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real life

March 10, 2011

A few weeks ago I was floored because I thought – for a split second – that Ali actually had a valid point about something.

It all started after he read my post about trying too hard and said,“It’s one thing to write this stuff for people you don’t know, but are you okay with people you do know reading about your insecurities?”

I thought about it. I almost deleted the post and debated coming up with a new angle on Maya’s hoarding issues. But then I realized that I shouldn’t let my concerns about my audience dictate what I write.

So often we get caught up in putting on our game face. We slap on some makeup. We put on $400 shoes and get manicures and buy designer jeans. We do whatever it takes to cover up our shortcomings and our weaknesses because we only want the world to see us at our best.

We had two photos from a party we attended this weekend but I look half asleep in the other one. So yes, I suppose I'm guilty again of putting on a front...

One only has to look at my profile picture to know that I too am guilty of this. This photo was taken an hour after I had my hair done professionally and since it looks that good once in a blue moon I knew I had to capture it and put it out there for everyone to see.

And while I want to put my best out there I do think it’s important to maintain some semblance of honesty around here because otherwise you might as well spend your time keeping up with Kim Kardashian as she heads to the gym in full makeup and with perfect hair. Because that’s real life, right?

Oh and Ali? Just to clarify? You didn’t have a valid point after all. Just as I expected.

65 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2011 3:29 am

    One of the many things I love about you is how honest you are, Ameena! I’m glad you aren’t going to change 🙂 I agree that we sometimes cover up and bury how we really feel beneath our appearance and our words. It’s good to be honest – it’s freeing, and it also doesn’t take as much work! And when you’re honest in a funny way like you are, then it’s fun, too 🙂 No one is perfect, and being imperfect makes us that more relateable.

    By the way, you three look great in that photo 🙂

  2. March 10, 2011 4:20 am

    I used to censor my posts, especially when I found out a LOT of people I know had been reading my blog. Then, I figured I shouldn’t. My blog is a place for me to be creative and express myself. I’m usually so censored in real life that I wanted a place to be honest and real.

  3. March 10, 2011 4:48 am

    I love your honesty Ameena. And I really like blogs that have no problem telling it like it is. It gives them a reality about them and sometimes, that takes me away from my own reality…If that makes sense. 😛

    Your hair looks beautiful in that picture.

  4. March 10, 2011 4:58 am

    Great post and family photo.

  5. March 10, 2011 5:57 am

    I think it’s the little things that make you that much more “real” and lovable. It’s hard to put out there (I know the feeling), but in the end, I’m usually glad I did.

  6. March 10, 2011 6:14 am

    i agree that always thinking about your audience really sucks the enjoyment and catharsis out of writing. i personally think that honesty is what draws readers in, and only putting up pictures of good hair days (you look beautiful in that photo by the way- i wish i could go indian clothes shopping with you!) isn’t dishonesty, just selective honesty, and yet another aspect of writing that makes it fun to do.

  7. March 10, 2011 6:33 am

    You have such a beautiful family! Great photo!

    Sometimes I’m conflicted too about how much to put on my blog. I’ve written stuff only to go back and delete paragraph after paragraph before hitting ‘publish.’ It’s hard not to get carried away sometimes and know where you should probably draw the line. On one hand though, I want people to know me and understand me, but on the other hand I don’t want to just put it all out there either. I worry about people I know reading it and judging me. Heck I worry about EVERYone judging me. Anyway, in the end I just put what I feel comfortable sharing. Maybe one day I’ll get a little deeper, but that wasn’t really what my blog was intended for. It was supposed to be just a pic a day with a blurb or so…now its almost like a documentary of my life and life stories! Funny how it turned out. I don’t really have a theme or anything, I just do what I want with it. As long as I keep up with a pic a day–that was the original goal. Anyway, now I’m rambling. 🙂

  8. March 10, 2011 6:52 am

    I have stumbled across many a blog where life is portrayed as if it is perfect. Perfectly decorated house, perfect J Crew model type kids, perfect woman author who looks cute all the time, cooks like Martha Stewart and who never gets frustrated with motherhood and finds her kids charming 24/7. Those blogs are so dull in their perfection and are very obviously not reality. I am quite sure your readers read your blog because you aren’t afraid to say your kid annoys you sometimes or that you don’t always feel as gorgeous as you are.

  9. March 10, 2011 7:03 am

    I’m glad that Ali reads your blog. you guys are such a fun, real and beautiful family.
    I was watching Kim & Kourtney take NY last night – Kim with full on makeup and fake lashes, perfect hair as she sits in bed in her PJs on her computer. Not ok. It just seems uncomfortable, all that makeup on before bedtime.

