On the way down to Atlanta and back last week, Kriste and I listened to the first two audio books in the Divergent series. I’ve become a real fan of listening to “books on tape”, as I call them (and Jeff makes fun of me for it), when riding in the car for long periods of time. It makes the trip so enjoyable.
The story brought up a conversation… which faction would you be in? Kriste answered without hesitation. “I would be in the happy farming community one.” Amity.
I had to think about it for a minute.
“I think I would be in Candor.”
(And yes, I realize this whole conversation and the fact that I’m relaying it again on my blog, makes me a bit of a nerd at the moment, but hang in there with me!)
Kriste raised her eyebrows. “Really?” The answer sort of surprised me, too. In the book, those in Candor are known for brutal honesty. I am not brutally honest. I like to craft things with tact and kindness, but I take truthfulness and honesty very seriously. If you want to get into big trouble at the Parsons’ house, tell a lie.
So, when I wrote a post, asking for honest answers to a question, that’s exactly what I expected. Sometimes the truth is hard to swallow. Sometimes it feels like a kick in the side instead of a helping hand. I knew this when I asked the question and it’s why I stressed so much that I wanted honesty. That was the time when I wanted to hear the things you think, but never felt the freedom to tell me, because I never asked.
I didn’t just want encouragement, though I was so thankful for those who balanced critique with kindness and for those who felt protective of me. I was asking for feedback, because I felt like something has been off and I knew that honest answers, positive and negative, would help me think through a few things.
Sort of like when you try on an outfit and you know it’s not the most flattering. “Does this shirt look like a tent on me? Are these pants too tight?” If it does, indeed, make you look less-than-your-best, a good friend is going to tell you when asked. If you’re confident that the outfit makes you look great, you wouldn’t have asked in the first place, right? You’d come out, twirl around, take a picture for Instagram and head on your way.
I asked and you answered. Thanks for taking the time to do that. I could tell that a lot of thought and time went into those answers. I could also tell that some of you really wanted to say those things and were thankful for the opportunity to do so. The things that you shared have not hurt my feelings, but given me a new excitement about my blog and business. They confirmed some of my suspicions and gave me permission to let go of things that aren’t working as well as they could be. A lot of comments asked for things that I already have in the works or on the to-do list, so that was a nice confirmation as well.
Here’s what I’ve taken away and some things I’m thinking about…
Furniture Feature Friday – I’ve decided to retire the furniture link party that I’ve hosted for almost 6 years. It’s time to move on and find other ways to feature fellow furniture-lovers.
YouTube Videos – Design Ramblings, in the format we’ve been shooting in, just isn’t as good as it could be. We are learning and getting better, but we’re going to make some changes and focus on how-to videos and makeovers. We filmed a couple at Haven, so I’ll share those and go from there.
Furniture Makeovers & Tutorials – Most of you asked for more of these. These are two of my favorite things to do on my blog, so I’m going to step it up in this area. I do have to take breaks now and then (like after cranking out over 50 pieces of furniture for Lucketts), but you understand that!
Budget Decorating – This was another common thing that was brought up and I’ve already been developing the idea of working in the homes and rooms of clients, so I can show how to use what they have and work within their budget to make a great room. I’ll explain more on that and introduce you to my first client AKA guinea pig very soon.
Starting/Running a Business – I have been much quieter about my business in recent years than I used to be. One of my passions is encouraging other entreprenuers, so in that spirit, I’m going to be more transparent about all of the hows and whys of my business. I know it would be encouraging to aspiring business owners, because I have zero qualifications!
There’s more. A lot more. Pages of notes and ideas more, but I’m going to save those for other posts. I just wanted to take the time to let you know that I took to heart what you shared.
I know this is my blog. I know I can write whatever I want and I will. But, I also know this blog is a glorified diary without my readers. When I sit at the keyboard to write, it’s not just about what I want. It’s about what you want, too. I’m mindful of that balance and I want this blog to be a “happy place” for both of us.