Unedited.

36 comments
I guess I never thought it would happen to someone like me. A small blog like mine, so small it could fly under the radar. I'd visited GOMI (a site specifically made to hate on bloggers) a few times. Curious to see what it was, what all the fuss was about. One night I looked through 80 pages of it, scrolling through the posts reading about bloggers I knew and followed. I haven't visited for a few months, but then saw in my stats I was getting a crazy amount of traffic from the site. With shaky hands, I clicked on the link.

Someone started a thread about me. Me, Lauren who's 18 years old and who's lived in a small town in Ohio all her life. You think things like internet hate can't happen to you, but the reality is that they can happen to anyone. At first I was shocked. I read down through the thread at what people were saying about me. That I shouldn't think I'm a role model. That I'm not confident like I play out to be, but just insecure. That I post too many pictures. That I was condescending and too critical of my classmates at the senior party. That I don't know what I'm talking about and I'm just a young, naive, clueless girl.

You know what? I am. I have no clue what I'm doing here. I've been blogging for two and a half years and am still clueless about a lot of things. I'm insecure 75% of the time. I don't know who I am most the time. I misjudge, over speculate, make things out to be too big of a deal than they really are. I'm a screw up and I know it. I'm young, and foolish and clueless just like they said. Many times, I don't deserve to be a role model for all of you because I can't be one for myself.

But it's about time I start being one. First step? Standing up for this, standing up for myself. I don't care if I'm all over the GOMI blog tomorrow with hundreds of replies in the thread about all the wrong things I do on here. I don't care, I don't care, I don't care. I posted 20 pictures on my last post? So what. I don't care if it annoys you, I love to do it and always will. It makes me happy to scroll through those pictures. Looking back at pictures from two years ago, I'm so glad I captured those memories because they hold a moment in time that I can't remember. They hold a power and feeling that will never be replaced. I'll always post a million pictures. It's part of who I am.

Someone also dug up my post I did on my 'first party experience' that I posted a month ago. That post angered a lot of people. It angered a lot of you. I got a lot of backlash from it that I didn't expect. A lot of you (and on the thread) told me that I was condescending, that I should be more understanding, yada yada... I could have been a coward and deleted that post. I got a ton of negative feedback on it. I could have been a coward and apologized for it, something I would have done a year ago. But I'm here right now and I'm not apologizing. I'm sheltered and I'm innocent and yeah, I'm condescending. No one knows or understands what went on at that party but me. You can't judge me and say I'm being too harsh because you weren't there. If you're one of my classmates, come and talk to me about it but if you're not i don't care. I have morals and I have standards and what I saw that night was neither of them. I don't care if it makes me sound snobby or condescending. This is me and I'm apologetic for it. I'm a prude- I'm saving myself for marriage. I plan on abstaining from alcohol my entire life because of my OCD. I want to stay free from drugs because I want to live life on a natural high. If you do those things, fine, I don't care. But don't ostracize me for it.  I know the life God wants me to live and how he wants me to live it. I may be foolish and naive but that party was a learning experience for me. How did YOU feel the first party you went to? I'm sure you weren't completely comfortable and peachy. I learned and grew from that experience and don't regret it for the world. I put my experience out there for people to read and I understand the consequences of that.

