DIY DIVA
DIY diva

Comfort Zones & Cameras in my Face

February 3, 2016 | 49 Comments | Uncategorized
DIY diva

I wonder how many times in the last 11-ish years–and 1050 posts– I’ve started out by saying, “Holy shit, I’m exhausted.” I don’t know the answer to that question, but I’m pretty sure the last time I said it and really meant it was just after the last time I spent a few days with cameras in my face (uh, and then trying to buy a lot of property, and then spending a week partying tiling with Sarah.)

I mean, I operate best on all cylinders… I like knowing that I’ve done all the things I could possibly do in a given day, and there’s a certain level of physical and mental fatigue that comes with that and actually feels good. Right? It feels like, oh-hell-yes-I kicked-some-ass-today-and-now-I’m-just-going-to-lay-here-on-the-kitchen-floor-with-a-glass-of-wine-because-that-shit-feels-good-and-also-I-probably-can’t-get-up-for-another-fifteen-minutes.

I like that feeling.

But this thing I’ve got going on right now? It feels like I’m not entirely sure that I’m not sick or on drugs, except I have no actual symptoms of being sick and I’ve legitimately never done a drug in my life. And yet, I’m so tired that that one of my coworkers told me I looked “frowny” yesterday, and I was like, oh, no, I’m not frowning, I just can’t work up the energy to make my face-muscles do the right things.

Yeah.  That’s where I’m at.

I’ll tell you… this is my least favorite time to sit down and write because I’m not real good at giving myself grace when I’m exhausted. It feels a lot like laziness and I just want to be fucking over it and on to the next thing that I’m excited and energized about. But, also? Writing about what’s actually going on in my life– instead of pretending my life is something it’s not– that’s a real part of the way I process things. It’s part of the way I accept them. And it’s a real part of what’s important to me. Can I tell an authentic story about where I’m at right now without sounding whiny or entitled, or justifying everything I say? Is it important to talk about? Am I adding value by telling this story, or is this just plain and simple narcissism? Do people want to read this? Do I care if people want to read this? I have no effing idea, actually.

And, just so we’re clear, these aren’t questions I’m just asking myself about, you know, writing about my feelings and shit when I’m real tired, but also about this whole thing where I let people into my life to record  the good, bad, and ugly of what goes on in my life for a weekend, and then… showing that to everyone. This is a part of what is weighing on me.

Here’s what I decided: I want to talk about my new laundry room shelves, and how I think the mudroom lockers are changing my life for the better, and how my dad convinced me I need to add a Colt M4 to my gun collection… but what I need to talk about is how I feel about all this being-on-camera shit.

So.

This is how I feel about it.

On the Vulnerability Hangover 

Yeah. That’s a thing. If you haven’t heard of them you clearly don’t obsessively watch Brene Brown videos (and, okay, also Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee) in the middle of the night when you have real bad insomnia, which, lucky you. Don’t rub it in.

I’ve gotten a lot better about getting actual sleep in the last couple of years, but I still occasionally find myself awake at 4 AM getting real introspective about shit, which has been a bad thing for my general alertness, but maybe a good thing in my ongoing quest to tell authentic stories.

For me it sometimes looks like this: I get an idea, stay up late one night with a bottle of wine and I’m compelled to write a post about something that’s particularly difficult or meaningful to me—maybe about a breakup, or something I struggled with, or my ex-eating disorder—and then I hit “post”, go to bed, and then wake up in the morning and think, “Well, fuck.  Now that’s out there.”

I mean, I have a real job that I go to every day, and not only do a lot of my co-workers read this website, but some of our clients to do. Pretty much everything we’re told about life is that in order to be successful we need to project an image—a personal brand (gag me)—and god forbid that brand is accidentally taking a video of a mouse running around on your head while you have a fever. Um. Or whatever.

Vulnerability hangovers happen when we do or share something big. Something that is personal or scary or meaningful… or maybe when we just let our guards down for a minute and let people see the real, messy, unfiltered, un-curated versions of ourselves. Vulnerability hangovers happen after we get up in front of people and talk, or put something we care about on display for others to see, or even just have a night out with friends were we talk more openly about ourselves than usual. And then, of course, we wake up the next morning thinking, “Shit.” Right? Shit, I shouldn’t have shared that. Shit, I said too much. Shit, I let my guard down.

Here’s what I know… when it comes to telling authentic stories, I very rarely nail it. But when I do, I wake up the morning after I’ve hit “post” and think… Shit.

