APT: Washington Heights + Four Legs + Friends + Family + Life + Health

Happy Sunday.


Thank you for all of the thoughtful comments on this post. I have a hard time writing personal posts sometimes (well, everything I write is personal—that’s hard to avoid—but you know what I mean), but it’s never as scary when I read replies from other people who have felt the same way.

If you have a blog, what post was the hardest for you to write? Did you feel any sense of relief after making your thoughts and experiences public?

p.s. I took the above photo this morning. And yes, Fritz was there, too.

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  • Reply Adele {modernemotive} October 17, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Two of my posts were hard to write but I am so glad I did. I find blogging very thearuptic and I’m not afraid to put things out there (well most things). Here there are:



    I read your post and am yet to comment. Hit close to home for me as I’ve battled two EDs. But thank you for writing it.

  • Reply Rachel October 17, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Hardest: I finally admitted on my blog this year that I have chronic digestive issues: IBS/IBD. No one wants to talk about that stuff, despite the reality that millions suffer from it. There’s no “cure” because it’s a blanket diagnosis for people who can’t figure out what is wrong with their digestive systems. There’s a lot of IBS/IBD, crohns disease, etc. in my family and I finally decided that I should hide it. There are tons of people just like me suffering, so why not make it normal to talk about? I’ve found it very freeing to talk about the foods I can eat now and those I can’t. I talked about my colonoscopy and endoscopy this summer and the responses I got from posting my blog on facebook blew me away: so many people have had these procedures done. People I never expected!
    My family and friends and blog readers have been amazingly supportive of all of it. Best decision I made to be “public” about something that’s kinda yucky and embarrassing at times.

    Hope your post the other day brought you some sense of relief.
    Love your blog!

  • Reply Rachel October 17, 2010 at 11:40 am

    opps: meant to say that I “shouldn’t hide it”!

  • Reply Karen October 17, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Everything is hard for me to write for other people’s eyes, which is why I still do it the old fashioned way, in my journal. I have been writing in a journal for over 40 years (I’m 55) and every New Year’s Eve, I re-read the one I’ve written that year, plus a few random older ones. I laugh over the things that worried me when I was young (did he love me? did he not? I guess he did, he married me and we were happily married until his sudden death 2 years ago) and the most recent one puts things into perspective for me – so many things that I agonized over never came to pass or turned out to be relatively minor.

    Anna, you inspire me with your ability to put it all out there, no matter how personal the subject. Maybe 2011 will be the year I make the leap into online blogging.

    • Anna @ D16 October 17, 2010 at 12:41 pm

      Oh, I definitely don’t put it all out there, believe me!

      It’s funny—I used to keep a written journal in pre-internet days, but for some reason, I never managed to really find the kind of personal insight that I have since I started blogging/online journaling about 10 years ago. I think I may be because I have an audience that I am careful to be as honest as possible. You’d think it would be the opposite…

    • Jules October 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm

      I could not have said this better myself.

  • Reply megan marie October 17, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    that is the best moz poster I have ever seen! I love how it looks over your bed.

    (and about difficult writing, pretty much any post that has is about going back to school is hard to write!)

  • Reply Cat's Meow October 17, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    To Rachel: I have Crohn’s disease too, but I’ve never felt compelled to hide it, or my other illnesses, phew. (And IBS which stands for Irritable bowel syndrome, is the blanket diagnosis, whereas IBD is short for Inflammatory bowel disease, and there are two specific diagnoses, Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis. A lot of people confuse IBD and IBS and they are NOT the same thing.)
    What is too personal to write? I sometimes think about this. I don’t write very personal posts.. just things I wouldn’t mind anybody knowing.

  • Reply D. G. October 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I think it was really brave of you to talk about that in your post! So many bloggers seem to flit over that stuff as if it didn’t exist in their life, but it’s great that you are able to be that honest.

    By the way… love the Moz poster.

  • Reply Catherine October 17, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    It’s funny, I just re-read your post this morning and found myself nodding along with your writing, and with the excellent comments. I’d never thought about how comparing myself to previous versions of me could be unrealistic, not to mention unhealthy! I think I’m mostly okay with “now-me”, but it’s so encouraging to read about others’ experiences.