Something people fail to realize a lot of times how real I am. How much I really am a real person. That I get hurt, too, you know. That things like being on a GOMI thread make me upset and make me cry, a lot. One thing I'll never apologize for though? Is being real. People have told me that I put too much on the internet. My mom, my dad, Matt, and even readers. Sometimes I wonder myself if I put too much on here. Although I've wondered, I've never regretted sharing my life. One thing the thread commenters kept saying was,she's so young, she's so young, she's so young.' I am young. I am stupid. And I am documenting it all for the world to see. You all get to keep your mistakes and secrets locked away in a diary. Maybe in your mind. Maybe to your best friend. I've always wanted to write them on here. I've realized that sometimes it's not the best place. I have lots of people with different mind sets, people from school, ect...but I can't not pour my heart out. I can't not be real to you all. My God, so much of my life I've fricken' hid. I've hid who I am, I hid my body, I hid my secrets. I decided two and a half years ago when I started this blog that I AM DONE HIDING. I could scream and shout and yell with all of the fury right now that I have. I am done hiding who I am. I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE for being me and for putting me out there. All you people who write these mean things, why do you do this? Why do you take time out of your day to make me miserable, to make me cry? I've cried for the past hour now and I'm sick of it. I'm not sad, I'm not hurt by what you've said I'm ANGRY. I never get angry. I get hurt, I get emotional, I get sad, but not angry. No one can tell me who I am and what I'm about. I will not back down from this blog. I will not stop writing what need to be said. I will not stop writing what I feel, what I see, what I live. I never will. Nothing like a thread of hate will make me back down.

I'm here for a reason. God had me create this blog, I know he did. A commenter said that I'm not a role model and to them I say screw off. For once in my life I won't be the girl who bashfully denies something, who can't believe in herself for anything. I believe I am a role model. I believe I have touched people's lives. I believe that I have made a difference. When I first started my blog, I told myself that if I can make a difference in ONE person's life, than this blog was worth it. And you know what, this blog has been worth it a thousand times over. I have met so many incredible, inspiring girls who have these stories that absolutely blow my mind. You all are my role models, my inspiration, the reason I can keep going on.

I'm going to get torn apart for this post and frankly I really don't care. Let me. As I've said before, I'm young, naive, and stupid. I'm 18 years old for pete's sake. I'm going to make so many mistakes, so many wrong turns, so many ' i wish I would have done this or that' I won't even be able to count. I want to be fearless though and not take the crap someone gives me for once in my life. Gosh, I want to stand up for myself. You wouldn't think it would be that hard but in life, it is. Like college it's real and it's daunting and it's scary. You have to pay consequences for it and you have to be strong. I want to be someone who is strong. Never was strong a word I associated myself with, but maybe after this post, I can.

I'm not going to let someone like them ruin someone like me.

With much love, Lauren.
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36 lovely little notes:

jeannie said...

They just hated your post because it make them look bad. Of course you can condescend. It's because you knew better. Just continue what your're doing, being a good girl you already are.
It's a thing you won't ever regret for being in the future.

CarleeJ said...

Dont let anyone bring you down. There will always be those people in life. But there are people like me who love your blog and read it every day. And cant wait until you post again. It is nice to know there are real girls in the blogging world. And that is what I love about you.
Carlee

http://almostendearing.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren, this is just some blog advice for responding to criticism. In general, when you recieve criticism, it's always best to not respond, particularly with a long post. Responding can often blow small matters into bigger ones. If you must, try to address specific points without getting emotional. You seem like a nice person, and I'm telling you this to help you - bloggers need thick skin. :)

Charmaine said...

I literally cannot believe how truly pathetic people are. You and you're blog are lovely, Lauren. Those people are just low, it's not you, it's them. Seriously. It always hurts when people you find out people are talking about you, but it's a whole new level of pathetic when people start trashing a teenage blogger they've never met. You're entitled to your opinions and beliefs and if someone doesn't like it then they don't have to continue reading. Clearly something about your blog is captivating or else you wouldn't have press, sponsorships and loads of devoted followers. If they don't like it they don't have to read it. I read the post you are talking about, and while you made your opinion about things like drugs and alcohol clear, it's not like you called anyone names or were rude about specific people. You were just saying how you were happy for yourself that you didn't need any substance to enjoy the party.

Thanks for being honest, it's refreshing to read blogs where people let us see the real them!

Cheers xx

Mary said...