And I almost immediately want to undo it, then I take five minutes to breathe through that discomfort and I that’s when I realize that I’ve shared something that isn’t just funny, or “hey look I built something cool,” but a story that is truly authentic.

Turns out even if you’re  working with awesome people doing awesome things, having cameras capturing the good, bad, and ugly of your life for 3 days is basically the recipe for the biggest vulnerability hangover ever.

Apparently vulnerability hangovers can’t be cured with a bloody mary (and awesome brunch buffet) either…

Untitled

Which I definitely tried on Sunday.

But I’ll tell you that the best and most meaningful feedback I’ve gotten from posting things about my life online actually hasn’t come from the most beautiful before-and-after photos, or the projects I’m personally most proud of building… it comes from being human. From talking about the hard shit, and the real shit, and most of the things that make me go “Oh, shit,” after I post them.

I’m not sure if being on film will be the same thing because I really don’t have any control over what the final cut is. I get to let people in to my life, hope I’m telling the right story, and then hope they cut it into something that captures the real essence of who I am and what I do (even if that real story isn’t, say, marketable to big networks who want my life to contain more drama than it already does, which, frankly?  You can fuck off, Big Networks… you try running a farm by yourself once and then come back and talk to me about “needing more drama” in my life.) Shit. 

Still, this is a big risk, and it’s one that makes me a little sick with worry. What story is going to be told? How authentic will it be? Could I have been better about sharing what’s “real”?

And I guess I just have to wait to find out…

On Why I’m Even Doing This in the First Pace

I honestly don’t know, but here’s what I think… I think I’m both good and comfortable living my life and telling stories on this website through words and pictures. I’ve been doing this shit for a decade, it’s pretty much second-nature. I also have a desire to continue to push myself, both in what I do and how I do it. I watch a lot of YouTube channels (I don’t watch a lot of network shows because… no TV) but 1.) I see something there that’s both intriguing, (and also at times totally inauthentic) and, 2.)  I wonder if it’s  something I would be good at…

But, also, being on camera is not a comfortable or energizing experience for me. I mean, I usually have a blast when I’m working around the farm, building stuff, drinking beer, what have you… and occasionally I take pictures of what I’m doing, and then I tell a story about it later. And I feel good about all of that. Video/TV is a whole different ballgame. I’m constantly aware of the people around me watching me do what I do, I’m also constantly worried they aren’t getting what they need, and there’s a whole part of my brain that’s also trying to articulate what I’m doing in the moment (which I totally suck at… I’m way better at explaining and being introspective after the fact.) In general, being on camera basically burns me out realquick. Enough so that four days later my face-muscles are still exhausted.

There’s a weird dichotomy between pushing yourself out of your “comfort zone” and forcing yourself to do things you’re not good at, and, honestly, I don’t know which this is. Like anything else that’s new, I could just be stretching myself to learn new things and tell stories in different ways, and that’s hard. It’s both physically and mentally difficult to push yourself out of your comfort zone sometimes. Or, maybe this is not the right medium for me… I don’t know if there’s a real way to determine that other than to give it a shot. The guidelines I’ve set for myself are this: Do it more than once. Enough to know you’re not giving in to the discomfort that comes with learning something new, but don’t do it so long that if it’s a bad fit you make yourself miserable.

On Whether or Not it’s Fun to Be the Center of Attention

(My mom asked me this the day the crew left.) Uh… no. If you’re a myers-briggs person I’m an ISTP (literally any description you look up of an ISTP—often called “the craftstman” or “the mechanic”—describes me.)

Here’s just a short excerpt about ISTP’s that pretty much describes my exact feelings about building things in front of people (and cameras):

Normally, ISTPs will be thrown off in environments where they feel controlled by others, are not allowed to go with the flow of the moment… [they] like autonomy in work and are typically stressed by depending on or being in charge of the quality of another’s work. They also struggle in environments where they lack time alone to work, and/or where they are often immersed in emotionally charged environments.

So. That.

Also, here’s one of those weird things I’ve gotten introspective about recently. There’s a huge difference in my mind between being proud of yourself for doing something, and being proud of what you did…. I absolutely have pride in my accomplishments, okay? I’m not a fan of false-modesty, and I believe wholeheartedly in celebrating our individual successes. I know that I’ve done some awesome things, but I also don’t think I’m able to do those things because I’m somehow unique or different–the things I do are sometimes awesome, but I’m personally impressed by the things themselves, not the person who made them.