  10. March 10, 2011 7:13 am

    I love that you share the honest, real stuff. The fact that you don’t like to share, and prefer to post the best pictures of yourself just makes me like you even more, because I’m the same.

  11. March 10, 2011 7:18 am

    Doll, don’t ever sensor your posts =) The peeps that love you will support you no matter what pops up on this blog. haha. no.matter.what!

    If I look less than stellar in a photo, it is immediately cropped or deleted — most of us are guilty of not wanting any side to show of ourselves unelss it’s what WE want to portray =) thats real. haha human nature even ❤

  12. March 10, 2011 7:34 am

    It’s funny how we have no problem letting strangers really know us but when it comes to people we know we feel like we need to put up a front. I know that when I found out my colleagues had discovered my blog I felt like I couldn’t be honest about some things for fear that they were reading. And while I don’t like to censor myself for my friends, family and acquaintances in real life, I find that I do it sometimes. (I’ll avoid blogging about a dumb gift because the person who gave it to me might be reading.)

    But I think it’s important not to fake it all. And I love that about your blog, which is why I read it every day. You’re honest, sarcastic and that’s awesome.

    Also, I’ve seen your hair in person and I think your idea of it is skewed because your hair is PERFECT!! Not just when you’re straight from the hairdresser. It’s so thick and gorgeous. I promise.

  13. March 10, 2011 7:40 am

    I actually censor quite a bit…mostly due to my job. Oh and yeah those pesky insecurities. Maybe some day I shall share more 😉

  14. March 10, 2011 7:46 am

    Honestly, I think that sometimes, what makes blog reading so appealing is the fact that you get to glimpse in the personal, private lives of other people you would normally pass on the street and not know the first thing about! To me, that’s why people “lurk”; they’re curious and they want to know a person beyond their face, but don’t want to actually get to *know* the person personally.

    I’m definitely someone who shares mostly “superficial” things on my blog, because it’s for a school project and I know I don’t have any control over who’s reading what…and I’m a bit (ahem, MAJOR) control freak, so I don’t like that 🙂 Hopefully when the “project” time period of my blog is over, I’ll feel more comfortable showing my true colors, especially because I know for a fact most of my ideas and beliefs aren’t parallel to what most people in the blogosphere believe (don’t get me started on how everyone is announcing what they’re giving up for lent…hehe).

    Hm, I had a lot to say! Thank you for such a thought provoking post Ameena 🙂

  15. March 10, 2011 8:20 am

    That’s what I like reading your blog, you’re honest about your stuff… 🙂 At least you’re brave enough to post your picture on the blog..I on the other hand don’t even want to show my face there..fearing someone I know will read it and know it’s me…

  16. March 10, 2011 8:23 am

    I would hate it if you started writing about hearts, butterflies, and how wonderful every moment of marriage is. I read some blogs from people who wear rose colored glasses and portray their life as perfect. But that’s not the way my life looks, nor should it, because who wants to be obnoxiously perfect anyways? Not me 🙂

  17. March 10, 2011 8:24 am

    I know it is hard to balance reality vs image sometimes in the internet blogging world. I do like your honesty. It’s clear that you and your family live a pretty darn good life but that’s not ALL you let us see. I don’t own $400 shoes but I put on my $85-$100 shoes and try to look good for the world too. It’s only natural. But I am willing to say that all is not perfect.

  18. March 10, 2011 8:39 am

    You look gorgeous! I only put the good pics up on my blog, but I figure it balances out the ten million awful pics I’m tagged in on Facebook 🙂 And for what it’s worth, I love your honesty– I wish I could be as forthright on my blog– I’m still learning how.

  19. March 10, 2011 8:51 am

    What a great family photo! Keep on keepin it real 🙂

  20. March 10, 2011 9:04 am

    I tend to slightly censor my posts because I know a lot of family friends read my blog. At some point though, I’m going to have to show more of myself because it is MY blog. I think it comes with time. I LOVE your blog, so keep it coming – humor, honesty, all of it!!

    That family picture is beautiful! Maya looks so cute!