Good for you for standing up for yourself, girl. GOMI is ridiculous, and I hope you know that people who post ridiculous, hateful crap about others on the Internet are doing so to deflect attention from how unhappy their own lives are. You are NOT stupid, you have every right to your own opinions and beliefs and anyone who tells you otherwise is mislead. Know that you have many people in the blog world who love you & your blog-- far, far more than those who write hateful things. I also don't get angry often, but good for you for getting mad in the face of this-- anger is not always a bad emotion. Sometimes, it's necessary to get you to take back the power & stand up for yourself. Proud of you!

TaNuja said...

You know what, you are one of the girl I have found who was uncomfy earlier but is so nice and confident about yourself today. :)

You are a girl who understands you are not perfect but still go on to like what you are today.

Dont get low on anything.




Likes for you :)


I'm from India.



Catch me up at:

http://tanuja-photography.blogspot.in/

http://tanujasethi.blogspot.in/

Jacqueline said...

Some people envy those that have the strength to put their heart out there and do great things when they themselves are too weak to do the same. I think that all of your readers would agree with me when i say that you are one of the strong, an inspiration to us, flaws and all. Reading your blog and seeing glipses of the wonderful person you are has been a joy, and i hope you never let other get in the way of the things you love.

Marie Danielle said...

Lauren,
I went and read through the thread on the forum and it made me really mad!! I'm so sorry you had to hear that from them. You are the sweetest girl out there, a wonderful role model (IMO!), and very strong to be blogging so honestly about yourself. I think it is dumb for anyone to go out of their way like that to criticize you! It is so refreshing to see girls your age actually be happy with innocence and purity. There is nothing wrong about wanting to live your life that way. So don't listen to the critics who just want to put you down. Don't let them steal your sunshine! You are one of my favorite bloggers and have definitely been a huge encouragement and blessing in my life in a lot of ways. Please keep blogging and please keep your chin up! You have always been and still are a big inspiration to me. (I always tell my sister I want to be like you when I grow up! haha)
Sending a BIG hug your direction!
Love, Marie

Jamie Rose said...

You go! I don't understand people who hate on others over the internet, but it's their choice I guess. You're absolutely correct that you shouldn't even bother listening to them. One of the best and difficult lessons I've learned is that not everyone is going to like you and that's okay. You have readers who enjoy your blog and will keep coming back. Personally I like that you're naive and young! You're different from me and I find that really interesting. I don't have to agree with everything you say to be entertained by your blog and enjoy looking at your pretty outfits. I hope you don't let the haters get to you any more than they have. I'm sure you'll only get stronger the older you get.
You're awesome Lauren!

Teddi said...

i did not know such a site existed. it sickens me. don't let them break you. you don't know their motivations, & it doesn't matter. what does matter, is that you can rise above, & you are. please don't ever go & look at that again! it would seem, for some, that they may find it easy, to hide behind a veil of anonymity. lauren, what's difficult is to show your true self. with love & sincerity. you decide what's best for you, not anyone else.

Lauren said...

They be jealous of yo swag, guurl!

Katie Q. said...

Oh dear, here's where I look like a fool and admit I have no idea what GOMI is. :P

One thing I've really noticed about the internet is how much people hide being annoyomous screen names and try their best to bully others. (And here's where I sound like an old fart, but I just don't remember it being that bad in the beggining!) It's good to stand up for yourself and even though we all disagree on stuff, I still think everyone can be civil about it. You're doing good brushing it off, just don't give it even a second glance or thought.

On another note, at least you're getting traffic from there and not worst places! I keep getting hits from ...ummm... naughty sites. :P
(And ps- hope work's going well for you! Waitressing can be so hard, I did it as a side job once and it's rough!)

Britney said...

Well. I think you are awesome. I know you are awesome. :)
-Britney

http://www.facebook.com/martina.blaik said...

well, I love you! And please don`t care about them! I`m from poland and I`m following you now 3 months. I love your pics! They are so beautiful and romantic! you are really beautiful :) I love dresses, too so I can find myself in your pictures! Well, nobody`s perfect. So please don`t care. Haters are everywhere. They`re just jealous. xoxo Tina

Ashley Holloway said...