Sometimes I feel like the cameras and the story they’re telling are supposed to be about me being special and unique and that’s why I live on a farm and build a bunch of shit, but… no. I’m special and unique as a human (as we are all) but anyone who is energized by or interested in this type of work could do what I do, as long as they believe in themselves. The amazing thing isn’t being me, or trying to be like me, the amazing thing is being yourself. Figuring out what you can do as a person… and I don’t think that should be measured against what anyone else can do as a person. Inspired by? Yes. Encouraged by? Definitely. But not measured against. I don’t want to be a part of the “not enough” culture. The one that shows perfect lives in instagram photos, perfect bodies on magazine covers, perfect projects on HGTV. (None of which are fucking real, by the way.) I don’t ever want people to look at me and say, “I’m not enough because I’m not that.” I want people to look at me and say, “Holy shit… I didn’t know it was possible for a woman to do that– and it looked messy and difficult and altogether like a pain in the ass–but you know what? If that girl can do it, I sure as hell can do it too.”

So there’s a huge amount of mental/emotional energy going in to thinking about how these videos could be the opposite of the story I want to tell, even though I don’t have any control of it at this point.

On The Kind of Person I Want to Be

Okay, so this post is already over 2100 words and I feel like only 1 in 30 people are only going to get this far into it, which? Fair. This is a lot of rambling. But I also think this is a real important thing I’m going to say. First: I’m a fucking horrible actress. Like, at one point Roberto looked at me and said, “Look at the camera and tell us you mom just texted you and it on her way up to the farm” and I literally froze in place– deer-in-headlights-style– couldn’t talk without stuttering, and then started profusely sweating. (Even though technically my mom had texted me earlier and was coming up to the farm later, so it wasn’t even a lie.)

That’s where I’m at on the “acting” spectrum. And he actually told me not to worry about it because I’d get better doing this over time, but… here’s a real thing…

I don’t know if I want to get better at it.

I mean, I want to be awesome at telling stories in all kinds of mediums. But I want them to be authentic stories. I don’t know if I want to get comfortable with looking at the camera and telling an inauthentic story. Just, in general, in my life, I want “being inauthentic” to be so goddamn uncomfortable for me that I break out in a sweat. I that I’m close to tears. That any time someone asks me to tell a story that doesn’t feel real to me, I can’t even bring myself to do it because even if my brain is like, oh, we should totally do this for the shot, my body is like fuck no, this isn’t what we do. 

I do not want to become desensitized to telling an inauthentic story.

I know how to speak authentically through words on this website. I started this post 3 different times (in 3 different ways), and wrote an additional 1500 words that didn’t make it into the final draft… Because when it comes to words and pictures online, I do understand what’s real and authentic. I understand that there’s a lot of things I can say, but not all of them make the final cut, and that makes it better in the end.

But I honestly don’t know anything about having cameras in my face. I don’t know the best way to tell an authentic story in the moment. I don’t have time to reflect on what is posturing or doing things for the camera, and what’s actually real. And I don’t have any control over what you’ll see in the end. I have to have a lot of trust in other people, and, well, all of this weighs on me.

All I can say is this… I’m going to try things that are outside of my comfort zone. I’m not going to give up after one or two times because they aren’t easy (I’ve done enough hard shit to know that it doesn’t always come easy right away) but I’m also aware of the stories I’m telling– or allowing to be told– and I hope they are as authentic and meaningful as anything else I’ve put on this website in the last ten years.

And if it’s not, I won’t do it.

But in the meantime, I’m going to try it, and it’s going to exhaust the shit out of me. And I guess that’s part of the real-life adventure too, and I ought to be authentic about it which means you’re going to get 2700 words on how exhausted I am, and how much I’m worrying about the end-result of all of this… but, you know, in the end, at least it’s real.

(And seriously? Next up will be posts on building shelves and lockers and guns. Because I’ll talk about it when I have to, but I’m officially about over all of this feelings shit…)

Then & Now: 2012 - 2016
Typing Something Fantastic
DIY diva

    Comments

  • Alicia


    Thank you for sharing. This was exactly what I personally needed to hear exactly when I needed to hear it. Thank you for being authentic, when most others are not, it’s refreshing.

