It’s been tough to sit down and write a blog post lately. My brain swirls with one thousand thoughts and ideas to share and yet, none of them totally complete. I have several drafts ready to publish but honestly, it feels forced (even, fake?) to post about dresses to wear to summer weddings (it’s coming, I promise) without stating the way I’m feeling.

I’ve briefly shared on Instagram but the past few months have been tough for my family. My dad’s health isn’t great & frankly, it sucks.

To make a long story, short: I’m struggling.

So often we are reminded that everyone is fighting some type of battle. So in regards to struggling, aren’t we all? If you’re reading this and can’t relate, I am elated for you. Maybe you’ve emerged through this type of season or haven’t come into contact with something that’s felt all enveloping.

I want to share with you that I’m struggling because we all do at one point or another. Recently a friend remarked that she felt like she was the only person not jet setting around the world or in the Hamptons for the summer. It’s so easy to feel that way while you scroll through perfectly pretty photos. I commented back to her that “no one shares the shit stuff.” It’s true. We don’t, AND, I cannot stress this enough, we don’t have to.

I’m pretty adamant in my belief that instagram is only a highlight reel and I’ve struggled with wanting to share the heaviness in my life right now. Not because I couldn’t assign a post like this with the right photo or because I’m worried about my “aesthetic.” Frankly, it’s hard to share the things that hurt us. When I posted what had happened with my dad while I was in Iceland, I got some weird messages (#internet) saying “we love when you share the real stuff”…it made me uncomfortable. Everything I share is real so, that comment felt almost voyeuristic.
We’ve grown up with reality TV and now a blast of hyper-authenticity via social media, but we can still pick & choose what we want to share. And hey, if that’s the happy moments, that’s great. If it’s the whole enchilada, that’s great too! It’s up to you.

I haven’t shared the sadness because frankly it’s tough to dwell on, hard to talk about and I’m a strong believer that you have to allow yourself time away from it; whatever it may be. I haven’t shared feeling guilty for missing time at the office at a job that I love (and waited years to find!) I haven’t shared that it’s hard to want to reach out to friends because no matter how close you are, it’s hard to want to weigh anyone else down too.

But today, I shared. Because I wanted to, not because it was owed to anyone.

I always want to be 100% real (there’s that word again) with anyone reading this blog. I remind myself as I remind you, that you do not owe it to anyone to lay all your shit out on the internet. Just please know, if you are struggling, in any capacity, I am rooting for you & I am here for you, whether you feel like speaking about it or not.


  1. Jennie Erdle
    July 19, 2019 / 10:51 am

    Your words are your own- beautifully stated and written. I am reminded of this poem about the dash between at the end of our lives. It goes like this:
    the poem by Linda Ellis
    I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.
    He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
    For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.
    For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
    So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.
    To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.
    If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
    So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?

    Anna- so far- be very proud of your dash!!

    Be well and sending prayers and electronic hugs to you and the whole Barnes family!!

    Jennie E

  2. Linda Lifer Hyme
    July 19, 2019 / 11:14 am

    Thinking of you and your mother. Joyce keeps me updated as she is struggling with Cliff and my husband is having all kind of issues also. ❤️

  3. Jennifer Norris-Osborne
    July 19, 2019 / 2:15 pm

    You are so right! I could not agree more with this. We always share the great moments, the happy moments, the live the life moments. But we never share the behind the scenes or really raw stuff that happens to all of us.

    I really appreciate you opening up and saying it like it is! We need more of this, and of course, on you own terms! I wish for you and your family the best and my positive vibes. I am sending your way to you and your family!

    Love ya lady! Forever and always, your ARB dance family!

    Jeni Norris-Osborne

  4. Woody
    July 20, 2019 / 10:31 am


    My thoughts, good vibes and prayers are with you my friend. Life can be really tough. But don’t stop writing! You have a natural talent for it and I believe it was what you were meant to do.

    Hoping it gets better soon for you my friend.❤️

  5. July 20, 2019 / 4:56 pm

    Anna, thank you for sharing after the 3 days I spent in Ashland with your dad. I can only imagine your stress.
    Jim and I always claimed to be brothers, at age 27 we were the exact same size and both have big heads! I love him as a brother and in 46 years we have never had a serious disagreement.
    Jim was an exemplary #2 and ultimately my Board Chair in 3 organizations spanning the years 1973 to 2012. He was irreplaceable.
    I recall his joy at your birth and the countless stories of your March through life.
    He is so proud of you. I understand why.
    I will do anything to help. Just call.
    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
    Fondly, George

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