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May 14, 2012

Things I'm Afraid to Tell You

Talk about an attention getting title. It's not mine, of course. The idea came from Meg who got the idea from Jess who then inspired EZ to turn it into a movement. The point of course is that while we all love showing our pretty shoe collections and favorable profile photos of ourselves and what swanky party we attended and how this publication featured this or that... there are aspects of ourselves, our lives and our experience that we don't reveal to the world at large.

In the age of being "Pinterest-worthy" and having a pretty headshot on hand for editors who come calling... we start obscuring the "real" us. The one who really does need coffee to get going in the morning. The one who has an overflowing inbox full of "would be interesting if I had more time to sift through the truckloads of fluff" messages. The one who has bad days. The me that wonders exactly how I manage to juggle her online life and her "real" life. Or do I?

And so... here are things I'm afraid to tell you, dear readers, friends and strangers:

  • I don't drink.
    Now.... why on earth would I list this as something I'm afraid to tell you? Because people make odd judgements about this very simple lifestyle choice. I've never actually enjoyed alcohol. I don't like how it tastes. I don't like feeling loopy. And I really didn't like how I felt after I drank. You see, I have hypothyroidism and take medication daily for it. Alcohol (like sugar) throws my blood sugar for a loop and makes me feel terrible. This totally explains why my body's response to drinks was never like that of my friends. It was not a good time. I would feel like sleeping and crying. That's not a good time! So I haven't had so much as a sip of bubbly for about 8 years (since I was diagnosed and put on a teeny tiny daily pill).

    In many ways I guess the diagnosis was a good reason (a medical reason) to stop feeling any need to pretend I had any interest whatsoever in drinking cocktails, drinks... anything. A single sip and I need to go take a nap. What a bore! It just never really was enjoyable for me. Not only do I not drink, I don't eat sugary foods or highly refined foods. But it's the alcohol that seems to make other people raise their eyebrows. Skipping the dessert plate makes me look like I'm watching my figure (I'm not). Skipping the wine makes me look like I'm depriving myself (I'm not).


    Having said that... according to my doctor I also should avoid caffeine but you don't see me avoiding Starbucks, do you?  Some things in life are always worth the risk.


  • I LOVE having two daughters.
    Why is this a big deal to confess? Because the twenty year old me didn't even like children, much less want them. For many years I didn't even consider having children. They looked like a lot of work (they are) and seemed as though they'd get in the way of a fabulous, jet-setting life (they do). They seemed like they'd ruin the hard work I'd put in at the gym over all those years (they didn't). They looked as though they'd be a buzz kill (amazingly: they are not).

    Much to my surprise these two pretty little children have given me more joy than I ever thought possible. I love them in ways I've never loved anything. Not shoes, not places, not money, not men. I am a better person, a more whole human being and live a far richer life because I allowed my path to be fully interrupted by these two remarkable people. Paris can wait. Dressing like a princess and having an impromptu dance party cannot. Knowing this: why not have a princess dance party IN Paris? That's the new reality of my more complete life. Tiaras and princess costumes on the move.

    This surprises me more than you'll ever know. I was not a "kids" person. I was (and am) a capitalist and I am always in pursuit of personal professional success. TRUE success. I want it all: the fame, the fortune, the knowledge that I built a business, a legacy, a brand. And now these two small curious faces get to bear witness to the madness that is the self made woman. It is busy. It is challenging. It is marvelous. It is possible.

  • I need a full-time assistant
    Forget a nanny. What I truly need is a full-time assistant to help me run my businesses. I have too many projects, plans and ideas in the works to complete them as quickly as I'd like. A less "big picture" version of myself, someone who loooooves research and boring gritty details (yawn!), would drastically improve my world. I plan to obtain this person, this lifesaving saint of a person, in the next year. World domination is not a solo mission.

    I only hope Nancy Normal likes working with Fantastic Franki. (Warning to future applicants: I suspect I am A LOT more like Bethenny Frankel than I realize. Please be prepared to enter my crazy world when you apply for this challenging and loosely defined role. Coordinator of Chaos sounds like an apropos job title. Bring an open mind to work every day and buckle up for the twisting, turning ride. I never stop thinking of new ideas. New ideas you'll need to help me see to fruition.)