  • Vanessa


    You are inspiring and badass and I’m proud of you, even though I have no right to be. I GET IT and I’m here alone in my work-in-progress with my dog and wine too after installing flooring and breathing way too much glue. Cheers, sister.

  • Barbara Carmichael


    Good evening/morning Kit!

    I rarely comment now as mostly what I say is variations upon “Wow, Kit! You are amazing!” and although that is how I feel, it does not add to conversation or depth.

    This post. 100x. 1000x. THIS POST! I also struggle with the pride thing, but being a generation older, it is worse. I do not usually take pride in what I do. I tend to only look at what I could have done better. I should have done it faster. Repeat ad nauseum.

    Lately I can now say “I am glad I finished that quilt. I rocked that plant stand!”

    You know why? All you Kiddo. I look at you and all the work you do. I look at you fucking up, getting frustrated and going back. I see you doing things imperfectly and I am FULL of admiration for what a kick-butt woman you are. (Also, the dishes and laundry. PLEASE never be a person who always finishes them. Begging for a friend.)

    So, thanks for the adorable animal pictures. Thanks for showing things made from flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants ‘plans’. Thank you for showing me that it is not too late to be a bad-ass.

    But mostly, thanks for being you. 100%. Because you helped me to be okay with being me. And now I have a sledge-hammer and a cordless 5″ circular saw.

    “Wow Kit! You are amazing.”

    • Judi


      Kudos, Barbara Carmichael, I share your sentiment and couldn’t have said it better myself!

      You’re awesome, Kit…on many, many levels! Thank you for all the time you spend sharing with us.

    • Kit


      Wow, Barbara, YOU are amazing. Not just because you have a sledge-hammer and a circular saw (but they are fun to have, aren’t they?) but because you made the decision to never give up on being a badass.

      I’d like to take credit for it, but the truth is, it’s all you. I just put my stories out here, but what you take from them, what you internalize, the connections you make to your own life… that’s the powerful stuff.

      I don’t want people to be me. I work hard to be an awesome version of myself, and all I hope for is that people see that and go, “hey, I don’t have to be that girl, but I CAN be an awesome version of ME.” That’s exactly what you’re doing and it’s effing amazing! And super meaningful for me to hear your stories too, so thanks for sharing… even if it’s just with a “Wow, you’re amazing” ;)

  • Jacqui Bennetts


    there you go again with the typing something fantastic thing and they weren’t even filming. Keep it up Kit you rock at authentic. I read a few blog’s (a random selection) and I think there are two that I believe are real. Yours is one of them. You are realer than real. I think you succeed in doing what you say, showing it can be done. You do crazy shit, it works or it doesn’t (and then you fix it) and at the end you did that crazy shit and it’s OK if I try to as well. thanks

  • nadine


    Wow. So I feel I want to say something all philosophical and stuff but I have no words. I’m an old woman on the other side of the country that somehow found your blog (I’ve read every word) and most times just want to come and give you a hug. But I have a more practical question: once the tape is done and edited (for what purpose I’m not clear on) do you have no say in how you were represented?

    • Kit


      Ah, well, I’m working with awesome people, and if I didn’t trust them I wouldn’t be doing it at all. They’ve met my family, we’ve shot guns together, I know they want to represent me well.

      That being said, at the end of the day there is time and money being invested into this and if it comes to a sticking point… well. I’m not sure.

  • Laura


    I sincerely hope you find telling your stories on camera works for you. Younger kids NEED to hear this message. Us slightly older folks WILL read what you think might be too long of a post. Which I didn’t think was too long–btw. Authenticity doesn’t have a word count. But I think kids read so very little that they will miss you completely.

    I’m afraid for the messages kids are internalizing. Locally a bullied young girl was kidnapped and killed this week. She met an older boy/young man on a dating site where she had been posting photos of herself and INVITING criticism i.e. “Cute or nah”. I won’t go into the details–it’s in the national news, but it’s beyond heartbreaking that young people feel the need to do that.

    Wherever the message comes from–and I’m guessing it will be videos of some type, they need to hear: “Fuck that noise”. “I am me and I am good enough.” “I CAN DO ANY SHIT I SET MY MIND TO.” “I am strong and capable and fucking AWESOME.” “I don’t NEED others to validate ME.” “This cheese can stand alone, baby–and it rocks.” “Life can be ugly and messy, and is imperfect, but that’s okay.” “Go tell whoever said this couldn’t be done that it’s done.”

