and this seemed to prove the point. I’m not sure where my insecurities stem from, but since I was a little girl I’ve always needed more than my share of pats on the back. Although I am holding to my “need for information” excuse, there might be a little part of me that wanted to know if my words are worthy.

The most significant reason I write is because it helps me to process this life. Finding the right words is like working on a puzzle. I sit down with something on my mind and write without much thinking – like throwing all the misshapen pieces on a table. Then I start to organize the mess. As I work, I see the picture start to form as the story comes together. I know when the piece is finished, because the picture is clear and I feel lighter. If I can explain what we are going through, it means I’ve solved that puzzle.

But it’s not just for me, I also write hoping that this blog helps other people. Whether they’re families like ours who are looking for their peers or “typical” families trying to better understand what it’s like to live in our shoes. I think people respond to the blog because it’s real stories about a real family. And, there’s nothing complicated about the way I write. I fell into writing without much training and hopefully that makes my style approachable (although my lack of schooling may explain part of my insecurity). A friend once said that she could hear my voice when she reads my blog. That was the best compliment I’ve ever received.

So I write for survival and to help others, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t care about numbers and compliments. I do look at the stats every day and smile when I see a new reader or another country pop up on my stats page. I do like when someone reaches out to tell me that they enjoyed my latest piece – like I’ve been able to create some good out of this nightmare we’ve been through. It doesn’t make it worth it, but it helps and I guess I am still that little girl who needs validation.

Smiles and Duct Tape received 130 “likes” yesterday. Thank you! Now, if you can hit “follow” on the bottom right corner of this page, I can really feel like this whole blogging thing matters AND I promise to stop begging for love for a while.

Love, Jess

6 thoughts on “Being “liked”

  1. You don’t need any more education…it would just make your writing less natural and heartfelt. You write and share you life beautifully and honestly….I love sharing it …


  2. Jesse – I love reading your blog. I love reading period. So reading your blog is like reading a really good book. The characters are awesome and I am inspired by them – and I actually knew one a long time ago. (You) The story is full and rich. It is full of sometimes sorrow, incredible triumph and a lot of threads that are just hard to even believe. You have to do what? You have to worry about what? And then there’s that daughter… Are you sure this is nonfiction?
    I am totally drawn to your story like a great book or a great movie or anything that makes me feel deeply. I hope you understand what I mean. You are a person whom I don’t know well at this point, but who has inspired me and touched my life in an important way.
    Thank you for your honesty and willingness to share this truly unbelievable journey of your family. There is something very beautiful about it and I am so blessed by your telling of the story.
    And that is why I read your blog.
    Love, phyllis


  3. Jess, I like you AND your blog. Thank you for sharing your family with all of us. I feel like I know all of you, even though we have never met.
    Brenda Yaste – ALD Carrier/Mom


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