Don't let it bother you <3 I can't believe that people would complain about your party post though! I thought it showed maturity not immaturity in you. Just do your thing, which is wonderful IMO, and leave the haters to dig their karmic hole deeper. ;) You are a lovely and sweet girl and the people who "mind" don't matter!

Anonymous said...

I do not understand how people can be so mean to you Lauren! You are beautiful and wonderful and a role model in my eyes.

Anonymous said...

Lauren,

I am a 45 year old successful female executive who makes more in a year than what some houses cost, and I read your blog faithfully.

Your strong will, beauty, intellegence, sense of self and creativity are all graces and gifts from above. You discovered them early and you use them wisely. There is a lot going on behind those intense eyes of yours.

Save yourself for love and marriage, its the right thing to do and an amazing gift that will fill your heart. Judge others, but know you will be judged the same. State your opinions, as long as you stay open to others and remain compassionate and empathetic-otherwise you will be alone with those opinions. Love the ones who trespass against you, it will make you even stronger, quite strong actually. Accept constructive critism as it can be life changing and is a gift in itself. Do all things from love, even writing this blog as you do now. It's what makes it uniquely beautiful. If your doing anything in life not out of love, stop.

~Diana

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and you are role model for me, becouse I have been very shy and I have been ashamed of my body for long time and when I read your blog, it helps me alot. You are amazing! Haters will allways hate, don't pay attention to them.
Olga

Emily said...

Wow, Lauren, I don't even know what to say right now! Just reading through this post made me think of you as an even bigger role model to me.

Don't take those awful people on the thread to heart, you're so much better at them and I am so incredibly proud of you standing up for yourself like this.

You decide how to live your life, not others, so you're absolutely right, don't give a crap about what others think!

You're such a strong, smart, beautiful girl Lauren, and I admire you and your strength:)
<3

Sleepsongs and Shadowlands said...

You go Lauren!! I can't tell you how I proud I am you're standing up for yourself, it takes a great amount of courage. You're a wonderful person and friend. Yes, like you said you're young, but so are a lot of us. It's a beautiful thing we can share our experiences and learn from each other's mistakes. That's the amazing part of blogging/youtube/tumblr and such. And yes, anyone who hates can go roll around in cow poo. What matters are the people who love YOU for You.

P.S. This post just makes you MORE of a role model in my eyes.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm gonna sound like the bad guy here, but I was one of those GOMI posters. While I wasn't writing to be mean or spiteful, I stand by what I said. Truthfully, I was a little surprised to see you on there since you seem likeable, sweet, and normal. I can't speak for all of GOMI, since some of them are mean-spirited and bitter. It's just a forum to share opinions; I don't consider myself brave for posting there. Just really bored. I recommend that you don't take any opinions on there to heart.

We do differ in opinions on underage drinking, sex, morals, and standards, but I truly respect that you're willing to stand up for your beliefs. It's very evident that you're in the minority among your age group in those aspects and that it can be hard to find others like that.

My main criticism was to your party post, which did come off as condescending. And you admit it, which is actually pretty cool and unapologetic. I hold different opinions, but I know it's easy to be ostracized if you're not drinking or smoking something at a party because it has happened to me before and I've seen it happen to others.

All in all, you seem like a sweet, smart girl, though a little naive. You're young! Don't let any of it bring you down. It isn't worth it.

Katie Q. said...

Okey-doke, so I figured out what GOMI was and took a quick look. The sites seems to be pretty bash-worthy, but the little thread on you wasn't too awful dear. Aside from a few bitter apples, some people said some very nice things about you and made some vaild points. (Id have to agree, there's no way I would have wanted my teenage thoughts posted on the internet, I had some very bitter years and really wouldn't want to re-live that anger.)
Aside from your amazing(!) photography, I keep coming back to your blog because I enjoy reading your writing and I think you're a total sweetie, even though we differ on some veiws, I really enjoy seeing things through your eyes. (And you're such a fantastic thrifter, it would be such a ball going on a thrifting adventure with you!)