    They NEED–most desperately– authenticity. You have it in spades, and I love that you’re willing to share it. Vulnerability hangovers and all.

    • Kit


      I think this is such an important thing Laura. It’s part of why I’m trying to stretch myself in the way I share and tell stories… I don’t know if I would have articulated it this way before reading your comment, but, yeah, I don’t want to be “entertainment” which is what sells. It’s manufactured drama. It’s hitting the lowest-common denominator. I don’t want to have anything to do with that, but I do think it’s important to reach people who– as you said– might not want to read 3000 words about being authentic. It’s definitely something to think about.

  • Anne


    I read the whole thing and think it’s great.

  • Mia


    You got some powerful mojo, friend. I’m taking Brene’s Living Brave course now and your ability to articulate process is profoundly connecting.
    Good luck with your process in filming. Acting was a lifesaver for me. The weirdness of acting “as-if” allowed me to dig through to my gut level experience of an idea or concept. It’s isn’t necessarily about whether or not something actually happened but whether the truth of a connection, realization, or experience resonates. If you ask, “What do you need this moment to do?” You may be able to craft something that feels authentic. It’s hard when they are asking for a product to be delivered and you feel manufactured as a result. Kudos on the attempt and thank you for your wholeheartedness.

    • Kit


      Yeah, Mia! This is such great perspective. On a comment a bit below this I talked about story-truth vs happening-truth… this sounds a lot like what you’re talking about with acting, and it’s a lot of why I’m even trying this in the first place. It’s a different medium for telling stories, and to do it right I may need to get better at figuring out, as you said, “what I need this moment to do” and then making it happen. And maybe that’s not inauthentic… I don’t know. It also may not be something I’m ever good at either. All things I’ll have to find out as I go through the process!

  • Robin


    Girl. Holy shit… I didn’t know it was possible for a woman to do that– and it looked messy and difficult and altogether like a pain in the ass–but you know what? If you can do it, I sure as hell can do it too.

    Yes. That’s how I feel about your blog. So. Thanks for that.

    Also – I know exactly why you feel this way because in my own sphere, I have gotten a lot of ‘You’re so intimidating’ = “I’m not enough because I’m not that.” And I hate that. I’d much, much rather get the other.

    • Kit


      There’s definitely a balance between owning your awesomeness (even if it intimidates people) and being authentic. I don’t believe in false-modesty… a good chunk of this blog is me being genuinely surprised and impressed with what I’ve done, and I celebrate it. It takes a conscious effort not to downplay it, and a conscious effort not to make it seem more effortless/easier than it is. I expect I’ll be walking that line my entire life, but I think it makes me a better (sometime strong and sometimes more humble) version of myself!

  • Joseph Freenor


    Wow. This is quite a blog. Personally, if it doesn’t feel right, I would rather not do it. But you may be right that it takes more than a few attempts. I certainly didn’t pick up all of my woodworking skills the first time out. Some years back I made a vanity for my wife that included some simple detail carvings. It took me a long time to learn how to do those carvings, and there was one time in particular when I damned near quit on it. I’ve always been glad that I stuck it out. You may find the same thing here, that sticking it out for a while is the course to follow. Or not. But I will say that whenever you write one of these very introspective blogs that I read every word!

  • Jessiqa


    The most appropriate way I can think of to express my feelings after reading this post is to say “I want to be just like you when I grow up,” and I’m a 29 year old mother of 3. None of the Meyers-Briggs types seems to describe me perfectly, but in general I most closely identify as INTP. “Authenticity” is so important to me too, and as I look at mainstream media and what it is driving us to become (a society that exalts “beautiful” liars) I am disgusted and appalled. Thank you for sharing your true self and your true story, and for refusing to be anything other than the real you.

  • Jack


    YES….I’ve been a strong advocate for the morning after red-beer or bloody-mary heavy on the tabasco for different cures as well as to put (most all things) done the night before into perspective..ahhh most all things, the rest I talk not of.
    Great post n what Vanessa, Laura and Mia said.
    Busy wknd and a fun-filled mixed bag of activities / schedule can only come with a wee bit of stress so understandable tiredness w/a need of rest feeling ~ the body rebuilds itself when in rem sleep.
    We are all WsIP n You are not the Joan Rivers (RIP) of DIY …. I feel what makes you very readable, credible, inspiring AND EDUCATIONAL is your being real and not editing every little mistake out of your posts or what you share.
    I’m thinking…smell smoke* ( for Video/TV/or what have you purposes, they’d like to take any mistakes out and insert a bit of humor or daily (mom texts etc.) stuff in, to give it a realness-family feeling making it quite believable, credible and authentic yet.
    No-way can I properly reply to your post w/o an honest reply to the possible addition to your gun collection with an M4 Colt carbine. The gun was manufactured to be (gov mill spec) which in truth means “good enough” / It’s a fine affordable weapon in itself and will serve your needs / but their are many to choose from with much info
    Rock On
    :-)