    I’ve found blogging about family stuff the most difficult over the years – even the tiny pieces I choose to make public. If I’m not the only person affected by something, I’m warier of sharing. (This is partly why my blog has been gathering cobwebs for a few months now.) But any time I’ve shared something personal to me – like my experience of moving back home after five years abroad – I’ve found it to be hugely cathartic. It’s even led me to form real-life friendships with commenters.

  • Reply meghan October 17, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    About my recent miscarriage. Though it ended up being so theraputic.

  • Reply Elizabeth October 17, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    About how lonely it is to live so far away from your husband and how miserable it feels to be forging a life of your own when you had expected to be building one together. I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about it but I’ve written my tears into a paper journal.

    This too shall pass, though.

  • Reply Rachel October 17, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    To Cat’s Meow: All the doctors I see use IBS and IBD interchangeably, which I realize is ridiculous, but they can’t seem to tell me what I have: one, the other, or both. They also told me to treat it as if they were the same. All I know is that a lot of food upsets me and I’ve had to change my entire diet for the last 19 months and I’m still having issues.

    I think what is personal about writing about that for me is that a lot of my wide circle of friends have known they I have digestive issues, but not what exactly. So, writing about it on my blog was a big step for me. I’m a very social person and having to say over and over again that I have “digestive issues” instead of saying “o, yea, I have irritable bowel syndrome” really got to me. Maybe it’s my own personal issues with saying “bowel” in front of perfect strangers or acquaintances. Anyway, I’m over it for the most part, but if felt like I “came out” on my blog at a IBS sufferer because I wasn’t willing to just say it for so long.

    That’s my very long answer. Sorry for posting a massive book here in the comments. I’ve loved reading everyone’s comments, too. I’m finding all of these wonderful new online people and great blogs to boot!

    • Dan October 17, 2010 at 8:15 pm

      My baby sister (well, twin, but I’m a minute older) has Crohn’s and went through the same thing– almost two years, zillions of tests, a million drug regimes before she was finally diagnosed (they’d previously told her it was ulcerative colitis, IBS, and IBD). Even now, I’m not sure they quite know, but things are much more under control than they used to be. It’s awful and difficult, but things will get better as the docs get a better understanding of your condition and you understand your triggers more and more. If you’re not keeping a food journal already, I’ve heard it’s a really helpful approach. Hang in there!

    • Cat's Meow October 18, 2010 at 3:34 am

      Oh yes.. IBD can be hard to diagnose. I was bleeding from my bowels ( sorry if TMI) for 2 years before I got a diagnosis. Usually when they can’t find anything “wrong”, the markings of what will make a diagnosis of IBD possible, they will label it as IBS. They never said that to me though (though I did get asked a couple of times if I was sure I didn’t just have a period. Some doctors! :/ ) Anyway I’m sure IBS can be really disabling too, I’m not trying the say it’s nothing 🙂 The good news there is though that it won’t progress to IBD, it doesn’t cause an elevated cancer risk, and it’s never life threatening… So I hope that’s all you have. If not, I hope that you will get a proper diagnosis and treatment (though IBD is so hard to treat too, sigh..)

      ~~Sorry for the high jack~~

    • Rachel October 18, 2010 at 4:48 pm

      I hope so too. I’m trying to get one more test done (https://www.enterolab.com/StaticPages/EarlyDiagnosis.aspx) just to rule some final things out, but who knows if it will tell me anything! Given how much I’ve seen my two cousins and uncle struggle with crohns, I consider myself truly fortunate to “only” have IBS, if that’s what it is.
      Best of luck to all of you with the same digestive struggles, no matter what they are.

  • Reply Jules October 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    My phobia. It’s a silly one, and makes me feel stupid. Funny enough, several celebrities have it because it’s the 6th most common phobia behind things like spiders, heights, etc. But, because it is pretty lame (emetophobia) most people will disguise it and call it anxiety, agoraphobia, etc. It’s more “normal” sounding. I actually have one of the more difficult variations to treat (OF COURSE) with very, very poor recovery outcomes. But, having children has helped a lot. Once I wrote about it, I was surprised (although not really) to discover some of my readers have it, too.

    Recently, though, the most difficult posts are the ones that have nothing to do with my blog. Because I started my blog with no purpose (my friend Nicole set it up for me and told me it was something she thought I would be good at) I started writing about my family and children. Now, whenever I want to write something more creative, I balk and worry what people will think.

