Stargazing : Stephanie Klein
It all started in law school. Back in 2005 I started reading blogs as a way to escape the rigors of case briefs and also find a connection with people, even if they had no idea who I was. I loved reading about their lives, idiosyncrasies, and shortcomings. I loved it all. The first blog I ever RSSd belonged Stephanie Klein. At the time, she lived in New York City, chronicled her dating life, and was excruciatingly honest in her writing. I was shocked someone could be so raw on the web. And I was hooked.
Since then, Stephanie married, moved to Texas, wrote a bestseller, and had twin babies. And I’ve remained reading. When I decided to start the Stargazing posts, I contacted her to say thanks (she, essentially, taught me how to blog) and wonder if she’d write a little sumthang, sumthang to explain who she is and why she blogs. I’m honored to introduce famed blogger, Stephanie Klein.
–I wet the bed until I was in sixth grade.
–Growing up, when we played spin the bottle, it landed on me, and the guy asked for a do-over.
–My nickname was Moose, and my parents shipped me off to the fatty farm.
–I once kept two therapists at once and cherry-picked from their advice.
–I’m a storyteller.
Before the publisher of my first memoir Straight Up And Dirty became my publisher, she’d read my book proposal about moving on after living in an awful relationship with a husband whom I came to refer to as the “wasband.” Then, she scoured my blog. She read writing samples, saw that I photographed red carpet events, and noted that New York’s Hotel Gansevoort furnished all it’s rooms, suites, and corridors with my photography. She wanted to know, “Now, wait. Are you a photographer or a writer?”
Rather than responding, “Both,” I simply told her, “I’m a storyteller.” Sometimes I tell it with a lens, and sometimes it comes out in words. Really, it depends what I have on hand. Photography and writing are simply different vehicles, different mediums of storytelling. And yeah, they utilize a different skill set, but the attention to detail is the same. Capturing that gesture takes technique, but noticing it takes talent. Technique you can learn, but talent is instinct.
What I’ve learned as a storyteller is that it takes courage (and a modicum of confidence) to move in the direction of your dreams. It’s not about finding your “voice” or your unique “style.” It’s not about mimicking the style of those you admire. It’s about having the courage to do it your way, without apologies. It’s about taking risks. Letting go of the familiar, pushing your boundaries and exploring. Taking a different path home each day, sitting at a restaurant alone for dinner, leaving what you know, so you’re forced to see things differently.
On my blog, I write about things that everybody thinks about, but doesn’t have the audacity to admit. And I put my name on it. We all have secrets, things we’re ashamed of, things we really don’t like about ourselves, devious things we have done or that have been done to us. Instead of hiding them in a journal with a lock, I expose them under a macro lens. I don’t do it to shock people, or just for the sake of it. I do it because I think our vulnerabilities are what make us human, and quite frankly, the truth is never boring.
Do I ever worry about what people will think? Hells yeah. But then I remind myself that this is my life, not theirs, and I’ll have no one to blame but myself if things don’t work out the way I’d hoped. At a certain point, you cannot be walking around worried about what people will think of you. At the end of the day, all that really matters is what YOU think of you. Even if people say great things. Horrible things. Their opinion shouldn’t matter more than your own. And that’s the story I try to live.
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