  21. March 10, 2011 9:09 am

    Lovely family photo of the three of you!
    Ameena, I don’t think I’ve yet to see a bad picture or bad side of you. From our interactions and blogging, all I’ve seen is sweet, kind, and oh so beautiful Ameena. I’m glad you don’t try to hide anything. Getting to know you has made blogging all worth it for me. If I ever do stop blogging, I know I can walk away content because I have found such beautiful people and friendship here. The blogging may stop (whenever that may be), but rest assured, our friendship won’t. Continue blogging the way you’ve always blogged. I always enjoy reading and visiting. Big hugs beautiful!

  22. March 10, 2011 9:13 am

    lovely jora and family photo! maya looks so cute, posing like a lil bunny 😉

    I feel it’s better to just be yourself and let the world know you for who you are, if you’re faking we’re going to know! I don’t think any of us believe that Kim K sleeps with full makeup on-it’s all an act and we know it.

  23. March 10, 2011 9:42 am

    Loved this post because it’s so true- that is a gorgeous family photograph too 🙂
    I honestly can’t imagine how crazy I would get if I knew I was CONSTANTLY being paparazzi-stalked/photographed/critiqued!

  24. March 10, 2011 10:00 am

    Of course he didn’t. You are always right 🙂 You can afford $400 shoes? That’s awesome! I’m jealous. I think you are doing really well in life and shouldnt worry about what anyone thinks about you. The good people will see your awesomeness immediately and the ones who dont are obviously losers not to be associated with anyway.

    • March 10, 2011 12:18 pm

      No, no, don’t be jealous! I don’t have any shoes that cost $400. I was using the term “we” to refer to people in general. And thank you, Khara, for your kind words!

  25. March 10, 2011 10:05 am

    I recently found out a large group of desi uncles reads my blog (after my FIL send the link to them). So yeah, I censor. It’s almost a given, at this point 🙂

    PS: Your outfit is beautiful. Is that why Ali is trying to coordinate his outfit to yours? 🙂

  26. March 10, 2011 10:54 am

    Love the photo – Doesn’t EVERYONE pick the photos they look best in? I mean if i had 2 photos of myself and one i looked like i was half sleeping i wouldn’t post it.. I have censored a lot of my posts recently but this morning was the first time i put a picture of myself up sans make up or hair done! I think its better to be real…it’s your blog, your creativity – and thats what i like about it!

  27. March 10, 2011 11:11 am

    I used to censor. A lot. When I first started blogging I wanted to be perfect. I’m not perfect and it’s my blog 😉

  28. March 10, 2011 12:20 pm

    I have a game face too. It’s the “let everyone get along and be happy and don’t make waves” face. I’m trying to be better at being assertive, and blogging is probably the place I do this the most! It’s teaching me to get outside of my comfort zone and just say how I feel.

    Because you are one of my favorite bloggers who happens to be gluten free, I tend to think of you every time I try a gluten free food product. I’ve been addicted to TJ’s corn tortillas this week! There are only 2 left and I’m sad.

  29. March 10, 2011 12:27 pm

    Amazing post! Your honesty is incredible and so thoughtful. I really like your message! You and your family are so beautiful.

  30. Leslie permalink
    March 10, 2011 12:45 pm

    If God didn’t want us to look perfect in photos, then there wouldn’t be Adobe Photoshop, now would there?

    We can change our hair, we can change our clothes, we can wear $400 shoes, but our authenticity has a life of its own through our eyes, our smile, our energy.

  31. Kath (My Funny Little Life) permalink
    March 10, 2011 12:58 pm

    I really appreciate your attitude of honesty. And I totally agree with what you said about putting on a mask. Funny, but I had a similar thought about my own posting recently, because I learned that a person I didn’t want to read my blog has found it somehow, and I was shocked at first. But then I thought that I didn’t want to censor what I put on my blog, and actually I don’t care who reads it. It’s me, and it’s okay. (Gosh, that was a long journex to get here! 😯 )

  32. March 10, 2011 1:15 pm

    I so know what you mean daaaahling, I am comfiest when I am looking like a big old grub in my baggy gym clothes and Target slippers, but DO NOT tell anyone!
    *kisses* HH

  33. March 10, 2011 1:29 pm

    One of the reasons I love your blog is because you’re so honest – especially when you discuss things that show your vulnerabilities. There are tons of places I can read about and see people at their best. I don’t relate to those people at all. 🙂 Then, there is you! 🙂

  34. March 10, 2011 1:37 pm

    keep up your writing the way you’re doing it! it just makes me want to meet you in real life even more 🙂

  35. March 10, 2011 1:42 pm

    Oh so true…I avoid pictures on my blog of me because most of the time I am cooking and in my pajamas. Yep, I cook in my PJs, but that is because I always wear sweats when I am at home. But I always take that picture when I get my hair done.