  • Karen, BC


    Great post. Don’t worry about morning-after reflections – most of us get them. The times I have woken, thought of something I said or did the day before and had my heart leap to my throat! Reality TV might not be the right medium for your adventures (truer authenticity, I guess, happens in a documentary) but in true Kit form, you’re giving it a shot, seizing an opportunity, doing something that scares you. THAT is to be commended and celebrated and what I find inspiring here. A reminder of how to live, a great take-away that keeps me reading your blog years later as I strive to become the best that I can be.
    You’ll never have control over how you’re perceived or what others think regardless of the medium or how hard you try so just continue to be you. And thanks for being here.

  • Jennifer


    Love this post. Not enough people – particularly public people – worry about being authentic. I too live on a farm in Michigan. I’m married but my husband is self-employed which translates to almost never home so much of the work around here is all me. Last summer I built a goat shed, chicken coop and refinished our ridiculously large deck among other smaller projects mostly by myself – with a lot of inspiration from your blog. When I think I can’t do it mostly by myself, I remember that you do it (and do it well) all by yourself.

  • Mary Snyder


    As someone who works in entertainment but is also an actual person with a soul, I can tell you that your worry about whether your ‘reality’ series is authentic puts you in the 1%. ;-) I’ve loved your blog for a while, it just gets better and better. Congratulations, and keep on challenging yourself but never forcing yourself.

  • Mis


    Bravo Kit!

  • Tracy


    One of the reasons I like your blog is that you are always keeping it real — don’t get me wrong, I love some of the “style” blogs and how “pretty” everything is — but my house is NEVER going to look like that. And really, I don’t know if I want it to be like that? The projects that you post are things that I think — I could do that too, if I wanted to — and would enjoy the work and the result. Love reading about the farm too — I am SO fascinated by the bees. (Miss you, bees, hope you’re warm!) Cheers to you for trying new things outside your comfort zone, and if you decide eventually that it’s not for you – that’s cool, because there are so many things are ARE for you. Sorry for my own ramble this evening — thanks for your post. :)

  • David


    Read. Every. Word.

    Twice.

    I’ve lost track of all the things I’ve done for the first time. And some of them actually turned out well. I can count on one hand the things I wish I had tried, but didn’t, because I was afraid they wouldn’t.

    Tomorrow I may discover something new to try.

    But life isn’t about being great at everything. It’s discovering what you love doing, with a sprinkling of discovering what you hate doing, and kicking ass doing it anyway.

    You rock.

  • JoDi


    Hey! INTJ here. I’m a fan of Meyers-Briggs. You’d probably like the Enneagram if you haven’t checked it out before.

    Your written stories inspire me to Try All The Things. Mission accomplished. I have no doubt your videos will do the same.

    I really get the part about the whole awkwardness of being filmed. I hate having people watch me when I work so I can’t even imagine the weirdness of having a bunch of people filming me. The great part about trying new things is that you usually do get better at them over time, but if you don’t, stopping is always an option. I like your approach to the whole thing and not giving it up until you give it enough time to see how it all plays out.

    • Kit


      I’ll check it out!

  • simplepleasure


    I’m about to write down the paragraph about “the amazing thing is being yourself” and tack it up where I can see it all the time. This SUCH an important message (and you stated it wonderfully), and it is sometimes so very difficult to realize this in the world of everyone’s “perfect” life as presented on the Internet. So, thanks for that. Really hit home with me today.

  • Mike


    Please tell the story of how your dad convinced you that you needed to add an assault rifle to your collection.

    I’m not a gun nut, or an anti-gun nut or anything, I just think it must’ve been a genuinely entertaining conversation.

  • Chrissie


    This is the first time I’ve commented, but I’ve been following you for about 2 years and I love your blog. I’m 21 and I love that you post your life the way it is. You show me with every post that I can do anything, that ithe might be the most difficult sounding thing and it might not end up being perfect but I can do it. And there’s not a whole lot of women that show that. And it doesn’t matter if the whole thing ends up being a series of screwups because thats the way life is. Well all that to say thanks from a reader!!