Claire said...

I can't believe that someone (some people?) who don't even know you would stoop so low to judge you, you're putting your whole life on the internet and they don't have to read it if they don't want to. no it's not okay for them to say those things, to them you might not be viewed as a role model but to tons of other people you are a role model, and you have changed peoples lives. i honestly just don't understand how you could be criticized for something so honorable as being honest. don't let the hate get to you lauren, you have changed peoples lives, you've changed mine <3 xx

Rachel Olivia said...

I wonder how many of those people actually blog and blog up to the standards they set for you...I am guessing a very few.
I have never been to any type of high school or college party with drugs, sex, and alcohol and I never want to. I don't think you post about that was bad at all. Its really nice to know other young people feel that way.
It might be good not read such the hateful stuff though. I try to avoid the stupid comment wars that people post on news arguments and stuff. I like to block out ugliness as much as I can, but I don't know if thats right for everyone or not.

Kezzie said...

Oh Lauren, you are the second blogger who I adore reading who has been bashed on GOMI. Please don't take it to heart. People will always want to be mean about something or someone that they don't understand. It's part of human nature.
When the other blogger got bashed I swore I would not click on the link to give them even one more stat, so I am not checking out the thread. Just know this- you are amazing and yes, I do think God gave you this thought of creating a blog- it helps many people! I'm 31 and I find inspiration, strength and beauty in your blog! You are fabulous and I just think, don't give GOMI your time. It's not a very nice place to be- we should avoid horrible places! Let's stay in the beautiful places like pretty blogs like yours!

Franziska said...

Actually, many of us do blog, which is why we come to a site such as GOMI. I think the thread was very mild, and if anything gives you an idea what people who stumble across your blog may think. I said I prefer less pictures because I think its over kill, and people can easily lose interest. take this as an opportunity to learn, and know that by blogging you are opening yourself up to criticism. its great that you choose to lead a smart and healthy life, but judging others for their life choices doesn't make you much different than an internet post about a blog. I really think its great that you are so open about your life, you have cute style, and I'll probably be back to check out your posts, but just think how what you are saying may come across.

Jess said...

Lauren, you are not stupid. You are kind and wise and amazing, and though I've never met you in real life, I've beenfollowing your blog for months now...and I can tell that you are worth a hundred times more then anybody who says that you are too stupid or naive or condescending. They try to be perfect, but you don't. You bare your soul to the world, and that's why you are so brave. Keep your head held high, and don't let them bring you down. Ever.
Listen to this song. You may have heard it before, but it's really the message that all of your supporters want you to hear.
http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US#/watch?v=kX7XMwBVZ6c

Elizabeth Gibbs said...

I am so sorry this happen to you. You have been a real role-model to me. I use to be afraid to wear a dress or skirt in public cuze what people would think of me but watching you has really changed that. I adore your style and engorgement. Sometimes I feel like your posts are just speaking to me. You make me confident. I need that right now. Thank you for changing my life even though it may seem small to you it is a big thing for me. I am glad you will not let the people effect you!

Keep Shining, Lizzy <3
www.prettymodestbffs.blogspot.com

Sarah said...

Hi Lauren,
I just wanted to say, good for you. Good for you for seeing that you have faults and admitting it. That's so much more than other people can do. You are a humble, honest blogger, who makes sure that your internet profile is not a silly happy smilely face. You are real!
People will always hate what they can't understand. Jesus SAID that if we followed Him we would received persecution, BUT in the end glory and eternal life. I know that this might come across as cheesy, but it makes the world of a difference. We WILL be hated, people WILL always not understand (sometimes on purpose), and we will have to go through that. But there's nothing that you go through that He hasn't gone through before. These people don't like the fact that you've posted the truth on your blog. The truth about their shallowness, and how empty life is when you live for the next party or next time to exploit yourself in 'love'. They don't know the truth, they are still trapped in a lie, and because of what I've written, some will hate me too. But we can't keep silent.