  36. March 10, 2011 2:49 pm

    The emotional, “insecure’ stuff is what makes us different and interesting. And is why I love reading your blog – it smacks of honesty, humor and even your “censoring” shares more than most (myself included!).

  37. March 10, 2011 3:28 pm

    My husband is such a censor freak that if it was up to him I would only be able to write about me tying my shoelaces together. I never write about him because it would not make him comforable, not like your hubby who seems fine with you poking fun at him. As for the other stuff I am learning.

  38. March 10, 2011 3:39 pm

    cute picture! actually, my college friends and i all started our blogs together to keep in touch, so i’ve always had people i know reading it. i’m much more disclosive on the internet than face-to-face, though. i clam up when i actually have to talk to people.

  39. March 10, 2011 3:47 pm

    Well said! That is a great photo of you and family 🙂

  40. March 10, 2011 5:35 pm

    I know you said that this isn’t an accurate depiction of real life, so I’ll try really hard not to be jealous of your perfect hair and gorgeousness. And the fact that you’re 5’8. I think even Maya is taller than me.

    I try to keep in mind that blogs and Facebook and other such things are all like gossip rags, we might as well be reading Us Weekly…it’s the same sort of weird voyeuristic thing of peeking into other peoples lives, looking at carefully selected photos of them, making our own conclusions about how perfect their lives may be (or not, if you’re reading Us Weekly you may in fact be reading that so-and-so is back in rehab). Anyway, the point is that you never really know what goes on behind the scenes.

    • March 11, 2011 7:41 pm

      Absolutely Hayley! A little snippet here and there is not enough to portray an accurate picture of whats going on behind the scenes!

  41. March 10, 2011 6:46 pm

    I love how honest you are! Honesty is so refreshing in a world that has so many people putting up a front. I’m always really honest in my blog and while I DO worry that people I know will find it and read it (some already do!), I don’t want to let that sway my writing. We shouldn’t be afraid of saying (or writing) what we feel and think.

    PS. You = super pretty. Love the hair! And that light purple (lilac?) looks gorgeous on you. 🙂

  42. March 10, 2011 7:50 pm

    yeah on a serious note …. i wonder why we have to put up that face sometimes…. i think the reason you explained makes total sense.

  43. March 10, 2011 8:29 pm

    Love your honesty. Some times posts like this remind we are all the same trying to put our best out there, can’t blame – we are human.

    I am not comfortable with sharing too much on the blog (at least now probably more in future) but I decided I’ll be honest with what I am comfortable sharing.

    lovely picture. you look very pretty.

    It’s awesome how you write such a thoughtful post in so few words.

  44. March 10, 2011 8:50 pm

    Silly Ali! They weren’t Ameena’s insecurities! They were about Maya’s hoarding! Of course she’s publishing that! hahah kidding of course!

    Oh boy, honesty- that’s a lovely double edged sword! I do love the fact that you, Eden, Abby and others really put yourselves out there even if it means you could get beaten up. As you know, I did a guest post for Eden that was much more in-your-face and sarcastic than I ever am on my own blog, which had mixed results. On the one hand, it was liberating. On the other hand, I had to deal with controversy that I’m not used to!

    Your blog is very open and you take risks but they definitely pay off.

    And you look stunning in that photo- you could be a model.

  45. March 10, 2011 9:31 pm

    Wait, what? No make-up, no perfect hair for the gym?
    Jeez, I don’t think that I’ve EVER had perfect hair and make-up.
    People take different approaches towards the blog-world. I admit that I’m only showing a small piece of my life and experiences, but I believe that it’s an important piece. For others, their blog is their product, which pushes things in a different direction.
    It sounds like this is an important place for you to drop the mask, to not *have* to wear the game face. I think that it’s necessary for everyone to have that place. Can you imagine how exhausting life would be if you didn’t!?!

  46. March 11, 2011 9:29 am

    Hey daaaahling, its me again. Just wanted to let you know I’m doing a give away on my blog for $80 Amazon gift card :), do stop over and enter!
    *kisses* HH

  47. March 11, 2011 10:42 am

    Yes. I have been thinking about this very thing lately. Am I being real/true/ in my blog. Of course you want to look good and document the happy stuff, but there has to be a ying to the yang or it just doesn’t ring true. In reading your blog I feel humored, uplifted, in agreement and lucky to get a glimpse of your life.

