Tag: blogging

Christmas No. 35


Merry Christmas

It’s Christmas Day.  My 35th Christmas.  Mom, Dad, Mark, and I went and saw War Horse at the theater – a Christmas tradition to go to the movies while my siblings are away celebrating with their in-laws.  Our festivities were last night.

So often I find myself shying away from this space anymore, because I assume no one wants to read about my sadness anymore.  ‘Enough, already’, I hear my readers say.  But today I am reclaiming this space as mine – for my journaling and cataloging my life, my thoughts, and my journey – not for anyone else, but for me, and whoever may come after me…

…which of course is the root of my pain right now.  How can this always come to bite me when I get to a place that I feel resolved that I will not have children?  When I’ve convinced myself that I can live a full life without any?  When I agree with that voice in my head that says, ‘you’re too old, too tired, too particular to have children.’?

Last night when all my nieces and nephews were excitedly opening their gifts with moms and dads, aunts and uncles, grandma and grandpa gathered around seeing it all through their eyes – all I could do was look at my parents and think of what they have, what I’ll never have.  Their progeny.  Their legacy.  The life they will leave behind.  That death wont end with them.  They will live on, always, through their children and grandchildren.  They had a home full of love and life.  And I couldn’t help but picture myself at their age, feeling as lonely as the tree in my picture looks.

And I write this and have to make myself not erase it, for fear of what you (anyone reading this) are thinking.  ‘Get over it.’  ‘Look at what you do have.’  ‘You don’t have to be alone.’  All of the judgment that I assume I receive.  But I’m not going to.  I’m going to keep it right here.  Because it’s my story.  And my inner world.  And it’s true for me.  And this is my space.

I couldn’t stop my tears even long after the movie today, which was really moving, but I had to take the time to write in hopes to get this out of my system so I can move past this today, because I know these tears are not for a horse and his boy, but for the loss and grief that may be with me forever.  Maybe I should just surrender to that, instead of fooling myself into resolve.

And, oh, my gosh, my family is wonderful and I am so blessed to have them in my life.  This grief does not take away from that, by any means.  I imagine that I can love my nieces and nephews in ways that my siblings never could love theirs, since I don’t have my own to love.  I get a lot of joy out of watching them together, my brothers’ and sister’s kids, playing, being kind, and loving each other.  I imagine my own children in the mix of cousin play, and I long for it so.

There are times I wonder ‘why?’.  And when I quickly realize that asking that question does not help, I try to remember this beautiful prayer:

“God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.”

And I pray for guidance to know where to turn for any help I may receive in conceiving and carrying a child to term.  And I beat myself up for all the ways I don’t try and for all of my excuses and justifications of why not.  And all I can ask is for strength, O Lord, every day, to bear the burdens you have decided I seem fit to carry.


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Custom Facebook Welcome Page

I am totally giddy to finally have a Custom Facebook Welcome Page!  You’d think I would have had this long ago, being that I am in the Online Marketing industry – but as the saying goes, the cobbler’s son has no shoes.  Well, I finally made my shoes today and I’m so excited.  I took some screen shots to share (I had to split it up cuz it was too big!):

Custom Facebook Welcome Page Top HalfCustom Facebook Welcome Page Bottom Half

I’m looking for some ‘Like Love’, so if you have a minute, please stop by and Like my page.

I’m also offering this service for very reasonable rates for anyone wanting a Custom Facebook Page (Welcome, or otherwise).  I know there is a free tool out there called “Pagemodo“, which can be good if you don’t have the means for a paid page.  The downsides are there are no clickable links allowed (such as to your website, etsy shop, etc.), email opt-ins, or videos, unless you upgrade.  However, I would strongly caution anyone who was considering upgrading because they charge a monthly fee just to keep your page up!

As an introductory offer, I am willing to work with most budgets, a nominal one-time fee, and I certainly won’t charge a monthly fee just to keep your page up.  Please inquire about rates via the “Contact Me” tab to the right of this page (or however else you know how to reach me!).