    Why would I be afraid to tell you this? Truthfully? I'm afraid to tell myself this. I'm superwoman, right? I've been willing (and eager) to outsource certain tasks for some time. But lately I'm willing and eager to allow some one to come in and help in a bigger broader way. That's right.. this control freak is loosening up just a touch and coming to terms with her own areas of need.


  • I would never, ever want to live with me
    (See first the bullet point above where I use the term "control freak") I enjoy living in a state of perfection usually reserved for model homes. To me, a happy home demonstrates order and neatness. Think: Monica from friends. It would NOT be fun to cohabitate with me at all. And if you've read for a while you know this about me. But it gets worse: I myself have pockets of messiness (again, not unlike Monica). Drawers that need help. Magazines I SWEAR I'll read. Handbags that if carried for too many days in a row become filled with random receipts (why do I need a receipt for coffee, again?), protein bars and random objects.

    The truth is I'm afraid of clutter. Afraid it will consume me and be my undoing. It is order and deep organization of my physical world that keeps my mental life free to create the chaos known as creativity. Without structure "out here" I would have mental chaos. So everything around me must be perfect to the eyes before I begin to write a single post, create a proposal, or begin any design project. I, Franki Durbin, am a perfectionist.

    I loathe clutter and yet impossibly we all create clutter ... somewhere. But my dear sweet patient husband is not allowed to himself have messes aside from the safe confines of his home office where he is allowed to be completely disorderly with wild abandon. (I hope he has a good time in there when he uses it. I like to think he has a confetti machine, silly string cans and a paper shredder that he can use to pollute the space to his satisfaction). The point is... God bless this man. And thank heaven I have other amazing attributes as a wife (I do... right?) because I think I'd be insufferable to live with. Enough said.

  • My digital life is a mess
    That's right. iPhoto... my design archives... I need serious help. I need this assistant (see above bullet) to create galleries, photo books, eliminate duplicates, clear out junk and fix my many typos. Please... sit at my laptop and clean it all up  - for good. I simply lack the screen time necessary to create digital order out of my digital chaos. Clean up my inBox. Eliminate the thousands of unimportant photos, emails, files. Did I mention spellcheck? Streamline my personal electronic world and I'll kiss you. For some reason my client files are neat as a pin... but my personal files? I don't allow myself time to fix those. I must keep moving to keep the engine rolling along. But I desperately want a simplified digital experience and I deserve it... but I lack the time to do so. So someone... send help. That is all.
  • Oh, and lastly: I'm Christian
    That's right. I'm a Believer. 

So.... dear reader: what are you afraid to tell the world?

Image via Pinterest.

Also participating:

Cassie: Coco + Kelley / Christine: Court & Hudson / Caitlin: Sacramento Street / Roxy: My Cup of Te / Crystal: Blog / Meg:MIMI+MEG / Ashlina: The Decorista / Katie: Modern Eve / Erin: Apartment 34 / Erica: Design Blahg / Victoria: Vmac & Cheese / Christine: Miles to Style / Franki: Life in a Venti Cup  / Sue: The Zhush / Erika: Radiant Republic / Gabrielle: Savvy Home / Monika: The Doctor's Closet / Naomi: Design Manifest /Tobe: Because It's Awesome / Becca: {extra}ordinary wonders / Lynzy: Sparkling Footsteps / Hitha: Hitha On The Go / Sarah: Note To Self / Liz: So Much To Smile About / Sarah: Blogstar / Alissa: The Goods Design / Jessie: Style & Pepper / Erika: Small Shop Studio  / AV: Long Distance Loving / Maggie: Maggie Rose Blog / Nicole: The City Girl In Me / Priscilla: The Best Laid Plans / Jen: Concrete Jungle DC / Janelle: Food Fashion Fitness / Natalie: East Coast Chic

Here are the bloggers that participated in Ez's Wave No.1 of Things I'm Afraid To Tell You:

Design for Mankind | Little Brown Pen | Beautiful Hello | Curating Style | Sweet Fine Day | The Jealous Curator | Happy Days | Sage & Berries | Really Handmade | Peck Life | Satsuma Press | Rena Tom | For the Easily Distracted | The Hemborg Wife | Vitamini Handmade | Courtney Khail Stationery and Design | Meg in Progress | Dando Photography Blog | Widdershins22 | Alison Citron | Pink Moon Daily | Just Pretty Things | From China Village | Tea with Me | The Darling Ewe | Not Your Average Ordinary | The Electric Typewriter | Elleby Design | Parsimonia {Secondhand With Style} | Life as an Artistpreneur | Hello Cupcake | Dellie | The A & B Stories | Pretty Little Things | Feistyelle | Nib & Zed | Well and Cheaply | I Ripple. I Dance. | Whitfield Awesome Blog | Foxtrot Press| Dry As Toast | The List of Now | Apple Blue | For the Love of | Four Flights of Fancy | Miss Modish | Snapshots & Secrets | Dirty Laundry | Bubby & Bean | Penelope's Press | Little Nostalgia | Vale Design | Pikaland | Fleurishing | Print Pretty | Vespa Tales | Hazel & Agnes | Amanda's Musings | Mo' Funk Designs | Ordinary Mommy | Camp 1899 | In Honor of Design | Liberty's Yarn | Love, Life & Pictures | Stacey Winters | Owl in the Rain | Living Life Creatively | Emma Elizabeth Clease | I Live in Vacouver Now | British Cream Tea

What the beautiful people are saying...

Franki, I loved reading this. Thanks for being brave and taking the plunge. It's great to get to know the "real" you better through your blog. Keep it up! <3

Its a great concept... and surprisingly difficult to write. But hitting publish always feels so good!


Thank you for sharing! It is extremely valuable for women to know that within every "superwoman" there are the same fears, concerns and constraints that us ordinary women have. Testimonies like yours give women hope and faith to pursue our goals and dreams without constraints.

Thank you, Dina! xoxo

This is beautiful. I love #2. I'm 26 and not a mom yet but I can't wait to also have tea-parties and dress up like a princess. Happiness like that is what life is all about. <3

Why DO we need coffee receipts!? My bag is a total warp zone for these things. I am exactly the same with neat-freakiness about 50% of the time, and will even go to ridiculous lengths to style parts of my house, but then other parts are stupidly messy. Aka, my desk, bathroom counter after I've finished getting ready. And don't even get me started on my computer files....... Thanks for sharing! X

Hey Frankie Girl, Belated congratulations on the addition to your family, I'm so happy that you are embracing and enjoying this new chapter in your life. Much love and blessings. Jo

Oh my gosh, Franki. So loved reading this. First off, I can so relate to the alcohol thing. Not that I have hypothyroidism, but I just generally have never felt the need to get drunk. I think in large parts it is a habit formed out of insecurity-- the total insecurity of college kids for instance. But even in school, I never felt the need or desire to drink. It also made me feel like the odd man out, and I was always the designated driver, but I didn't mind one bit. In the end, I always felt better the next morning ;)

-Secondly, I so wish that I could be your assistant haha. Maybe we can do some kind of an online/virtual assistant? haha

- Finally, SO, so, obviously, appreciated what you wrote about clutter and organization. You articulated so well what I experience in my own space and life. I am a total perfectionist, and must have literally every little detail in it's rightful place. Finally, those little areas that actually are messy? Girl, I'm waiting for your Whip It Into Shape feature!!! :)

Thanks for sharing this. xo

p.s. Sorry that was so long- hope I didn't overwhelm. But like.. I like you. haha :)

a) the mom thing just made me almost cry AND want to be ok with the possiblity of being a mom at the same time. so thank you for that and b) if you find yourself with more assistants than you can handle, please send one my way ;)

love you for taking part in this post, and love you for the crazy, wonderful energy that you put out into everything you do! it's effervescent! (and who needs bubbly when you're already bubbly?) xoxo

Franki, I have to tell you that in my head you are Super Woman, so I loved reading this post. Thank you for sharing these! It was great to get to know you better.

Great read Frankie. Really enjoyed and I understand you. :)

Can I be your Coordinator of Chaos??
Loved this post.

Please, PLEASE be my Coordinator of Chaos, Cheminne!


Thank you, Irma!