    I am fascinated by people. All people. Everyone has a story and a tale to tell. We’re all smart enough to know that for every good hair day there are a thousand mediocre ones. You better believe I am posting the best photos of myself. My kids see me at my worst everyday. I want some proof when they are grown that there were times I actually looked good.

  48. March 11, 2011 11:52 am

    O man. I found my newest addiction. This blog. hilarious.ness.

  49. March 11, 2011 4:25 pm

    Ameena- you totally took the words out of my mouth. I’m a total newbie but I am determined to not censor myself regardless of my audience. My mom had an issue with a few of my word choices and I had to tell her that as much as I was sorry that it offended her, it was who I am and my blog was a space for to rant. Kudos to you! You have a beautiful family and I love your hair!

  50. March 11, 2011 7:28 pm

    Beautiful family photo!!

  51. March 11, 2011 8:43 pm

    I think it was my years as a Chef that brought out the ‘its OK to be seen wearing just anything’ (trust me some of those 4am starts taught me it was even OK to go to work without even doing my hair as I could scrunch it up under the cap…. but when I can I still love the idea of giving everyone a little reminder that I can strut my stuff with the best of ’em.
    Love your logic too about Ali not making a valid point afterall… now that’s my type of logic girlfriend 🙂

  52. March 11, 2011 10:03 pm

    Actually, since I want my blog to be a place where I write about my thoughts, there are very few people at work, school that know about my blog. I don’t want to put on a political face on the blog and not be open. Love your honesty and openness Ameena!

  53. March 12, 2011 5:55 am

    What a gorgeous family photo!
    I love your honesty. I can’t bear sitting down and reading about how constantly perfect other people’s lives are!!

  54. March 12, 2011 10:18 am

    The most wonderful thing happens when you give yourself permission to be what you already are. You begin to relax and that allows other people around you to do the same. Once that happens, you find out we’re all waiting for permission for that very thing. Tell yourself it’s okay and you’re in effect telling everyone around you it’s okay for them too.

    • Shahid permalink
      March 15, 2011 9:28 am

      Ameena is my niece- so i really shouldnt be hanging around kids comments.
      But Tracy displays a wisdom that intrigues me.
      Salute to young tracy for her astute observations and her subscription to total honesty.

  55. March 12, 2011 3:19 pm

    1. I always run with eye makeup on. It’s either what I wore to work (in which case it’s a full-face of makeup because I’m too lazy to take it off), woke up with (still probably 3/4 of a face), or in the case of a race-day, applied. Why apply eyeliner and mascara for a race? I do it for me. I mean, Hello?! Do you want to take cute pre- and post-race pictures or not?

    2. Your profile picture? Is my absolute fave. Because YOUR HAIR LOOKS UNREAL. I am completely unashamed to say that I die. Every time I see it. If I were you, I would hang it everywhere in my house.

    3. No one understands us like we do. Have no shame and hold your head high, sista.

  56. March 12, 2011 4:10 pm

    I applaud your honesty Ameena. That is what I love about you and your blog – it’s real. We try so hard to be someone we maybe want to be but don’t think we are… and then it’s the fact that we don’t even always know who we are. Honesty is the only way to find out 🙂
    Thanks for this.

  57. March 12, 2011 8:17 pm

    nice blog! please visit my blog too here didta 7

  58. March 12, 2011 8:28 pm

    I always force people to take pictures of me when I actually think I look good. 😉 I even think about having pictures for my grandchildren where I can say I was pretty. Haha!

  59. March 12, 2011 9:24 pm

    thats a very honest perspective Ameena! Isn’t it interesting how we generally hear warnings about posting things that are out there for the whole world to see but rarely think about the people that are close to us or know us that read it. I found that when I posted about my mood and depression, i had a few friends and acquaintances come up to me and say “i didn’t know, you never talked about it” it really threw me back and i realized just how closed off i was to the people in my community… being honest to the whole world felt so much easier at that time, and for the same reason that you mention putting on a game face, i think that exists for why we tend to be more worried about the people we come in contact with reading personal posts than random peeps in random places of the world.

    when it’s all said in done, i think its better to be honest. theres always someone out there that NEEDS to hear what we have to say because they possibly can’t find the strength to say it themselves 🙂

    xoxo ❤

  60. March 13, 2011 4:27 am

    mmmmm love this. so much wisdom here. ridiculously understated, as per usual ameena. ha!

  61. March 14, 2011 10:32 am

    and this would be the whole reason I don’t post a lot of pics of me (which I am trying to work on and get over) bc man, I RARELY look decent in any of my pics! ha!

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