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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Humbled

I'm the person at parties telling jokes. I make people laugh. I find comfort in being self-deprecating and if I cannot make people snort their beer out of their left nostril at some point, even if it comes down to mocking myself and own faults, I feel useless.

Because you see. That's my job.

I bring the funny.

Sometimes, but not lately. And Masala Chica, my alter ego, has just been a hot mess. If you haven't seen that, make yourself a drink and have a little think about that.

Obviously, lately I have not been funny. Probably a bit sad, a bit depressing. After all - who really wants to talk about cancer? Much less baby cancer.

Yes, baby cancer.

There.

I said it.

Not funny, right?

Pediatric cancer is cancer that affects babies, whether they are one day old, one month old, 5 years old or entering their teens. Do you have any kids that age or who fall in between? Gosh, do you have any kids on your street that age or in your family?

God, it's just asinine, right? Why the hell should we talk about this when we can talk about the really, REALLY important stuff? Like what sunscreen we should be using (ironically to later prevent cancer, right?) or how to buy the best organic meat? Let's talk about how great Jennifer Aniston looks past forty or if she is on again with that guy whose name I can't ever freaking remember.

(All important, thank you very much).

A week ago, I did something I usually don't do. I humbly opened myself up and sent a letter to some bloggers that I consider to be friendly with. Some are real life friends, some are friends who I have gotten to know online.

I say "humbly" because I hate to ask for help. Seriously. Like if I have ten bags in one hand, my screaming son in the other, my four year old daughter kicking me with her tap shoes and my phone ringing in my purse, if someone tries to hold the door for me, I will feel guilty taking up their time.

I don't know why and I don't know how, but I feel unworthy oftentimes about asking for anything.

So last week, I sent out an email asking for support for the Vivint Gives Back Project, where I have been very personally and actively trying to raise awareness for pediatric cancer. The cause is to potentially raise a quarter of a million dollars for Journey4aCure.

If you haven't heard of them, please look them up.

Of course, I did not expect everyone to respond. Nor did I expect all the bloggers to post the banner for Journey4aCure on their site. If they did, I was ecstatic and said thank you once they responded that they had. I was not planning on going to look on anyones' site afterwards to see if they did, it was just a very simple "ask."

And I get it.

I understand that people might be concerned about linking their readers up to an organization that they don't know that much about.

Totally understand.

I also understand that people's blogs can be "sacred." I learned this from my mother, who now has a blog. And her next door neighbor's dog, who also has one. Oh yeah, and the ant that resides up that dog's ass who also has a blog.

Everybody's got a blog these days.

They are kind of like assholes except they are generally not as exciting.

I also understand that people might be concerned about how their information can be used. Maybe you don't know this about me, but I spent the past 6 years of my life working in the web analytics industry helping Fortune 100 companies figure out how to use customer channel (web, demographic, multi-channel, campaign) data to better market to their customers.

For good, not evil, of course.

Some people might even say I am one of the more experienced people in the web analytics field.

Anyway - for the past few days, a blogger who has been a personal friend for quite some time has been vacillating about putting the banner up on her blog. Several questions had been asked and there was some back and forth. I found myself just wanting to say - it's ok - you don't HAVE to do this. I almost was sorry I asked and wanted to retract my request for help.

It was a big leap for me to have requested it in the first place.

Today, I was officially sorry that I asked.

After being sent a very detailed message about why she and her blogging partner did not support Vivint (which I honestly will tell you - I don't know much about. I can tell you that they do security. And they are giving away 1.25 million freaking dollars to charity. Journey4aCure is not that far away from winning $250K if we can mobilize quickly enough), I just told her I was disappointed.

Not because I think her blog would "make" or "break" this competition. Not because I don't get that she is "branding" herself in a particular way.

But because if she had never ever said anything, I would have never even cared.

The reality is I didn't need an itemized list of why she felt her brand could or would not put up a banner for something that I HAVE become so personally affected by.

Do it. Or don't.

To ask me if it is worth "damaging our friendship for a few f'in clicks" tells me that she really doesn't know me at all, even after many years of "knowing" me.

