And now, for something completely different…
Breaks are important.
Self-care is important.
But sometimes, so is getting a thing or two off of your chest.
Posts like these are hard for me and to date, I haven’t. I’ve kept What Happens On The Backstreet fairly impersonal as it’s for everyone. It’s a space for lightheartedness, a place to keep up or find out what you’ve missed, and sometimes a spot for putting it all out there in terms of what is going on with the Backstreet Boys and fans.
Writing things that are personal makes me feel vunerable – like an easy target (but maybe I’m an easier target because I don’t share my every thought, detail, move, opinion and actual life?). It also makes me feel like I’m attention-seeking (which I’m not). In the past few months, there has been a lot of not-so-kind words slung around, a lot of assumptions, and more thrown in our direction. I have ignored them and worked harder toward a positive outlook, but the words hung in the back of my mind, making it harder and harder to write anything new and definitely making it impossible to write anything with genuine feeling. My words (and lack of words) have been used against me, things we’ve posted have been ripped apart, and forced me into a mini break to gather my thoughts.
I wasn’t going to post anything — it’s no one’s business how I feel and this isn’t a place for it. But while you may not care how I feel specifically, I’m writing this to tell you (YOU!) that you are not alone.
Strangers on the internet can turn into some of the best friends and acquaintances you’ll ever have, but some strangers on the internet can tear down the strongest people before you even have a chance to defend yourself. That’s something that’s hard to come to terms with.
Getting your feelings hurt does not make you weak. YOU ARE NOT WEAK.
Feeling pissed off does not make you a bad person. You can only take so much.
Needing a break does not mean giving up.
These things mean you’re human.
For the past week, we’ve been on a mini-hiatus. I wasn’t going to address it further than a brief tweet, but sometimes, in order to breathe, you have to get things off of your chest.
Here are some fast facts for strangers on the internet:
- I started WHOTB as a hobby and creative outlet while I worked a job that didn’t challenge my creative side enough and I missed writing. I also loved Buzzfeed. Six months later, the business I was working for closed and I poured my time and energy into WHOTB while I had the time. So yes, there was a lot of effort put into it because my efforts had to go somewhere.
- I do not write to kiss the Backstreet Boys’ asses or anyone related to them (this was something I read last week). In fact, in the first year that WHOTB was “open”, I wrote a few posts addressing what needed changing within the fandom and with the Boys in order for things to be better. Every event I have gone to that I have written about, I have gone to with an open mind, fully prepared to write the truth. What you read is how I honestly felt about things. If you READ our posts, you’ll find that there are some not-so-savory truths — we just don’t focus on them.
- I have never “stolen” information or ideas from anyone else — this seems to be a favorite idea recently. I actually try to avoid reading other fans’ posts (or any related blog in general) to avoid even subconsciously lifting. I would certainly never take anything deliberately. A lot of times, I will gather things for a later post or update so…
- I don’t “come back” at people normally because it’s fuel for an unnecessary fire. Unless something NEEDS to be said, I usually don’t. It’s unproductive and being unproductive (and unkind) is my least favorite. If we have something to say, we’ll say it once and be done.
- Everything on WHOTB is mine (or Kristie’s) – our thoughts, our opinions, our work, etc. If there is a disclaimer, it is because we’ve been accused of otherwise. Don’t be stupid or look for a story where there isn’t one.
- If there is something we’re not posting, there’s a reason.
- I AM NOT PAID (or compensated) FOR ANY OF THIS. The assumptions are cute though.
There are so many of you that send your kind words, your love, your positive vibes and everything else our way all of the time and you can not understand how much it is appreciated. As we all know though, the negative is so much louder — like tiny paper cuts. So, for those of you who think WHOTB is all sunshine and rainbows, well.. yes, that’s what we want it to be 95% of the time, but that isn’t the reality of it.
But we do think that attitude is important, self-care is important, and mental health is important. If strangers on the internet have gotten you down, take a break. Go outside. Take a vacation. Remind yourself that these are STRANGERS. They do not know you or what you’re about. Some don’t even have the nerve to say it to your face, some are just looking to get you down, and some honestly don’t think about the human on the other end. Stop giving the strangers power. You do you. Not everyone is going to like you and your opinions and that’s okay. Find. YOUR. People.
If you feel alone, you’re not. People can be mean, people can be greedy, and people can find power in knocking you down. Don’t let them. Ignore it or confront it and move on. How people treat you says a LOT more about them than it does about you. How you make others feel about themselves says more about you.
While we don’t know how long it will take us to pick up posts again, we’re still around. If you feel beaten down by strangers on the internet, our inbox is always open. If you ARE a stranger on the internet who has something to say to us, feel free. Sometimes it helps just to be heard.
And if you need a break, TAKE A BREAK. Put your trust in the universe and look for the good. It’s everywhere.
Please… be kind to one another.
XOXO – Sara