    • Jules October 17, 2010 at 5:46 pm

      I should clarify that the difficulty was not so much in writing about it (although there is a bit of that, too) but in not wanting people to think it was a blogging/comment ploy. There is a trend among some bloggers I have read that makes one think you must be tortured/complicated in order to be relevant.

    • The Naked Redhead October 18, 2010 at 4:53 pm

      Dude, so true. ^

  • Reply Lara October 17, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    I’m betting those three guys think you’re pretty ok, too. Thanks for sharing these glimpses into your life.

  • Reply patty October 17, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Writing about my sister’s grave illness and death was no doubt the hardest writing I’ve ever done.

    I loved the body image post. I didn’t comment because, well, I thought your words stood on their own and my ideas wouldn’t have added anything.

  • Reply Leah October 18, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Oh yay, now I finally get to see the huge Morrissey poster! It looks really great!

    I have a really hard time writing EVERYTHING for my blog. I struggle a lot with coming off really negative/critical/harsh AND being overly candid or personal but at the same time do not want to fake being nice or seem insincere. Blogging is actually really hard.

    • Anna @ D16 October 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm

      It is, isn’t it? It’s especially hard when you have LJ lurking in your background. I will never be as open and frank about myself and my life on this blog (or anywhere public) as I was on LJ. Because I’m so conscious of keeping things hidden, though, I sometimes feel like I’m creating some kind of fake persona—like I’m misleading people into thinking I’ve got it all together. At the same time, though, I don’t want to be a complainer…

    • Anna @ D16 October 18, 2010 at 12:09 pm

      Also, RE: the poster. Not too goofy? Not too small? It’s grown on me, but I’m still not 100% sure.

    • Grumble Girl October 18, 2010 at 1:40 pm

      That poster is perfect. Leave it. Sshhhhh…

  • Reply Callista October 18, 2010 at 4:45 am

    I cannot begin to list the number of things I love about this photo. Consider it bookmarked.

  • Reply William October 18, 2010 at 7:39 am

    I used to be a very open person online – but there are always people who ruin that for you.

    I stopped a photography project because of those types, took down one of my blogs and eventually stopped blogging all together. (not that I had a super-star type blog like D16…)

    Putting stuff “out there” can be hard, in the end you never know how folks are going to react. If they are supportive, you can’t read body language in type – you will never know how sincere the support really is. Then there is the issue of putting something out there that is political in nature – UGH…things can go wrong on you in a hurry.

    I am also dyslexic – so every thing I type has the potential to go bad – and I’ll wind up looking unintelligent.

    All that being said – I still can’t stop wearing my emotions on my sleeve. The HARDEST thing for me blog about was anything having to do with my Grandma’s passing. Telling the world my pain was not the issue, but more putting it out there for ME to see. I cry every time I see or read something I have written about here. Even now, I tear up. She has been gone almost a full decade and that has not changed.
    http://goo.gl/w8PX <-flickr photo
    http://goo.gl/rCGy <- another

  • Reply April October 18, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Sometimes I use my blog as a bit of a dear diary session. I always know that it’s going to be made public so I tend to revise and revise and with every revision I delve deeper into the topic. So I think they can be emotionally draining at times. Here are a couple that I found cathartic and emotional to write:


  • Reply LL October 18, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I actually started a series of them (hard to write blog posts) because I was sick of thinking about the toughest period of my life and I thought it would be a good way to get it out, and move on. It’s been very freeing, but I still have a bit to go until I have it all out and really focus on the here and now, which is actually amazing and lovely.

    I made a decision to write without worrying about what people would think, and that in itself has been really freeing.

  • Reply Holyoke Home October 18, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I haven’t written them yet. There are so very frustrating things about living in a ‘transitional neighborhood’ (even that description is generous at times): it’s sad, dirty, loud, sometimes scary, and exhausting.

    But there’s already so much negativity about my city out there that I’ve purposely chosen NOT to write those posts yet. Also? Poor me? Please. Also? The good things often outweigh.

    Maybe that will change some day?

    • Anna @ D16 October 18, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      I don’t write about Newburgh (which isn’t even “transitional” at this point) anymore, really, because I don’t feel like dealing with the inevitable backlash of comments and weird emails.