And you know what? That sentence (you know, about the f'in clicks), was preceded by several others which reduced me to wanting to retract a whole lot more. They made me cringe that I had ever asked for help for something that was beyond me, that meant something so grave, that is more than just a quarter of a million dollars for pediatric cancer research.

This contest has never been about clicks.

It's also never been about whether people will like my blog more or not. At this stage in my life, I could give a rat's ass if you like my blog or not. If you do - I appreciate it. if you don't, I also understand.

You know what it's about for me?

Last year, this boy who I loved DIED.

His parents are two of my best friends.

They live with their grief every day.

I can't do enough.

Not hardly enough.

These words don't matter. At the end of the day, my blog is just a blog.

And so is yours.

My kids are healthy. I pray they always will be.

Perhaps I have channeled more into this "contest" than most people think is normal. Perhaps some of you think I have gone off the deep end.

It's never been about "f'in clicks."

Thank you so much to those who have helped. I really appreciate it. I know what it means - surprisingly (given that I probably have like 3 readers) - I get emails every day from people who think I am much more influential than I am - asking to review a product, support a new service or post a video for marketing purposes. And I can't always say yes or even respond.

So, thank you. It makes me realize that even if its hard, its worth it to ask for help.

And for that, I AM humbled.

I know its not easy to say "no." Granted, I also don't ask these organizations for a detailed business justification and go back and forth six times. I usually just say, "No" or don't respond, especially if its a mass marketing thing.

And to anyone who thought that anything I have written about in these past few posts has been about a few "f'in clicks," I am glad we got that out in the open.

Life is too short.

Sometimes, breathtakingly, heartbreakingly so.

This year has taught me that much, if nothing else.

Humbly yours (with a bit of an attitude tonight)
(And perhaps with a few less Facebook friends than before.)

Kiran

14 comments:

Heather M said...

I don't even know where to begin. Momastery brought me to you you and you brought me to Declan. I sobbed uncontrollably when he died and felt like I'd lost someone I loved, even though I didn't know him I felt like I did thru you. That was your gift, you bring the funny but with lots of heart. I had a friend ask me why I kept posting this vivent thing on my FB page. So I spent 10min telling her. I was sure shed be sorry she asked, but now she is doing it too. So that's why you asked for help, because you are bringing so many people to this cause thru your love for your real friends. I wish I could write something that would make you not care about your other friend's reaction to your request, but I know you care so deeply that this would hurt more than a stranger's platitudes can help.

Lemon Gloria said...

It's not like you asked her to F#$% the head of the company for money for charity. I could see how that would damage a friendship.

So, she could've put it up with a disclaimer - she doesn't support the company, but she does support the idea of money for this kind of research. Or, as you said, she could've said nope, can't do it. Or just not responded.

I know people are uptight about different things, and I haven't accepted any offers from advertisers, but I'm happy to help if a friend asks. So if someone accused me of jeopardizing a friendship just by asking for something - something important to me, AND something that they could easily say no to, I, like you, would be pissed. That kind of guilt-tripping, defensive response could end a friendship with me.

Steph said...

Kiran,

I sit here at work reading this with tears in my eyes! I think as well, some people may think I have "gone of the deep end" with this, but until someone is affected by something like this they won't ever understand! I appreciate you and the support you give Sherri and Stan and I stand right next to you when it comes to this!
Stephanie

Colleen said...

It is also heartbreaking that someone could miss the point by THAT MUCH. I'm sorry you had to go through that. Your posts about Declan have been moving and haunting. Very haunting.

Some people are so damned wrapped up in themselves it makes me want to scream.

I'd be happy to post the banner if the contest is still taking place. And if I can get it to work. My gov't computer isn't the most cooperative beast in the world.

Peg said...

hang in there Kiran. I love your blog (after being directed here by John via facebook) and have happily voted for Journey4aCure whenever I'm reminded by your awesome husband on facebook. Some people just take themselves too seriously. Those are usually the people who have never been touched by tragedy. Friends who don't get you and your request for help are not people who you want in your life. I am really sorry about Declan. I hope you find you funny again.

Anne Marie said...