  • Susana


    This world is full of stuff that is confusing as hell and sometimes it’s genuinely difficult for me to determine if what I am feeling is real – or if I am pretending. What makes that happen? I truly don’t know. It amazes me, though, to read your words and “feel” you struggle to figure it all out in the pursuit of living an authentic life. It’s inspiring and it’s real. That’s a rare combination. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Kit


      I think that happens to all of us. I’m constantly gut-checking myself on whether or not I’m being authentic (and I surround myself with great people who keep me honest on that as well.) I’m also a big fan of Tim O’Brien who wrote The Things They Carried, which introduced me to the difference between “story-truth” and “happening-truth”… it’s the difference between a literal telling of what happened, and telling a story that makes someone feel the way you felt when it happened. Story-truth is more of an emotional truth. I don’t always nail this when I write, but I do think about it a lot in the way I tell stories. When people do it right I think the emotional truth in writing can actually be easier to discern than in the day-to-day of our own lives.

  • Leslie


    Feels like this post is the most authentic glimpse into your experience so far. Fav excerpt: the amazing thing is being yourself. That’s real stuff, right there.

    There seems to be something righteous, and punk rock about never becoming “good” at delivering a line on demand, even if your mom did text you about coming to the farm.

    Being the same person in writing, at work, on your farm, and on camera… that is integrity. Totally worth challenging your comfort zone, but no need to become good at things that aren’t “you.” Good on you.

  • Cindi


    Kit,
    I read every word, the absolute most meaningful part to me was:

    “I want people to look at me and say, “Holy shit… I didn’t know it was possible for a woman to do that– and it looked messy and difficult and altogether like a pain in the ass–but you know what? If that girl can do it, I sure as hell can do it too.”

    For me that is exactly what you did. I found your blog just over a year ago, since then – after you boosting my courage, and making me realize if it’s not perfect, it can be fixed or most of all if I don’t TRY I’ll never know if I can – I’ve installed a complete bathroom tile floor, subfloor, cement board and tile, tile back splash in a kitchen and bathroom, (inspiration for that was the full ‘man cave’ bptiled restroom in the garage? You hung out in while building the house. Installed multiple rooms of Prego,flooring, getting ready to build out and install a dishwasher YAY in my farm kitchen – previous owners loved hand washing dishes while looking out over the pastures – NOT ME :-)

    See, before I ran into your blog, I’d never touched a power tool – actually a drill and hammer were my “tools” – and always,believed that was my husbands toys. Well after reading from your very first post all the way through to the minute, I decided if I didn’t try, I’d never know.

    I FREAKING LOVE POWER TOOLS !!!!!! I know own my very own wet tile saw, table saw, belt sander, drill set, 3 small tool bag(s) with multiple screwdriver, pliers, staple guns, and tons of other little interesting tools .

    I also found out I’m pretty good at DIY. I can totally loose myself in a project and would go days straight from sleep wasn’t necessary.

    You, Sarah at Ugly Duckling House and YouTube are my inspiration and my professors!

    I’ve take. An early retirement and am now free to delve into more projects without a full time office job in my way.

    So talk about your feelings, your projects, your deer in the headlight moments, and know that on our end your followers follow you for a reason. You are real, sometimes thins
    Go doing go perfect, sometimes your panda rip, or you forget to put them on when chasing farm animals, :-) but most of all you are REAL and what you do is important to you and us.

    Keep it real! I for one know you do and will continue to since that’s who you are.

    Can’t wait to see the film and I love, love, love the lockers…..

    • Kit


      So awesome Cindi! I love that you decided to give it a shot and then realized, oh hell yes you can do this! Stories like this are my favorite thing to read, and a good reminder about why it’s important for all of us to share our experiences– good, bad, and ugly– with each other.

  • Barbara


    Congratulations for being real. You are awesome at it and there are fewer and fewer people like that each and every day. I love your blog, might not comment a lot, but look forward to every post. Don’t change a thing!

  • Brenda


    I read every word. I LOVED every word. You being authentic. You being yourself. “the good, the bad and the ugly…” That’s what keeps me coming back regularly. That’s what makes your blog my favorite. The realness, the humanness, the sincerity (and the donkeys and nuggets don’t hurt either). Everything everyone else has said above, not just about this post, but about you, as well, I concur! I want to be like you she I grow up and I’ll be 50 this year. Just keep being true to yourself. You can’t ever go wrong doing that.

