Erik and Aurelia Courtney

No More Secrets!

I hate secrets. I’m not good at keeping them, and I don’t want to have them.

One of my favorite things about my relationship with Erik is our emotional intimacy: we’re open books with each other. I’ve come to realize how we choose to operate is rare. While sometimes it’s painful, it also keeps us healthy, happy, and connected. There are never walls. There is nothing that can’t be said or shared. It makes us feel safe.

I like to be an open book with you, my readers, too. We wanted you to experience the show without any spoilers, so it minimized the number of personal topics I could write about…right at the point when I started to feel that blogging about beauty wasn’t enough.

When I was a kid, I stuttered a lot and spoke too fast. People often didn’t understand me. Writing was the answer. The words on the page allowed me to communicate, to be understood, to connect. It’s not a coincidence that I became a writer when I grew up. I found myself by reaching out to others with my words, by trying to connect through the screen.

If I can’t communicate, a part of me dies. (Poor Erik learned that one quickly!)

But not blogging also helped me do a lot of soul-searching and private journaling. I had to take a hard look at the life I was living and the life I wanted to live and identify the gaps. I dismantled assumptions and wrecked givens and rejected mandates. I made the scary decision to rebrand and to stop defining myself by the old successes and failures of my 20s.

The older I get, the more I realize that if I’m not a work-in-progress, I’m failing myself.

So I published two books in my 20s. So I was an early blogger. So I made a name for myself as a beauty expert.

So what?

Who am I now? And more importantly: who could I be? Who do I want to be? How am I going to get there?

Right on schedule, I think I’m going through a classic mid-life crisis–and now that I can finally write about everything again, I’m excited! The questioning of yourself, the searching for honesty and meaning in a world of noise and artifice, the unwillingness to be satisfied with the life you have because it’s the only life you get, damn it, and it’s up to you to make it good and stop making excuses…now that’s the good stuff.

Tomorrow night is the Newlyweds finale, and I hope you’ll be watching. The cameras were there as Aurelia was born, and you’ll get to come along for the last bit of my transformation from person into mother. After tomorrow, there will be no more secrets. Finally!

When we decided to do the show, a lot of my friends were freaked out. They didn’t get why on God’s green earth I’d want to open myself up to the public, the creativity of reality TV editors, and the displaced venom of mean people on social media.

Now that we’ve finally reached the end of that particular journey, I can look back and say not only do I not regret it, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. After the show began airing, it was a mixed bag. Sometimes it was painful. Sometimes I cried. Sometimes I was pissed and angry and cursing and frustrated beyond belief. It occasionally made me dislike huge swaths of the general populace, and it occasionally made me dislike myself.

But it was a risk, and I live for those. It was a leap. It was scary and exhilarating and fun and it challenged me. It changed me. It forced me to get outside of my comfort zone and to try and to fail and to try again and to grow.

Yes, I was unable to share some things with you for a while. But looking back, it wasn’t a negative thing. It was a wonderful opportunity, and I’m grateful for it:

I found my voice again.

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  1. sj

    I have enjoyed watching you and your husband on tv and think you have a wonderful relationship and appear to be super people, even comicon! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Deb

    Cheers to Nadine 2.0! I have been following your beauty blog for a long time. But as the years pass, I find I read blogs for good writing– regardless of the topic. And you always deliver that. I’m exciting to hear about your gorgeous baby. It’s been fun to get to know Erik on the TV show. You two are so sweet and funny together. I was especially cracking up with him trying on the baby gear and thinking it could be used as armor (so true!). Congrats on it all!