Embrace who you are. God made you as you are, and He NEVER makes mistakes. Save yourself for marriage, there is nothing more precious that you can give your husband. Some might say you're simply not brave enough, but the truth is that they are too weak.It's so much harder to keep a million dollars in your purse and not spend it, then to always make excuses to spend just a little. You have been given a precious gift, purity is never given back.
In closing this very long comment, : ) I want to say again, stand firm for what you believe. Don't bash people (not that you have!), but don't back down in the face of lies.
A big hug and a prayer your way!

Mary said...

I agree with everything here.

I love you, Lauren, and your blog is my favorite of the (many) blogs I follow. Please never stop blogging. You bring sunshine to my life.

Nerd Burger said...

The post about the party was the first full connection i felt i made with you. People believe it is cool, feel they have a right to make your opinions sound dumb, but they are how you feel. I am like you in many senses and just because you think parties are lame and people getting drunk is lame etc: i think that makes you kinda rad.
I used to get picked on and beat up in school and still on the internet. I get horrible comments all day long because of who i am and how i look.
Ignore them, who gives a shit *pardon the french*
What have they accomplished in life? Look at you. Young, smart, pretty and with a successful blog. You are awesome. never make other people with less then you think otherwise.

Nerd Burger said...

The post about the party was the first full connection i felt i made with you. People believe it is cool, feel they have a right to make your opinions sound dumb, but they are how you feel. I am like you in many senses and just because you think parties are lame and people getting drunk is lame etc: i think that makes you kinda rad.
I used to get picked on and beat up in school and still on the internet. I get horrible comments all day long because of who i am and how i look.
Ignore them, who gives a shit *pardon the french*
What have they accomplished in life? Look at you. Young, smart, pretty and with a successful blog. You are awesome. never make other people with less then you think otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I am 32 years old, and you just taught me something. I look at you and I think that you are living your life more than me. Much more than me. I wonder when its going to be my turn? Is it over for me?

I feel like my chance to be who I want to be is gone. I got married at 20, and have been someone else for the past 11 years.

I envy you. Say it how it is. Today you have changed a little part of me. I have been hiding who I really am, and will probably continue to do so. For how long? I don't know. But know this: when I do have the courage to be who I want to be, I'll be thanking you for showing me, a 32 yo with kids and a law degree, and a Masters degree, that its ok. Its ok to be you.

Thank you Lauren.

Victoria / Justice Pirate said...

I couldn't even access their site when I read this and went to see what it was. Guess I'm better off. Honestly I think any blog willing to tear others' apart probably is created by people who lack confidence in themselves and have faith in nothing. You are the opposite of that. You have identity in Christ.

Catherine said...

You go girl! You are by far my favorite blog and I LOVE reading about your fears, struggles, and insecurities. You make me a stronger person and a better blogger. Thank you for all you do Lauren!

James 4:8
vinatge-verses.blogspot.com

Chrissy88 said...

I'd never heard of GOMI so I looked it up and I have to say that it really bugged me. I have thought of starting a blog of my own and kicked around different possible themes, but then you see some of the crud people have to put up with for putting themselves out there. Yes you are very young and you are figuring things out and some of your ways of looking at things will change. But no one is perfect and everyone is different and so I don't expect to agree with every word you write! What I'd like to know is why they keep reading it if they don't like it. There have been blogs I've tried that I didn't care for at all so I stopped reading them, but I don't see the need to put a bunch of poison out there. The whole idea of a forum for insulting peoples' blogs disgusts me. One final thought on those who thought your party post was "condescending" are just trying to justify that underage drinking and casual sex are normal and ok when they really know they aren't. The comment from the gal who said you can do those things and still feel good about yourself (and look pretty) is a good example. Just because she looks pretty doesn't mean she's pretty inside. And just because she tell herself that she feels good about herself doesn't mean what she is doing is the right thing to do. I'm sure many of those mean spirited bloggers are much older than you, but they aren't really any more mature.

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