  • Reply ehalvey October 18, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I try to keep my blog focused on food, travel, art, and design so I can keep a lot of very personal things out of it. I find it is very difficult to write a negative critique. I can be pretty blunt and harsh, so I try not to post my blasts of awful food/poorly laid out exhibitions/my hatred of overnight flights. I feel like I have to keep it upbeat. Maybe it’s a way to keep myself upbeat. I could easily pass over into negative land and stay there.

  • Reply The Naked Redhead October 18, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    I wrote last year about how I finally had to start taking medication for depression. It’s still something I struggle with. I HATE being dependent on a tiny pill to be functional and feel like a normal human being. I HATE that my boyfriend can pick up in a second that I “haven’t been taking my meds,” and I HATE that my body and brain isn’t always under my complete control.

    But you know, I suppose taking a tiny pill every day is a whole lot better than feeling immobilized by uncharacteristic despair, wanting to sleep 20 hours a day, and bursting into tears at any given moment. It’s better…but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

    Also, thanks for your last post. You’re right…there is no perfect size. Thanks for sharing.

    • Anna @ D16 October 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm

      I have a hard time (i.e. I don’t do it!) writing about anything medical in nature, personally. I worry that I will either be seen as (a) weak and not in control, (b) a martyr, or (c) looking for attention.

      Silly, maybe. But.

  • Reply eva October 19, 2010 at 6:59 am

    where is this bed from?
    thanx 4 great inspiration!!

    • Anna @ D16 October 19, 2010 at 7:23 am

      The bed is the Grimen from IKEA. It’s still available, but only only in gray—this green color was discontinued.

  • Reply Morrissey October 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Can you squeeze me into an empty page of your diary and psychologically save me? I’ve got faith in you.

  • Reply Suzen Larsen King October 20, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Hi Anna, I do have a blog and have not written much that could be considered personal, at least not in the sense that it took any kind of courage to write it. I have been reading the blog of someone from Squam Art Workshops that I managed not to meet while I was there, Jen Gray. She writes of the most personal stuff in such a poetic and real way, that her writings have actually energized and inspired the whole department where I work (in the mental health field.) Check her out; she rocks! http://www.jengray.com Once you start looking through the archives, you can’t stop!

  • Reply Aimee October 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Lady, you made my life with that last post. I don’t recall exactly how I stumbled upon your blog, but I’m glad I did. Thank you for your inspiration, both aesthetically and personally.

    PS. I have that h&m blanket scarf! I, too, am obsessed with chevron floors and live in a black and white/grey palette. I am surrounded daily by enough color at the art museum!

  • Reply brandeye October 20, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    i think about that a lot, especially now seeing my 14 (almost 15!) year old niece in high school. i just wish people cared more about what they ARE, than what they weigh.

    i think the hardest post to write was after my family went through a horrific scare with my dad, knowing he could have died at any moment and trying to figure out what to say. i just made it really general and didn’t go into any specifics. i just wrote about life being a gift and to savor every moment, and about how lucky i am to have the best parents in the universe.

  • Reply Liz October 21, 2010 at 4:11 am

    Anna – the OK post really moved me too and this one reminded me – just when I needed it – how great Sundays are.

    Without wishing to appear stalker-ish, is today the day to say ‘Happy Birthday Anna!’. If it is, ‘Happy Birthday!’. (If it isn’t, please ignore this moment of madness.)

    • Anna @ D16 October 21, 2010 at 12:09 pm

      Yes, Liz, it’s my birthday today! Thank you for the wishes. 😉

  • Reply Kyle Henderson October 21, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Is it the bed that is that awesome chartreuse color or is that another blanket? Either way where did you get it?

    • Anna @ D16 October 21, 2010 at 9:47 pm

      Yes, it’s the bed! It’s not really chartreuse, though—more of a bright olive. It’s the Grimen from IKEA. They still have it in gray, but the green has been discontinued.

  • Reply Natalie October 25, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I love your dog, and your Morrissey photo !!!

  • Reply erin October 29, 2010 at 9:08 am

    I love your “Our Frank” poster! I made a Bona Drag jack-o-lantern for Halloween – http://erintyner.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/everyday-is-like-halloween/

    • Anna @ D16 October 29, 2010 at 9:58 am

      That’s amazing, Erin! I love it!!

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