    • Kit


      Thanks Brenda!

  • Leah MKH


    Longtime lurker, first time commenter.

    Thank you for serving as an inspiration on how to do, how to say, how to be. Keep it up, Kit. We’ll be listening. And learning, and laughing, and drinking along with you…

    • Kit


      Thanks for coming along on the journey!

  • Steph


    Great post girl…love that your real.

  • J


    Ditto.

    Yet not mentioned in all of the comments is the fact if you were a dude writing this blog and using power tools -the comments would likely be less for admiration of your mechanical skills and abilities with power tools, projects, drinking, and guns – and more admiration for your ability to write as well as you do. There would likely be commentary on why sew up holes in the crotch of your jeans because, after all, “the boys” need room and air to move around. There would likely be commentary on your cooking/culinary skills as being amazing – because, after all, there are few pics of steaks on the grill or cold cut sandwiches.

    Every risk you take in publishing the details of your life is surely outweighed by the benefits of inspiring other women to take on power tools and realizing their own strengths in as many different ways as there are women.

    Real tools for real women.

    Redefining homemaker forever.

    Reading your blog paints a map of possibilities for those of us who have just been waiting for someone else to go first or give us permission to try. That is a powerful message.

    Thank you.

    • Robin


      Redefining homemaker forever. That. It took my breath away.

      • Kit


        Mine too.

    • Kit


      Thank you so much for putting in to words what it’s difficult for me to articulate. I don’t think of myself as paving the way for other women to do badass things, but I do believe it’s important to put all kinds of stories out there that are real, and I think you nailed the reason why. It’s good to be reminded of that!

  • Ananda


    I loved this post, and most of what you write. I just wanted to say that these words, your authenticity, every bit of it gives me and many others inspiration. Having bought my own home has been a whirlwind of emotions I’ve never even heard of, I’ve been high off the delight of finishing a project, but more often in fucking fetal position with defeat and a lack of knowledge, and context, to do what needs to do done to make this house a home. we’ve gone weeks without power or water, months without a functioning shower, but whenever I feel like I can’t do it, like I’m in over my head, like it’s altogether too much, I read this post:

    http://diydiva.net/2015/05/i-used-to-feel-this-way-about-houses/

    I read that post almost every week, and when I feel like I CAN’T do it, I tell myself, or the plumbing, or the freaking flooded crawlspace that
    “I SURE AS SHIT CAN!”

    And now my other half wants to write “I sure as shit-can” on the wall in the bathroom with an arrow pointing to the toilet as he has heard me scream “I sure as shit can!” at this freakin unfinished bathroom ~150,000 times in the last few months.

    PS the last video was a beautiful glimpse into the life of an inspirational, strong and capable woman, however I would’ve liked to see more Nuggets in it ;)

    • Kit


      I love this! Both that you say it to yourself, and that your husband wants to put it on a wall in the bathroom… so true and appropriate in the context of both!

  • Juliet


    Amazing!! And I think that it’s pretty normal to have 33rd thoughts about how much to put out there because,well…it’s out there. But as we are all humans who do (and get bogged down by) wonderful and awful things, getting through them, kicking them in the ass on the way out, and poking fun at as much as possible is key to good mental health in my world.

    And I’d happily watch someone make a table in (almost real time) just because the figuring it out and doing is the awesome part. It isn’t clothes, hair and makeup that have obviously never seen a speck of sawdust with a perfectly timed jumpcut just in time for a commercial.

    I’m happier with authentic than slick, packaged and branded.

  • Katy


    oh goodness I stumbled on your site when I was looking up something about taking a contractor’s exam to get licensed. Here in SC you have to work full time for a builder for 2 years before they even let you sit for the exam, which is super annoying.
    Anyway I was intrigued because although I’m a little older than you, we seem very similar and then… oh yeah. I’m an ISTP too. And I’ve spent the last 14-ish years taking suicidal real estate risks and building things nobody else would want to. :/
    So I guess there is something to that MB personality type stuff.
    I’m also from OH and I kept wondering “is she from the midwest” – maybe we all have a similar mindset? LOL!

    Glad to be a new follower of your blog, can’t wait to see the finished kitchen. cheers! xo

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