We know you do what you do because that's who you are, and we love you for it. keep fighting for Declan, Stan, Sherri,Cole, Brady and Will, they need as many people in their corner as they can fit. I'll be clicking and asking friends to click.

Momastery said...

"To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing."
— Aristotle


Posting about Journey 4 a Cure soon, Lovie. Keep fighting the good fight.

Diana said...

Kiran- All you are doing is speaking from your heart. A genuine heart... one that hurts for your beloved friends...for Declan. For the cause. I struggle with the fact that not everyone 'cares'. I get it that people have their own causes they are passionate about...of course. But when friends ask friends for help...for support...you give it. No questions asked. I've learned a lot about humanity over the last (almost) year. The loss of Declan makes me feel broken. A heaviness looms in my heart that can't be shaken. I've tried to explain to people that it doesn't mean I am neglecting my own family or that I am not enjoying every second of my boys and their good health... of loving and being grateful for my family and friends. But I've made room in my life for honoring and loving Declan- this indescribable pure and loving soul.... he is a part of all that I do...which sounds weird because I didn't know him. But it doesn't matter... The Carmical's are in my heart...I wonder how they are feeling at any given minute. Wanting to ask... wanting to cry for or with them. But also wanting to smile and laugh with them for their joy in life, which is plentiful. I am hopeful for them... I am grateful that they've allowed me to help and that I've met special people like you.... I struggle with not being able to make people care enough...not being able to get through... my mind reels with how to do it. Sometimes I think being honest with my anger, my disappointment- is the only way to do it. But then people get defensive. They may be muttering under their breath wondering 'who does she think she is?' You know what? I know EXACTLY who I am.... My question is- who are they? Are we really so self important that we can't make the slightest of efforts to potentially make signifcant strides in saving our children? Children that may grow up to save more children? That, as a society, we spend billlions on Viagra and beauty products but not on saving the earth's children from disease? I am confused. All I can say is your honestly...your passion....your love and realness...that is what is going to make a difference. Those that may feel offended or defensive over any of our personal posts should step back and ask themselves why. All any of us are doing is trying like hell to make people see the truth...know the truth. And to help change it. Love from, Diana

webb said...

Unfortunately, Kiran, there are lots of perfectly nice, perfectly normal people in this world who really don't feel that the problems of people who are less fortunately is any way (illness, poverty, etc.) matter to THEM. If they can take care of themselves and their immediate family, that's what life is all about.

Fortunately for the world, you are NOT one of those people. Just let this one go. You will never understand her and she will never, never, never get you.

You have a beautiful, loving, caring, sharing heart and the world if better off for it. Namaste! xoxo

jessalyn said...

the night i posted it on my blog i sat and read a lot- like for hours- of declan's blog, the posts from his parents and grandmother, and i cried and cried and cried.
sometimes what is, or isn't, important to others kind of baffles me. but, i guess we need to just worry about ourselves and just keep carrying on with what is important to us...
i still keep declan, and everyone who knew him & misses him in my thoughts and prayers. your efforts are amazing!

Mom for Less said...

Kiran, I just voted for Journey 4 A Cure on the Vivint Gives Back Project. I would happily post a banner on my blog, and devote a blog post to Journey 4 A Cure. You can contact me at crystal@momforless.com. Declan's family is so lucky to have you as their friend. I will support in any way I can!

Mom for Less said...

One more thing - a site I write for offers a free month of advertising to non-profits. Just fill out the contact form to let them know you;re interested, and if you don't mind, let them know that Crystal sent you! http://www.primeparentsclub.com/contact/

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

Oh my girl! It is so hard to realize that someone that you thought was a "friend" is really not. I read you because you are more than funny. You are real. You put your heart out there and that is what I make a connection to. Because of you, I include Declan and his family in my prayers as well as all families that are fighting cancer. So, keep on putting your heart out there, Kiran. You ARE making a difference. Fondly (and humbly too), Annie

Islam said...

Thank your for sharing
Allah
Islam
Muslim
civilization
Dajjal
Sura
Qur’an
Tawheed
Hadith
Messenger
Messenger of Allah

 

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