I’m embarrassed but not afraid to say I enjoy most of Taylor Swift’s new album. “Reputation.” (Amazon)

Column: Mild embarrassment might actually provide comfort

I want to express a giant thank you to all of the people who have let me write about them

This is my 27th “good news” column and by and large, people seem to be responding well to it. Looking at the brighter side of life in this day and age isn’t just refreshing, it’s necessary. There’s so much out there to drag us down.

I’m running out of immediately writable ideas so if you have a good news story, by all means get in touch. My contact information is below this story.

I want to express a giant thank you to all of the people who have let me write about them and their quirks thus far and hope I find more people out there like you whose stories make us smile. I also want to thank you for listening to my anecdotes about my family. I’m trying not to write like a mom blogger every week — not that there’s anything wrong with that, but there’s an internet full of it if that’s your jam — but the reality is that’s my life these days, and oh, the stories I could tell if I didn’t worry about embarrassing my husband and children.

Speaking of embarrassment, this is actually technically not my 27th column. It’s maybe my 29th. For various reasons, I’ve written several that have never made it to the paper. It’s been frustrating and time consuming and while I do take responsibility for jumping the gun and getting them mostly written before I talked to the subjects, it’s still a bummer to put in the effort only to spike it once it’s a few quotes away from completion.

And while I suppose I technically don’t have to ask people for permission to write stories I find in the public domain, I do like to ask if people mind. Sometimes that bites me in the behind, like this week, and then I’m stuck writing a column like this instead of one like the flag guy or the chalkboard lady or the white hummingbird.

Sometimes there’s a safety issue or other reasonable concern. Other times though, it’s just embarrassment. And here’s what I say to those people:

We all get embarrassed. We all have quirks and oddities and unusual experiences and things happen to us that make us blush and things happen that we’d rather not broadcast. That’s humanity. But isn’t it a little less embarrassing to know that it happens to everyone? I admitted the other day I actually like Taylor Swift’s new album. Talk about embarrassing. You know what though? Other people said they liked it too. There was a small amount of comfort for me in sharing my embarrassing information. Perhaps sharing your story would give you the same comfort. The reality is though, I’m not going to write about it in my column if you don’t agree to it. Being embarrassed isn’t fun and believe it or not, this journalist is not out to get you.

I’m a newspaper reporter and because of that I kind of have to put myself out there more than I’m actually comfortable with, but I love to tell stories and so I try to find a way to live within that discomfort. But if you don’t like telling your story, that’s OK too. Because it’s not “good news” if it makes you miserable. I have faith there are enough positive stories to share and I believe the community will alert me to the ones I should write about.


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