Some of the features I offer are as follows:

  • 11 color schemes to choose from
  • 7 templets to choose from, including Graphics, Text, Video, Links, and Email Opt-Ins
  • Optional Video Playback only when Page is Liked
  • Whichever Beautiful Fonts You Want!
  • Reveal Tab Option (Blurs out the contents of your Page until it is “Liked” by the visitor – this is especially useful if you are offering a freebie in exchange for their ‘like’.)
  • Email Opt-In
  • Optional Follow Up Campaigns via Email OR Text (this does have a monthly fee)
Packages start at $60 (one time fee).  But, like I said, I am willing, as an introductory offer to the blogging / art community, to work with almost any reasonable budget, so please don’t be shy to inquire!!
Other available services include:
  • Video Creation
  • Banner Creation
  • Blog Button Creation
  • Video Marketing
  • Link Building
  • Article Marketing
  • Social Media Status Updates
  • Keyword Research
  • and More
Tell me, what are your biggest needs regarding blogging, promotion, social media, etc.?

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When There’s Nothing Left to Lose

Lately I’ve had lots of people tell me how much they appreciate my vulnerability, my rawness, my way of putting it all out there.  Some tell me that they couldn’t do the same.  So I’ve been asking myself, how could I be so vulnerable, now? Why have I not been so vulnerable before now?

And then it simply came to me: when you’ve lost everything, there’s nothing left to lose.

A Stormy Sky | A Stormy Life

A Stormy Sky | A Stormy Life

Of course I say that tongue-in-cheek.  I still have my family, shelter, a car, my dog.

I’m kind of over talking about all the things I’ve lost.  It’s getting boring and old.  So if you don’t know, just know that I lost my business and the income to go with it, my house(s), cars, and lots of things that are usually found inside a house.  I went from living in my 4000 square foot home, to living out of a bedroom in my parents house.

Yeah, it’s awesome. (Again, tongue-in-cheek, I’m very grateful.)

Out of my enormous losses I have found treasures far more valuable.

Prior to my losses I lived only half truthfully.  I kept hidden the parts of me that I didn’t think would fit in. Whether with my family, my church, my neighbors, the boogyman.


Because I wanted to be liked.  Was I liked by all of my family members, church members, neighbors, and the boogyman?


You know the old saying, you can’t please everyone?  I tried to please everyone, anyways (come on, don’t we all?). As if I knew what would really please, and as if they really cared.

NOW, I’m in the practice of ‘being’, with nothing to prove and without placing my value in results.

My value is in being.

And if I am being an imposter, or only a shadow of me, then the value that anyone places in me is erroneous, invalid and an applaud that is not mine.  And maybe that is why life could feel so lonely sometimes… when we’re only second-handers.

It’s lonely to be unknown, don’t you think?

I’m sure you’ve heard this one:

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not. ~Andre Gide

I’m sure my being so open about my life makes some people very uncomfortable.  Or it embarrasses them.  I have no judgment about that.  I acknowledge it.  I get it.

What I know is that I can breathe easier than ever before.  Since I’m no longer resisting, there isn’t anything pushing against me anymore.  My creativity is flowing and finding a groove to rest in.  This shift makes me feel genuinely happy.  I feel free, without a cage around me.  I’m not so exhausted second-guessing myself.

I’m NOT second-guessing myself.

I’m just being.

And my being is the only way to truly reach others, to connect, to relate, to empathize.

“We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.” ~François Duc de La Rochefoucauld

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~e.e. cummings

“Every time you don’t follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness.”  ~Shakti Gawain

I know why the caged bird sings… because her heart is still free.  I could technically be considered caged with my present circumstances, but I’m freer than I’ve ever been.

Free Bird

Free Bird*

*Photo credits: http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff52/BrokenMarionette_AngelicScars/omgbird.jpg

And if I am being an imposter, or only a shadow of me, then the value that anyone places in me is erroneous, invalid and an applaud that is not mine.  And maybe that is why life could feel so lonely sometimes… when we’re only second-handers.

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Angela DiGiovanni | Living Out Loud

Angela DiGiovanni | Living Out Loud

Just a few days ago one of my most popular posts was syndicated on BlogHer.com!  It is an incredible honor, as BlogHer has a reach of 20 million women a month.  I’ve been touched by the comments and private emails I’ve received of those who can relate, and it reminds me once again that risking vulnerability is a worthy endeavor.  Else how can we connect on anything but superficial levels?