These are tough posts to write - arent they, Cassandra? Always awkward to bear yourself. Truth is.. its not a challenge to reveal these to others so much as to confess them to yourself. How twisted is that?

Hello! I got your link from the stats on my blog. Thanks for listing me in your participants. I enjoyed reading your post. This is my first time visiting your blog, but I could sense the feeling you had about writing "things I am afraid to tell you". Not easy I know! So bravo to yet another woman who took this step!

Franki! I am Christian too! :-) It really warms my heart when people aren't afraid to profess their faith. Thanks so much for sharing.

Franki! I am Christian too! :-) It really warms my heart when people aren't afraid to profess their faith. Thanks so much for sharing.

Thank you, Tonia! You know... if we deny Him here and now... Hell deny ever knowing us when it really counts. Bible is pretty clear on that point. ;)

Franki - I've been reading these courageous posts and applaud the sharing of life's inner sanctums. It's amazing how so many of us have much in common but we sometimes only have surface judgments - which bring to mind the old judging a book-by-it's-cover adage. I too, don't join in at cocktail hour and love to have law and order - fighting clutter at every turn. In fact, my focus is on purging a lot of things which create the process.

A friend, who doesn't have much time left in this world, reminded me today, it's really just "stuff" and if she could trade it for a bit longer on earth, out it would all go. Meanwhile, she's prepared to enjoy the life promised beyond and is sharing what she's got left with grace and love. A priceless gift, indeed.

Sending you all my best!

Wanda, what an amazing reply. thank you. I have to say... the message from your friend and the process of writing this post makes me want to write a courageous post like this every week. We (the collective we of everyone online) barely know one another... and yet think (as is human nature) we have one another fairly well identified. We are out in public but wildly private. Some of the most vocal twitter/facebook/blog people claim to be introverts. Amazing, isnt it? It makes moments like these really awesome to be a part of online.


And thank you for sharing such a lovely reply! As I write some of my own blog posts, I do wonder if I'm sharing more of that which anyone would be interested. I tend to write from a personal level as opposed to an editorial calendar.

Being definitely classified as an introvert, (Myers Briggs), it was such a relief to come to an understanding that while I may be vocal, my energy is renewed from within and not from large crowds or a lot of incoming information from the external world.

There are introverts who may chat for hours, one-on-one, but can only handle 30 minutes in a crowded room - unless they can find that one kindred soul for engagement. I'll raise my hand to that one. :) This also has me pondering my social media focus, a bit. It can seem like a lot of "clutter" in my world of order and getting things done - for my "what and who matters" list.

On a little side note, I've observed many of my clients seem to fit under the introvert umbrella. They entertain in small, intimate groups. Family is definitely first. They like an orderly interior and appreciate an orderly approach as to how their interiors are completed. Trust is definitely a big thing for this personality because the inner circle is so small and I'm more than likely to meet them offline than online.

Thanks again for providing this special place for an open dialogue. You're the best!

Hugs to you!

PS - So with you on the photo files. Working on that one, too!

Wow, you are very brave!

I randomly came across this site and read this and had to reply. "I don't drink." I recently put up a personal ad on a dating site and made the mistake(?) of selecting "never" for the drinking option. I had 2 guys pm me asking how long I've been "sober" assuming I was a recovering alcoholic because they were. That's great for them but I can't help but feel slightly offended that is what people assume when you "don't drink". If you're not a recovering alcoholic then you just must be a boring homebound person who doesn't do anything. I am also hypothyroid and sometimes have blood sugar issues but it really doesn't effect that part of me. I just don't like it! I don't like the taste. I don't like the alcohol-ish feeling as it goes down. It does not even effect me the way other people get effected. I can drink to the point where the room moves and I'm ready to pass out and I am still in complete control of my thoughts and actions unlike other people. I'm just not normal when it comes to alcohol in that way and at least I can go out and don't need it to make myself "relax" to have sex with someone I don't even like (No drunken one night stands nor herpes for me, yay) or to make myself socialize.

Exactly! Im always surprised if people have that reaction to my choice not to drink. I just genuinely dont care for the taste or the effect it has on me. Glad to know were not alone ;)

franki durbin .214.558.6003

Something to say, gorgeous?

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