Ok, I'll be honest. I'm no longer really sure whether taking this blog private is what I really want to do. I think that the judgmental comment from the other day carried a lot more weight, and hurt my feelings a lot more, because it was one of very few recent comments, so I thought (foolishly, I think now) that that person represented a whole lot of people, and maybe even the vast majority of people reading. However, you very kind people (who like me! you really like me!) who have commented on the last entry are making it seem as if that person was more of an anomaly than a typical reader. For that I am extremely grateful - and because of that, I've also been questioning my decision.
I do think I am still going to blog privately, at least for now. If I am going to have even a very small photography business, I don't want to be publishing my very vulnerable types of entries alongside the website for that business (and even if it's not literally alongside it, anybody googling "Jessamyn North" or even just "Jessamyn" wouldn't have to look too long before coming up with both this site and the photography site. I don't want to make potential photography clients feel like they have to console me about anything bad happening in my life that I've written about online - or feel awkward because they know things about me that they don't feel comfortable bringing up. Or, let's face it, it's also possible I'd be the one feeling awkward if a client brought up something personal about me, that they'd gleaned from the blog, right in the middle of a photo session. So I think going private is the right thing to do, at least for now.
I wanted to say a couple more things here, though. First of all, THANK YOU to all of you who have commented or emailed. You have helped me at a time when I feel like I can use all the help I can get. Thank you so much. I have added all of your names to a list, and I expect to be sending out a link and a password to you sometime this week. (Except! Erin M. and (bowlegged) Kelly - you didn't leave an email address in your comment! Please email me or comment again and include your email, so I can email you with the info!)
Secondly, if you haven't already commented or emailed but would be interested in continuing to read, please don't feel like you have to prove your worthiness as a reader to me - or in fact, to prove anything at all - in order to be included. If you are willing to comment or email to say you'd like to keep reading, then I'm going to assume that you are not someone who's going to take advantage of that by coming in and then leaving nasty comments. I'm really not very suspicious by nature, and I really don't want to be. Everybody gets the benefit of the doubt until they show otherwise, ok?
Finally, so many of you mentioned that you'd been reading since before or just after my daughter Katie was born. Today is her 7th birthday. Can you believe it? She's practically a grown up! She reads very well these days, and is pretty good with the computer. I got her a gmail account long ago that so far she doesn't really use, but this morning I thought of something cool. If you have the time and the inclination, maybe you'd be willing to send a quick email to her to wish her a happy birthday?! I know she'd love it. I can't promise she'll respond to them all, especially if a lot of you actually send emails, but I'll at least get her to type up a thank you that I'll post here. Her email address is kathleen dot north at gmail dot com. Thank you in advance!
The top photo of Katie was taken about three weeks ago, and is probably my favorite recent photo of her; definitely one of my all-time favorites of her ever. The three photos below were all taken yesterday, on her last day of being six years old.
Also, if you're interested, for years now I've been putting together a Flickr set of photos of Katie - one photo for every month of her life. I updated it the other day to go through February 2011, so there are 84 photos for her 84 months. The set - which you can watch as a slideshow if you'd like (or not) - is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jessamyn/sets/72157594205839099/. Looking through the photos, I feel 1) amazed that it's gone by so fast; 2) impressed and proud of who she is; and 3) impressed and proud of myself, for taking the photos.