The more Views I get, Sparkles, Comments, and Facebook shares (all at the bottom of the post), the longer my piece will stay on the homepage if I make it into “The Most” categories.  I’m currently in the most Sparkles category (third from the top), and am very close to getting into the most Views (500 away) and Comments (five away).  Thank you to all of you who have gotten me this far!

So if you feel at all inclined to View it, Share it, Sparkle it, or Comment on it, I would very much appreciate it!
Here is the link: http://www.blogher.com/captain-my-ship-master-my-destiny

Writing has been such a healing process for me all my life.  And I’m happy to finally be writing out loud – for all the world to see – so others may be healed, too.

I was syndicated on BlogHer.com

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Living Out Loud

Angela DiGiovanni in the Raw

Me. Raw.

Today I officially decided to ‘live out loud’.



I don’t want people to know me only after I am dead.

Then again, no one really seems to care until you are dead.  True?  I never cared so much about my grandparents lives until they were both near gone.  When my grandma started slipping into Alzheimer’s, I started panicking.  All those letters I meant to send, all the flowers I never sent, all the conversations I thought I’d have with her one day. The letters, the flowers, the conversations never happened.

One day… what a foolish concept.

By nature, I’m a very reserved person.  I have social anxiety in rooms full of people.  I can find out one’s life story in 45 minutes of talking with them, while they will walk away knowing nothing about me.  I like it that way.  I script it that way.  But this space, this wonderful space I have found that only the whole world can read if they wanted to, is like a vacuum that has managed to penetrate my soul and give me the freedom to be. me.  It feels safe here, though I am most vulnerable.

I don’t know why I’ve never been very comfortable in my own skin.  It’s something I see and envy in others often.  How do they *do* that, I wonder.  I remember being very conscious of this curse for the first time when I was in Kindergarten.  It was the first day of school and it was lunchtime.  Well, I didn’t know a soul, probably most like everyone else.  But somehow kids clustered together or formed pairs and found comfort in each others company. Not me.  I sat alone.  Wishing I could join a pair.  But I couldn’t.

How does such a young child feel so unworthy at such a young age?  I don’t know.  But it’s a battle I still fight today.

There is a song by Fiona Apple, a favorite since the first time I heard it when I was about 17.  I was at my boyfriend’s house, upstairs in the loft.  I had just bought the CD.  It’s called, Never Is A Promise.  Here is a sample of the lyrics:

You’ll never touch – these things that I hold
The skin of my emotions lies beneath my own
You’ll never feel, the heat of this soul
My fever burns me deeper than I’ve ever shown – to you

17-years-old and I could feel this song in my soul as if I had written it.  I could have felt it at 13-years-old.  I have always been an old, sad soul.  I feel mine and everyone else’s emotions deeply.  Sometimes I cry just seeing the pain on a stranger’s face.  This can be one sad and lonely world.

So what is the point?  The point is, that I’ve lived so much of my life – all of my life, really – with a certain shame. Shame for feeling so detached and different, for feeling a foreigner in a strange land.  Shame for deep yearnings for connection and often not finding it.  I guess I don’t want to feel apologetic for who I am anymore.  I guess I just want to live out loud so I can live at all in peace.

I want my posterity to know me.  I don’t want to live in vain.  I don’t want to live a fabrication or a shadow of myself.  Alanis Morissette has a song called “Fear of Bliss”, about being afraid of your own ‘bigness’. I get it:

Sometimes I feel more bigness than I’ve shared with you
Sometimes I wonder why I quell when I’m not required to
I’ve tried to be small
I’ve tried to be stunted
I’ve tried roadblocks and all
My happy endings prevented
Sometimes I feel it’s all just too big to be true
I sabotage myself for fear of what my bigness could do

And lastly how I feel, is this way:

I have found so many sides of myself in the diaries of others.  I would like it if I someday reflect future readers to themselves, provide them with examples, warnings, courage, and amusement.  In these unedited glimpses of the self in others, of others in the self, is another of the covenants posterity makes with the day-to-day.
-Gail Godwin

If I can assist just one person with the courage to just be themselves, in all of their bigness, I would be happy to know it.

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